How Do I Hire a Freelance Blogger?

How Do I Hire a Freelance Blogger?

Like most contractors or employees, a freelance blogger needs to be a good fit for your business. Once you decide you need to hire a freelance blogger, it may take some time and should probably include some sort of interview.

Hiring a freelance blogger is a bit of a two-way street. While you want to make sure the blogger is a good fit for your brand’s culture, the blogger also needs to ensure that you’re a good fit as their client. This means learning more about your business and your goals, needs, and plans. So the interview might not look like what you’re used to.

The first step to hiring a freelance blogger is being prepared.

Be ready with your brand info

Most freelance bloggers, including me, are going to do at least a little of our own research into your brand. This allows us to see things from your potential customer or client’s perspective and get a feel for how you come across without influence from you.

But we also need to know what you intend. If what we get from our research isn’t a match for what you intend, we need to know so we can adjust our work to match your intention rather than what’s being put out. This also helps you identify where there might be a disconnect between your intention and what you’re putting out.

I do an interview to gather info on your brand. I’ll ask you for things such as your brand’s personality, voice, values and promise. I’ll also ask for your elevator pitch, ideal client persona, benefits of your product or service, and what kinds of objections or hesitations you frequently hear from customers. There are a few other things we go over as well.

You don’t need to have answers to all of those questions but the more you can answer, the better off we’ll both be. I can do some research and answer those questions myself based on what I see, but again – finding out what you intend people to see about your brand is the best way to make sure the content matches that intention.

Know your content needs

It sounds super simple but you’d be amazed at how many people know they need content but that’s all they know. They don’t know if they need blog posts, email sequences, social media posts, podcast or video scripts, or something else. They don’t know the difference between website copy and a blog post (hint: there is one!).

While there’s nothing wrong with not knowing exactly what you need (i.e., having a list of the next 10 blog post titles you want created), having a rough idea of what you’re looking for is crucial.

Do you want blog posts? Email content? An ebook? Another lead magnet? Are you starting a podcast or YouTube channel and need scripts? Maybe you’re seeking a combination of these things and a few others?

Having at least a general idea of the types of content you’re looking for will help you hire a freelance blogger that can meet your needs. Some only write blog posts while others write multiple types of content. Being able to identify that a writer doesn’t handle the kind of content you’re looking for early in the process will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Knowing your content needs goes beyond just identifying blog posts or podcast scripts. Do you want top 10 lists, employee interviews, product specials, industry news, interviews with industry experts? Different blog posts require different skills and research time and thus, will take different amounts of time to write. They also may have different price points.

Be clear about your budget

Like anything else you buy in life, you get what you pay for. If you pay the low prices offered by content mills, you get the low-quality content their writers provide. Granted, sometimes you find a gem of a writer slaving away in a content mill, but it’s rare and it’s not fair to them to pay those ridiculously low prices they get.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to a hire a freelance blogger that charges the highest price either. But a writer who charges more for their services is much more likely to provide high-quality work. After all, if they don’t, those higher prices will quickly be irrelevant as word gets around that they don’t offer work that matches the price.

A higher price also ensures that the writer doesn’t have to have as many clients to make a living wage. And this benefits you because it means they can spend more time on your content, tweaking it until it’s just right. Consider this:

Two writers both want to make $5,000/mo.

  • Writer A charges $300 per blog post. She needs to write about 16 posts per month to meet her goal. Allowing for weekends off, she works 20-28 days a month. This means she gives each post between 1-2 days of attention.
  • Writer B charges $50 per blog post. She needs to write 100 posts per month to meet her goal. Allowing for weekends off, she works 20-28 days per month. This means she writes between 3-5 blog posts per day.

Who do you think will provide you better content? The one who gave your post a full day (or even two) or the one who churned out your post along with 2-4 others in the same day?

Exactly.

But I get it – you might feel like you really can’t afford to pay $300 a post right now. This is why knowing your budget matters. Your potential freelance blogger may have other options for you. For example, I offer prewritten and/or previously published content that can be lightly customized to your brand at a lower price point. I also offer a discount for clients who commission multiple pieces or who retain my services on a monthly basis.

Look at their portfolio before hiring a blog writer online

Portfolios aren’t there just to take up space. Look at them, please. If you don’t like the content you see in a writer’s portfolio, you won’t like the content they write for you. It’s that simple. And you don’t want to hire a freelance blogger whose work you don’t like.

Even if the content you see isn’t an exact match for the content you need, if a freelance writer’s work resonates with you and you really enjoy it, reach out to them. They may write a broader variety of content than you see in their portfolio. And even if they don’t already, they may be willing (or even eager!) to write what you need.

Take the time to read several pieces from their portfolio in full. Notice the voice that comes through – is it the same in each post or does it change between clients? Check the dates. Is there a mix of recent and older work? A lack of recent content could indicate that the writer isn’t currently working or that they don’t have or make time to update their portfolio – either of these could potentially be a red flag.

Image by Sue Styles from Pixabay

Start with a sample piece

Even after you hire a freelance blogger and you sign a contract for multiple pieces, let your freelance blogger know you want to be more hands-on with the first piece so you can offer feedback/approval and work out kinks before they’ve written multiple pieces with the same kinks.

Depending on whether you’re assigning a title and topic or letting me choose, I show you the first piece:

  • After the topic/title has been chosen
  • After the first draft is complete
  • Before being published/scheduled to publish (if you’ve paid for this service)

You’ll need to be willing to look it over pretty quickly after I send it to you in order for me to finish on time. But this allows you multiple opportunities to course-correct if you feel it’s not quite what you’re looking for. Once the first piece (or sample piece) has gone through the entire writing process, it later acts as a guide to help me stay on track with your brand voice, personality, etc. without needing constant approval from you.

Ask for revisions

If you like a writer’s work, know that it won’t always be a perfect match. That’s why most freelance bloggers include a revision policy in their contracts. Mine includes two revisions. Additional revisions are an additional charge.

If you get a piece of content that isn’t quite hitting the mark, be willing to ask for revisions.

When asking me for a revision, try to express:

  • What you want that’s missing
  • What you didn’t want that’s included
  • Specific words, phrases, or paragraphs you want changed
  • Any other details that can help the writer understand what you’re looking for

If all you can tell me is “I don’t like it,” fair enough. But it’s harder for me to know how or what to revise it if that’s all you can offer. While it is possible to be too picky, the more details you can give me about what you like/don’t like, the easier it is for me to give you a revised piece you do like.

Commit to a monthly blog review

Many people want to hand things over to a freelance blogger and basically forget all about their blog. And you can certainly do this – in the right writer’s hands, it should be fine.

But remember this is your blog. It should have your (or your brand’s) voice, expertise, and knowledge. This means I occasionally need to be able to ask you some questions to know what you would say if you were writing the content yourself. This monthly review is also a good chance to discuss upcoming promotions, plans, goals, and strategies so that we can be sure that your blog posts are aligning with those things.

This monthly review also allows us to look at your search engine rankings and discuss which keywords to focus on.

Review all posts before they go live

Even if you hire a freelance blogger to schedule and publish the content they write, remember that ultimately, it’s your blog. The content on it is a reflection on you. So take a few minutes to look all content over before it goes live.

You don’t need to be an editor to do this. If you notice any spelling or grammar errors, by all means, correct them. If there are industry-specific words or phrases, make sure they’re being used correctly.

But mostly what you’re looking for is that nothing in the content is inaccurate, confusing, or not in alignment with your values, vision, or goals.

Don’t get overly picky, though. If you’re going to question every word choice the writer makes, you’re going to find that hiring a freelance writer didn’t save you any time at all.

Promote your content

Hiring a writer gives you the content. But you need to promote that content regularly for it to do any good. My best work is useless if no one knows it’s out there to be read. So promote, promote, promote!

Share snippets on your social media accounts. Send an email to your list telling them about newly published content and link to it. Answer questions on Quora or Reddit and link to it.

Don’t stop promoting just because a post is getting older. As a post ages, consider repurposing it not only as new ways of promoting it but also to keep it fresh and relevant. I offer content repurposing services too so feel free to ask me about this as well.

One final tip to hire a freelance blogger

If you come up with blog post topics, titles, or other ideas on your own, write them down and share them with your blogger when you have your monthly blog review – or even just in a quick email sent once or twice a week. As a writer, I’m great at coming up with content, but as the business owner, you have an insider’s view. You might know about a new trend long before I do or you may find that customers/clients are asking you specific questions privately that would make for great blog posts. So write those ideas down and hand them over!

Are you ready to hire a freelance blogger to take over your content creation needs? I offer copywriting, blogging packages, content writing packages, and content repurposing. Contact me today so we can get started!

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