You’ve realized that you don’t have to write all your own blog posts and decided that it’s time to outsource some of your content creation — but how to find a blog writer that fits your needs and your company’s brand voice?
If you’ve never hired a blog writer before, it can be tricky and a little confusing to try to figure it out. Do you go for the cheapest option? Ask for recommendations from friends? Look on Fiverr and Upwork? Post on Facebook?
And how do you find a blog writer who is not just a good writer but understands your needs and can help you reach your goals?
When it comes to hiring a blog writer, one of the biggest questions on your mind is likely “how much should I expect to pay?” Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of hiring a blog writer can vary widely based on the writer’s experience and skill level, the length and complexity of the blog post, and the amount of research required. We have an entire post about how much you should pay a blog writer. But here are the basics:
Some writers charge a flat rate per blog post, while others work on an hourly or per-word rate. At our agency, we charge a flat rate per post, and we also offer retainer packages to clients who want the benefit of working with one writer who gets to know their business better over time. This way, we can ensure that the writer is producing high-quality content that consistently aligns with the client’s brand voice and style.
When it comes to the flat rate per post, the cost can vary depending on the length of the post and the level of research required. As a general rule of thumb, you should expect to pay between $0.25–$1.00 per word for a high-quality blog post. For example, a 1,000-word post would cost between $250–$1,000.
It’s worth noting that content is one of those areas of life where you get what you pay for, so it’s worth investing in a skilled writer who can deliver high-quality blog posts that resonate with your audience. Plus, the right content will show a return on your investment potentially for years to come.
Working on retainer with an agency can offer several benefits over doing one-time projects with many different writers. With a retainer, you get dedicated writer who gets to know your brand voice and style over time, which helps to ensure consistency in your content and save you time in the long run by eliminating the need to find and onboard a new writer for every post.
A good blog writer can help you save time and create high-quality content that resonates with your audience, but it’s important to find a writer who can deliver the right balance of quality and cost for your business. Think about it this way: How many new leads or sales would each post need to deliver for it to make the outsourcing process valuable for your business?
How to find a great blog writer for your business
Now, how do you find a great blog writer to hire? It can be a daunting task.
Getting referrals from colleagues and peers is my favorite way to find a great blog writer. Word of mouth recommendations from people you trust can be incredibly valuable when it comes to finding a writer who will be a good fit for your business.
If you know other business owners in your industry who are outsourcing their blog writing, ask them for recommendations. They may be able to refer you to a writer they’ve worked with and had success with in the past. Additionally, you can ask for recommendations in industry-specific Facebook or LinkedIn groups.
When you’re getting referrals, be sure to ask about the writer’s work style, communication, and the quality of their work. Ask if they were easy to work with and if they were able to deliver content that met their expectations.
Another way to find a great writer is by reaching out to industry-specific writing associations. Many writers belong to professional organizations that offer directories of members, which can help you find a writer with experience in your industry.
You can also utilize freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and similar sites to connect with a pool of talented writers who are looking for work, but the quality can be very hit or miss. There are great writers on these sites and very inexperienced ones as well; proceed with caution.
When it comes to finding a great blog writer, it’s important to do your due diligence. Take the time to research potential writers, check their references, and look at their portfolio of work. By doing your homework, you’ll be more likely to find a writer who is a good fit for your business and can help you achieve your content marketing goals.
Ask for writing samples to see if their style and tone align with your brand voice, and check references to get an idea of their work ethic and reliability.
What to consider before you hire a blog writer
When it comes to actually hiring a blog writer, there are several key things to consider:
Think about your communication style, frequency, and how much you want to be involved. Some clients prefer a more hands-off approach, while others want to be closely involved in every step of the writing process.
We’ve had clients all over the spectrum, from clients who want to micromanage every word we write — to ones who ghost us and never give us any feedback at all.
If you imagine a spectrum of communication styles, people at the extreme of either end aren’t going to be happy outsourcing their blog writing.
The micromanager is never going to TRUST the writer.
The ghost isn’t going to get what they really want, because, well, even the best writers can’t read minds.
So ask yourself:
- How do you like to communicate best? By email? Voice message? In person?
- How much do you want to be involved? Are you closer to the micromanager end of the spectrum or the ghost end? (NO JUDGMENT!)
- How much do you want the writer to communicate with YOU? Daily check ins? Weekly? Just shut up and do the job?
Make sure to find a writer whose communication style aligns with yours. Communication is key when working with a writer and setting clear expectations upfront can help avoid misunderstandings down the line.
There are lots of great writers out there, but not all of them have the skill to be able to write in someone else’s voice — that is, in YOUR brand voice.
One great way to check for this is to ask for several samples that demonstrate different voices or different styles of writing.
It’s very normal to ask a writer you’re interviewing for samples of their work, and when you specify that you want samples in different styles, you’ll be able to judge for yourself if the pieces they send sound significantly different.
Don’t worry if the samples don’t sound like YOU — what you’re looking for is the skill to switch voices, not that they already sound like your brand voice.
Experienced writers will have an onboarding process that they’ll want to take you through before they get to work, and asking them about it will give you a sense of how they like to operate.
- Will they work with you on strategy? Or is it strictly writing?
- How do they discover your brand voice? Or are you expected to provide guidelines?
- How do they do research or collect information on the topics you provide?
- What are their timelines like? Do they deliver posts, say, once a week, or do they batch several at once?
- How much feedback are you expected to give, and how many drafts or rounds of revisions are included in the package?
Hot Tip: If a writer doesn’t have ANY kind of onboarding process, they’re probably less experienced. Proceed accordingly!
Most writers are happy to do a test post or project for you, but don’t expect to get it for free.
The purpose of a test post is to make sure that the writer’s process and your expectations match up. It’s like test-driving a car before you commit to buying it.
With a writer, you might contract them to do just one blog post for you — instead of signing a contract or committing to a retainer.
The writer may or may not have you go through their entire onboarding process for this test project, but you’ll get a sense of what it will be like to work with them.
Plus, you’ll be able to give them feedback and experience what their revision process is like.
Are you ready?
My biggest tip for hiring the perfect blog writer for your business is to make sure you’re actually ready to outsource this part of your business.
How do you know when you’re ready? Here are a couple of signs:
- You have a proven offer and an existing audience. We LOVE and cheer on brand-new business owners — but it’s easier and more effective to work with a writer when your business is in a growth phase, not the startup phase.
- You love to collaborate — not micromanage. The whole point of hiring a writer is to get something OFF your to-do list, so if you find yourself rewriting everything the writer writes, you’re actually not ready to hire a writer, because you’re not ready to let go.
- You have at least one other team member. Hiring a writer to write your marketing content should not be your first hire in your business, so if you don’t have another team member — even a virtual assistant — it’s probably not time to hire a writer yet.
- You should also consider whether you have the infrastructure in place to work with a writer, such as an editorial calendar and a process for providing feedback.
If you want to have a good experience outsourcing your content, it’s vital to find someone whose communication style, writing style, and process align with your needs.
Got a question about how to find a blog writer that I haven’t addressed here? Let me know in the comments below!