The Art Of Having Writers Do All The Work

20 replies
Hi everyone, what's up?

If you've been around once or twice, then you know just like I do that increasing the scale of your business... that achieving GROWTH for your business sooner or later comes down to outsourcing.

And one of the best and maybe underrated kind of virtual assistants that you can find on sites such as Elance... is the writer. People who can write content for your e-mail marketing campaigns, for your blog, and the list goes on and on.

They can make life as a business owner so much easier AND they're one of the cheapest "forces of labor"... but I have a problem when it comes to finding the RIGHT writers.

See, not only am I in a small niche market that not a lot of people are familiar with, but there are also a lot of misconceptions about the stuff that I teach.

In other words: there's a high chance that someone will write the wrong things, or that I'll have to check every single thing they write which defeats their purpose... and that is saving me a whole bunch of time.

I believe in trying to solve my own problems first and not being dependent on support from other people's advice (which can only make me insecure about my own knowledge in the long run).

So I'm looking for other people's best practices. I myself was thinking about:
1) Creating a "psychological profile" of my target market which describes their fears, frustrations, hopes, dreams, needs and solutions they're looking for
2) Letting them write a test article and if they don't write the content well or make lets of spelling errors... it's EXIT!

But ow did you guys solve this problem?

Regards,

Dennis
#art #work #writers
  • I use the test article strategy all the time. It's much safer than just looking at writing samples, as there's never any guarantee that the person who sent you these wrote them.

    With the test article strategy you can assess subject knowledge, writing style and the ability to confirm to any house style you use.
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  • As long as you're not asking for a free article, a "test article" makes sense. It happens all the time in the real publishing world. It's called working on spec. The thing is that if you use the article, you pay for it.

    Asking people to work for free would be pretty sleazy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      Use a test article and know that you might not get the right person on the first, second, or even third try.

      Also, communicate what you want clearly and make sure they understand what you want.

      Kevin
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      • Profile picture of the author DeePower
        It happens all the time in the real publishing world. It's called working on spec.

        Not exactly. When you submit a query or pitch to a hard copy publication for an article and it's accepted you get a contract. The contract specifies the rights the publication is buying, word count of the article, due date, and amount of payment.

        When you submit a book proposal to a publisher and it's accepted you get a contract and most of the time an advance. The advance has to be paid back if you don't submit the completed book on time, otherwise it doesn't.

        It's different than say, building a house on spec, putting it on the market and hoping somebody buys it.

        Dee
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        • Originally Posted by DeePower View Post

          It happens all the time in the real publishing world. It's called working on spec.

          Not exactly. When you submit a query or pitch to a hard copy publication for an article and it's accepted you get a contract. The contract specifies the rights the publication is buying, word count of the article, due date, and amount of payment.
          You're talking about spec contracts? A spec contract might follow a query if the publisher expresses interest. If they use the article, they pay you. If they don't, you query their competitor and possibly submit it there. They're not going to take your "test article" and publish it on the Internet without paying you.

          When you submit a book proposal to a publisher and it's accepted you get a contract and most of the time an advance. The advance has to be paid back if you don't submit the completed book on time, otherwise it doesn't.

          It's different than say, building a house on spec, putting it on the market and hoping somebody buys it.

          Dee
          I'm not sure I see your point. Submitting a book proposal is a totally different animal from writing an article (or script) on spec.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kingdom_Mines
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
        Originally Posted by Kingdom_Mines View Post

        It happens in my industry many times as well where people want a free 5 carat gem to test the quality??

        Usually i delete their emails, dennis, if you do take a test article pay for that article as well as writers are humans and they need to eat as well

        Ricky
        I tried that with a BMW dealer once. I just wanted to get a free sample of a small BMW. I don't see the problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Pay them MORE. Give them long term work (including perhaps a contract), but with the requirement that they read up on the niche. Specify the books that you want them to read.

    Pay them MORE. Did I mention that?

    "one of the cheapest "forces of labor" >>> "but I have a problem when it comes to finding the RIGHT writers."

    Maybe there is a correlation.

    You've already acknowledged their VALUE to you. Maybe reflect that value in what you pay them, and the length of time in which you hire them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      Hiring people of high intelligence whom also have English as their Native language will be the only way you will ever get articles written perfectly that suit your needs!

      So far I've been struggling to find any work, but there is no way I will drop my writing standards to the depths of people who aren't native english, nor intelligent.

      I guess that's where you are, left not finding your way through to people with good writing skills, left stuck paying $5 for your aticles. Anyone that does have English as a native language, good writing skills, and passion to write rock solid information is crazy to write 500 words for any less than $10, in fact they should really even charge more than that!

      Good luck in finding the "right writer for the job", I can almost ensure you, that you will need to pay top dollar for the kind the kind of writing you seem to be looking for.

      Mark Rafferty
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      Started in 2009 now working on the above project.

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  • Profile picture of the author plibb
    A test article is always good but another way that I weed out bad writers is by making sure I talked to them through email at least three times. This way, I can tell if they are able to structure things the way I want plus if they truly grasp the language the way that I want. Helps out a lot!
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  • Profile picture of the author garyk1968
    I'd agree with Mark outsourcing to the far east where they are not native English speakers will produce poor results. I have always been loathe to outsource any article work as I need good English *and* a reasonable level of technical ability which wouldnt come cheap. I dont think I have ever seen a decent PLR article either, all very vague and wooly, no real meat to them!
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  • Profile picture of the author Orator
    Quality vs quantity.

    In the long term there is no substitute for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author LegitBlogger
    Originally Posted by Dennis Miedema View Post

    See, not only am I in a small niche market that not a lot of people are familiar with, but there are also a lot of misconceptions about the stuff that I teach.

    In other words: there's a high chance that someone will write the wrong things, or that I'll have to check every single thing they write which defeats their purpose... and that is saving me a whole bunch of time.
    Yes, it's true that you will have to check EVERY single
    thing they write, which WILL surely defeat the purpose
    of getting them, in the first place... but here's what's
    interesting...

    If you keep at it, EVENTUALLY, they will become very
    good and won't need as much "checking every single
    thing they write". It happened to me too when I got
    started. I was so freaking good in writing that I went
    ahead to write all my articles, cranking out 50+ daily.
    Even when I was forced to get IN-HOUSE staff of
    writers, i still fell to the temptation of having to go
    through almost every single article they wrote.

    I had to LEARN to "teach" them to do things right, just
    as I would. I also had to get them to "watch" what I
    did for a long time so they could do things right.

    Like I said earlier, EVENTUALLY, they become very good
    and won't need much checking up on. Even with my
    editors on ground nowadays, lots of the writers still do
    what they need to do, without too much supervision
    and/or editing.

    As they say - it's better to take the time to TEACH and
    get people to do things as you would do them, than to
    attempt to do it all on your own. I guess it's called -
    LEADERSHIP,
    .
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  • Profile picture of the author katiec
    Test articles are what I've been typically asked to do. If they're accepted they often are the first few articles that are published as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Miedema
    Wow... thanks a lot for all these tips guys! Just to summarize here:

    - Talk to them around 3 times via e-mail before hiring or even proposing any work
    - Let them write a test article, pay them for it, and let them "stay" if it's any good
    - Make of rule with them that when they read up on the niche, you'll pay them more
    - Stick with the writers that have shown they have proper writing skills a thorough understanding of the English language on the long term, check up on their writing, "educate" them on your niche, and slowly but surely they'll need less and less check-ups
    - And you'll have a good "writer system" where everybody benefits and that can run on auto-pilot

    In short: that's a really good system for hiring writers, so thanks everybody!
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  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    Here's an idea: Hire someone to do the research first and write the cliffnotes for your writer. Research skills =| writing skills. That's probably why copywriters are able to charge the sums they do, because they actually do real research into the niche to become experts.

    College students should be right for this kind of job.
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    Finding a good, dependable writer can be a lot of work. It helps to have a write-up of the Do's and Don'ts in your business. What's considered acceptable and what isn't? I just recently finished writing some excellent LSI articles for an affiliate merchant. He took the time to give me the insights I needed to help him take his articles to the next level. It is worth it in the long run.
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