Is your website at the stage where it’s time to hire a writer?
If so, then buckle up… because as I have learned over the years, this process can be a bumpy ride.
I’ve hired and fired tons of writers over the years. And to be perfectly honest, I have only found a select few who have actually made the cut to stick around for the long-haul.
Today, you’re going to learn how to hire the perfect content writer for your website.
But you’re also going to hear an update on the case study I have going on right now.
This month, which is month 6 in our affiliate market case study, my team and I learned how to hire the perfect content writer for your website.
We broke this process down into five easy-to-follow steps, and are going to share them with you in this article.
Should you Hire a Writer vs. Doing the Writing Yourself?
There are several pros and cons to deciding whether or not to hire a writer. Let’s go over some of the basics.
- If you hire a writer, you’ll simply get more done. If you work 40 hours a week, and they work 20 hours a week, that’s 60 hours of work getting done on your website per week, as opposed to 40!
- If you follow this 5-step process, you will most likely find writers who are actually better at writing than you are, which can improve the quality of your content
- Finding quality team-mates is the only way to scale. And if you don’t scale, you’ll always be limited in how much money you can actually earn
- Hiring writers obviously costs money. And if you don’t have the money to do it, you probably won’t find very good writers!
- Managing writers can be difficult. They may not show up, they may deliver sub-par content, they may not follow directions 100% of the time, etc.
- Any time you hand creative control of your content over to other people, you run the risk of not liking the results. This isn’t a risk if you do everything yourself
To do the writing yourself and also learn how to guide content writers to write for SEO, here’s how to outline and create SEO content the fast way.
How To Hire The Perfect Content Writer For Your Website
In the months leading up to this, my team was facing some pretty serious content challenges.
But at this point, the biggest challenge had to do with finding quality writers.
We tried content farms, and we tried hiring other writers to a point… but nothing was really working.
So it was a huge relief when we started getting quality writers on our team, to help us really boost the quality of the content.
So we went back to the basics and used the authority hacker system and began to follow it to the letter
One of the sites we learned about in the Authority Hacker training was Problogger.com.
Problogger was surprisingly helpful. I wasn’t sure that we would find quality writers in such a ‘narrow niche’ as the niche that we are working in, but we got 15,843 words written from more than a handful of qualified applicants.
In other words, it turned out that the quality of writers on the platform was even better than we anticipated… and we got plenty of takers!
Following the keyword and content outsource training from the Authority hacker guys, these 5-steps emerged as the way to hire writers with success.
Steps to Hire a Freelance Writer for Your Website
Step 1: Create a Google Form - Your Job Application
Creating a Google form that contains questions for writers to answer is a really important part of the process.
So, you will want to ask writers for their names, email addresses, past experience, and why they think they would be a good fit for your project, obviously.
But you also want to create some questions related to your specific niche that will really help to test their knowledge on your topic.
- SHOULD NOT be just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions
- SHOULD be opinion based
- SHOULD be open-ended, and niche based
- SHOULD NOT be easily searchable so that they can Google a fast answer
- SHOULD be formulated in such a way that only someone who truly knows this niche would be able to answer them correctly
Getting answers to these questions will do two things for you.
- It will show you which writers actually took the time to answer your questions
- It will reveal how much this person actually knows about your niche, which will help you in determining whether or not these people will be a good fit for your project
The best way to go about this is to ask a question like this…
“There are X number of air drones that are considered ‘the best’ for aerial photography. Which one is THE best budget drone, and why?”
This obviously puts the writer into a situation where it will be very difficult to fake an understanding of the niche… thereby giving you a pretty good idea of whether or not they are actually knowledgeable about your topic.
Use Your Google Form To Keep Track Of Your Applicants
The reason for why you want to create these questions on a Google form is because then, when you go to actually create the job listing on Problogger, you can use the form to gather the answers to your questions.
But this form can also help you to keep track of your answers, because you can view all of this data in a Google Sheet later on… which keeps everything in one organized, concise place.
One great thing about using a form and saving the results as a spreadsheet is that your form will automatically add new applicants to the existing sheet, making it super easy to check each day for new potential writers, read their answers to questions, and keep track of your progress with each writer.
After you’ve had some applicants responding to your ad, you can track all of these answers, see who gave particular answers to questions, locate that writer’s information at a glance, etc.
You can even highlight the different values with different shades of green, yellow, and red… showing how much you liked each one, helping you to see which ones are your favorites, and which ones are ‘no go’s’!
Step 2: Create and Publish Your Job Posting
It’s super straightforward and simple to create your job posting on Problogger. Here are the steps that are important to get right while creating it.
No employees! You definitely want to choose the ‘freelance’ option!
Choose The Business Location and Company Type
You will want to choose the ‘small business’ option, and you’ll definitely want ‘anywhere’ with the remote option clicked when you choose the location.
Apply on Link, Google Form Long URL
You will want to use your Google form for the application. Paste the link into the listing as shown below, and then add instructions for them to ‘click on the link to apply.’
Featured Listing vs. Standard Listing
Featured listings have a higher likelihood of being seen, but they are also more expensive.
My official opinion is this… invest in the extra cash and make your listing ‘Featured.’
‘Standard’ listing that were posted as little as two days ago are on page two, page three of the job board.
Going ‘Featured’ ensures your job post will be on page one for the entire 14-days of your listing.
Because of going for the featured option, we received qualified applicants every day our job posting was live!
Step 3: Promote Your Job Listing
Even though you are posting the job listing on Problogger, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still share it.
Share it with your friends, put it on social media, email it to your list, post it on your blog, text it to people who are writers (there are many writing circles they are in!)… whatever you can do to get it in front of more people.
You never know who might see it and end up becoming your next ‘star’ writer!
We used this free Copyjobs Facebook group to share our listing, and got some pretty serious click-throughs from it!
Step 4: Give and Pay for Test Articles
After you get some quality applicants, it will be time to test them out.
Give your favorite applicants some test articles, and pay them for writing them.
You have to accept that you might throw some money away here… there is really no getting away from it.
Some of these articles will be ok… some won’t.
Some will be fixable… some, you will just have to throw out.
But if you don’t test out some writers, you’ll never find the good ones.
So go through all of the applications, pick out your favorites, and send them topics to write about… along with all of the other applicable instructions they may need!
The main thing to look for is quality work that comes alongside your message.
(Note: It may be worth mentioning here that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! The better the instructions you supply the writer with, the better you can expect the outcome to be!)
Is this writer good enough, and do they understand your culture enough, to be trusted to write for your site?
If not, then don’t be afraid to move on.
Hire fast… fire fast!
Hire Two Or Three Writers For Ongoing Work
Out of all of this, we found 2-3 writers who seemed not only capable of writing to fantastic standards, but that also seemed to be a good match for the company.
So these are the ones I decided to bring into the project for ongoing work.
But always remember… two is one, and one is none!
If you only have one writer, you’re leaving yourself in a pretty precarious situation.
What if that writer suddenly bails on you?
If you only have one editor… what if that person suddenly bails on you?
When you only have one of something, you actually can’t really count on it.
So for best results, hire at least two, or better yet, three good writers… so that you have some leeway if something goes wrong.
In this business, you never know what is going to happen!
So you hope for the best… and plan for the worst!
A Recap On The Previous 6 Months Of The Study…
About six months ago, I started an affiliate market case study with the following goal.
To build an affiliate marketing website from zero to $3,000 a month revenue in one year.
I started the study, and have been documenting the entire process for my readers, so that anyone who wants to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing can follow along the same path!
Here is a very, very quick recap of what has happened so far.
In month 2, we went-all in on research for a new website.
In month 3, we learned that once things get going really fast, you need to dial in the systems! Learn how we did that here.
In month 4, we had an Amazon compliance image issue, and talk about images, content, hiring help, and nailing down new systems. You can read about month 4 here!
In month 5, we started to really nail down the processes for creating profitable content for our affiliate niche site, and we created a 9 step plan for doing it.
How Much Did The Affiliate Site Earn During Month 6?
Check this out!
It might not seem like much, but we got a start! Six months in, and our new affiliate site is beginning to get clicks and a few sales!
And it will only go up from here!
How Much Was Spent On The Site During Month 6?
Here’s what was spent on the affiliate case study site during the month of November.
- $878 was spent on research
- $1,860.37 was spent on writers/content
- $483 was spent on editing
- $140 was spent posting job listings
- $120 was spent on in-house backlinks
- $175 was spent on other backlink projects
- $700 was spent paying the website project manager
Just remember… this is what it looks like when you hire out absolutely every single part of the process of building up a site! This does not reflect how much it will cost YOU to start your own website!
Also keep this in mind. A lot of people want to be keyboard warriors, and make money while sitting behind their computer screens.
But this is not what it is all about!
Never forget that the most important thing in the world is having a passion for something, finding your purpose within that passion, and choosing to do what you can to make the world a better place.
That’s the end game. That is where success is made.
Do what you love. Create content. Do some keyword research. And then keep doing it, every single day.
One day, about 2-3 years down the road, you will wake up and realize that your life has changed for the better, and that you are not the person you used to be. You will be a person who is making a huge difference impacting the world.
That day will make you a very happy person. And that is really what this is all about.
Were There Any Big Setbacks?
Actually, no. The only thing that even remotely resembled a setback this month was the fact that research started to get a little bit bottle-necked again when so much time had to be dedicated to hiring these writers.
It takes a bit of time to get these things done. But if you use this 5-step method, you should be able to hire 2, 3, or even 4 great writers, and then start crushing the content from there on out.
It takes time to hire writers at first. But in the long run, it will save you a ton of time.
Hopefully, this post has helped to give you a thorough, inside look at the 5-step process I use to hire the best content writers for my own business.
And hopefully, these steps will also help you as you navigate the challenges associated with running your own digital marketing business… either now or in the future!
You may not be planning on hiring writers in the near future, especially if you’re running your own site.
But if it grows large enough, there is always a time and a place where this at least becomes something to contemplate.
Remember… you only have 24 hours in a day! At some point, you need to delegate. That’s just how it goes! If you don’t… you can only accomplish so much, which is why I am all about hiring quality team-members to help me in virtually all facets of my business.
Well, that’s it for today. Leave me a comment and let me know if this post has helped you! Also let me know if you have any questions.
I always love to do my best to help you find success in your own projects!
Until next time,
Miles “getting things accomplished” Beckler!