In today’s world, there’s no doubt that blogging is an integral part of business growth. You’d find it hard to come across an established and successful company that doesn’t have a blog these days.
👉Look for bloggers in the right places
Okay, I’m going to jump straight to the point here. Avoid websites like contentmill.com and fiverr.com
These websites are notorious for their poor quality. The low standard of work produced by these websites is a separate blog post in itself which a simple google search can help you with.
But put simply, hiring from content mill is the equivalent of buying a frozen pizza from Sainsbury's and expecting it to taste just like Italy's finest - yes, they're both called pizza, but you will Taste The Difference indeed [sorry, just had to].
If you’re going to go pro with your blogging, there’s no point in doing it unless you’re going to do it properly… and that means investing a little more for the quality.
👉Hire a specialist, not a generalist
There are two types of bloggers: those that blog about anything, and those that blog about a particular niche industry.
Make sure you’re hiring a specialist, someone that understands your industry and how it operates. You’ll get far better results from your blog posts when the author knows what they’re talking about!
How do you know if they’re a specialist in your field?
Check their website and their portfolio!
This brings me nicely onto my third point:
👉Ask for samples of work
It’s common practise to ask for 2 or 3 different samples before hiring a blogger.
Any professional blogger should have samples of their published work available. This is a great way for you to assess the quality of their work before parting with your precious pennies.
You want to assess a few things when reading their samples:
👉Look for testimonials
Wouldn’t you feel so much better about hiring a blogger if you could see that other companies in your industry rated that person highly?
Not all bloggers will be able to provide testimonials, but it’s certainly a bonus if they can! Sometimes these will be displayed on their website, but you can also check their LinkedIn for recommendations too.
It’s also handy to look on websites for a list of companies that the blogger has worked with. Sometimes freelance bloggers will have a small section on their website with the logos of the different companies they’ve worked with.
👉Take full advantage of a free consultation
This is your opportunity to get to know the blogger before hiring them. You want to see them asking lots of intelligent questions about your business such as…
Tell me about your target audience
How does your business generate revenue?
How do you want the tone to be?
What are you trying to achieve through your blog posts?
Questions like these show that the blogger is really interested in producing tailored content that yields results. It shows they’re looking to impact your business on a long-term basis.
👉Nail the detail
If you’re not used to hiring bloggers, it can be hard to know what to ask. There are a few things that you will want to clarify. Usually a good blogger will clarify these things before you need ask, but make sure you get clear on these details before signing on the dotted line:
❓How many revisions will they provide per post?
❓When will the drafts be submitted for review?
❓How long will the posts be?
❓How many topics will you get to choose from on a monthly basis? (If you’re looking at retained blogging rather than a one-off piece)
❓What's the duration of the contract?
❓Will they source images?
❓Who'll be publishing the content? (The writer or your own team?)
👉Lead the strategy
It’s not the writer’s responsibility to come up with your blog’s strategy. Nobody understands your business the way you do, so decide on the areas that you want to focus on, and communicate these to your blogger.
Your responsibility: coming up with the strategy (which areas of the business to target, frequency and length of posts, posting days etc)
Blogger’s responsibility: executing the strategy (researching topics, keyword optimisation, creating engaging content to target those areas)
For example, let’s say you’re running a recruitment company and you want to drive more candidates to sign up with your agency.
You've set the strategy to attract more candidates, now the blogger comes up with ideas to target and engage more candidates such as CV Writing Advice, Interview Tips etc.
👉What’s the price tag?
I wish there was a straight-forward answer to this question. But since you’re dealing with freelancers, there’s no rule book when it comes to pricing.
Costs will depend upon the experience and expertise of the writer, as well as the details of the service such as the length of the post, and the extent of research required.
If you’re looking to hire a blogger on a long-term retained basis, then you may be able to negotiate a reduced rate if you commit to, let’s say, 3 months and pay half of the total fee upfront.
Ready to blog?
I hope this has given you the confidence to outsource your blog and has provided a little direction on how to hire the right blogger for your business.
It may take you a few tries before you find the right person. Just make sure that you don’t enter into any long-term contract until you’ve been able to test the waters first.
And of course, what sort of a blogger would I be without shamelessly promoting my own services? If you’re a company operating in the recruitment industry, you can book in for a free consultation with me here or connect with me on LinkedIn.