Best practice for hiring a content writer?

by chads
7 replies
Hello everyone, I am hoping to obtain some insight/guidance on the best approach to hiring a content writer for my niche sites. My business plan includes 6-8 niche sites that I intend to bring online in the next few months and will need the consistent input from an outsourced content writer. I may take it over down the road, however it is far better for me to outsource this work than try and do it myself in the immediate future. All of the sites are financial/mortgage/real estate related niche sites.

As I bring each site online, I expect to start with 10-15 articles of unique content and then approx 1-2 article(s) a week on a long term basis. I am looking for truly unique & valuable content for the site, not just fill. Since this will be an ongoing relationship, I am hoping to develop a relationship with a good copy writer - one that I can count on for consistent production. I hope as time goes on that the consistency of the writer will develop a consistency in the site and would rather not need to change writers after getting the site up.

What would be the best way to evaluate a writer? Purchase an article from everyone advertising on the forums? Would it be bad form to request an article from anyone interested in the position? I would never use the content if the person wasn't selected. Without buying articles from everyone, what is the best way to get a feel for a person's style? Again, since this is going to be an ongoing relationship, I really want to get a feel for the person's writing style, especially about an industry/economy that is in major turmoil. Just because someone can do a great job writing on a variety of subjects and even may have great reviews on the forums, that doesn't mean they can understand and convey that message in my particular niche(s), especially from a SEO standpoint.

I have never hired a content writer, so maybe this isn't as big a deal as I am making it out to be, but am hoping to glean some insight from the very knowledgeable contributors to this great site.

Thanks in advance for any help!
#article #content #content writer #ezine articles #hire a writer #hiring #practice #writer
  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    You are going to find that most people are not going to write you an article for a test without getting paid for their time.

    I would recommend checking references/testimonials as well as seeing several samples. Even then, sometimes things just don't work out, unfortunately. Outsourcing tends to be a trial and error sort of thing.

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  • Profile picture of the author jjthomas
    Are you looking for a 'copywriter' or a 'content' writer? HUGE difference. Copywriters usually charge anywhere from $300+ for a single article (i.e., 2500 words). Content writers (good quality) you are usually looking at $10-$15/article (500 words).
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  • Profile picture of the author chads
    Sorry, content writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author SoEasyMoney
    I've had great success thus far with (not an affiliate). I just outsourced 50 articles for $40.00.

    You need to vigorously screen the applicants as many aren't from the US. But, I found a really nice girl who is doing a good job thus far. I've had to tweek the articles just a bit, but heck, for that price....who cares. Check it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmac3296
    I would be willing to submit a writing sample first. Message me if your interested. Lets work something out. I'm working on my English Major and could use some extra cash.
    travel from los angeles - accepting guest posts for Travel and CA Local guides
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by chads View Post

    What would be the best way to evaluate a writer?
    Disqualify people quickly. Look at someone's "writing services" ad. If it's badly written, RUN. I mean, come on. If you can't write your advertisement well? You can't freakin' write.

    Now look at the testimonials in the ad. Do they sound good? Are THEY well-written? A well-written testimonial comes from someone who knows good writing. That's either the person who gave it, or the writer... many people write testimonials for their clients, and just get them approved by the client. (After all, if the clients could write, they wouldn't be hiring a writer.)

    If the testimonial is badly-written, there are two reasons. Both are invariably true.

    1. The client is not a good writer. This may mean they don't know good writing when they see it. It may also mean they hire a lot of writers, because they know damn well they can't write themselves.

    2. The writer has probably not edited or altered the testimonial. This may mean they don't know the testimonial is badly written. It may also mean they feel it would be dishonest to change the testimonial.

    So if you have well-written testimonials, you almost certainly have a good writer. If you have badly written testimonials, it could go either way.

    Check to see whether they have samples available. Every writer advises every other writer to provide samples. If there are some, read them. If there aren't any, there are two possible reasons: either the writer doesn't want to provide them, or the writer doesn't need to provide them.

    Good samples mean a good writer. NO samples, it could go either way.

    And there is one thing to beware in this process: bad writers will often hire good writers to write their ads, testimonials, and samples. They outsource, just like everyone else, because the ROI is worth it. You can hire a pretty damn good writer to do this for about $100.

    Do you suppose the work that comes in as a result might turn a profit? Oh, hell yes. Bad writers aren't stupid. They're just bad writers. Some of my clients are brilliant - but can't write. And some of them can write perfectly well, but have better things to do with their time... precisely because they aren't stupid.

    So finally, check the person's other posts. A good writer is not good only when paid. Good writers love the language. They revel in it. They love to play word games, and make puns, and discuss interesting subjects. They make long posts. Not all the time, but frequently. If you have found a good writer, you will find some long posts, and you will find them to be well-written.

    More importantly, a writer develops a certain flavour, a certain feel. If you look at a writer's posts and compare them to their ad, you can frequently tell whether they were written by the same person. So if you have an ad that's clearly written by the same person who's posting, you can tell right there whether this person is a good writer.

    Meanwhile, those first three things I told you to check: they allow you to quickly and easily stop looking at the bad writers. That's the real key. Once you think you have found a bad writer, move on to the next available writer. You're probably right. If you have found a good writer, you will almost never suspect you've found a bad writer.
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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