We all know that in today's age people have an abundance of information right at their fingertips. As such, people will only read a blog for an average of 37 seconds (source).
In a recent survey, it was shown that 56% of brands who used emojis in their email subject lines received higher open rates; and in another survey 72% of young people said they’d rather use emojis instead of words when texting.
In other words, emojis have become a popular part of our everyday lives. They've come to symbolise contemporary and trendy content.
Using emojis is speaking the same language as your younger audience!
Don't panic, we haven’t just suddenly switched to discussing birthing techniques… a contraction is how you shorten words like do not and it is into don’t and it’s.
This creates a less formal and more relatable tone to your writing.
Colloquial language is one of the best techniques you can use to relate to your readers. This means making your language conversational.
Which one of these sentences means more to you?
Obviously the second sentence is more relatable because it’s using everyday language.
Blogs that use images gain 94% more views.
Young people are bombarded by visual content every minute of every day and have developed a subconscious pattern to form an opinion on their content through its use of images.
That means you too need to use images to help convey your message in a quick and effective way.
👉Format your text
Young people are spoilt for choice when it comes to content.
If you can’t deliver their information quick and fast in a blog post, chances are your competitor will.
A great way to make your blog easier to read is by using these formatting techniques:
💥Break it up into sections and use headers (like this post)
💥Highlight key details in bold and italics
💥Ignore paragraph grammar rules - it’s okay to have 3 consecutive sentences take a separate line each!
There you have it, folks! Writing for a younger audience is a different kettle of fish. You’re dealing with an extremely competitive blogging market so you need to own your brand voice if you’re going to keep your young’uns engaged.
Try adapting these techniques consistently for 2 months and watch your post engagement levels increase.
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 is the duration of the contract?
❓Will they source images?
❓Who will be posting the content? (The blogger or your own team?)
❓Who will be inserting tags, categories, SEO optimisation (not all bloggers will provide this service)
👉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.
However, what I can say from personal experience and from speaking with numerous other freelance bloggers, is that it would not be uncommon to pay between £150-£300 for a quality blog post of 1000 words, written by a specialist in your niche industry.
But of course, costs will depend upon the experience and expertise of the writer, and 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.
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 for a month.
If you’re a company operating in the recruitment industry, you can book in for a free consultation with me here.
When it comes to blogging, the temptation can be to Do It Yourself. It’s just typing up a few fancy words, right?