Has your glorious dream of posting fresh blog content every week that propels your site through the rankings started to feel more like a nightmare? Then it’s time to think about hiring a writer for your blog.
But while you might have realised it’s time to hand over the reins to a professional, you might also be wondering what that process entails. After all, the reputation of your company is at stake so you want to ensure you make the right decision. With that in mind, here are six things you need to know before hiring a writer for your blog.
6 things you need to know when hiring a writer for your blog
1. What ‘the best writer for your blog’ means to you
We all want the best writer for our blog, but what does that mean to you?
Spend some time jotting down the must-haves and the desirables from your new blog writer. Should they have specific experience in a particular industry or knowledge about your niche, or are you happy to have a writer who is simply an excellent communicator?
It’s a good idea to bear in mind that if your business is in the more technical sector then someone with experience in that field might not necessarily be the best at blogging. That’s because good bloggers have a more fluid and conversational style of writing, which is very distinct from technical writing:
“Unlike technical writing, which is more straightforward and rigid, blog writing requires writers to talk about technical subjects in a way that’s enjoyable to read and easy to understand. Though researchers will still want the juicy facts and specific information from your posts, they’re coming to your blog expecting an explanation – not just looking for answers.”
2. Your brand and tone of voice
For a writer to do an excellent job on your blog, they need to be able to embody your brand. If you don’t have a firm grasp of this yourself, how will you be able to share it with your copywriter?
Knowing your brand’s values, its tone of voice and goals, as well as your core audience and what motivates them is the first step to finding a blogger who can carry out your blog writing to the best of their ability. This knowledge of your brand and audience should underpin everything from your brief to your house style guide.
Interviewing potential candidates over the phone or in person is a great way to find out if they’re a match, as is getting them to submit an initial sample. As this article about questions to ask your blogger points out:
“Great freelance writers can adapt their tone based on the company for which they’re writing. If you’ve written a content style guide, you already know the exact tone for which you’re striving. See if they mention words that match those you’ve placed in your style guide — objective, humorous, balanced, lighthearted, etc.”
3. How much of a commitment you’re looking for
Before you start advertising or approaching bloggers, you need to know what you’re looking for in terms of commitment. Fundamentally, how often do you want to blog and how much research do you expect from your blogger? According to HubSpot:
“Smaller businesses have found comfort and success posting one to four times a week, while larger companies can push out daily and, sometimes, multiple daily posts.”
Of course, regularity is the key to success, but remember that your blogger is a human too and will need a break and holidays. How will you accommodate for this downtime? Will you expect them to work double in the lead-up or outsource to a content agency? Will they have to provide images, handle publishing and your blog’s promotion via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Medium?
4. Is in-house, freelance or agency best for you?
There are pros and cons to all three main avenues of content creation, so you will have to determine which makes the best practical and economic sense for you.
For instance, if you want the writer to fully embody your brand and you have a need for lots of marketing and content creation on a weekly basis, you may wish to employ an in-house member of staff. But this has implications in terms of employer responsibilities such as holidays, payroll and recruitment.
Or maybe you want to find a freelancer? This is often the route many businesses consider first, and if you find a good candidate you will be able to deal directly with them to ensure your content is consistent and that your needs are met. However, finding and vetting freelancers will be your responsibility and you’ll also be responsible for chasing up overdue posts and agreeing the contract. If your freelancer lets you down, who will you turn to?
Finally, content agencies represent a good middle ground. There’s no need to vet the writers because the agency will already have done this for you. Agencies can also offer end-to-end services such as keyword analysis, proofreading, publishing and social media promotion. Consistency can be an issue if you’re looking for a ‘single voice’ in your posts, but if you brief the agency well with your guidelines this shouldn’t be an issue.
5. Make sure you’re covered
At the start of a new business relationship, no one likes to think about if things go wrong, but in the case of working with a freelancer it’s an important consideration. You may want to grant your blogger free rein, but what will you do if they publish something libellous or in contravention of advertising standards? What about if their content falls foul of plagiarism or copyright laws?
Not all freelancers carry public indemnity insurance, so ensure you check for this, ask for evidence and write into the contract who is responsible for the content. If you’d rather be on the safe side, use a reputable content agency instead.
6. What is your brief?
Now, down to the nitty-gritty. When all the above is taken care of, what will you ask your blogger to write? Even if you want them to use their own research skills, they’ll need some kind of parameters to work within.
Word count, topic area, layout, keyword usage/density and tone of voice are just some of the things you’ll need to brief your blogger on. If you’re not sure where to start, our comprehensive copywriting brief template can help.
Ready to get started hiring a writer for your blog?
Hiring a writer for your blog can be one of the best things you do for the success of your website and online presence. If you’re ready to get started, why not find a blog copywriter at Copify? We offer all the flexibility of working with a freelance blog writer alongside the expertise and safeguards of a content agency.