We’ve put together this Guide to Hiring the Best Article Writers to help you avoid the damage a bad blog writer could do to your business reputation … and your online marketing results.
Yes, I really did say damage. It may be more convenient to have a writer, but …
Here’s the thing: we understand why hiring article writers is so stressful. If you get the wrong writer you’ll get bad reviews, a high bounce rate, reputational damage. In a case like this, it’s probably better to not have a blog at all.
Even with the best digital marketing strategy, surrendering your business blog to the wrong writer could jeopardize it all.
In fact, the numbers tell us that bad content decreases the probability of a sale by 40%
But, when you work with a good article writer … Then it’s easy to take advantage of content marketing opportunities.
- B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not
- Marketers that prioritize blogging see 13-times the ROI of businesses that don’t.
- Quality content will convince 34% of buyers to make an unplanned purchase
Which is why we’ve written this essential checklist.
What you’ll get from this Guide
These are the 6 FAQs that we’re here to answer.
Why? To help you find content writers for hire who will maintain a high-performance blog for your business.
- What skills must your article writer have?
- How much does it cost to hire writers?
- How do you know if you’ll get value?
- Why you need a content marketing strategy.
- Freelancers vs content writing agency: what’s best?
- And, a checklist on how to select the best content writing service provider.
So, you want to hire a blogger. Maybe you shouldn’t.
Should you hire an article writer? Well: yes … and no.
- 3.5 hours: this is the average time it takes to write a blog post.
- 16 blogs per month: this generates 4x more leads than posting only once a week
I can’t spare 14 hours a week to do a job on top of the job I’m already doing. Can you?
So, it makes sense to hire an article writer. Or does it?
The truth of the matter is that SEO content writing is hard. It takes a professional to deliver accurate, informative, relevant, and well written articles. But that’s only half the job.
See: your article writer must know how to apply on-page SEO. Google won’t rank content with bad SEO. Their algorithm is funny like that.
- 75% of people never scroll past the first search results page.
So: if you’re not even there, how will customers find you? You may as well not bother with a blog.
Pro tip 1: Bad content poses a legitimate threat to your business.
Let me tell you why:
On the most basic level, your business will take a hit from blog articles with spelling and grammatical errors. Simply put: it’s unprofessional. It suggests that your business is too.
But, worse than this: you’ll lose your power.
Your articles have the power to deliver 3 things: Traffic. Authority. Leads.
And if they don’t …
There’s more to articles than words. Or is there?
Here’s the kicker:
- Clients want to see the quality before they invest in your business.
- Customers want to see the quality before they purchase your product.
So it’s important to remember that your blog is an exercise in trust building. Your writer must be able to produce the goods.
- 68.5% of consumers say that a blog adds credibility to a website.
What chance does a blog written by an article writer with a poor understanding of the customer’s problem have? What about a flimsy grasp of your product? Or outdated and incorrect information about your industry?
Pro tip 2: Consistent quality content builds credibility.
You’re hiring article writers. But why?
Every piece of content has a job to do. Brand awareness, anyone? Or some lead generation? There’s a writer for every occasion.
So: What sort of online content writer do you need?
Of course, this depends on your business goals and your content marketing strategy. Develop a content marketing strategy before hiring a writer.
Without a strategy, your digital marketing endeavors are based on dumb luck. With a strategy, you can create content for a specific purpose. You can also measure your results.
Your strategy will tell you what kind of content you need to develop. Before hiring article writers, be clear on what content they’ll be delivering.
A writer is a writer is a writer, right? Wrong.
Wrong skills. Wrong content.
Select the best content writing service provider for your blog needs. Let’s look at some options:
(We’re not looking at the freelancers vs content writing agency debate just yet. We will address this later. At this point, note that each of these writers can be either.)
(We’re also not going into, how much does it cost to hire writers like these. More about online content writer rates later.)
A copywriter is highly-skilled in the art of persuasion. They create compelling marketing text where every single word is carefully placed for maximum impact. They excel at creating simplicity from complicated subject matter.
Experienced copywriters assist you to develop a content marketing strategy.
Brand voice. Call to action. Customer journey. Customer personas. The copywriter uses these to create marketing tools. Like these:
- Website copy
- Product descriptions
- Sales collateral
Technical writers write about the nuts-and-bolts of industry-specific products. They simplify highly technical content, making it easier to understand. They get to the nitty-gritty on the use of a product, the inner workings and mechanics.
Methodical and detail-orientated, they are pros at producing:
Brand journalists create stories for your company instead of waiting for the media to do it. These are factual, balanced, and well-investigated. They don’t read like advertising or marketing copy. The end product is a mix of content marketing, public relations and corporate communication.
A brand journalist’s area of expertise is:
- Brand stories
- Press releases
- Internal communication
Script writers are key players in multimedia projects. They visualize how words on a page will translate to formats such as video and podcasts.
Their area of expertise is:
- Video scripts
- Explainer video scripts
- Podcast scripts
- Radio and audio advertising
- Motion graphics scripts
Blog Article Writers
Article writers craft engaging content that perform well on the web. They include SEO and click-through potential. They know how to speak directly to your target audience. Article length can be short-form or long-form. A blogger may be a generalist, or specialize in a niche.
Hire a blogger for informative, educational or entertaining articles.
Pro tip 3: Your article writer must have the right skills for the job.
Where do the good writers hang out?
Where can you find content writers for hire? Search the Internet for online marketplaces. For example: Upwork, Freelancer and Fivver.
They are specially for the hiring of off-site freelancers. This is where you’ll find hundreds of freelance candidates. In all industries and niches. And with all levels of writing proficiency.
However, some words of caution:
- Some writers misrepresent their skills. The quality of their proposal will encourage you to hire the writer. When the article is delivered, it has clearly been written by someone else. Surprise!
- A second thing … before hiring article writers, check their language proficiency. Specify native-English speakers for nuanced writing.
Pro tip 4: Keep your wits about you.
- Thirdly: rate is no indicator of quality. A more expensive writer does not necessarily mean better articles.
Speaking of rates:
How much does it cost to hire writers?
Let’s get directly to the point. Here’s the short story:
The in-house article writer
$60 000: the average annual salary of an in-house writer. That’s about $30,00 per hour. Recruiters tell us that pay can start as low as $13,000 per annum.
That’s about $30,00 per hour. Recruiters tell us that pay can start as low as $13,000 per annum.
The freelance article writer
Hiring marketplaces offer content writers willing to produce 1000-word articles for 5 dollars or less, which is a travesty. Don’t be that guy.
That said, you can find good writers at reasonable rates. The typical online marketplace writer charges $24 per hour. However, it can go up to over $100. Most freelancers are flexible when it comes to what they charge.
The content writing agency
On the other hand, a content creation service can be more expensive than hiring article writers who are freelancers.
Why? Two words: Quality Control.
The average per hour rate is $30 or $1 per word. It can range between $100 to $2000 for a 2000-word blog post.
Pro tip 5: There are writers at every price point. But you get what you pay for. And it may be more than you bargained for.
Have you asked: What are the hidden costs?
Hiring a content writer is just like anything else: striking the balance. What are you getting? And, is it worth it? And you can’t know this until you look at the whole picture.
So, this is where you ask yourself: What am I not seeing?
You will have to pay fees for the privilege of using an online marketplace.
Be sure to factor potential delays into your content schedule. A freelancer may not deliver on time or not at all. There’s very little you can do about it. Yes, you can leave a bad review. Sadly, the damage to your business will already be done.
Another unseen cost is content management. Who will place the job post? Vet, hire and brief? Ask for revisions? Upload and schedule?
You may be lucky enough to find content writers for hire that don’t need to be managed. However, this standard will come at a premium.
Pro tip 6: Freelance writers are likely to need managing.
Whatever you do, avoid content mills. They are too good to be true. They produce high quantities and charge low (low) rates. Pennies per word. The quality is also very low. Very (very) low.
Pro tip 7: There’s something hinky if the rates are very low.
A good writing service will deliver consistent quality and on time. This is thanks to an editor, team leader or account exec. Turnaround time for content is deadline-driven. An agency delivers on time. You also get internal quality control checks. The fundamental benefit is zero plagiarism.
When it comes to freelancers vs content writing agency, it is all about accountability. Poor content can do more harm than good to your business. It is on the Internet forever. However, you can hold an agency accountable. A freelance writer not so much.
Your blog is an investment. Think long-term.
Remember: a blog only performs if you publish consistently and often. What does this mean? Think long-term when you’re hiring article writers.
Let’s take another look at that statistic:
Publish 16 or more blog posts per month. Generate 4.5X more leads than those that publish 4 posts (or less). It’s a win!
Pro tip 8: The more blog articles you post the more leads you’ll get.
This makes a case for the package deal. It often works out more cost-effective. Also, if you’re proceeding with caution, you may need flexibility. In which case, go with a no-contract month-by-month content writing service.
The right writer will write your business blog right, right?
The 3 top takeaways from this article are:
Article writing is hard. You pay for what you get. Think long-term.
But there’s more:
Select the best content writing service provider for a high-performance blog. Here’s a checklist of what to look for before you hire your writer.
- Get a writer who knows how to use SEO. Expert writers want their articles to be found. But, your article isn’t just for Google.
- Experienced writers speak to your readers; not at them. They build rapport and trust.
- Pro article writers speak your language. They preserve your brand voice.
- Your blog is an essential tool. Look for someone takes a marketing approach. (Of course, you will have to develop a content marketing strategy first.)
- Get a writer who cares about avoiding reputational damage. Yours and theirs! Accurate subject matter, care over quality: that’s what you need.
- And, finally, they should have a way with words. Your bounce rate will skyrocket with boring content.
Pro tip 9: When you do find a writer you like, hold on with both hands.
You are busy. Writing trust-building, traffic-driving articles takes time that you don’t have. An article writer is an asset for your business. But, only if you choose wisely. For assistance with hiring article writers, ask Claire.