When the traffic starts to pick up on your blog, you may find yourself cornered between more demand for content and not enough time to provide it. That’s a good thing, of course! But it means that it may be time to start looking to outsource some of your content to another writer.
Finding the right freelancer to work with you can be tough. There are many platforms to find freelancers, and many people out there who aren’t skilled writers, aren’t professional, or just don’t pay enough attention to guidelines. And sifting through all these people to find the perfect fit can be a trial. But believe me – there are writers out there that will create killer content for you, and are willing to collaborate with you so that you can focus on your projects, and not worry about fulfilling the demand for content.
Pay What They’re Worth
I hear a lot of talk about getting the best results for your money when it comes to hiring a freelancer. And while it’s certainly true that you shouldn’t be overpaying someone who isn’t giving you quality content, it’s also true that you need to pay them what they’re worth. You can’t expect original, perfectly-researched content to be given to you for almost nothing. True, there are freelancers out there that don’t have enough experience to charge what their writing is worth. And if you find one of those, great! But I still encourage you to pay them what you think their writing is worth. It’s partially a great incentive-booster, giving them more motivation to turn around good content. It’s also just good business – your freelancer is a professional who is marketing their skills. They’re trying to make a living. Paying them what you think their worth will help them in that regard.
Keep your budget in mind when deciding how much to pay a freelancer. How much is a post worth for you? What quality do you want? How much research will be involved? Once you decide those things, you simply need to find the person whose skills match your needs and you’re good to go. Clearvoice created a great infographic on this topic, shown below:
Do a Test Run
This may seem obvious – but if you’re looking to hire one or two freelancers to work with you on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to start with a test job or two. These will help you see your freelancers skills in action. The right test job can help you determine your freelancer’s:
- Writing skill
- Timeframe for work completion
- Communication skills
Though there are some freelancers out there that will do a test job for free to impress a potential client – I will always recommend paying for a test job. Maybe not as much as for the real jobs when you hire someone. You can’t expect quality work for free. Likewise, there are plenty of freelancers out there who write high-quality content that will refuse to work for a client if they try to get a free test job. So it’s safest to hedge your bets and just pay for the test job – even if they offer to do it for free.
Evaluate Their Communication Skills
A good measure of a potential freelancer – even before you start a test job, if you’ve decided to do one – is how they communicate with you in their messages. “When I look for a freelancer, if their emails or messages aren’t grammatically correct, I don’t give them a second look,” says George Sink Jr., Attorney and Marketing Director at George Sink, P. A. Injury Lawyers. “If they won’t put the effort into communicating with me like a professional, then I have no reason to believe that they’ll be precise in the writing they’re paid to do.”
Look for a freelancer who is concrete in their messages, as well as ensures that everything is grammatically correct and professional. Professional communication is a must. If they don’t treat you like a client, then there’s no point in hiring their services.
Do these things, as well as make sure you work with your freelancer. Give constructive feedback where necessary, and be very clear in your guidelines. Like any relationship, a professional one goes both ways. They have to listen to you, of course – but you need to work with them as well. If you do all that, you’ll find yourself the perfect freelancer in no time.
Author: Amanda DiSilvestro
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO Company HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.