If you’ve been following our advice for a while now it’s quite possible that you have a blog and it’s giving you interesting results. The social media promotion of your posts is attracting visitors and the wheel of content marketing is working nicely for you. And maybe, just maybe, you’re considering the possibility of generating even more content. After all, more content and more promotion should translate into more visits, right? The only problem is, it also translates into more work for you and your team (if you have one).
So, what if the only way to keep growing is to seek help from outside writers. Is it worth it?
When you write, you are limited by your time and energy. When you hire others to do it, you are limited by the return you get from this investment in content marketing. Whether this works for you or not depends on many factors (your type of business and topic, the resources you have, the quality of the authors, etc).
If I’m honest with you, there’s no way to tell for sure if it pays off or not… you’ll have to give it a try and then decide with real data. Whatever the results you’ll get, at least you’ll know you based your decision on real experience. So, assuming you want to give it a try, let’s look at two ways to attract writers: by looking for them directly or by having them come to you.
Contact The Writers You Like Directly
If we believe that we need to generate more content on our website we’ll look for external writers to help us with this task. There are many ways to get authors. Here are three that will surely help you get started right away.
Run an Ad to Generate Interest
If you’re looking for good writers, you need to start by creating a good ad that will arouse their interest. You can publish this ad on your own website (which is perfect, because those who see it are already familiar with your content) or publish it elsewhere. You can even visit your local WordPress community and discuss your needs there. I’m sure you’ll find writers at a WordPress meetup.
The ad should make it clear what you’re looking for. At the very least you should indicate the dedication you’re asking for (how many articles and how often), the topic you need to address in the content, and the remuneration (financial or not) you provide to the authors. A good example of a complete ad is this one by ElegantThemes.
You’ll get better candidates if you also include a section discussing the benefits writers will gain from working with you. These benefits may be obvious to you, but they might not be to your writers. Some examples you might offer are:
- Creative freedom within the chosen topic. This basically indicates that, as long as the author sticks to the market niche you are trying to reach, the content she writes can be whatever she wants. Be careful with this because if the target audience is not clear, you may have some trouble.
- Visibility and impact. It’s usually interesting for new writers because you’re offering them the opportunity to have some exposure and get more job offers because they’ve written on your website.
- Feedback on your content. It would be good if the writers you have hired could know how well or poorly their content is working on your website. That way they can improve.
All these benefits are great, but I think money is the best way to guarantee quality. I honestly think you’ll always get better quality and results if you pay the authors of your content, but keep in mind it’s also possible that when your website has a certain popularity some people may want to write there just for the sole benefit of being able to say they’ve done it. 😌
Use Social Networks
Social networks can be the perfect place to find quality authors for your content. Thanks to integrated searches on Facebook, Twitter, and others, finding content with similar topics to the one you need is easy.
As you can see in the previous screenshot, if we do a search on Twitter we get the list of relevant people in that subject and a ranking with the best tweets. Seeing the best tweets on a specific topic we can find links to content that has had an impact on Twitter. And by visiting this content, we will find the authors, whom we can try to contact and suggest that they write for us. We can also do this on other networks, such as Facebook, or even using RSS feeds such as Feedly or even Nelio Content Feeds.
If You’re on a Tight Budget, There Are Several Options For You
When money is a problem, perhaps you should first review your content marketing strategy. There’s no point in spending money on hiring writers if you can’t afford it. In that case, you’d better keep writing yourself.
However, for low budgets there are websites like UpWork, Fiverr or Craigslist that can be a good place to find what you’re looking for. You’re unlikely to find excellent writers with industry experience on these sites, but you may find writers for light, consumer-oriented content.
We have experience using Fiverr when we needed to hire voice-overs for our videos, and the truth is that the quality/price ratio was very good. To create content I don’t know if the quality is the same, but I would encourage you to try it. The price is quite low (less than 10$ for about 500 to 1,000 words), so you have little to lose.
As with inbound marketing, where instead of chasing down potential customers you created interesting content so that they would come to you, you can apply the same thing to attract authors who want to write on your website.
It seems silly, but day after day we receive requests from authors who want to write on our blog. Why is this happening? I’d like to think that our blog has achieved a certain level of visits and popularity that makes these authors interested in publishing guest content here. But you have to be careful not to let spam get through. Therefore, follow these tips…
Learn More About The Author
At the very least, you should ask anyone who wants to write content on your website to show you references to articles they have written elsewhere. This way you can also find out the impact they have had (number of comments they’ve generated, how well they’ve worked on social networks, and so on). And, of course, look at how they write to see if you like the author’s style—it may not fit your contents at all.
In addition, you should always ask for original content. This is extremely important, as many will offer you to “write” content on your blog which has already been copied and published somewhere else. Be careful with that!
Provide Authors With Style Guides
Once you are happy with the authors you have selected, give them a style guide so they know how you want them to write. Formal or informal language, image size, link policies, and all this stuff should be clear from the very first moment, or you’ll all be wasting your time.
Create a document with all the rules you’re following today so that any new writer can follow them too. Also, if you provide sample examples of similar content where these rules apply, it’ll be much easier for the authors to do the same.
Evaluate The Quality of The Authors
Once the author has finished the content and you have published it, analyze in detail how well it works for you both in social media and attracting visitors to your website. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate and ask for more content. On the other hand, if the results are not as good as you expected, you can always look for other authors or discard the idea. The important thing is to measure performance and make decisions based on real data.
Have you previously hired freelance writers for your content marketing? Did it work out well for you? Tell us your experience in the comment section below.