Face it, as an agency owner; you only have so much time. You are busy pitching and converting prospects, managing your projects, finding developers to outsource work, and many other things business owners do. Sure, you write some content, but you just don’t have the time. Or maybe, it isn’t your strong suit. Or perhaps, it isn’t something you typically like doing.
There are many reasons you need to find a content writer for your blog. The point is you need to find a writer, someone who can create good content to help manage inbound leads regularly. Today, we are going to discuss several ways you can find a content writer.
First of all, what is a content writer? A content writer is one who can write blog content for your business blog. While writing in such a way that gets a lot of traffic is important, it is more crucial that they write in a way that they deliver conversions.
Sonia Simone defines it like this,
“Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers — and customers into repeat buyers.”
The days of writing some words around a keyword and getting traffic are all but over. In past years “experts” claimed that writing blog articles are good for SEO. While it is an incredibly important part of the ongoing process, it is far more important these days to write compelling, or epic content.
Once a reader lands on your website, the blog content has to capture their attention, hold that attention, and be persuasive. This isn’t something that is easily done.
There is a boatload of content on the internet which led Mark Schaefer to coin the term “content shock.” The plethora of content means you have to create better content.
Rarely do shortcuts work out in the area of content (or anywhere else). Because of that, it is important to get quality writers who can deliver great content that informs, inspires, and persuades people to act.
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1. Content Mills
This is a bad idea. Content mills are the ultimate “race to the bottom” in the writer world. They use writers as cheaply as possible to create a vast bulk of the content.
A content mill or writers mill is a slang term used by freelance writers and given to a company, website, or organization designed to provide cheap website content, usually at a significant profit to themselves, and usually by paying very low rates to writers.” The Balance Small Business
Your quality will suffer as these writers will often take shortcuts (i.e. plagiarize, scrape) to deliver as many pieces of content as they can so they can eke out a manageable amount of money.
Be very careful using someone from a content mill. If you want to know more, here are some stories from various writers as interviewed by Carol Tice.
Consequently, WordPress writer Maddy Osman gives her thoughts on why you shouldn’t hire a content mill writer.
It’s really hard to say who the modern day content mills are. Many of the big offenders have been shut down. Demand Studios is one of the most famous previous examples. Another was Examiner.com (not to be confused with Examine.com).
2. Move Up Content platforms
Carol Tice calls them move-up content mills. These newer companies are offering the opportunity to make more than a few pennies per word. Therefore you may find some decent writers here. I once had an account on Contently. I set up my profile and started adding articles I had written there.
I never could find a way to get a writing job. No one ever contacted me, and there was no way to “apply” for a writing job. Thankfully, I had already started writing for a local publication and was being paid monthly.
I suppose there is no harm in trying out one of these services. Tice breaks them down in this article.
A couple of others I would mention are CopyPress and Scripted. I have little to no experience with either, so I can’t give you any good opinion. I did sign up with CopyPress in the early days. They tried to vet their writers with some testing. I started going through the “training,” and it wasn’t bad. I didn’t stay around long enough to get any assignments.
Be careful. If a company is offering less than $.15 per word to the writer, the quality may suffer. I don’t advocate the per word pricing, but if that is what you are looking for, you want someone who is least $.20-25 per word in my opinion.
3. Content Marketing as a Service
Content Marketing as a Service is something that has begun popping up in the digital landscape. People realize they need content, and they are willing to invest in a company that delivers a strategy.
A content marketing agency will productize the service using various specialists at each phase of the process. For example, the team as a whole may come up with the topics to research and write about. Writers will be deployed to do the actual writing. Editors will make sure the copy reads well and is free of editors. Then someone will publish the post using good formatting.
Grow and Convert
These guys write some of the deepest most compelling content I have ever seen. Their blog alone is worth bookmarking. You will learn a lot.
4. Freelance Writers
If you are using a freelance writer, you are using a hired gun. An excellent freelance writer will often have higher rates. However, if the freelance writer is top notch, he or she will be able to deliver the same amount of value as you get from content marketing as a service company.
The freelance writer is not able to deliver as much content, so the price per piece will be more. A benefit of using a top writer is that they are well known and will have a more extensive distribution influence.
Freelancer writers are ideal for more evergreen posts. A company can bring them in to write an in-depth, long evergreen article that will be linked to and viewed many times throughout its life.
Where do you find a top freelance writer? One of the first places to look is on the top publications you regularly read. Those publications are usually investing good content so they will happily pay for the top writers.
You will find that most of those writers have their own freelance writer website. There you can learn more about them, who they have written for, and how to get in touch.
Don’t neglect to use LinkedIn for good writers either. Good writers will have a well done and professional profile and take leads. One copywriter I know launched his career using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is like a search engine for professional freelancers.
5. Go where the writers are
There are a number of writer communities on the internet. Many are in Facebook groups. There you will find writers who network and help each other in their business. Additionally, they will take courses from veteran writers who create courses and paid communities.
Here are a few communities where the writers are trained, given support, and the quality is usually better.
The Writer’s Den – The Freelance Writer’s Den
AWAI – American Writers & Artists Inc. – Directory
Probloggers – ProBloggers
Copyblogger – Copyblogger
If you are wondering what a good writer costs for your blog content, there are a number of places where you can see the range of rates. They are listed below.
Blog content isn’t usually characterized by per word. The per-word pricing is more of a printed copy model. Some still try to use this, but it is likely your freelance writer will charge based on the project. The writer may use words to differentiate prices, but they are estimating the value and the amount of time it takes to complete the content.
Charging by the word does no one any favors. Your writer could gouge you by writing more words than is needed. This basically pads an article with a higher word count and often waters down the quality of the content.
Likewise, limiting your writer to a word count can hurt the article if it needs to have more information.
Price guides for blog content
This is Content Factory’s rates. They are among the best in the industry without overcharging. You will see an example of prices from a good content marketing agency.
How Much Do Professional SEO Services and Web Content Writing Cost?
The Balance Small Business
These rates are from their 2018 guide, updated in December.
AWAI – American Writers & Artists Inc.
Wrapping it up
If you believe in creating content and want to create the best content, it is best to find the best writers you can afford. Viewing writers and writing as a commodity will deliver you with some bad experiences.
Certainly, it is okay to take a chance on a less experienced writer who has some talent. If you do so, make sure they are learning and growing. There are a number of courses and communities where he or she can learn to be a better writer.
Make sure you are paying them enough that they will do the best job. The last thing you want is an article that is plagiarized. It will hurt your business as much as it will hurt the writer.