July 2nd, 2015
Designers, business owners, and developers need some great content to show off amazing designs, products, and websites - but where can you find great writers who can work with you and make your own work look terrific?
Try these 4 places:
1) Online classified ads
Some writers spend time looking at Craigslist and other classified sites when trying to find new clients, so posting on these sites is one way to find a wordsmith.
- Expect a lot of responses -- fast. Don't be surprised if you get thousands of responses in a day or so.
- There are hundreds of writer newsletters, websites, and blogs that regularly work through Craigslist and other sites to collect current ads for re-posting. Your post will likely get a lot of traction.
- Most online classifieds are free.
- Classifieds allow you to look for local writers or for writers around the world. You can meet up with a content writer in your hometown to ensure accountability, or you can reach out to writers around the world (just indicate in your ad that telecommuting is okay).
- Too many responses can be a problem. Set aside time to wade through the replies.
- You will get many responses that aren't very useful. You will get spam. You will get some replies that make no sense and come from people who haven't read the ad and are clearly not qualified.
Making classifieds work for you:
- Provide enough details in the ad to attract strong writers. List a budget, if you can. If your rates are competitive, you are more likely to get qualified writers. Make your post professional-sounding and give applicants some information about your business or yourself.
- Set up a small test. For example, tell respondents to put a specific phrase in the subject line of their email or indicate that you won't accept attachments. That way, you can weed out the writers who obviously aren't reading the ad.
- Give a deadline in the ad. Once you find someone and remove the ad, your ad may still be up on a website or blog that has reproduced your post. Take down your post once you find a writer, but also indicate when the competition for writers closes so you aren't inundated with late replies.
2) Writing and blogging websites.
Sites such as ProBlogger, WritersWeekly, WriterFind post unique writing jobs. Many writers look to these sites when applying for work.
- Your ad is placed right in front of writers looking for work. Many writers look at sites aimed at them rather than at more general classified ads when looking for work.
- Professional writers are more likely to check these sites because they are part of the writing community.
- Your ad may get thousands of replies. Many of the top websites get many thousands of visits per day, so if you post an attractive ad you may get hundreds or even thousands of replies.
- Some sites will cost money. Paying for an ad may work for you. If it does not, look for a reputable site that does not charge for job ads.
- You may still get irrelevant replies. Even though these sites tend to attract writers specifically, they also attract people who want to become writers - people who may not yet have the qualifications you are looking for.
Making blogging and writing websites work for you:
- Be as clear as possible. Before you compose your ad, decide exactly what you want from your writers. What qualities do you want writers to have? What kind of content do you need? What is your budget? Being as clear as possible can help you attract the right candidates.
- Be wary of including phrases that might turn away professional writers. If you emphasize that you will be checking for plagiarism or if you decide to include an unpaid writing test for writers, you may be losing some qualified writers. Most professional writers don't plagiarize and many don't work for free unless they are doing so for a charitable cause.
- Browse the website and community before posting. Make sure that the website is a good fit. If the site is designed to help writers get paid well and you have a very small budget, be aware that posting your ad may result in some responses from unhappy writers, for example.
3) Crowd-sourcing and bid sites.
Crowd-sourcing sites such as CrowdSpring and others let you set up contests for slogans, domain names, and other short content so that writers can compete by submitting their best work. Bid sites such as oDesk and eLance allow you to post information about your writing needs so that writers can compete for your business.
- The costs per project are low - often below market price. Since writers are competing for your business, it is possible to find writers who are willing to write below standard rates. Just be aware that you may get what you pay for.
- You can attract many writers to your project and review them by reputation and number of clients to find the right match.
- These sites often provide a platform where you can interact with writers and build longer-term working relationships with your favorite writers. The platform protects both of you and encourages the writer to respond to your questions and edit requests in promptly.
- If you include a link to your website, you can drive traffic to your site. Potential applicants will check links out when replying to your ad.
- Many professional writers stay away from these sites because of the low pay. While you can find good writers this way, many writers move away from these types of sites as their writing improves.
- Some writers on bid sites are not native English speakers.Virtually any writer can sign up, and the lowest bidders tend to be from countries where cost of living is quite low.
- You can't be sure who is doing the work. Some writers bid on multiple projects and then outsource the work to others. The writer you contact online may have excellent English skills but may pass your work along to a lower-paid (and less qualified) writer.
Making these sites work for you:
- Use crowd sourcing for shorter projects and bid sites to find writers for longer-term relationships and for larger projects.
- Use the ratings system to evaluate writers and work on boosting your own rankings as a client so that you attract the best writers.
- On bid sites, contact writers directly to verify their language and writing proficiency. Get written assurance that your writing will not be subcontracted.
4) People You Know.
Friends, family, and other business owners may know someone who writes for a living. Asking for referrals can help you find a writer you can work with.
- You won't have to wade through piles of applicants.
- You'll be getting a referral for the writer, so you may enjoy a higher quality of writing for your site. You won't have to face many unqualified applicants to get the type of writer you want.
- You stay in control of the hiring process. When you get a referral, you can choose whether or not to contact the writer. When you put an ad up, you may get thousands of replies and continue hearing from writers long after a job is gone.
- There is no guarantee that what works for another business owner will work for you. You still need to go through a process of vetting candidates to make sure you find someone who fits your needs.
Making referrals work for you:
- Use the same screening process you would in any situation. Just because someone else has had a good experience with a writer, that does not mean that the writer can meet your needs. Ask to see a resume and samples so that you can make your own decision.
- Place more emphasis on referrals from businesses and entrepreneurs. Professionals who have worked with a writer may have a better sense of their abilities than someone who "knows" a writer but has never worked with them.
- Get referrals by attending conferences or other events in your field. Sometimes, writers will also attend these events. Even a local chamber of commerce event can help you find a professional wordsmith.
Millions of writers are available to create content for your business or website. The challenge is that it can be difficult to find someone who is a good fit for your needs. Luckily, many options are available to find the right talent.