How To Find Writers For Your Blog or Website
I wish I could tell you that blogging – or writing for a website – is like writing a great novel and that you can take your time and produce one or two masterpieces of great prose a month and you’ll do great. If you’re already famous then perhaps you can do just that, carefully editing and crafting the perfect blog entry that your millions of fans eagerly consume when published.
I could tell you that. But I’d be lying.
Turns out that like a lot of things in life, blogging success comes just as much from quantity as quality and that your site will work better if you can publish more content. If the content is uniformly excellent quality, that’s great, but even if it’s “B” level work and you’re posting regularly, you’ll have better results – more traffic, more shares – than if you are not a regular content producer.
Below, I’ll share with you how to find writers for your blog or website that can produce great content that produces true ROI for your efforts.
There is a real pressure to publish
The pressure to constantly publish has been the undoing of many, many sites, particularly blogs where no-one in on the team actually “owns” the blog and everyone who could write for it is also busy with a dozen other tasks. All of which are more important.
The truth is content has to be coming out quickly, be well researched, and be of strong quality. This is high volume, sweat pouring from your brow work. If you’re making money from your blog or website, there is only one way to eventually keep up.
The solution is to hire outside writers who can produce good, on-topic content for your site on a regular schedule, making adding a new post as easy as copy-paste. Writers who understand your business and can represent the company only without you having to make changes to their content. Because, hey, you’re busy too, right, so how do you find writers for your blog or website?
Hiring bloggers or writers for your website
Unfortunately, these writers aren’t easy to find. You could ostensibly go to an agency, even a PR agency, but they aren’t subject matter experts and too many of them are fresh out of undergrad and lack the savvy to have actual experience in your niche. Many times this content is thin and just takes up space on the internet. Thousands of sites waste their time on this stuff every day and never see a dime in return.
You could eschew all the subject matter expertise and go to a site like Fiverr or Upwork, but let’s be candid: just as you aren’t going to get a great painting for $5 from the local middle schooler, you aren’t going to get very good prose from a writer you’re offering $10 for an article. And, if it’s not something you find interesting, it’s not something your customers are going to find interesting either. That goes double if English isn’t their native language: There are lots of excellent tech resources overseas, but writers are the hardest of all to find and work with on an ongoing basis.
And, if it’s not something you find interesting, it’s not something your customers are going to find interesting either. That goes double if English isn’t their native language: There are lots of excellent tech resources overseas, but writers are the hardest of all to find and work with on an ongoing basis.
What about college students? That’s an interesting idea if you have connections into a local university and a way to connect with students, but from talking with many companies that have hired interns, it’s likely going to be a big headache. The biggest issue is reliability: College students put their studies — and, often, their social life — ahead of your work, so a weekly publishing schedule might quickly decay into 2-3 rushed articles/month. And that’s a false saving.
How to find good writers
A smart way to find good writers is to simply look at who’s writing for the sites and publications you already enjoy. Whether magazines or online sites, odds are good that the writers also do freelance work on the side, though it’s possible that someone who is used to writing features for WIRED or The Economist might ask a lot more than you’ve budgeted for the project!
“Hire fanatical visitors or readers, those may be your best content producers…”
You can also look at your customer base: if you have super enthusiastic customers who already write about your product or service, they could be an excellent choice to bring on board. Easy enough: email them and ask if they’d like to write a guest post or two and if those work out, a longer term contract can be negotiated.
How much should you pay writers?
Speaking of which, how much should you expect to pay for a writer? That’s a tough one to answer because professional writers are going to charge you $0.25/word or even higher, though they’ll typically want a target word count and fixed fee (you don’t want to encourage them to be overly loquacious, do you?)
Ballpark $250-$400/article for a good writer with significant subject matter knowledge, and as much as $500-$600/article for a rare expert in the field. Key is to ensure that they agree to deliver unique, interesting and lively content on schedule, week after week. If your topics are more broad in nature, you may be able to get by with a researcher with writing skills that you could pay less than half of that cost, but you’ll want to measure how this content does on your site.
Keep working until you find the right mix
Don’t be surprised if your first writer doesn’t work out either, unfortunately. Even writers with excellent reputations can turn out to be difficult to work with when you’re actually awaiting their latest missive. Make sure your contract has a performance clause and move on to the next writer quickly if you must.
And before you know it, the hassle of your business blog can transform into a center of excellence that drives customers to your site!
How has your experience been hiring and finding writers for your blog or website? Share your experiences below.
Tyler is an award-winning digital marketer, SEO veteran, successful start-up founder, and well-known publishing industry speaker. Tyler also serves as the host of Pubtelligence, a publishers-only event hosted at Google offices around the globe. Tyler describes his core competency as learning. He has composed content for some of the world’s top publications and has over a decade of experience building businesses in the digital space. Tyler is currently the Head of Marketing at Ezoic and serves as an SEO and marketing expert for start-up competitions across the U.S.