Whether you’re a start-up business looking to define your online presence, or a large, established enterprise seeking to implement a strong content strategy – you need engaging, fresh content to help communicate your brand and your story.
Not every business has the time or resources to do this in-house, so if you’re in need of help developing your online content, then one option to consider is outsourcing your content needs to a professional freelance blogger. However, before you do so – it is important to know what to look for when searching for a blogger to help you develop your online content.
Where to Find a Freelance Blogger
Where you look for a freelance blogger is likely to dictate the sort of person and caliber of writer you will find. While many freelance bloggers will undoubtedly use multiple platforms to get showcase their work to prospective clients and get hired (ranging from their own professional website right through to anonymous content mills), it is worth paying attention to the different places you can find bloggers for hire, as this will give you some indication of their level of both expertise and professionalism.
This seems like a no-brainer, and it is. Using Google search is one of the easiest ways to find freelance bloggers within your particular niche. However, rather than searching for the broad term ‘freelance blogger’ consider narrowing your search down to ‘freelance (niche) blogger for hire’.
Many professional bloggers have their own websites (and professional blogs, of course) so by searching for your chosen niche you will gain a good understanding of the level of authority a particular blogger has within their field. If a blogger turns up on the first page of Google’s search results, then this gives you a good idea that they are a professional!
Online Bidding Sites
There seems to be divided opinion about online freelancing sites such as Odesk, Guru and Elance. While plenty of experienced bloggers do use these platforms, they are also rife with less experienced, less professional freelancers.
In spite of the divided opinion about the caliber and quality of freelancers you might find on these sorts of sites, it may be worth checking them out if you are looking for a freelance blogger and have a particular budget in mind.
While not many bloggers publish their rates publicly (largely due to the fact that many prefer to charge per project, based on the size and scope of the works) – online bidding sites will show a freelancer bloggers desired hourly rate on their profile. When you need to find a freelance blogger, this can be a decent starting point.
What to Look For in a Freelance Blogger
Let us assume that you’ve used some of the above tips to find yourself a freelance blogger for your content needs, and narrowed your choices down into a shortlist of potential candidates. Now, there are a few things that you should look for when seeking to hire a freelance blogger:
Find a Freelance Blogger Through Professional Portfolios
Any professional blogger should have a portfolio of past work. This is important for showcasing both skill and experience, and also client testimonials. Most bloggers will have a portfolio of some form on their website, or at least be able to provide links to works they have had published.
If you are seeking to recruit entry-level bloggers, who may not have a sizable portfolio of past works – then check out their personal blog to get a feel for their style and quality of writing.
Guest Posts on Authority Sites
In simple terms – if a blogger was able to land a guest posting position on a high authority website, then you can deduce that their abilities are up to scratch. Typically, high-authority websites have strict author guidelines which must be adhered to, as well as demanding high-quality, engaging content. If a blogger has guest posted on authority sites then you can also assume that they know how to follow guidelines and instructions, as well as generate fascinating content ideas.
An Understanding of SEO
When it comes to freelance blogging, having least some knowledge of SEO principles is crucial. It is important to check that your prospective blogger has knowledge and experience in this areas – so look for some of the articles they have written in the past. How do they rank in the search engines? Do they have a nice balance of keywords?
You can use online tools such as chkme to assess the SEO ranking of an article – or use a free Keyword Density Analyzer to ensure the content has a good ratio of keywords. This should give you a good indication of whether or not your prospective blogger has a firm grasp of best SEO practices. Oh, and SEMRush kicks serious butt if you have a few extra dollars in your budget.
Fluency and Excellent Grammar
You could have the most interesting, unusual content in the world – but if your blog is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors then readers simply will not stick around. When looking for a freelance blogger, be careful to check their samples for any grammatical or spelling errors.
Also, check that the blog posts published on their own sites are fluent, engaging and of high-quality. These blog posts, unlike those written for clients or guest sites, will most likely not have undergone an external editing process. Because of this, they are a good indicator of just how well a blogger really knows his or her craft, and speaks volumes about their proofreading skills, as well as their attention to detail.
Professional Training and Experience
This information should be readily available to you – any blogger who’s worth their salt will have an about page on their website, a profile on a freelancing website such as Elance – or at the very least a Linkedin profile listing their skills, expertise and experience. If they don’t, then you can cross them off your shortlist.
Publically showcasing professional training and expertise is a sure-fire way for bloggers to convey professionalism to prospective clients. Check out their social profiles, personal website and any other public information they have published to see what experience and credentials they have.
If you are ready to hire a professional freelance blogger, contact me today for a quick and painless price quote!