I wrote the blog post, but I needed more information. The post just didn’t have that ring of truth, of emotion, to make it interesting.
I asked the client for information, but I did not receive it. He was not satisfied with the finished product.
Lesson No. 1 when working with a blogger: Communicate.
Last week, I wrote about how to find blogging ideas for your web site. But if you do not have the time or inclination to do so yourself, it is common and often easier to hire someone. But how do you find the right person? Here are some thoughts, tips and items to consider when hiring a blogger.
Before You Begin
Consider the following: What types of posts are you seeking? What type of writing style? How often do you want posts? How much information does your business have? Are you looking to hire someone who handles every aspect of the blog? Or someone who just sends you written copy? Know ahead of time what you want.
- Ask to see samples of prior work. Writing styles vary, and the attitudes your business presents might work better with one style or another. Read several samples.
- Speak over the phone. Ask questions: Is this the type of person/personality you can work with? If possible, meet in person to get a real feel for his/her abilities and work style.
- Find out how often you will communicate and how? By phone, in person? Weekly? Daily? Choose someone who wants to communicate regularly so that you are assured you are getting quality work.
- Is there a contract? Many freelance writers will work under a contract to ensure both parties understand what work is to be done for how much and for how long. The blogger should provide one, but if not, consider drawing up one yourself.
- Ask for rates. And feel free to check around. But don’t expect to hire a quality writer for $5 per post. Writing is a skill that takes time and effort. Would you pay someone less than a fast food employee to help create content that reflects on your business and is visible online for all the world the see?
- Look at a resume. Work history may or may not matter to you, but it can help you achieve a sense of the person you are hiring.
- Listen. The blogger may have suggestions for your blog based on what information you give him/her. Perhaps you want one blog post per week, but he/she suggests two. Maybe he/she has topic suggestions that can give you an idea of whether this person is right for the job.
- Communicate. In my earlier example, the fault was mine. I should have explained up front in more detail what I needed to do the work right and do it well. During the interview, you found out how often you would be speaking with your blogger. I prefer a phone call once a week to discuss topic ideas, what’s coming up, how things are going. I like to hear about the person’s business, news, any details I can. The more I know, the better I can produce blog post ideas.
- Continue to suggest ideas. Hiring someone does not mean you can “set it and forget it.” You know your business better than anyone. Work with the person who is spreading your message to make sure you’re getting what you want — and that he/she has the information needed to do a fantastic job.
- Enjoy! Hopefully, the blogger is taking some of your workload and helping maintain useful and engaging content on your website. Now, you can focus on growing your business.