Hiring content writers: Share your experiences and frustrations

24 replies
What do you guys look for when you hire content writers?
What is your single biggest problem you with hiring content writers?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a content writer vs outsourcing it to some article writing company?
#content #experiences #frustrations #hiring #share #writers
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    First question: Spelling and grammar free writing that is about what I have requested, and quick turn-around.
    Second: Broken English, I have to edit the writing before I post it.
    Third: Not entirely sure....
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  • Profile picture of the author Ravikanth
    What is your experience with hiring writers with a revenue sharing model? Pay them a little up front and share revenue later. Have you tried that? What about others? That way, it is in the best interest of the writer to write good content.
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    • Profile picture of the author Griffin Smith
      Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

      What is your experience with hiring writers with a revenue sharing model? Pay them a little up front and share revenue later. Have you tried that? What about others? That way, it is in the best interest of the writer to write good content.
      If you are referring to writing on "spec" oh no..

      Don't pay them a little up front either. If it is your first time working with a new writer ask them to provide you with a paid sample.

      If you like their work then pay them at least 50% upfront (preferably 100%) and then develop a long term relationship with them (if you want a long term flow of content)

      Again.. You get what you pay for.. Man I love these threads..
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  • Profile picture of the author ScouterGuy
    1. Make sure you have success criteria in place. If the content has errors you get a price reduction or do not pay at all.

    2. Hire "cheaper" writer that writes for you. Hire another more expensive writer that checks the other persons content. This has worked wonders for my business.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    - Client hires me in January of 2011
    - Client comes back in January of 2012
    - Client complains that my prices have gone up


    WTF
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    "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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  • Profile picture of the author stephenwaldo
    Ha, how fun! I have answers from both sides of the question (as the writer and the client/employer), so even though it's not what the OP asked I'm going to share both.

    As the Employer:

    1st question
    - There are 3 qualities I look for in writers, and I think they're all equally important: (1) a naturally seamless grasp of English, (2) experience with SEO or article marketing or something IM related and (3) the ability to research efficiently.

    2nd question
    - Single biggest problem would be when I hire someone that's a great writer, but a terrible researcher (as I mentioned in the first question), at least for the kind of writing I need on my/client's websites. Slow research = Slow writing.

    3rd question
    - I actually haven't ever hired an article writing company, so I can't comment on this one.

    As the Writer:

    1st question - I like clients that have experience working with people online, and who know what they want.

    2nd question
    - My single biggest problem I've ever had was when I find out that all of the writing and marketing I'd been doing (and only thus far accepted 50% payment for) were to promote an illegal product. I had to cut myself off from that client, all because of lack of communication!

    3rd question
    - I've written for a couple of the article writing companies (although I honestly would have to look up their names now), but I both enjoy writing and make more writing directly for clients.

    I have to say, between the two it is generally less frustrating to write than it is to hire writers. Maybe that's just me. I guess maybe most people haven't been on both sides of the fence.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christines Dream
      If I want it done right I do it my self with a little help from IAW3.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ravikanth
    @ScouterGuy - I have heard of a method where they separate research from writing. Great strategy. I think you probably have a lot of content to outsource. Thanks for the tip.

    @CDarklock - Your picture is funny. Nice marketing. I don't think anyone scrolls the thread without pausing at the picture

    @Stephenwaldo - Well crafted reply. Thanks for the opinion on both the sides

    @Christines - Just googled up to find out what IAW3 is
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  • Profile picture of the author eshoppingez
    I prefer hiring individual writers rather than writing companies. We work on strict deadlines, and writing companies tend to delay things. As for the things I expect from my writers; their article needs to be original. If they submit a plagiarized article, no matter how good their article is, we can't use it, especially with Google's latest updates.

    I don't like paying upfronts or hourly fees. I've had some very bad experience in that. I pay per article and the pay is monthly. Since we sign agreements before starting work, writers are assured that they will be paid.

    I really hate it when writers send back plagiarized articles after I've told them repeatedly that I need 100% copyscape passed articles. Some change their ways after that, and some don't. The ones who don't are removed from the team. There is no use in having someone who can't follow simple instructions.
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  • Profile picture of the author nycbroker
    i had the WORST experience with oDesk.com offshore writers - writers claimed it was unique content and excellent English grammar,etc - most content sent my way would be junk, with filler content, very rarely would I get a decent quality article.

    NOW i will ONLY work with USA based writers.
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    • Profile picture of the author curly sue
      i have hired freelancers on odesk, simply because its really cheap! but i have to tell you these guys dont know a word of english, their grammar is horrible!
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      • Profile picture of the author arny660
        I hire a fantatsic guy in the Phillipines via oDESK. I recently paid him $10 (although it was $11.11 by the time I paid oDESK) for an unique, 1200-word article for the homepage of my website. He is excellent, but I made sure I did my homework on him before hiring him.

        Make sure you check their feedback, look at some of the work they have done, get them to give you a sample. I always pay after I receive the article, and I am happy with it.

        I could write the article myself but it so cheap to have it done this way that it really isn't worth me spending my time doing it. I can use this time to search out other opportunites.

        I recently got a girl to do me a 500-word article on fiverr. It was just for an article directory so I wasn't too concerned with the quality, although obviously I didnt want it to be total rubbish either. I didn't do any checks on her because I thought, "hey, it's only $5 so I'll chance it". Well, the article was absolutely rubbish. I had to redo it all myself.

        So the secret is to make sure to see examples of their work, check what other people say about them, and make sure that they can deliver on time.

        I would definitely recommend outsourcing some, or all, of your work via oDesk, that is if you can afford it.

        Good Luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author 3000
    Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

    What do you guys look for when you hire content writers?
    What is your single biggest problem you with hiring content writers?
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a content writer vs outsourcing it to some article writing company?
    I look for high test scores, I mostly hire from oDesk. You can see their test scores right on their profile which is very useful. I look for a good feedback from past employers.

    I always ask for a past sample so I can see if their English, grammer, etc. flows nicely and seems natural. They don't deliver what I expected.

    The biggest problem for me is finding a real reliable writer. I've hired writers who are days off schedule.

    TIP: Do a little research first on the topic you want outsourced. Just skim through the pages of the first page of Google. I've had past applicants who seriously just copy and paste word for word stuff from Wikipedia.

    I like hiring individual content writers because you can develop a personal relationship with them. Sometimes they give you great deals after working with them for awhile.

    TIP: Once you've found a writer that you think is great then build a relationship. It is very hard to find a professional, reliable, and all around great content writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ravikanth
    I am sure you look for high quality content and low quality content(does not mean bad english- usually less research ). Both have their purposes(getting back link from Ezine for instance). How do you look for high quality content writers?
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  • Profile picture of the author winsenken
    May I know where and how you all hire a good writer?
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    • Profile picture of the author Griffin Smith
      Originally Posted by winsenken View Post

      May I know where and how you all hire a good writer?
      High quality writers are everywhere. There are many that post on this forum as well as in the Warrior for hire section.

      If you see a post you like and you can feel a little "razzle dazzle" in the their writing ask them to provide you with a paid sample.

      And if they're not all booked up you might get lucky and score a good one.

      TIP
      --- You can look below in people's signature files to see if they are a writer and then navigate through their site to see if they would be a good fit for your project.

      Most writers I know (especially me anyway) are looking for clients that are serious and want a steady stream of content.


      REMEMBER...You get what you pay for..There is a reason subway has "$5 footlongs"
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      • Profile picture of the author DSTeam
        As with anything else, when hiring content writers one has to do a little bit of initial research to find the golden ones.

        I like using article writing platforms like IWriter for example since I've had articles written in less than 24 hours.
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  • Profile picture of the author sshusain
    I'm also looking for someone, to rewrite my content. Basically i write an ebook in near future. So i need help to looked on the grammar and flow. Any idea where do i get the good Content writer (Just do the correction of my content). Please PM me.

    Thanks

    Shahid
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  • Profile picture of the author LyndaL66
    Most good writers will not do a sample article for free because there is a familiar scam out there that a client will ask several different authors to do a free sample and get their entire order done for free that way. If you can't tell that the person is a good writer by what they have in their portfolio or a prewritten sample that they send you, this should be a red flag moment.

    As a writer, I can tell you that I strive to deliver my content error free, on-time, and entertaining. We are getting into the area where you have to wonder whether you are looking for the "fluff" that you post to a site to basically take up space or if you want quality content that is authoritative. I have found in my dealings with clients -- on here and Elance -- that there is a difference between buyers in these categories.

    If you are looking for quality, you are not going to get it for rock bottom prices. Research, good grammar, and having a voice in writing take time and effort. It isn't easy being witty and charming, you know. But if you want people to read your site, then you sort of need that, don't you? That will influence the type of writer you deal with and how that content writer behaves. Good content writers are a different breed than those who just pump out words.

    Lynda
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  • Profile picture of the author gabrielrala
    Expectation is not being met, this is the common issue, for the reason that your idea is totally different from the one you have hired,

    2nd: is the effort of doing the edit, that eats your time and worst not meeting your desired deadline.
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  • Profile picture of the author marks2424
    I never hire writers I always write my own stuff because I know the subject the best I know how I want the information presented and I use dragon speech recognition program so I don't even have to type. I have looked at what other have written in the past and think if I have to proof read everything even if I don't find anything misspelled and the grammar is good I still end up moving things around to make it read the way I want it to read. In the end it might take as long to make it the way you want it even it is good as it would take to do it yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author DeePower
    I have hired writers and I am a writer.

    As a buyer of articles
    What do you guys look for when you hire content writers?

    I look at the samples. However that sample may or may not have been written by the writer. I ask, and pay for, a sample article. I expect the article to be error free. I do not post the articles I've bought under my own name.

    What is your single biggest problem you have with hiring content writers?

    Boring, error-laden writing.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a content writer vs outsourcing it to some article writing company?
    A writer is more responsive to any suggestions. I receive the article in a timely manner. The companies I've worked with, there are only two, provided poorly written articles and even though the articles were re-written based on my request, they were still not publishable.

    As a Writer

    What do you guys look for when you are hired as a hire content writer?
    The buyer is willing to communicate what they need and willing to pay a fair price. If you're looking for a $5 for 500 words writer, don't look at me.

    What is your single biggest problem when you've been hired as a content writer?
    Not getting paid. Really pisses me off. Doesn't happen often and is the reason we now require payment upfront or in the case of a large order or ebook, partial payment upfront.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a content writer vs outsourcing it to some article writing company?
    I don't work with writing companies anymore. There is no middle man to interfere with the relationship between the buyer and myself.

    Dee
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    2012 thread bumped with link to someone's site

    Seems to be the pattern today ....
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