You do not have the time to keep fresh new content posted to your blog, so you will hire someone to do that for you. Here are some helpful topics to consider when you are prepared to select that person.
Write out a list of the work you want to do. What are your expectations?
The time utilized in writing down what you want or expect from a blogger will go a long way in getting you exactly who you like. Ask yourself, how many posts per week? How many comments to answer? The number of page views? How about a minimum number of incoming links a week?
Write a job description.
Review your written remarks from the above paragraph, then condense those comments to help you write a job description. Be sure to address the issue as to who will moderate and answer comments.
What style of writing do you want for your blog?
Ask yourself what style you want your blogger to attain. It will help if you encourage creativity and a passion for writing. You want to find a writer who is unlikely to tire of the daily or weekly post-to-post routine. A creative attitude will work wonders for your blog.
Ask for examples of their work.
Ask for links to their past work. Go online and read their past posts and answers. Do those examples imitate the work contained in their written resume? If not, you need to ask why not. It would help if you were sure that the person you are dealing with is the same person who wrote those blog posts. Do they write well? Is English a second language for them? Does their style of writing satisfy the needs of your readers? It’s one thing to put up with distinctions in English, but you need not put up with poor grammar or spelling.
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Good grammar and proofreading skills are essential.
You need to put up posts that your readers will find engaging. You must have well-written original content that is grammatically correct, free from spelling errors, and, importantly, translated like they were written by someone who knows what they are doing.
You want to employ a blogger who understands AND uses social networking or bookmarking sites. The applicant will have and should provide you with a list of their affiliation with sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter. My expertise in these areas is limited, so I want my blogger to grasp how to use these social media sites fully.
Your blogger must understand SEO well (Search Engine Optimization).
Ask the blogger applicant to write a paragraph on what SEO means to them. Next, ask for their creative comments on how SEO is important to drive traffic to your blog. Now, ask them how they plan to find readers. Finally, ask them to read your existing blog and comment on what they would change.
Does the applicant express the experience in the topic of your blog?
You need to locate a blogger who knows enough about your niche to keep your blog readers engaged. The approach of “faking it until you make it” will not garner you an audience of faithful readers. And what is a blog without readers? Not much!
Don’t hire the first person who answers your ads.
I hired a writer from PeoplePerHour as I was so enthused with their resume. Had I not hired the first person who answered my ad, I could have had the work done for half the price. Yes, you get what you pay for, but it may not always be the best deal. Be patient; let your blogging job opening populate the Internet for a few days. Reading those resumes will be a good experience for you. Then, consider re-writing your ads.
Hire a writer, not a blogger.
There are good reasons to hire a writer, not a blogger. Bloggers often break good grammar rules, and their past work may reflect this tendency. Most writers can blog; not all bloggers can write! But remember that most bloggers are more practiced at using social media! Did the blogger applicant send you a generic version of their resume, or did they bother to make it a document directed especially for you? Those “canned” resumes are fine for most applications but demand a higher standard for your use. You want to engage a writer who will send you original content. Their resume will tell you quite a lot about the type of writer (blogger) they profess to be.
Is the applicant able to follow instructions?
Write a nonsensical requirement in the job application instructions. This is a good way to “weed out” those unwilling or unable to follow simple instructions. From my past writing experience, I know that non-profit foundations will ask for an unusual type or font to see who is paying attention.
How do I know what to pay my blogger?
This is a good question! My experience suggests that you get what you pay for. A $7 blog post is about as good as a $12 blog post, and neither one is worth much. If you are getting someone just starting, they might do a good job at that price. A good rule of thumb is that a tri-weekly blog posting routine to include some social media interaction should cost you about $300 – USD 400 a month in 2011 dollars. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Should I base pay on performance?
Absolutely! If you are getting a nice surge in website traffic, you will want to hold on to that blogger. So when you negotiate your first agreement, do so for a three or six-month trial period. After that, you can arrange any additional compensation that may be warranted.
Get a copy of this book!
I strongly recommend you get a copy of Blogging All-in-One by Susan Gunelius. This 700-page book is eight books in one. The author explains so much more about hiring a blogger to be regarded as an expert. Of course, please order your copy when you visit the Amazon store through my website! You will find useful help, tips, videos, and more information on blogging when you see [http://www.TheBloggingAdvisor.com], where the author is the web content manager. Timothy Stolz is a professional pianist and advocates for animal welfare issues from his home in Greeley, Colorado.