Hiring Blog Content Writers - Why & How & Where?
Content writers are great for pitching blog topics and executing the content or SEO strategy you've implemented. But finding, hiring, and onboarding writers can be a full-time job in and of itself. We've hired thousands of freelance writers and, in this guide, we share our tips for finding top talent.
Ah, content– the light of our life, the fire of our marketing. Is there anyone who doesn’t already know that content marketing is as good as peanut butter & jelly?
In fact, it may be even better because PB&J doesn’t really convert our customers for us.
Content marketing and blog content writers do.
But before we fall head over heels in love for the traffic we’ll get, there’s one very important thing we have to do:
Produce content. Loads of it.
Why Do I Need a Content Strategy?
One helpful blog post is great but let’s be real… We need a lot of content to keep the momentum going.
In fact, businesses who do that experience 7.8x higher unique traffic than those who just publish one post and call it a day.
There are three main reasons why this is the case:
- More info for search engines (read: SEO) who can better contextualize and rank our site. Not to mention that they prioritize updated, timely information (so blog posts that haven’t been touched in years are hardly going to cut it).
- More food for the funnel. Let’s think about our average leads. They find one of our posts, but they’re not completely sold. They want more information and 61% of them are ready to make a purchase when they get it. If they can’t find it on our site, they’re going to keep looking. And that’s one customer less.
- Higher lifetime value of a customer. A customer that’s just thrown into our product is okay, but a customer who’s constantly educated on how to use our product to succeed is a customer that won’t leave. Ever.
So not only is content great at attracting leads, but it helps retain customers with ease through its main mission: providing value and building trust.
And now that we’ve spread the peanut butter, it’s time to add some jelly.
Or, in layman’s terms – let’s create a content strategy!
How do I Create a Content Strategy
There are a lot of factors that go into our content marketing mix, some of them being the actual content and others getting great blog content writers that’ll help us churn quality content like there’s no tomorrow.
All of these fit nicely into a content strategy. All it takes is a few steps.
Step 1. Know your audience’s problems
While most content marketing strategists will tell you that you need to know your audience and make buyer personas for different types of customers, we’re more in the “Let’s get things done as soon as possible” camp.
And chances are, you already know what your customers are like (age, location, interests, etc.).
So the next step is to understand what problems they have that your product (and your product’s niche) can solve.
If you have different types of customers, make a list of problems for each segment.
Then sort your audience according to how aware of their problems they are.
For example, if you’re a chiropractor, you can expect your leads to vary between the following awareness levels:
- Completely unaware
- Slightly aware but looking for solutions
- Aware and actively looking for solutions like yours
The first group will be searching for terms like: “Why does my back hurt?” Their most pressing problem is understanding the reasons.
The second will look for “Back pain remedies.” Their most pressing problem is finding any kind of solution for their problem.
And the third will have an idea that a chiropractor might help, so their search queries will be something like: “Can chiropractors help with back pain?”
The third group is the one that you’re going to get most success out of, as they’re narrowing down the solutions they want.
Even if you just aim for the third group, you’ll be golden. You can use that content to educate your existing customers, as well.
However, if you want to get even more customers to scale your business, you’ll have to create content for the first and second group (although be aware: conversion with these groups may take time, which is exactly why you want plenty of content).
And even though the third group is the most aware of what can solve their problems, you’ll need to help them build trust in you. How?
You guessed it: with content.
- Make a list of your potential customers’ problems that you can solve
- If you have different kinds of customers, make a list for each
Step 2. Use the problems to find the right keywords
And now we’re getting into the thick of it.
Now we know what our leads are struggling with, we can help them and use that to turn them into customers.
What we’re going to do next is take that list of problems, and turn them into keywords.
For example, a lead worrying about back pain turns into keywords like:
- back pain causes
- back pain after eating
- back pain comes and goes
A very common question is: why don’t I just use “back pain” as my keyword?
That’s a great question, as it’s a good keyword that covers everything related to back pain. But it’s too general, saturated, and competitive.
This means that if you create a blog post titled: “Why does my back hurt?” no one’s going to see it, especially if you haven’t been posting a lot of content and rising in rankings in Google search.
And that’s why it’s better to use long-tail keywords.
From a non-SEO perspective, specific keywords help you reach the right leads and offer them detailed content that’s relevant to their problems, instead of just listing a bunch of things without fully covering any.
The old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” works for content, too.
- Turn problems into detailed keywords to attract a specific audience, instead of the general public
Step 3. Answer your audience’s questions and learn from your competitors
Just use Answer The Public. It’ll show you exactly what your leads and customers are asking.
The general rule of thumb is that you should focus on formulating headlines like:
- Here’s how…
- How to…
- XX Ways to…
These automatically draw attention without having to resort to headlines like: “She found a solution for back pain that made all the doctors in the world hate her!”
The second thing you can do is learn from your competitors with tools like BuzzSumo.
Enter your topic, sort by evergreen score, and you’ll find the content that has been shared the most. Then go through it, identify the gaps in the content, and answer them with your own blog posts.
- Brainstorm questions your leads are asking
- Come up with blog post ideas and headlines
- Learn from your competitors; identify the content that has been shared the most and then make it better
Step 4. Create a content calendar
Now that you’ve got topics and keywords, it’s time to create a content calendar to make sure you’re fueling your strategy.
If you want to supercharge your content marketing and get results fast, the optimal amount of content is 3-4 blog posts per week.
Aim to create detailed, long-form content as it’s preferred both by leads and Google.
Yeah, this is a lot to do if you’re doing it yourself. However, we’ll talk about options for outsourcing content creation to professionals in a second.
But before that: add the topics and the keywords for each post to your content calendar.
You can make a monthly or bi-monthly content calendar, but anything more than that is not recommendable. You want to keep it as flexible as possible to cover any new things in your industry without having to upend your entire strategy.
Finally, add content promotion to your calendar, as well.
- Choose the duration of your content calendar
- Add headlines and keywords
- Add promotion tactics for each post
Step 5. Create a content promotion game plan
Yes, the main appeal of content marketing is that you’re answering the questions your leads and customers are asking, and they typically ask Google so you’re getting free traffic from the world’s most powerful search engine.
However, it can take a bit for the SEO magic to kick in, so you’re going to have to add something extra to your content promotion strategy.
You can use social media to share your content with your followers, and even promote it with paid ads.
This has double the benefits as Google no longer only tracks links to your content, but social mentions, as well.
If you have a mailing list, share your content with your subscribers.
Ask your customers what they think, and what they want you to cover next. This gets you the reach you need while also supplying you with the ideas to keep creating great blog posts.
And if you’re using BuzzSumo to see which content works well, find the key influencers that’ll help amplify your content and reach more leads.
- Use social media to share your content
- Notify your email subscribers
- Get in touch with influencers
Step 6. Create your content
Finally, it’s time to create your content.
Like we already talked about, you’ll need a lot of it to start seeing results fasts.
If you scatter a blog post here and there, yeah, you’ll get some traffic, but it won’t be sustainable in the long run.
If you don’t have the time to create at least 3 posts per week, hire blog content writers.
We’ll cover platforms you can use to find the right people for your audience and your business, but first:
What are you going to tell your writers?
Writing a good writing & creative brief is the most important thing you’ll need if you want your content to perform well.
You want to hit the right amount of information without giving too little, or so much that your writer needs hours to understand the brief.
This is what we typically have in our creative briefs at ContentFly:
- Name and summary. Briefly explain what the blog post is all about.
- Audience. Who is the writer writing for? For people with back pain, for general audience, or for your existing customers?
- Intent. What’s the point of this post? Educating people on back pain remedies, or selling them your services?
- Style/tone. Do you want to keep it casual, funny, formal or something else?
- Domain. What’s your industry, what problems are you solving?
- Format. Is this a blog post, a case study, a tutorial?
- Narrative perspective. Should the writer address the reader directly (2nd person, “You”) or speak from the 3rd person (“They”)? Something else?
- Dialect. For example, US or UK English.
- Description. What should go into the piece? Who’s going to read it? Add any assorted information you may find useful.
- Examples and research sources. Do you have any examples of blog posts that you liked and that the writer can emulate? Should the writer source their research from specific sites or books?
- SEO keywords.
- Other comments. If you forgot to add something, this is the place to add it.
Where to Hire Blog Writers?
Now that you need to know what you have to tell them, it’s time to hire your blog content writers.
You can absolutely find them independently by googling or using platforms like Fiverr.
However, that means having to interview them, compare their samples, and a bunch of other tasks you don’t need if you want to get your content up and running as soon as possible.
Our solution is ContentFly.
For $250/month, you get access to writers that know their stuff. And the best part is: you don’t have to do anything but submit your creative brief.
We take care of everything else.
Research, images and revisions are included in the price, and you can be on your merry content marketing way in as little as 36 hours.
The writers we work with have been pre-vetted and we know who’s an expert on what, so your topic will be in good hands.
All there’s left for you to do is hit “publish” and get in touch with people who can’t wait to start working with you.