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Want to hire content writer for 1st time - where do I start?

Discussion in 'Copywriting & Sales Persuasion' started by panda_matt, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. panda_matt

    panda_matt Newbie

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    Hi guys,

    I've never used any paid content services, ever. I've been googling around + checked BWH and the amount of content writing services & individual users that offer such services is mind boggling. I can honestly say that I'm lost where to start given what I'm looking for.

    For example, I want to get two different sets of content:
    1. Bodybuilding exercises similar to ones on bodybuilding com. In this case, I'm looking to work with someone long-term as I need to create ~50 exercises (high quality 1k words+ ) and the person should be an avid bodybuilder to be able to write this kind of stuff. Also, apart from writing there will be a quite a bit of researching to do as well.
    2. Visa information for ~10 countries similar to this template north- vietnam. com/visa-vietnam/ (2,4k words) I don't know if this is considered high quality, but I would like the person to work in Wordpress and do all headers + formatting and keeping it user-friendly & authentic (not sounding like a machine)
    My questions are:

    • how can I find a suitable person for 1 & 2. Should I try to post assignment on upwork, pm people on bodybuilding/travel forums, try on iWriter? Neither of these have I ever done.
    • how much would I have to pay for 1 & 2 per article ?
    • do people "cheat" when sending samples (i.e. sample quality is much higher than actual content which has been paid for & delivered)
    • any other tips on how to start ?

    (I'm using this sub-forum because I haven't found a more suitable to post. )
     
  2. integrity101

    integrity101 Junior Member

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  3. sirmeep

    sirmeep Registered Member

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    So your about to get spammed with a ton of job offers. Avoid most of them. Your gonna have to burn through some money testing out different writers,and gauging out the supply.

    Start by finding out what the difference between low tier and high tier writing looks like. That means your gonna need to purchase content from some people offering $1 to $3 per 100 words, as well as people offering $5 to $7. You should try to understand if the additional value is worth the price difference. This marginal value of different tiered content needs to be compared against the expected revenue/profitability of your project vs the aggregate capital cost for buying all the content.

    Secondly, you should have strong understanding on w ranking self-written content means, espicially before you purchasing large order. You should know what is required for ranking a piece of content. This includes LSI, Keyword density, Headers, and Meta Description. Before spending a dollar you should have a detailed template defined for any job order you send out. It should list all of your requirements in depth.

    Also, a large portion of content you will receive is copied from somewhere, with minimal alterations to pass copyscape. The only way you can be sure the content is unique is to randomly search for substrings in quotes within google. For instance Search: "content you will receive is copied from". You want to do this for at least 4 to 6 substrings per article.

    Hope that helps :)
     
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  4. soccerlover

    soccerlover Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  5. Kennyraban

    Kennyraban Newbie

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    There are highly experienced content writers around
     
  6. MisterF

    MisterF Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Ask for samples ( naturally ) but more important ask about their experience in these fields.

    Some 30 stones, 4ft 2" flump isn't going to have much experience as a body builder / weighlifter - as an example.
    Ideally for the Visa aspect, it's better to work with someone who lives/lived in these types of places, not just a random person who is using Google to find the info. An expat or local can tell you firsthand about visa runs to the border, what you can and can't do on a student visa etc.

    You can post in Hire A Freelancer and see who comes along. Obviously other options are Upwork etc too.
     
  7. panda_matt

    panda_matt Newbie

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    What do you mean by "strong understanding on w ranking self-written content means"?

    Also, can you share any template or example of order that is detailing all those things you mentioned?

    I do agree that the more details the better, but I'm not sure if 95%+ of writers will know how to write SEO content in 2017 (i.e. too many KWs, looking fake). At least that's my experience with people who are calling themselves knowledgeable on SEO topic. I was even ready to correct content after they write it... If there's an option to find really decent SEO writers than that would be even better - how much do they cost?

    Thanks for helping me understand!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  8. LinkHeros

    LinkHeros Newbie

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    I use Upwork for most of my content needs. It can take a bit of time to find a decent writer, but I pay between $1.50 - $2.00 per 100 words and the quality is really good. Also native US writers.
     
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  9. panda_matt

    panda_matt Newbie

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    Do you reach out to freelancers individually on big platforms or just post "job" and see who comes along?

    Also, Is it possible to negotiate with upwork freelancers outside of platform? I just saw now that that upwork charges 20% fee (huge!), but they also state that I could risk some legal action if I hire outside platform.
     
  10. seohug

    seohug Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    There is a content writers section at BST. My advise is to never over commit. Ask for 1-2 samples. Then go 5-10 and check for quality and consistency. Unfortunately, some content writers provide great initial samples and fall short. Disappointing if you just ordered 200 articles after being happy with the first samples.
     
  11. panda_matt

    panda_matt Newbie

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    That is very true indeed. With regards to visa aspect, I think any backpacker would do, because I wouldn't want to have 1 person per country. All information is available on those topics but mostly it's scattered blogs & respective forums.
     
  12. sirmeep

    sirmeep Registered Member

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    The reason people write content is to help them rank specific pages. The way you structure your content has a significant impact on how well you will rank for certain keywords. Your gonna be pissing money into the wind unless you have clear grasp of how to structure your article correctly.

    Buying a service without a clear understanding of why and what your buying is gonna lead to you getting burned. Search around for On-Page SEO guides, then experiment by writing your own material and seeing which keywords google indexes it for. Build out your own framework for managing any service providers you hire.
     
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  13. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hi, @soccerlover. Thank you for tagging me in this thread.

    Hi, @panda_matt. I will do my best to avoid answering or commenting from the vantage point of someone who runs a content writing firm. The texts in bold are my comments. The italicized ones are yours.

    I've never used any paid content services, ever. I've been googling around + checked BWH and the amount of content writing services & individual users that offer such services is mind boggling. I can honestly say that I'm lost where to start given what I'm looking for.

    I would have felt the same had I been in your case. But there are factors that will help you in narrowing your choices.
    1. customer reviews - Check the threads of individual content providers in the Marketplace section of BHW. Do they have lots of sterling reviews from Jr. VIP members? If so, they must be reliable and trustworthy.

    2. quality of customer support - Invite the thread owners for a chat either through PM on BHW or Skype. Why? So you can check how responsive, attentive, and enthusiastic they are. If the thread owner is the writer himself, you can check his grammar through chat. So by chatting with the thread owner, you're not only checking their customer service but also their quality of writing.

    3. placing a test/small order - You'll never know what you're getting or losing until you try. Start with a small risk by placing a small order. Do not ask for free work. Freebie seekers are often snubbed by the experienced writers. For the experienced writers, it's not a question of whether they can help you or not. It's only a question of whether they are willing to help you or not.

    For example, I want to get two different sets of content:
    1. Bodybuilding exercises similar to ones on bodybuilding com. In this case, I'm looking to work with someone long-term as I need to create ~50 exercises (high quality 1k words+ ) and the person should be an avid bodybuilder to be able to write this kind of stuff. Also, apart from writing there will be a quite a bit of researching to do as well.
    2. Visa information for ~10 countries similar to this template north- vietnam. com/visa-vietnam/ (2,4k words) I don't know if this is considered high quality, but I would like the person to work in Wordpress and do all headers + formatting and keeping it user-friendly & authentic (not sounding like a machine)
    Hiring a writer who can write based on the first-hand experience is an ideal setup. That's what I call "specialty writers." Most specialty writers are expensive. Don't you want to consider writers who can do sound research and who can write in a tone of someone who has been in that niche for decades? You know what, sometimes, it just boils down to word selection. If the writer is very good in word selection, it'll be hard for you to tell whether he's a practitioner in that niche or he just did a good research.

    My questions are:
    • how can I find a suitable person for 1 & 2. Should I try to post assignment on upwork, pm people on bodybuilding/travel forums, try on iWriter? Neither of these have I ever done.
    Post a thread in the Hire a Freelancer question. Require all those who want to send their bid to answer a series of question. The lazy ones will skip your questions. But those who are dead serious in wanting to help you will not skip a question. In fact, they'll even answer those questions that you did not ask.
    • how much would I have to pay for 1 & 2 per article?
    It depends. A writer who has been writing for nearly 2 decades will charge higher than someone who has just learned how to write articles 3 months ago. When people in BHW say, "Ah it's just $x.xx per 100 words," don't take or treat that like a universal rate for writers. People will put a price tag based on their products and services based on their experience and expertise.
    • do people "cheat" when sending samples (i.e. sample quality is much higher than actual content which has been paid for & delivered)
    They might. Like what I've said above, place a test order so that the sample that they will submit it to you is based on YOUR requirements.
    • any other tips on how to start ?
    I think I've given you lots of tips already. :)

    (I'm using this sub-forum because I haven't found a more suitable to post. )
     
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  14. panda_matt

    panda_matt Newbie

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    @ContentWriter thank you for an elaborative post! I have a much better understanding of what to do next. Much thanks!
     
  15. panda_matt

    panda_matt Newbie

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    Got it! I just didn't understand what did you mean by "w ranking". I do have an OK SEO understanding, but I do agree that it's best to write myself 1-2 posts and see how they rank + write a detailed template and guidelines of what I need. Thanks!
     
  16. LinkHeros

    LinkHeros Newbie

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    Yeah I usually post a job and go through the applicants. Any that start with 'Dear hiring manager' or have really bad grammar can be discarded right away. Then it's just a case of narrowing it down to about 3 writers and sending them all a test article. Whichever one you like best is your new writer!
     
  17. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You're welcome, @panda_matt. You can either reach out to freelancers or post a job post. There's nothing to lose.

    Do not circumnavigate anybody else's system, mate. Do not use Upwork's resources and then you hire the person outside their platform. That's not fair. Everyone, whether you're the employer or a freelancer, must work fair and square.

    I am present in Upwork as a Top Rater writer. The moment the employer invites me outside Upwork, I withdraw my application and report the employer to Upwork. If that employer cannot respect Upwork's terms and conditions, I can't imagine how he can respect the freelancer.

    I suggest you post a job post in the Hire a Freelancer section of BHW. You can tell which writers or content providers can provide the best customer service and service delivery by just getting a good feel of how they respond to your posts.
     
  18. IPlease

    IPlease Regular Member

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    I suggest you try a freelancer site, such as SEOClerks. They have some good writers there. Plus they will be able to better protect you so you get paid. I have done some work there and have never had an issue with being paid.
     
  19. RcN

    RcN Newbie

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    I think that @ContentWriter has a lot of good points.



    I’ve personally found it very hard to find writers that produce work that doesn’t still need to be edited by me. I may be too picky, but I expect quality if it is going on my site. Here are a few tips I’d suggest to help ease the process.



    1) Look at your personal stats (how long it takes you to write a 1,000 word article, etc.). More on this later

    2) Reject any application with grammar errors or tone you wouldn’t want for your articles.

    3) See how they respond to your questions.

    4) See what questions THEY ask. This is key! Good writers want to know the expectations and will pride themselves on keeping clients happy.

    5) Ask them their turnaround time for a 1,000 word article. Check it against your own stats and avoid anyone asking for an extensive period of time. They either don’t have the capacity right now or aren’t a skilled enough writer to produce quality content without a ton of revisions.



    These are a few tips to narrow down the field. I can write more tips later on once you have selected 3 finalists.
     
  20. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'd like to add more inputs.

    Check with the provider if they have a separate editorial team or the writers are also the ones proofreading their work. That's dangerous. Of course, the writer will be biased in proofreading her work.

    Most middlemen agencies do not have a separate editorial team. Their writers are also the ones checking their work on Grammarly. What's worst is that the middleman just splatter the writer's work on Copyscape and doesn't even bother checking if the writer hit the client's requirements to the tee.

    It's hard to scale out your business when you don't have an editorial team and operations supervisors who oversee and verify the team's work.

    I speak from experience.

    To wrap this up, ask for the provider's quality control processes.