So you’ve decided that your website would benefit from having a blog. Good. Blogs allow you to build rapport with your audience while also increasing not only your website’s traffic, but if the writing is good, it will increase your clout as well. Here’s the predicament: when will you have enough time to make your blog posts awesome?
The truth is that everyone can write, but not everyone can write well, and not all know how to write for the internet. So maybe you have time to write your own blog posts, but you must ask yourself a few questions. Are you a good writer? Do you know how to incorporate SEO? Can you write for engagement and conversions? If you have time and you answered yes to these questions, then hop to it. If not, then you’ll need to find yourself some freelance writers.
Before you get started
First you need to define what kind of copy you need. Ask yourself these questions:
What are your topics?
Do you need generic, super-optimized copy?
Or do you need articles to be more technical?
Are you writing solely for SEO (you shouldn’t be)?
Who is your audience and will they appreciate lightheartedness over more authoritative copy?
How frequent will you post new articles to your blog?
How long do articles need to be?
Will the writer also be in charge of finding images and uploading content?
Do you need more than one writer?
What is your budget, and will you pay per word, per article, or hourly?
When you have answered these questions, then you will be able to craft a project proposal. No matter where you find your writers, they will want a clear idea of what your needs are. A writer does not want to hear “I need someone to write for my blog 2-5 times a week about technical stuff pertaining to stuff.” They want to hear: “I need one writer who can produce 2 500-word articles per week about travel destinations in Holland for 10 cents a word.”
Where to find and hire pro freelance writers
Depending on your topic, there might be some established writers who will write for you as well as for your competitors. Their names will give your blog authority, but if this is the case then the writer knows it and their copy will come at a premium. All you have to do is find great articles on your subject, read about the author and see if there is contact information or a portfolio page.
Otherwise you will have to post your job to a job board somewhere. If you want to attract professional bloggers, post to these sites:
Freelance writer websites for the tighter budget
If you are on a tighter budget, it may be worth your time to allow writers to bid on your job. You can use websites that we call content mills. The nickname comes from the fact that these websites help you to churn out content no matter the quality. You will find the worst and best writers through these websites—they’re really a crapshoot:
How it works
You post your job details including type of copy, quantity of articles and word count, budget, deadlines, whether the freelancer will be in charge of uploading media, etc. The more detailed the job description, the better freelance blog writers you’ll attract.
Bidders will pitch you their credentials, and their profile should have a portfolio and reviews from past employers. You can message back and forth with a freelancer to make sure they understand your needs before awarding them the project. These websites typically have a built-in system for managing the project, including payment (of which they tend to take a big chunk from both you and the freelancer).
These websites are good places to connect with writers, but it’s against these websites’ policy to communicate with the freelancers outside of their messaging platform. Regardless, if you trust your freelance writer, you’ll both naturally wean yourselves off the middle man content mills to deal directly with one another via Paypal, without infringing any policy.
Setting up extra authors on your blog
Alright, so now let’s talk about logistics. A big consideration is whether you want to give your freelance writer permissions on the content management system (CMS). This will allow them to log into your blog software to upload their article themselves.
Cons: You have to teach them the format of your blog articles, how to use the system, how to upload extra media and photos, perhaps even how to automatically share the article. You also have to pay for this extra work.
Pros: You save yourself a whole heap of time.
Create author bios to give credence to posts—readers want to identify with an avatar, too.
How much to pay a writer
You get what you pay for, in most cases. Avoid paying by the hour, because it’ll always cost more. Five to 10 cents per word should pay for good copy, but the more technical or esoteric the writing, the higher the price tag. So, if you have a flexible budget but no time, hire a freelance blog writer.
Whether you are hiring a freelancer or tackling the writing task yourself, it’s important for every business to have a relevant, frequently updated blog. By following these tips, your blog can be successful and worry-free.