How To Hire Article Writers and Get Guest Contributors
There are two keys to a successful content marketing strategy: quantity and quality. The trick is to maintain the former without sacrificing the latter. Striking the necessary balance may involve enlisting outside help. One way to do this is to hire article writers, and another is to find guest contributors.
A successful content marketing campaign can involve both guest contributors and professional article writers for hire.
Should You Hire Article Writers or Seek Guest Contributors?
Publishing content by guest contributors and/or professional writers on your blog has potential benefits for both you and the writer. Here we’ll go through both options and the pros and cons to each.
Benefits of Finding Guest Contributors for Your Blog
Some freelancers embarking on a writing career are looking to build their portfolios and establish themselves as professional authors. Therefore, many writers are happy to work for a nominal fee or for no compensation apart from a byline and the exposure they can get by guest publishing on your blog.
Often your guest contributors are professional or aspiring writers, but this is not a requirement. You may have a friend who runs a business that is complementary to yours and who is also looking to increase visibility. The two of you may be able to work out a mutually beneficial plan by which you contribute guest blog posts to one another’s websites. This may help you to reach new customers beyond your regular niche who have need of your services but might not have found you otherwise.
Publishing content by guest contributors helps you to fill out your content schedule. More frequent blog posts can mean more site traffic, but producing quality content every day or two can be a drain on time that may be better spent attending to other operational efforts. Having others writing for you fills your editorial calendar while freeing up your time.
The main con to only relying on guest contributors is that not every professional writer will be willing to write for your blog consistently without being compensated. While guest blog posts are a great way to pad your blog with more content, it can be hard to rely on that solely when trying to execute a consistent, targeted content marketing campaign. We’ll get to more on this a little later. Next, let’s move on to the reasons to hire article writers.
Benefits of Hiring Professional Article Writers
As your business grows and you become too busy to handle all aspects of running it, it may make sense for you to hire article writers on a long-term basis. If so, your search may be easier if you already have a professional relationship established with a professional writer or content writing service who has written articles for you.
The major benefit of hiring professional article writers is that this is all they do. Where many guest contributors are taking time out of their normal business processes to guest post (and therefore can be a bit unreliable), when you hire a professional writer they come ready to work and you can expect work at scale and on time.
Professional writers can produce high quality content, and often either have experience in certain industries or know how to research a subject appropriately to write knowledgably about it. Or, when you work with an actual content writing service to find article writers, you may have access to hundreds (or thousands) of professional writers to specifically find a writer that can speak on the exact subject you’re wanting to expound on.
When you hire article writers, your ability to pinpoint exact types of content, messaging and timelines expands. The only con, is just that you’ll also have to consider that there is a cost attached to this level of freedom and creativity.
What Should You Do Before Looking for Article Writers?
Before you hire article writers or look for guest contributors, there are three things you should do.
1. Establish Editorial Standards
Whether you hire a professional writer or make an arrangement with a guest contributor, it is important to remember that when you publish this person’s work, it represents you and your brand. If the content is not valuable and/or the writing is of poor quality, that will reflect badly on you. If you are going to hire article writers or publish guest posts, you must hold each piece to a high standard.
Therefore, before you solicit content from guest contributors or blog writers for hire, you need to establish your editorial standards. In other words, you must clearly delineate what baselines the article writing must meet to be considered for publication on your site.
It is not enough to just hold these standards in your head. You need to provide them to contributors before you arrange for them to write content for you. You can accomplish this by sending them to the writers directly or publishing them somewhere on your website. Be sure that outside contributors are aware of the standards before they write anything for you. Otherwise, it is not fair to ask them for content.
2. Determine a Linking Policy
Related to the editorial standards is the linking policy. There have recently been increased reports of Google specifically penalizing guest posts in an attempt to cut down on spam. The prescribed remedy is often to remove or disable any outbound links within the post.
However, this can present a problem when you are trying to attract guest blog contributors. Many are doing it specifically for the exposure so that they can link back to their site. If they are not getting the exposure, then what is the point of writing the guest post? You may be able to satisfy both your contributor and Google by limiting the number of links allowed in the article to one in the author’s bio.
If you are looking to hire article writers predominantly, a linking policy relates more to your internal style guides of optimization than it does to following Google’s rules of linking from an author’s bio. With hired article writers, you’ll want to make sure you’re maximizing your internal linking strategy by asking them to link to other specific pages on your site using keyword anchor text.
You’ll also want those professional article writers to include a few links to outside sources (make sure they aren’t competitors!) to show Google that you are referencing other reputable material in your content.
3. Formulate an Article Writing Goal
Before you try to find guest contributors or hire article writers, you should have an idea of what you want the content to accomplish for you. You may want to expand your audience, boost site traffic, improve branding opportunities or increase your publishing volume.
The great news is that great content writing can usually accomplish multiple goals at once. For instance, if you’re looking to build out a resource on your site that better educates customers, you can do a few extra steps to maximize it. If you can tie in proper content strategy (including researching keywords, optimizing those keywords in your content, sharing once you’re done), make sure the resource is a comprehensive guide that is over 2000 words, and include shareable image/video content in the post, then you’re going to have a good chance at the following:
- Ranking for keyword phrases
- Providing value for a reader
- Improving brand authority and trust on the subject
- Increase sharability of the post
Having a goal can help you to determine whether to find a guest contributor or hire a writer, and can also drive the elements you want to include in that specific piece of content.
How Do You Find Guest Contributors and Professional Writers?
There are two different techniques you can use to hire article writers or find guest contributors. One is an inbound approach, and the other is an outbound approach. You can use both, especially if your blog is fairly new and does not yet have a large following.
Outbound Approach to Finding Writers for Your Blog
The outbound approach is to actively seek out article writers yourself. You may need to rely heavily on this method if your blog is new and readership is low. Here are some suggestions for using an outbound approach to find guest contributors or hire article writers:
- Ask for referrals from other people in your industry or business community
- Reach out to the authors of blogs that you read often and enjoy
- Use employment sites or freelance platforms that match professionals with jobs
- Hire a content writing service
The former two suggestions are better for finding guest contributors, while the latter two are more helpful for hiring professional writers.
Inbound Approach to Finding Writers for Your Blog
The inbound approach may be more successful once your blog has become somewhat more established with a significant readership. Rather than actively seeking out writers, an inbound approach involves putting a link on your blog that says “Write for us” or something similar. When potential contributors click the link, it should take them to a page containing the following:
- A dedicated submission form
- Your editorial standards
- Example posts to show what you are looking for
Remember that you are not limited to either an outbound approach or an inbound approach when looking for authors for hire. Using both at the same time may help you find more writers.
What Qualities Should You Look For in Article Writers?
It is good to have a pool of writers from which to draw because not everyone you find may be up to the standards that you have established for publishing content on your blog. To ensure guest contributions of the highest quality, you should evaluate writers for the following qualities before agreeing to let them write for you.
You should ask to see a portfolio or samples of the writer’s work to ensure that it is up to your standards. Be wary of an article writer who refuses this request. Even if he or she is just starting out and has not built up a portfolio yet, the writer should still be willing to produce a sample blog post for you. If you are looking specifically to hire article writers, it is also a very good idea to ask for references. Again, refusal to provide them is a significant red flag.
You should review portfolio and sample pieces to ensure that the writing is free from errors and well-organized and that the writer has a unique and engaging voice. If you decide to publish the writer’s work, you can choose to either publish the writer’s draft as-is or do some light editing. In either case, you should pay close attention to those early submissions to ensure that the writing reflects well on you.
If you use an inbound approach to find contributors (and perhaps even if you do not), you may receive inquiries from blog writers wanting to get a link on your site to boost their own search engine optimization. These writers may offer to write blog posts for you that have nothing to do with your business. Before agreeing to publish any content from a guest writer on your blog, be sure that he or she can contribute something that is relevant to your business.
Before publishing any content from an outside writer on your blog, you should run a plagiarism check to make sure it is completely original with no duplicate content. However, in this instance, I am using the word “originality” in a broader sense. When you hire article writers or work with guest contributors, one of the advantages is their unique perspective on your industry or field. If your outside content is exactly like what you would create by yourself, you may be missing an opportunity to refresh your blog with some new insight.
Even though you may be looking for a fresh perspective, you still want content that fits the tone and style of your blog. Therefore, any outside writers you hire, or who contribute to your blog, should have the ability to incorporate your brand voice into the writing.
What Will You Offer Article Writers in Exchange for Guest Posts?
If you are going to hire article writers, the expectation is that you will pay them for their time. However, for a guest contributor, the expectation may be a little different. You will still need to provide some form of compensation, but this can take alternate forms, such as an arrangement in which you contribute a post to your guest’s blog or a byline with a link back to the author’s site. These may be sufficient if your blog is successful and has a high readership. Otherwise, you may need to offer monetary compensation.
Whatever you offer in exchange for guest posts, be sure that you negotiate it with the writer upfront before he or she writes anything for you. This way, the writer knows what to expect. This can minimize conflicts or disputes that otherwise may arise later.
How Do Guest Contributors Compare to Professional Article Writers for Hire?
While there can be advantages to working with guest contributors, there are also some limitations. The stakes may not be as high for a guest contributor as for a professional writer, particularly if he or she is not getting paid. Therefore, he or she may be less invested in producing the highest quality product. A guest contributor may also advance his or her own agenda, perhaps without even realizing it on a conscious level. When you hire a professional writer, they may be more invested in putting out the best possible product and meeting or exceeding your expectations for the content.
Perhaps the greatest limitation on guest contributors is time. Even people who are willing to write for you may not be able to make a long-term commitment to your blog. They likely have other professional commitments that they need to meet, and if you are not paying for content, the pieces that they write for you may not be a top priority. Therefore, you may not get the content back in a timely manner. A professional writer can make the necessary time investment because he or she will get a return on it.
Even if guest writers can provide the volume of content that you require, it may be difficult to find people who can consistently meet your quality standards. You may find that you are spending as much time editing other people’s content as you would spend creating your own. Professional article writers have the training and experience to consistently produce quality content for you. You can still do some light editing if you prefer, but you can typically depend on the writer’s draft being suitable for publication upon submission.
Hire Article Writers Today!
A successful content marketing strategy can include guest contributors but does not rely on them exclusively. Your campaign may be more likely to succeed if, in addition to occasionally publishing guest posts, you hire article writers to provide regular content. Find out more about the advantages of working with a writing agency like BKA Content.