Help Me GRILL My Possible Article Writers

by TTran
12 replies
Hey everyone, I'm finally taking the step to outsource. Doing school and sports and plenty of other extracurriculars have totally prevented me from working on any of my IM projects. My backlinking strategy is mainly based on the distribution of content. However, writing content is time-consuming and boring.

Anyways, I've posted an Article Writing job on a freelance website in hopes of finding one or two long term writers. I've gone through many candidates and have narrowed it down to 5 candidates.

All of them seem qualified for the job in terms of mastery of the English language.

But, I do not want to go hiring all of them!

What do you guys usually make sure of when interviewing your outsource workers? Do you have any certain questions that help you decide their quality of work?

Do you guys have any kind of "final test" you give to your writers before hiring them?

Thanks in advance,
Thao Tran
#article #grill #writers
  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Do any of them have a portfolio that shows samples of their writing? When I was regularly hiring writers on Elance, they always had samples of work they had done, or could provide it.

    I would look at those samples to determine who best met my qualifications. Occasionally, I did end up hiring multiple writers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paula Steen
    Have you assigned each of them a short term writing assignment?

    That will help you judge their writing style, see how well they understand your vision, and get a better idea of their turn around time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      You may not want to use all five long term - but would be a good idea to assign five articles to each of them and then decide who to use in the future.

      Don't forget to check the articles in copyscape - you'd be surprised how many "writers" just take material they find online.

      I would add that I advise against "grilling" writers. Tell them clearly what you expect, ask what they charge and test them with a few articles.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author bazzais
        Its a minefield - thats all I can say.

        Oh and dont be disappointed - because you probably will be. Outsourcing is a nightmare until you find the gems.

        Ta

        Baz
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        • Profile picture of the author TTran
          Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

          Do any of them have a portfolio that shows samples of their writing? When I was regularly hiring writers on Elance, they always had samples of work they had done, or could provide it.

          I would look at those samples to determine who best met my qualifications. Occasionally, I did end up hiring multiple writers.
          Yes, I have required samples of their writing and that is how I was able to determine who met my requirements. I guess I will go over the samples again to maybe find something I might have misssed.

          Originally Posted by Paula S View Post

          Have you assigned each of them short term writing assignment?

          That will help you judge their writing style, see how well they understand your vision, and get a better idea of their turn around time.
          I have not done that yet. However, I do plan to do so when I have narrowed it down as much as possible.

          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          You may not want to use all five long term - but would be a good idea to assign five articles to each of them and then decide who to use in the future.

          Don't forget to check the articles in copyscape - you'd be surprised how many "writers" just take material they find online.

          I would add that I advise against "grilling" writers. Tell them clearly what you expect, ask what they charge and test them with a few articles.

          kay
          I didn't really mean "grill," but I am hoping to narrow them down to as few as possible. I was just wondering if anyone had any set of questions/checklist they used before hiring their writers?

          Originally Posted by bazzais View Post

          Its a minefield - thats all I can say.

          Oh and dont be disappointed - because you probably will be. Outsourcing is a nightmare until you find the gems.

          Ta

          Baz
          Haha, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Peggy Baron
    I would try all of them out and check their turnaround time. In my experience it's not hard to find people who write well, it's hard to find people who can commit and who are consistent. Of course, I would make sure they want a long-term gig too.

    Peggy
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  • Profile picture of the author TTran
    Thanks for the suggestion Peggy.

    I'm just wondering, what's your guys' experiences with upfront fees? Should I do it? I've been suggested to never pay upfront fees.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Pereira
    When hiring, look at...

    - Price
    - Quality
    - Reputation
    - Turnaround Time
    - Experience
    - Location

    As for testing them, give them one sample article to do on a tricky topic, pay them after they're done. Ask them before hand when it'll be ready and see if they stick to it.

    If the writer has enough reputation etc, paying 50% up front isn't a problem, especially if hired through a forum where they have a history for producing a) quality b) on time and c) for a few people.

    Once you build up a relationship you can pay once weekly, twice monthly etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peggy Baron
    Paying up front is not a problem for one or two articles in the beginning. You will most likely have built a relationship of two-way trust after the first couple of articles. After that, I agree with what Jason Pereira said.

    Good luck!
    Peggy
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  • Profile picture of the author ArticleDirectory
    Remember, you get what you pay for. Never hire anyone long term until you are familiar and comfortable with their work.

    Always ask for a portfolio. Writers who are doing freelancing will have a portfolio.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    I used to write quite a bit but have moved on to other things. I would suggest the obvious:

    1. Look at a portfolio of their previous work.

    2. Look for testimonials from people you respect and recognize.

    3. Start with a small order to make sure that you will be satisfied.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    When outsourcing, you must follow a methodical approach. This means having a hiring strategy in place ahead of time.

    Heres how I find brilliant writers who work at $7USD per 500 words.

    1. Advertise as you have done already outlining the job requirements on various freelancing sites.
    2. Once you have say, 100 people apply, shortlist the applicants.
    3. Have them do an english test - go here www.expertrating.com , Online Language Grammar Test it costs about $9.95 WORTH IT! Be sure to register as an employer.
    4. Shortlist again in alignment with results.
    5. Have those on the shortlist do up 3 HIGH quality articles on any subject of your choice.
    6. Shortlist again!
    7. The remaining 5 applicants, should then sit a SKYPE or MSN interview, in which case, you will be able to actually speak with them and get a feel for their spoken english as well.
    8. Make your decision and hire!

    Sound easy enough?

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...than-done.html

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
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