Over this past year, I have been able to produce and publish a huge amount of articles across my portfolio of sites. Not including my other projects and personal blog, I've published just under 500 articles and just a disclaimer, it hasn't cost me $15,000 to do that. In fact, nowhere near.
In this article, I am going to share some of my blog writer hiring process, tips and tricks on how I've managed to speed up my workflow, and, productivity. And what's more, how I've done that with 3 children under 5 at home!
I do want to add a disclaimer to say I am an author and I do type pretty fast, but nonetheless, we all have 24 hours in our day and there is only so much you can get done without systems and strategies in place to increase productivity so let’s get into it.
Templates & Outlines
My templates save me a huge amount of time on a daily basis whether using them for myself or hiring writers.
Having templates for different types of posts, ie. Listicles, product templates etc. Makes life so much easier. I've also started adding the Gutenberg block separators and any other things I add when formating to make hitting publish that much faster.
Hire Fast Fire Fast
I use Upwork to hire writers, and although there is quite a lot of low-quality writers on this platform –
My unofficial mentor, Gary V once told me, hire fast, fast fast.
I've found that the more I've hired, the better I've gotten at it. Very simple. Creating outlines and having interview questions will allow you to filter out the lower quality applications a lot easier.
Of course, trial and error costs money – so you want to be able to get enough of a picture of their capabilities before committing to hiring them.
I don't pay too much mind to the articles they send or their examples on their profile because there is no guarantee that they even wrote those.
When I hire, I prepare 5 or so separate keywords with my templates and hire the 5 best candidates.
My intention is to keep on 2 or maybe 3 if I want to get a lot of content out quickly.
Though I do intend to teach them the style I require as we go, I will still look at things like how much hand-holding they need, how well they have followed the instructions in my template, their written English, etc.
I also want to add that there is a little psychology involved when hiring successfully, nothing malicious, but you do sort of want to communicate that if they do a good job there will be tonnes more work, which is true.
The main reasons for this are:
- They will put their best foot forward, at least for the foreseeable future.
- It allows you to negotiate a slightly lower rate as the guarantee of more or long term work is a more valuable proposal.
The template is very very important. I actually can't stress how important it is. But I've hired blindly in the past, and just given them a topic- without guidance they will be writing how they know which is often in the style of their dissertation, thesis or paper if you are hiring a student or recent graduate or whatever they are used to, sometimes even in the style of what their previous employer required , assuming it is the industry standard.
Without guidance, it isn't uncommon to see thing like:
- Stuffing keywords
- Putting references at the bottom
- Not linking in context
- Large chunks of text
- Improper use of heading (or none at all)
- And the list goes on…
The template just ensures they keep to YOUR style and that you are required to do as minimal editing as possible. Which should be the case if you hire somebody with good, conversational, modern, written English.
TIP: I have had great success hiring writers with a good command of the English language at a lower price-point from Kenya and the Philippines. They will often tell you that this is their main/academic language. So far, everywhere else has been hit and miss, but I do also occasional get writers from the US, Canada, and the UK, typically when they are fairly new on the platform and want to bulk up their profile.
But yeah, the key here is doing a good job vetting, hiring, guiding and also firing. Which, by the way, I also have templates for because you have to remember, as faceless as these hiring platforms can seem sometimes, these are real people with real commitments and responsibilities at the end of the day.
So yes, hire fast, fire fast, respectfully. And start to build up your roster of quality writers who grow with you and your blogs.
Download my post templates & hiring scripts below:
Do What Matters.
The name of the game is content. More specifically, Content at scale. If you keep this in your mind when you get drawn into the 20 tabs you’ve got open and start doing something else, browsing themes or plugins, creating social media pages, keyword researching when you already have 100 on your hit list, you will be focussed on getting more content out.
If you focus on the things that are actually going to make a difference, I.e. content, and not spending hours making your site look pretty, you have more time to crank out some content.