If you are lucky enough to have a little extra money to invest in your blog, you are faced with the difficult challenge on how to use that money to best benefit your brand. I’ve hired several people to take on “micro” blogging jobs in the past, each with varying degrees of success. Let’s look at some of the positions you can hire for and the pros/cons that come along with each.
This is the first area that many bloggers look to get some help with. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to hire a person who you can trust your brand with. This is the equivalent of handing over your car or house keys to a stranger, so it is essential to research the person and have an in-depth interview with them. The nice thing about hiring someone to assist with your blog’s social media efforts is that the ceiling is high and the metrics are trackable. Heck, getting someone to manage your Facebook fan page alone can be a full-time job. Set goals and keep an eye on your ROI.
The more (strong) content your blog has the better, at least that’s with several recent studies have revealed. When bringing on additional freelance bloggers, I recommend putting together a one-page style sheet. The goal here is not to mimic the AP Stylebook, rather, it’s to reinforce what the blogger must accomplish with each post that they write. For example, you might want to include something like:
Each blog entry must include…
– 2 external links to relevant blogs
– The keywords “best blogger ever”
– An upbeat and friendly tone
Keep it simple and direct; if you overwhelm the blogger with information, your core message will get lost.
Not everyone can be as disciplined as Tamar Weinberg when it comes to getting your inbox to zero! If you need help in this area, hiring a person to manage your inbox can be useful. They can simply place items into folders or go as far to respond to inquiries on your behalf – the choice is yours. A well-managed inbox allows you to respond to items faster, and more importantly, helps you prioritize items for your blog. You can also decide to have this person correspond with PR folks. Once your blog gets on the radar for a given niche, you can expect to get inundated with book offers and press releases – all looking for free promotion. Consider hiring a person to communicate with these agencies and to weed out the junk, presenting you only with the solid offers.
There are three jobs that you can hire for that fall within the blog comment realm: someone to write comments on your blog (shady business practice?), someone to leave intelligent comments (and a backlink) on related blogs, and someone to approve/reject your blog’s comments before publishing. Ideally, you might find one person to handle all of these tasks.
This job would require someone to bring new layers to a blog post you have written. This is a useful hire for folks who fashion themselves as writers, but not necessarily bloggers. After you complete an article, this individual makes it blogworthy by adding links, images, polls, and other interactive goodies that encourage two-way communication.
Offer up a healthy commission and you might motivate a budding salesperson to close a few deals on your behalf.
Consider hiring a ghostwriter (I’ve had good luck on eLance) to turn your previous blog posts into an ebook or other sellable item. This can help give old content a fresh voice. And the best part is, it allows your brand to tackle a major project, without taking you away from your daily blogging duties.
Finding the right folks for the job and agreeing upon fair payment is a challenge in itself. But with enough work and a little luck, you can soon transition from a blogger to an employer! And the additional help can bring your blog to the next level.
Tell us about your experience hiring blogging help in the comments section below. If you could only hire for one of the jobs above, which would it be?