Not long ago I wrote a piece on how to bring a blogger on-board for your business blog. This is the follow-up piece on how to find potential bloggers. Before you begin your search, be sure you spend some time thinking about the position and the qualities you will need in a writer. Then write a job description to use when you are searching.
Start your search close to home. Look for former employees such as stay-at-home moms, or dads, and recent retirees. The benefit here is these people should know your business or industry well, so you don’t have to suffer through a big learning curve on core issues. This is an ideal situation if you know your prospective customers well and have done your homework on keywords and keyword phrases. Then all you have to focus on is establishing a process …and of course review some writing samples or a few test blogs to be sure you have a good match. Note: don’t overlook your own employee pool. You just might find an employee in a different department with some native writing skills that may be ready for some new responsibilities.
The next level, still close to home, is using your own social network, a local job bank, or Craig’s List to lift out freelance writers that have strong writing skills for publication – such as a former journalist, public relations or advertising pro. The benefit to this group is that while they may not have direct experience in your market segment, they should all be skilled at interviewing and gathering information to tell your story, and they are very accustomed to writing to a deadline. The added benefit here is that because of their work experience, these pros come with broad contextual knowledge which should make for more thoughtful pieces. The advertising and public relations pros should also be able to capture the voice, personality, and tone of your organization.
If your efforts close to home do not yield satisfactory results, there are many online websites to look for freelance writers. The word of caution here is that you get what you pay for, so be cautious about those websites that set up bidding scenarios among prospective candidates. There is a direct relationship to what you pay and the quality of work you receive. Additionally, in many cases, if you choose a writer that has English as a second language (ESL) you will have difficulties. Look carefully at websites to see how they handle this issue. Not long ago a client of mine, looking for savings on hiring a writer to help him edit and write an e-book, chose the low bidder for his project feeling good that she was from Georgia. It wasn’t until they had a few mishaps in getting started that he realized it was Georgia in Russia! I am happy to say that I was able to help him with this project for a fair price.
Now that you have some idea about where to find a blogger and how to bring them on-board, remember that your commitment to blogging is to enhance and increase the content on your blog-based website. Your purpose is to answer the questions your customers and prospects are asking, and to identify prospects to nurture to the point of a conversion into a sale and a long-term customer relationship. To escalate your results, be sure to plan for adequate frequency. Recent research conducted by Hubspot shows that businesses who blog 16 to 20 times per month get over two times more traffic than those who blog less than four times per month.
Your business is unique, so you need to understand the dynamics of how many prospects or leads you want and need from your online blogging efforts – this will help you determine the number of monthly blogs.
Image courtesy of xedos4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net