How To Hire Writers for Your Blog
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the most effective strategies for how to hire writers for your blog. Whether you have a robust set of content needs or you just need some extra help to shoulder the writing burden, we’ll go through all the best practices that ensure you find quality talent.
Examine Your Content Plan & Goals
Before you start the hiring process, you need to determine what you’re looking for. To help with that, answer the following questions about your content plan and goals:
- How many pieces will you need per month?
- What level of expertise do you need?
- How much research will be needed?
- What kind of tone and voice are you aiming for?
Your answers will help establish clear guidelines to govern your search for writers.
Some writers won’t be able to keep up with your blog’s frequency and cadence, while others will.
A generalist freelancer may not have the technical expertise to meet your blog demands, in which case an agency or full-time hire would be optimal.
If you have a very specific voice and tone in mind, you will likely want to review writing samples or even ask for a custom trial article before moving forward with a writer or writing service.
Hiring Options: Full-Time vs. Freelance vs. Agencies
There are three primary methods for how to hire writers for your blog: full-time, contract, and agency. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s break down the pros and cons to assess what meets your blog needs.
Full-Time Blog Writers
The first option we’ll examine is the full-time hiring model, where a writer is brought on as an internal employee. This offers a few key benefits, but the biggest is that you now have access to quality writing at any time since this individual is exclusively dedicated to your brand and projects.
Hiring full-time does come with drawbacks such as higher monetary costs — think salary, benefits, and bonuses. Bringing someone on full-time is a serious commitment from both parties, which poses a challenge when it comes time to scale down your content efforts. You can’t opt out of having a full-time writer in the short run — even if your content needs have changed — because you’ve made a full-time commitment.
Plus, not all writers excel in a variety of formats or voices. So, you may need multiple writers to cover the breadth of your content strategy.
Contract or Freelance Blog Writers
The next option we’ll consider is freelancing or contract writing. This is a more cost-effective route to take since you often pay by the piece rather than via salary. It also gives you the flexibility you need to scale up and down because there aren’t any strings attached and no commitments.
In terms of shortcomings, freelance engagements tend to require more time and effort on your end to manage multiple freelancers and ensure they succeed. You will likely need to be very organized, set up an assignment tracking system, and manage payments and contracting with a variety of individuals.
Finally, there is the intangible cost of onboarding new writers and teaching them your brand needs.
Blog Writing Agencies
Agency-sourced professional blog content writers are the final major category we’ll explore. This avenue offers your brand a pre-vetted network of writers who specialize in certain niches.
Since the agency does most of the work in finding and validating writers, it becomes easy for your brand to pick one that aligns and gets to work. Agency writers also offer scalability for projects of any size, bringing added quality control through internal processes.
With all these benefits, it’s important to note that agencies typically bring with them higher costs than freelancers, but that’s offset by added quality and convenience. Also, they offer you less direct collaboration relative to full-time writers.
The perfect structure for your writers will depend largely on the unique nature of your business, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Analyze your budget and weigh it against the value added by full-time writers versus freelance or agency.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Blog Writer?
In 2023, the average salary for a full-time blog writer in the US was $45,000 – $70,000 per year, depending on the expertise and experience levels required. This equates to an hourly rate of roughly $25 – $35, assuming each writer is working a standard 40-hour week. This also doesn’t take into account the costs of benefits, payroll taxes, and other overhead expenses tied to having full-time staff. Hiring a dedicated in-house writer does offer consistency and reliability, but it is one of the more expensive options.
Freelance blog writers typically charge either by the hour or by the piece, depending on the nature of the engagement. For hourly engagements, the average pay as of October 2023 was $22.69 per hour — however, the upper limit falls far above this at over $50 per hour. These rates vary based on the difficulty of each piece as well as the experience of each writer.
Blog writing agencies tend to charge on a per-word or per-project basis, although these rates can differ greatly between agencies.
Additionally, some agencies include editing, proofreading, and revisions in their rates, while others charge those as add-on services. When considering agency pricing for content writing, be sure to find out what’s included in the rates.
Agencies sometimes charge more for higher-rated or more specialized writers. With all writing services, there’s often some correlation between cost and quality. Higher-quality writers and services tend to cost more than lower-quality writing.
How to Hire Writers for Your Blog: Interview Tips
Once you’ve decided which engagement best meets your needs, it’s time to start scheduling interviews and vetting candidates.
Evaluating Blog Writing Services & Blog Writers
When interviewing potential blog content writers, try first to get a broad sense of each applicant or content writing agency’s credentials: their experience, expertise, and ability to deliver high-quality content on deadline.
You can do this by asking for samples of their published work, using those as benchmarks for their skills. From there, you should be able to shortlist a handful of candidates who seem equally capable and schedule interviews with these individuals.
Questions to Ask
It’s wise to prepare a list of questions that you’ll ask each candidate or agency to gauge their fit. You might want to ask about their approach to writing a new piece, for example, or how they do research. For agencies, you’ll want to ask how they vet writers and how their service is structured.
Making a Decision
In making your final decision, prioritize the option that aligns most with the goals you outlined at the start of this process. Before moving forward, be sure to convey your expectations for the engagement clearly — deadlines, word counts, and editing processes, among other priorities. You can even opt to schedule a paid test assignment to evaluate their work firsthand. Taking careful time to thoroughly assess each option will help you hire outstanding writers who fit your needs.
Can I Interview Writers if I Work With an Agency?
While you may not be able to directly interview writers when contracting an agency, there are still plenty of ways you can ensure you end up with the perfect fit. Start by compiling a shortlist of agencies that fit your use case and budget. Then, request a discovery call to assess the scope of each agency’s services.
AI-Generated Content Options
While artificial intelligence (AI) has certainly made significant strides in capability recently, many industry folks are now wondering whether we can leverage AI to write blog posts. The technology has not yet evolved sufficiently enough to replace true human writing, after all.
Here are some compelling reasons for and against AI-generated content.
Benefits of AI Content Writing
First, AI is a remarkably cheap option when it comes to writing — the costs associated with writing a 1000-word blog are negligible.
Another powerful advantage is speed since modern AI systems are able to process a prompt and churn out thousands of words in seconds or minutes.
Drawbacks of AI Writing Tools
On the other hand, human writers have experiential knowledge that enables them to inject personality, creativity, and authenticity into your content, making it more relatable to your audience.
Depending on your brand’s niche, your blog may call for deep thinking and industry expertise that can only be cultivated firsthand. While human writers can put in the effort to understand these nuances and write accordingly, AI simply relies on its existing knowledge base. This leads to shallow content that fails to explore meaningful ideas.
Finally, AI-generated content is typically unable to adapt to changing demands. While human writers are capable of adjusting their style to meet different business needs, AI writing is linear and static.
Should I Hire Writers for My Blog?
Hiring writers is a smart investment in your business’s online presence. Quality content enhances your brand’s reputation, boosts SEO rankings, and engages your target audience effectively.
Where To Find Blog Writers
Whether you opt for full-time talent, contractual options, or specialized content agencies, make sure you evaluate your unique blog needs and choose a writer that aligns with them. Look for candidates with a proven track record in your industry who can knowledgeably speak to your audience and niche.
Employing dedicated in-house writers enables you to build a proprietary voice and leverage deep domain knowledge internally. However, one drawback is the significant ongoing investment associated with hiring full-time. Alternatively, contracting proven freelance writers provides flexibility as well as expertise at a project rate.
An agency blends the best of both worlds, offering a low-commitment avenue for securing quality writers.
The key is aligning your content strategy with the right talent model — whether in-house, freelance, or some combination. With a thoughtful hiring strategy and clear creative direction, you can build an exceptional team to tell your brand’s story.
ContentWriters manages a curated network of US-based, professional content writers. We hand-select writing teams based on the unique needs, voice, and content strategies of each of our clients. If you’re looking for a strategic, quality-focused content writing partner, contact us today.
Animesh is a professional writer with expertise in business, tech and marketing.