How To Hire A Blog Writer Without Getting Ripped Off
At one point, you will realize you’ve just got so many new opportunities from your blog that you won’t have time to manage it all! You will need to bring in help to help you run the blog and grow it even bigger even faster.
I believe it’s a good idea to learn how to outsource your blog before you need to – so you don’t get overwhelmed when you get to that point.
There are many aspects of blogging you can outsource – and you don’t need to hire a full-time employee. You can manage it easily with one or two virtual assistants and/or a team of guest writers (who will write for you for free as a guest blogger!)
Let me start by sharing with you what I’ve found to be the most useful, productive and easiest ways to outsource your blogging business.
Hiring A Blog Writer
Hiring a blog writer can be a life-saver for any serious blogger, especially if you have a regular publication schedule (You better have a publication schedule by now!)
Once you’ve hired a writer, it becomes so much easier to manage the blogging business. Instead of you having to write articles every day and every week, you’ve hired someone to do that for you – and you will need that extra free time to work on other areas of your business to become a successful blogger.
How To Hire A Writer
I’ve tried all kinds of ways to hire writers. I’ve tried classified ads, social media requests, asking for referrals, and much more.
What I’ve personally found to be the BEST way to find high quality writer candidates is to use Craigslist.
Well, first of all Craigslist is free. And free is good.
Second, everytime I post a writing job on Craigslist, I get at least 10 responses – meaning I have more high quality candidates to choose from. You never want to be stuck making a choice between just 2 or 3 writers – because you’re not going to be making a good choice.
The more candidates you interview, the better chances you have of finding a great writer at a great price. And when I say interview, you can do all that through email, Skype, or Phone – it’s up to you. I prefer initial interviews over email and only use phone calls when necessary. I’ve never even talked with several of my writers – just email.
Here’s how I do it. Feel free to R&D (Rip-off and Duplicate) my system!
Step 1. Where To Post On Craigslist
I always post in the San Francisco Writing Gigs section of Craigslist because a) it’s free and b) thousands of writers search through it every day. You can find it here: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/wrg/
Step 2. What To Post
Here’s a sample of one of my actual ads I posted to find a writer for my blog. It worked very well so I recommend you model it.
“I’m looking for a health and nutrition writer for my blog, someone who can write very high quality, detailed and well-research linkbait articles on various nutrition and health topics. I’ll only be needing 1 or 2 such articles a week, each should be 1000-5000 words, depending on whether it’s a long list or a shorter myth-buster article.
You won’t need to ever show up at the office! Just email the written articles in.
I’m looking for a long-term relationship here as I’ll have to teach you my personal style and help you emulate it as well as possible.
Must be familiar with “linkbaiting” and controversial writing (you can just research linkbaiting tactics to get a feel for the kinds of articles – lists, mythbusting, common mistakes to avoid, etc. are all good starters)
Must have degree or in-depth knowledge in nutrition or some other health field
Must write well with no typographical errors
Must be willing to develop a long-term relationship (12 months at least)
Must deliver writing on time or ahead of time (I don’t mind if you want to write a month’s worth of articles in the first week, just please don’t go for weeks without anything)
You can check out the blog at http://www.tomcorsonknowles.com/blog/”
3. What You Must Include In Your Ad
Here are what I feel to be the most important elements to include in your ad:
a) How many articles do you want and how often?
b) How long should the articles be?
c) Is this a short-term or long-term gig? (you’ll get better writers if you advertise it as a long-term opportunity for them).
d) How much are you paying? (I recommend $5-$10 an article – more on that later)
e) What topic(s) do you need the articles to be on? (Be specific!)
f) What requirements do you have? (List specific requirements like “no typos,” “must deliver on time,” etc. This helps weed out bad candidates)’
g) Include a link to your blog so that writers can feel you out before contacting you (this could also drive a significant amount of traffic to your site – which is a nice added bonuses).
4. What To Pay
I recommend you start by paying $5-$10 per article (at least 500 words minimum).
Now, you might think this is way too low, or too high a price to pay but I’ve found this is the “sweet spot” that will get you the best writers at the best price.
Here’s the deal – there are literally MILLIONS of good writers out there who NEED work. And millions of those writers are willing to work for $5 to $10 for a 500-1000 word article.
In fact, this is the standard in the blogging industry. The average writer for the Huffington Post and other huge blogs gets paid $5-$10 per article (although they get paid based on their page views, which is an entirely different issue far beyond the scope of this book).
Despite the fact that this is the standard, you will get writers who respond to your ad complaining that you’re not offering enough money for their work. They will complain and beg for you to pay more. DON’T DO IT!
Why pay $150 for a 500 word article when you can pay $5 for a similar article of similar quality? (I have actually had writers tell me their rate is $150 for a 500 word article!)
Blogging is a business – you need to treat it like a business. Don’t overpay your writers. Just find a writer who is a good fit and is willing to do the work at a reasonable price.
A Word of Caution
There are many writers out there who speak English as a second language or who are just terrible writers. Needless to say, you should avoid them.
At first, you may find that many writers who are willing to be paid $5-$10 per article fall into the category of bad writers – just keep looking until you find the good ones. Trust me, there are millions of good writers willing to work for these rates – just keep reposting your Craigslist ad until you find the right writer for you.
When To Pay Your Blog Writers
When should you pay your writers? Many writers will ask to be paid up-front. Don’t do it!
You should NEVER pay a writer upfront for their work. Always pay them AFTER they’ve delivered their work.
I’m telling you this because I was burned more than once by writers who I paid and then never did what they said they would do – so I want to save you the time and money now instead of having you make the same mistakes.
I have my writers send me an invoice once a month and then pay them via Paypal for the work they delivered that month. I recommend you do the same.
A Note About Standards
I have standards in my business, some might call them rules. One of these rules is that I NEVER pay a writer upfront. Every time I’ve broken that rule, I lost money. That’s why I have the rule.
And even though people keep saying the old phrase, “rules are meant to be broken,” I’ve found that every time I break my own rules in business, I lose. So stick to your rules! They’re there to protect you.
Another helpful rule I have is that I never hire anyone until I’ve interviewed at least three people for the job. Whether I’m looking for a web designer, coach, consultant, or writer – I make sure to interview as many people as I can before choosing one. This way I can get a better idea of what the right price is and what kind of experience and talent is available.
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