Finding a blogger or content writer is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I know there are thousands of them. But very few are actually good.
It’s not entirely their fault though. Because most clients are trying to find the cheapest content writers. Not the best content writer who can actually make a difference in their business.
But if you’re willing to invest properly in content creation, then this post is for you. I’ll talk at length about finding and hiring a content writer for your blog or business website. Let’s get into it.
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Why Hire A Content Writer?
If you are serious about growing your business, especially online, it’s not possible without great content.
Starting a blog is easy, but content writing is not. I have written and edited content for hundreds of businesses in several niches, and it’s hard work.
Save Your Time
Let’s face it. Many people suck at writing, let alone content writing for the web, which brings in a whole lot of new complexities to handle.
It may seem convenient to learn and try to write by yourself, but you’re looking at hundreds of hours time spent in the process and then waiting for results.
This is valuable time that you could have spent on other important operations of your business. You’re better off saving that time by delegating content writing to a professional.
Content Fuels SEO & Traffic
A content writer who knows his craft well can write consistent content to bring in more potential customers to your website.
Great content is not like a short term marketing campaign. The impact of content marketing is everlasting.
As long as people keep finding it through search engines, it’ll keep bringing steady traffic to your website for years.
In fact, a 2018 study from SparkToro found that Google sends 10x more traffic to the average website than Facebook (and more than 10x for any other website). In other words, hiring a freelance blogger or team can dramatically boost traffic.
Increase Leads & Sales
While SEO bring more visitors to your website, you need additional content to turn them into leads and eventually sales.
The purchase of any product or service starts with a problem. First, your prospects recognize the problem (awareness stage).
Then they research and evaluate their options to solve the problem (consideration stage). And finally, they make a decision to buy a product or service (decision stage).
To influence your prospects through all these stages, you need great content to help them make an informed decision and build trust. And that’s where hiring a content writer or team of writers is essential.
Where To Find Writers?
There are tons of options when it comes to platforms that make it easier for brands to connect with writing professionals and decide whether they fit what you need.
Use The Problogger Job Board
Whenever I am looking for a new content writer, my first option is always one of the job boards dedicated to writers, especially Problogger.
This is because I’ll have to pay only once to submit a job post and get in touch with qualified content writers.
But with other platforms, I’ll have to keep paying commissions as long as I am working with my chosen content writer. I can’t have the writers’ contact information and deal with them directly. It’ll always be through the platform.
On Problogger for instance, I can post a job and get hundreds of qualified applications for an affordable fee.
Also, Problogger isn’t the only job board. Other options include: BloggingPro, AllFreelanceWriting, FlexJobs and MediaBistro.
Submit A Post On Reddit
A lot of good content writers are hanging out in certain Reddit communities, also known as subreddits. These subreddits are dedicated to freelance and remote jobs and are great for connecting clients with writing professionals.
However, keep in mind that every subreddit has its own specific rules on how to post your requirements. So make sure to check the right sidebar to read the rules first.
Reddit is a heavily moderated platform. Not following the rules can lead to deletion of your job posting.
Post A Job On Upwork
Formerly known as Odesk, Upwork is the world’s largest freelance platform. The site is home to several thousands of active freelancers from entry-level all the way to expert vetted.
Finding and hiring freelance bloggers is simple because you can take advantage of the filters and skill requirements to find a copywriter that fits any budget. The platform allows you to invite writers to apply for your project or let them come to you directly.
You can choose from writers who are charging as little as $10/hour, to experienced freelancers who charge over $50/hour.
The only challenge is the sheer number of writers available. This means that it will take you a while to narrow down your options and find the best content writer.
Buy A Fiverr Gig
Fiverr hosts a large pool of freelancers that can accommodate any project or budget. Fiverr allows you to search through what they call “gigs” that have already been created by content writers.
The only challenge is that going through all the gigs can be time-consuming. All freelancers are vetted and assigned different star levels based on their quality and experience. This allows clients to quickly spot top talent.
Order Content On iWriter
On iWriter, you can find content writers yourself or simply post a job and have them send their applications. With iWriter’s “Find Writers’ search function, you can go through thousands of writers and select the best match.
Alternatively, you can choose a writer of choice based skill levels – standard, premium, elite, and elite plus.
Once you find a content writer you’d like to shortlist, you can save their profile in your “Favorite Writers” list.
This can save you a lot of time when it comes to deciding which content writer to hire for your project. Note that you only pay for the content you like, and reject what doesn’t meet your expectations.
Submit Project On Freelancer
Freelancer is another platform that features a large pool of writers with different skills and categories. You can post projects you need to be done and have freelancers place bids with their resumes and rates.
The platform uses an internal system to pair you with a list of the most qualified copywriters in different categories such as blogging, creative writing, and more from their article portal.
You get to see a brief proposal from the writer with details of how they would handle your project.
Writing A Content Job Description
Apart from signing up for the hiring platforms I covered above, you’ll also need a compelling content writer job description to understand and convey the skills you need in your new hire.
A content writing job description is the first touchpoint between an employer and a content writer. As an employer, it helps you attract the best candidates.
For more information, refer to my guide to writing a content writer job description, along with a free sample that you can copy and modify for your situation.
What To Look For In A Content Writer?
If you’re planning on hiring a copywriter, you’re probably wondering, “What are the skills I should look for in a copywriter?” or rather, “What questions should I ask when looking for the best possible candidate?”
Here are common questions and attributes to include in your list as you evaluate and vet potential candidates.
Assess General Attitude
I used to be lenient about this. After all, if they can do the job, what’s the harm right? But with time I have realized that having negative people in your team is never a good idea.
For example, see this response from a content writer when I shared my company’s writing style guidelines according to which the content is to be written.
As you can see, he didn’t stop at just one email. He wrote another one to repeat how silly our brand style guide is.
Would you want to work with someone like this? I know I won’t. Gratitude, positivity and teamwork are important aspects to look for in a content writer.
If someone is not entirely up to speed in quality of writing, they can improve with time with your help and guidance. But someone with a bad attitude is a lost cause from day one.
Check For Reliability
Content creation requires intense organization. There are keywords, topics, and most importantly: deadlines.
You’ll want to know whether your writer has excellent time management skills and can deliver work on time.
When a writer promises that they are going to do a specific task within a certain time, I need to know that they can do exactly that.
Skilled writers will have a clear strategy to ensure they don’t miss deadlines. The idea is to find a copywriter you can trust to get things done on time.
Look At Writing Experience
This is discretionary depending on your needs and requirements. Some brands require a writer that’s well rounded i.e. one that creates content for many different channels.
Others require a specific focus like product reviews. For these reasons, you’ll want to know if your ideal candidate can write on the topic you want and their actual proficiency.
Check if the candidate or agency has a portfolio that includes completed projects for various businesses? Did they significantly work on improving their skills? For example, here’s our writing portfolio at Smemark:
Experience and proficiency are among the most important aspects to look for when you want to hire a freelance blogger. Find a copywriter with an impressive track record.
Do They Know SEO Fundamentals?
If your content will be primarily published online, you’ll want to get someone who knows their way around creating content for SEO.
It’s the process of optimizing content to make it indexable and discoverable by search engines.
Since most people use a search engine to find information online, you want to make sure your content gets noticed.
A strong candidate will know the importance of keyword research, meta descriptions, headlines, reputable links, and image alt tags.
Test Them With A Small Assignment
Before you hand over the reigns of your entire writing project, test out the experience of working with the writer.
You can do this by sharing a small writing task or assignment and seeing how they perform. For instance, give them a topic to write about in a blog post.
A short assignment can be a good indicator of a writer’s competence, work ethic and knowledge in your industry. Also share specific guidelines to see whether they have the ability to follow instructions provided.
I know it seems obvious but I have seen so many writers set in their own way of doing things that they are unable to modify their work based on the brand they are writing for.
Content Writer Hiring & Onboarding
Now that you’ve ticked a couple of boxes when it comes to the skills you need to look for in the best content writer and the key questions to ask, it’s time to bring the writer on board. As you do that, keep the following best practices in mind.
Have A Content Strategy
Before you hire a freelance blogger, create an effective content strategy first. That’s because your plan will help you decide the type and number of content writers you need to hire.
Additionally, having a documented content strategy will act as a blueprint for writers to understand what type of content you need and the target audience they’re writing for.
Prepare A Content Brief
To function efficiently, ensure you’re specific about every project and sharing detailed content briefs. State clearly your overall goals, subject, keywords, the word count, content structure, tone of voice, and the target audience.
Don’t forget to provide the necessary resources. Include specific articles that relate to your topic including blogs and websites that match your style. This information can provide the necessary guidelines they need to help them deliver great content.
Plan Budget & Compensation
As you talk to your shortlisted content writers about pricing, know that you mostly get what you pay for.
Talented content writers are going to charge more, and you should be willing to pay for quality work.
Granted, cheap writers are going to charge less money, but their content would not have what it takes to make more money.
If you’re lucky enough to find a great content writer, don’t mess it up over a small disagreement on pricing.
Payment can be by the word, by the hour, by the piece, or by an ongoing fee or retainer.
Pricing varies greatly based on the content, the niche and timeline. But on average, you can expect to pay upward of 10 cents/word or $50/hour for a good content writer.
Make sure you’re also available to check their progress and answer any questions that may arise. Positive feedback is a great way to encourage the writer to deliver better content in the future.
Bad content writers will certainly damage the reputation of your business. Therefore, finding and successfully hiring a truly great copywriter is a process that should be taken seriously.
You need to do your research, and be specific with your requirements. A professional will not only help spice up your writing but also generates more sales and actions.
I hope these practices will give you some valuable guidance on your hunt for the best content writer for your organization. You can take the same approach with your business, and hire a content writer that is capable of delivering exceptional results.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.