You know the benefits of blogging, but you don’t have the time to blog yourself. What should you do? Hire a blogger, right?
You should. But do you know how to find a great blogger?
Luckily for you, I’ve had a lot of experience in hiring bloggers for both KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg. Some of these bloggers worked out great, while others did not. Through the whole process, I’ve learned where to find great bloggers and what to look for when hiring them.
How to hire an exceptional blogger
Unlike for most jobs, you don’t find world-class bloggers through job postings. It’s not because a lot of great bloggers are already busy. In reality, a lot of them are not. Not only that, most of them don’t even get paid well.
The simplest way to find a great blogger is to scour marketing blogs. Although your business may not be about marketing, it doesn’t matter in this particular case. A great blogger can write on any topic due to the fact that anything can be researched on the web.
The first thing you want to do is make a list of all the popular marketing blogs such as Copyblogger, Problogger, KISSmetrics, and Moz. Each of those blogs accepts guest posters, which is what you want to look for.
Typically, if a blogger was able to get his or her content published on one of those blogs, this person is a good enough blogger as each of those blogs has strict editorial guidelines.
What a world-class blogger looks like
Now that you have a list of potential bloggers to hire, you need to look for the following qualities:
- Traffic generation abilities – if the posts they are writing receive more social shares than other posts published on that same blog, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their content is better. It usually means they know how to generate traffic. Two of my blogs are run with content published by guest bloggers, and I’ve learned that some of these bloggers are great at promoting content, while others are only good at the writing part. You want to hire the ones that are good at both writing and promotion. Typically, if their content has more social shares, they understand content promotion.
- Conversational writing style – no one wants to read an essay. Blog posts are supposed to be conversational and fun to read. Look for writers that use the words “you” and “I” a lot within their blog posts. This is important because I’ve found that bloggers who don’t write in a conversational tone receive 31% fewer comments per post. You want more comments because that means more engagement, and engaged readers are more likely to convert into customers.
- Storytelling – you only have 8 seconds to grab the attention of your readers. That’s short! So short that it’s actually a second shorter than the attention span of a gold fish. One of the best ways to hook a reader is by telling a story. If the blogger can incorporate stories within each blog post, these posts will be more likely to be read.
- Analytical abilities – how do you prove a point? By using facts and data, right? You don’t want to hire a blogger who can’t prove a point. Why? Because I’ve found that blog posts that contain data and stats, assuming they are accurate, generate 28% more social shares. That means more traffic to your blog.
When it comes to evaluating bloggers’ abilities, you don’t have to look further than the points above. Sure, there are other important qualities a blogger should have. The advantage of finding these bloggers on other popular blogs is that those other qualities have already been pre-vetted for you.
Once you find a few bloggers that meet the requirements above, you’ll want to shoot them an email asking if they are interested in contractual gigs. Contract means you just pay them for every blog post they write.
What you’ll find is that most of these bloggers will want $100 to $200 for a blog post between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Paying more than $200 usually isn’t worth it unless your ROI warrants it. And paying less than $100 isn’t very realistic as most good bloggers spend four to five hours writing a great post. That means you would be paying them less than $20 an hour.
It’s as simple as that. There isn’t much more to finding a world-class blogger.