You simply do not have the time to keep fresh new content posted to your blog, so you are going to hire someone to do that for you. Here are some helpful topics to consider when you are prepared to select that person.
Write out a list of the work you want done. What are your expectations?
The time utilized writing down what you want or expect from a blogger will go a long way in getting you exactly who you want. Ask yourself, how many posts per week? How many comments to answer? Number of page views? How about a minimum number of incoming links a week?
Write a job description.
Review your written remarks from the paragraph above then condense those comments to help you write out a job description. Be sure to address the issue as to who will moderate and answer comments.
What style of writing do you want for your blog?
Ask yourself what style you want your blogger to attain. You should encourage creativity and a passion for writing. You want to find a writer that is unlikely to tire of the daily or weekly post-to-post routine. A creative attitude will work wonders for your blog.
Ask for examples of their work.
Ask for links to their past work. Go online and read their past posts and answers. Do those examples imitate the work contained in their written resume? If not, you need to ask why not. You need to be sure that the person you are dealing with is the same person who actually wrote those blog posts. Do they write well? Is English a second language for them? Does their style of writing satisfy the needs of your readers? Its one thing to put up with distinctions of the English language, but you need not put up with poor grammar or spelling.
Good grammar and proofreading skills are essential.
You need to put up posts that your readers will find engaging. You must have well written original content that is grammatically correct, free from spelling errors and importantly, translate like they were written by someone who knows what they are doing.
Is this applicant adept at using social media?
You want to employ a blogger who understands AND uses social networking or social bookmarking sites. The applicant will have and should provide to you, a list of their affiliation with sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter. I know that my expertise in these areas is limited, so I want my blogger to have a full grasp of how to use these social media sites.
Your blogger needs to demonstrate a good understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Ask the blogger applicant to write a paragraph on what SEO means to them. Ask for their creative comments on how SEO is important to drive traffic to your blog. Now ask them how they plan to find readers. Ask them to read your existing blog and comment on what they would change.
Does the applicant express experience in the topic of your blog?
You need to locate a blogger who knows enough about your niche to keep your blog readers engaged. The approach of “faking it until you make it” is not going to garner you an audience of faithful readers. And, what is a blog without readers? Not much!
Don’t hire the first person who answers your ads.
I hired a writer from PeoplePerHour as I was so enthused with their resume. Had I not hired the first person who answered my ad, I could have had the work done for half the price. Yes, you get what you pay for, but it may not always be the best deal around. Be patient; let your blogging job opening populate the Internet for a few days. Reading those resumes will be good experience for you. Then, consider re-writing your ads.
Hire a writer, not a blogger.
There are good reasons to hire a writer, not a blogger. Bloggers often break good grammar rules and their past work may reflect this tendency. Most writers can blog; not all bloggers can write! But keep in mind; most bloggers are more practiced at using social media!
Did the blogger applicant send to you a generic version of their resume, or did they bother to make it a document directed especially for you?
Those “canned” resumes are fine for most applications, but demand a higher standard for your use. You want to engage a writer who will send to you original content. Their resume will tell you quite a lot about the type of writer (blogger) they profess to be.
Is the applicant able to follow instructions?
Write a nonsensical requirement in the job application instructions. This is a good way to “weed-out” those who are unwilling or unable to follow simple instructions. From my past writing experience, I know that non-profit foundations will ask for an unusual type or font just to see who is paying attention.
How do I know what to pay my blogger?
This is a good question! My experience suggests that you get what you pay for. A $7 blog post is about as good as a $12 blog post and neither one of them are worth much. Sure, if you are getting someone who is just starting out, they might do a good job at that price. A good rule of thumb is that a tri-weekly blog posting routine to include some social media interaction should cost you about $300 – $400 USD a month, in 2011 dollars. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Should I base pay on performance?
Absolutely! If you are getting a nice surge in website traffic, you are going to want to hold on to that blogger. When you negotiate your first agreement, do so for say a three or six month trial period. After that, you can arrange any additional compensation that may be warranted.
Get a copy of this book!
I very strongly recommend that you get a copy of Blogging All-in-One by Susan Gunelius.This 700 page book is really eight books in one. The author explains so much more about hiring a blogger that she should be regarded as an expert on the subject. Of course, be sure to order your copy when you visit the Amazon store by way of my website!
You will find a variety of useful help, tips, videos and more information on blogging when you visit [http://www.TheBloggingAdvisor.com] where the author is web-content manager. Timothy Stolz is a professional pianist and advocates for animal welfare issues from his home in Greeley, Colorado.