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Tips for Hiring a Content Writer

For the last 15 years, I have hired writers to produce content on a wide range of different topics. To find these writers, I used various outsourcing marketplaces and forums. Through my experience of hiring and working with many writers, I learned some important lessons.

1. Quality is much more important than quantity.

  • You can harm the reputation of your business by publishing poor quality content or content filled with grammar errors.
  • Quality is the deciding factor when it comes to getting your content published as a guest post on a 3rd party blog.
  • Search engines, especially Google, have gotten better at figuring out natural language. This means that you can no longer publish a bunch of re-spun articles and hope to get top rankings.

2. Hire a writer who knows your topic. Hiring a general writer may be OK for general topics, but if you are producing content for a topic that is more complex, you should probably hire someone who has first-hand experience on that topic. The last thing you want to do is lose your reputation or credibility because you are publishing articles with factual inaccuracies. Also, having to correct these inaccuracies will cost you a lot of time in the long run.

3. You get what you pay for. Don’t expect to pay $5 for premium content. It’s not going to happen. For $5, you may find a writer in a developing country who does not speak English as their primary language. For a native English speaking writer, expect to pay up. There are variables that determine the price of an article, such as length and skill level. I personally pay $35+ for each, but the articles are well researched and written by an American writer. The cost can quickly add up, but I think of each article as an investment into my business.

4. Invest time upfront to find the right writer. There are millions of writers out there that are posting their profiles on various outsourcing marketplaces and forums. It’s a huge time-suck to be researching writers, but it’s something that needs to be done if you plan to publish content on a regular basis. Trust me – you don’t want to be searching for new writers every time you need a new article written. For my writing projects, I group writers into category teams. For example, I have several selected writers in the finance team, and a few others in the sports category.

There is no perfect place to find a good writer. Like I said, I’ve tried many different outsourcing platforms and forums. I’ve had both good and bad experiences on every one of them. The key to finding a good writer is to create a criteria of your ideal writer. A sample criteria could be: American writer, $0.05 per word budget, finance expert. By narrowing down on your search, the better your chances of finding a writer you will be happy with.

5. Ask for samples of the writer’s work. Writers who advertise their services on forums or outsourcing marketplaces will usually provide links to their portfolio and sample articles. You can learn a lot about a writer’s writing style and skill level by reading over some of their previously written articles. Chances are if you do not like their samples, you probably won’t like what they will end up writing for you.

6. Writing style and writing skill are not the same. Every writer has their own unique style of writing. A highly skilled writer could have all the credentials in the world, but if you do not like their writing style, then it is pointless to work together. By the same token, a writer could have a style that you like, but their writing ability / grammar may be lacking.

7. Order one article to start. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of ordering articles in bulk without even testing out the writer. This is a no-no. You do not want to be stuck with a bunch of articles that you are not happy with. Test out with a single article order to see if the writer will be a good long term solution for you.

Need help finding a writer? Check out my list of writing resources here: I highly recommend Writer Access. They’re not the cheapest, but I think well worth the money.

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