This is always a touchy subject and a hard one to decide on. Generally, I think a pay-per-post model works best. In other words, every post of their’s that you publish, you pay them an agreed rate.
Why hire blog writers?
While the exact number of recommended posts per month is up for debate, most marketing experts agree you should aim to post 16+ times per month. That might not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that they need to be high-quality posts that inform and engage your readership.
That’s why hiring freelance online writers or content writing companies is such a great idea. You can bring in outside experts to write your posts, and even better, you only have to pay them per post. This can result in significant cost savings for your business since you don’t have to hire part-time or full-time writers.
Once you hire a blog writer or a team of writers, you can begin posting quality content regularly, and while the results won’t be immediate, it’s a great long-term investment into inbound marketing.
When To Hire Writers (And When Not To)
Some niches don’t require as much content flow as others so it might be just fine to write it all yourself (especially if you enjoy it). In my case, PCMech was in the technology niche and that niche usually sees a LOT of content flow. If PCMech was updated only as often as this blog, it would die off. So, since a higher volume was needed, I needed more fingers on the keyboards.
Secondly, writers cost money so your blog business model needs to be considered. Will you be making enough money to pay them? Can you set things up so that the ROI of each writer makes them profitable for you?
One case where you cannot really make the switch is when your blog is closely tied to yourself. If your blog is part of your personal brand, then the only person really suitable to post there is YOU. In that case, you really shouldn’t hire writers. There are exceptions (like guest posts), but there is a line there that can be tougher to cross.
The prospect of creating editorial guidelines and outsourcing content might seem overwhelming right now, but remember that all this up-front work will save you massive amounts of time and sanity down the road.
If you’re still trying to get some traction with a brand-new blog, then you might not be at a place where you need guest contributors just yet. But you probably can still benefit from hiring a ghostwriter to take some of the work off your plate.
If your blog is already fairly big and established, then you should definitely be looking to recruit new expert guest contributors to save time while expanding your blog with new perspectives and outlooks.
They’re super helpful, even if you’re the only one currently writing for your blog. They’re a great way to help keep you focused on creating high-quality, consistent content that will keep your readers coming back for more.
Always be on the lookout for people who:
- Guest Posters: If you have published guest posts in the past, take a look at them. How much traffic did they get? What was the quality like? How easy were they to work with? Did they go above and beyond with the post? If one of the guest posters stands out, contact them.
- Readership/Commenters: Look at the comments people leave on your blog, and contact the writers who know a lot about the topic, are genuinely helpful, and are well written.
- Commenters/Participants in Other Places: Check out comments people leave in other places, such as other people’s forums and blogs, Facebook pages/groups and podcasts.
- Magazines/Freelancers: Find people who already create paid content elsewhere, whether it’s as a freelancer or on their own blog.
- Word of Mouth: If you’re looking for someone, put the word out through friends, colleagues, business partners and others.
- Advertising: Use tips and tricks when looking to hire by advertising on the ProBlogger Job Board. If you’re willing to put a little work into going through the applications, you’ll usually find some gold.
Once you’ve found someone and they agree to help, do a trial run with them to get a sense of what they’re like to work with, their content, and how your audience responds to them.
Legal Considerations On Hiring Bloggers
- They are an independent contractor and not an employee.
- The agreed per-post rate.
- That payment is contingent on you actually publishing the post, not simply that they wrote it. You’re the one paying them, so you need to be the gate keeper to posts going live on your blog so that you can control ROI. If they write a post which you cannot use, you don’t owe them a dime for it if you don’t actually publish it.
- Who OWNS the content. You want to avoid copyright disputes later down the road if/when this writer moves on. So specify clearly who owns the copyright. You can either specify that you own all rights or you could consider a split model. With the split model, the agreement would state that you have exclusive rights for a certain time frame (6-12 months), after which they are free to re-publish the piece elsewhere but you maintain non-exclusive rights for life. Lastly, you want to be sure the agreement specifies that you can use the content in any way you please, including commercial for-sale products you may create in the future.
- How they should invoice you. Do you want them to invoice you one per month? How will you pay them? Paypal? Specify that in the agreement.
This is how I did things with my tech site. Here in 2021, I no longer have that site. For the Blog Marketing Academy, I do not hire writers. It’s just me and that’s how I like it.
I’m no longer in a niche that is as demanding and “real time” with the content production. In fact, I expressly avoid blog niches like that. I prefer something like my redwood strategy as it is way more effecient.