Do you need to hire a blog writer but aren’t sure how?
The process is simple: figure out who you need, post a description on a freelance platform, flesh out an agreement, and get to work.
For those who have worked with writers before or know someone who has, you know it’s easier said than done when you actually break it down.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong in the process, starting with the very first step. How do you know what you really need? Once you have that, how do you know who will be the right person – with the right skills and experience – to put it all together? Then you have to think about how they work and how that fits in with how you work, and how you’re going to establish a good work flow moving forward.
Are you hesitant to hire a freelancer because of bad experiences hiring online?
Whether it was you or someone you know, you probably have a few horror stories about a time when someone tried to hire a blog writer or some other freelancer for their business.
Maybe they claimed to know what they were doing and turned out not to have the skills they boasted of at first. Maybe you ended up paying hand over fist or not getting what you were promised because there were no safeguards on the platform you used. Whatever it was – maybe all of the above and more! – it has put you off relying on freelancers.
Freelance work has a reputation for being a risk. This is an unfortunate result of bad hires, which of course can happen even when you hire in-house. Hiring freelancers just seems more iffy because the physical distance makes you feel like you don’t have any control.
Let me assure you right here that when you hire a blog writer for your business, it doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. You can apply a process that will get you a good fit and protect your interests as well. Moreover, it really is a simple one that will not eat up a lot of your valuable time or energy.
Here’s the fast and easy way to hire a blog writer without the common risks involved in hiring remote freelancers.
Prepare Your End
Looking for the right candidate doesn’t actually start with LOOKING for the right candidate. It starts with you.
So, obviously, you need to hire a blog writer – but that’s not enough to go on. If you really want to find that one great writer who can DO exactly what you need done, you first need to KNOW exactly what you need done.
Here are the steps:
1. Write down the type of content that you want for your blog.
Get specific with it – you’re going to need to communicate this clearly to a prospective candidate. State your reasons for wanting this type of content – it will guide you to the main focus of your content, and to the most important skills you need the right blog writer to have.
2. Review your content types and audience.
Think about each kind of content you are planning from the perspective of your target audience – will they be able to understand what you are trying to communicate? This will help you find the right voice for your blog. This is very important since you want to keep this consistent as you build out content so you don’t confuse your readers.
Note here that ideally you’ll want to hire a blog writer who has experience in your niche and therefore knows what you’re talking about without you having to dumb it down. However, niche experts come at a higher cost, and you may not be able to afford that. In that case, you should instead focus on someone who is a great writer, and then see if they can adapt to your niche.
3. Think about the technical side.
You’ll need to know how long you want each blog post to be, how many posts you need each week, and so on. You should also write down whether you expect the posts to be optimized for SEO, and how far the writer needs to go with that.
Not all writers have experience implementing SEO. Moreover, if you need keyword research done before anything can be optimized, you also need to know if the writer is actually an SEO or just knows what a keyword is, and if you need to hire an SEO to work alongside them. Don’t assume anything.
4. Consider the hard skills that you want any hire to have.
Your description of required blog content needs to clearly state the hard skills that you want a blog writer to have.
The main ones would be writing skills, language facility, and specific experience writing for blogs. You’ll also want to ask for proof, most likely in the form of a portfolio where you can view different writing samples. This should also tell you how much experience the candidate has and the different styles and voices they can use well.
5. Add the soft skills you’d prefer a candidate to possess.
This really depends on you, but some examples are communication and ability to collaborate with others. These are not vital, but can make a huge difference in the workflow and productivity of everyone involved.
6. Decide on a budget and get online.
Based on the content types, technical aspects, etc., do a bit of research into what you expect to spend to get your content plan in motion. Be prepared to adjust either your budget or your expectations based on what you find.
Once you have an amount ready – whether it’s an hourly figure or per blog post – it’s time to post your requirements and search for candidates.
Search on the Right Marketplace
There are so many different freelance marketplaces where you can find and hire a blog writer. They key to getting the pick of the litter is to submit your description to the right one. This entails knowing which marketplaces are the best for your specific needs.
If you took the previous step seriously, you should have no problems deciding where to hire a blog writer.
Here are some comparisons you can check out as well to give you a better idea of how they operate:
- A Freelancer Marketplace Comparison: Upwork vs. Freeelancer vs. FreeeUp vs. Fiverr
- The Top 4 Outsourcing Platforms with Vetted Freelancers in 2018
- 5 Alternative Sites to Upwork for Finding Top Talent Faster
- 5 Websites to Hire an eCommerce Expert
- Top 10 Websites to Hire Workers Online
Basically, if you need to hire a variety of freelancers and you have a lot of time to sift through profiles, Upwork would be your best bet because they have a larger pool of freelancers. If you need to hire a blog writer who is an expert, however, a niche writing site may be your best option since they specialize in writing.
For businesses on a tight budget, Fiverr could work, although you’d have to be very careful to check for quality. For eCommerce expertise and a fast hiring experience, FreeeUp is the best option. They accept only the top 1% of applicants and do most of the heavy lifting, as well as offering a wide range of freelancers in terms of both skill level and rate.
Interview and Make the Hire
If you’ve done your due diligence during the preparation phase, this should likewise be a walk in the park.
Once you know which marketplace can best serve your needs, you can post your description and move on to the next phase – the interview. This part works differently on each marketplace, just as submitting a task description does.
To give you an example, here’s how it works on FreeeUp:
1. Sign up on FreeeUp for a free client account and enter your details.
2. Submit a request for a freelancer with the description you’ve written up.
3. Wait 24 hours to meet the best match for your provided information – FreeeUp does the searching for you, so all you have to do is wait for an email and connect with the freelancer.
4. Do a 15-minute interview to confirm that you’re a good match and talk over any outstanding concerns on both sides.
5. If you’re satisfied with the freelancer, click the hire button on your FreeeUp dashboard and you can get down to business. If you’re not satisfied, just request for a different freelancer from the same dashboard.
Note that if the match wasn’t ideal, you may want to tweak your task description or give feedback to the FreeeUp assistants on the selection process. They love honest feedback and really do use it to improve hiring systems and processes!
Get to Work
Before you throw the first writing assignment at the new blog writer, there’s one more very important step to take. You need to set very clear expectations about the task.
No matter how awesome you think the hire is, they will not know how you prefer the work to be done unless you tell them.
Here’s how you should go about setting clear expectations so you both stay on the same page throughout your work relationship:
1. Review your requirements for the blog writing – how many posts and how many words and when you need them, et cetera.
Talk about everything that you need, like images and formatting and SEO and if you want the writer to submit on Google Docs or if you’re providing them with logins to upload content. Go through absolutely everything, and ask them frequently if they have any thoughts on that or any suggestions.
Experienced writers (especially on FreeeUp) have honed workflows and they can help you streamline the process so you get even more value out of a hire.
2. Review your personal preferences.
A writer may be super communicative, but not on the channels you use. Talk about how you want to get updates and how often.
Tell them the best way to reach out to you in different situations, such as Skype for quick questions during business hours or email for stuff they don’t need right away. If you use an organizer like Trello or Asana, ask them if they’re comfortable collaborating through that app.
It’s not a must, but it makes things so much easier if you hire a blog writer who’s fluent with your existing systems.
3. When everything is clear on both sides, introduce them to anyone they’ll be working with.
It helps a lot to endorse a new hire so they can be properly welcomed and feel at home right away so they can get right to work at peak performance level.
4. Always give a new hire a test project to see if they’re really what you expected.
If all goes well, you can get them started on the actual workflow.
Dealing with Issues
Note that if anything isn’t up to your standard, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to the freelancer and talk it over. Most issues arise out of simple misunderstandings that can be quickly cleared up.
If you can’t sort through an issue between the two of you, reach out to marketplace support. Not many have both free and effective support, though, so that’s something you might want to look into when choosing your marketplace.
Upwork, for instance, doesn’t have personalized support unless you’re on a Pro subscription. FreeeUp, on the other hand, provides real people that you can talk to almost round the clock to help you resolve any concerns, and it’s absolutely free.
Be very careful when you hire a blog writer and you can enjoy a smooth experience without a lot of hitches. No process is perfect, especially when you’re dealing with people – we’re all human, after all. Following the process and paying attention to each step, however, can take much of the hassle and doubt out of inline hiring.
Ready to give it a shot?
Do up your description of the perfect writer for your blog and start looking into the popular online marketplaces that best suit your needs. You could very well manage to hire a blog writer who can take that load off your shoulders within the same day.
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and decades-long lover of the art of words on paper, the stage and the big screen. She spends most of her time doing freelance eCommerce content and project management, adventuring with the Greenhouse Christian Fellowship, volunteering with the Philippine Advocates for Resilient Communities, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.