When you website gets to a certain point, for example, if it becomes too big for you to balance with your day-to-day job, you may feel the need to hire up a guest writer or two to help out with writing. However, these writers can be seen as working so well with the team that they may be brought on as permanent members. However, this can’t be done as easy as one may thing. Aside from finding individuals that can write according to your grammatical standards, you have to find writers that also have the same writing voice as you. Even if they aren’t qualified in terms of writing experience, that can be taught. One thing that can’t be taught is how to connect with the audience. Today, we will take a look at how to grow your blogging team from a one-man run machine, to a multi-person ran business.
Make a Public Announcement
When you first get the idea to have new writers join, it’s important to create some form of an announcement to let prospective writers know. This can be as simple as a blog post, recommended for larger blogs, or posting an ad on job searching websites like ProBlogger and Mashable. This will garner public attention, allowing you to not only have a good choice of possible writers, but to also have enough leeway to be picky. It’s your blog you’ve taken months or even years to grow, you deserve to be picky. Most job posting sites cost, some between $30 to $100 for a month of posting, factor accordingly in your budget.
Get The Bureaucracy Covered
Now people know about your blog and they are interested in blogging for your site. It’s now time to get all of the hard work out of the way now before accepting writers. Preferably, you should have all of the incentives and responsibilities outlined in the job post. However, you should also have this available on a document, as a way to show that they accept the content of their contract. This should cover pay (if any), benefits (anything from vacations to stocks; to even health insurance if your blog is that big), their responsibilities (posting frequencies, sharing responsibilities, and also information on upward mobility. For example, mention more on how pay may increase or how positions may increase as well. This will all save a lot of headaches in the future.
Make Your WishList
Like I mentioned previously, this is your blog, you are entitled to be picky with the writers you choose. They are the ones who will give a different perspective on the subjects you care about, so they should care about them too. If your website deals with Mac and Apple technologies, you shouldn’t hire a person who has substantial experience in Android technologies over a person who has held down their own Mac blog for a year or so. Extending on that point, some blogs may accept writers with no experience, however you are free to prevent those without experience from joining your team. While this can be a good thing, since people with blogging experience are certain to have more experience with WordPress, SEO, etc, it may be a bad choice if you are baring people with an big passion but no experience to back it up. As I mentioned earlier as well, experience can be created, but a true passion cannot.
You’ve made your criteria on who you want to join your ranks, now it’s time to review the entries. This is a process in and of itself. It involves different things depending on your entry requirements. For example, if you required them to send in a sample, your job actually is a lot easier compared to individuals just sending their live work on websites. However, it’s important to remember that having prospective writers send in sample articles can in some cases bar away quality writers who may not have the time to send in a sample article.
Additionally, requiring published work instead of samples will ensure your prospective writers have experience. Aside from the form the entries were received, you should of course look at grammar, plagiarism, and whether they published the piece in other places other than what was previously stated. You should also do a quick Google search of them. This will not only reveal any big disagreements or situations that may have gotten them in any trouble, it may also reveal their social media standing and how well they are integrated online. That’s an important part of being a successful online writer.
Making the Decision
By this time, if submissions were substantial and quality, you may find yourself with three – five final picks. The decision can easily be made by contacting through the email they entered through. Once you’ve sent them their acceptance letter, the test isn’t over just yet. This is the chance to view how reliable they are. Will they be the individual available to answer an email regarding the need to report on a developing story? Will they be the individual to be near their email if an article needs quick sprucing up?
This email can be the test, however you must remember it depends on how long it took for you to respond back. Preferably, you should respond back within a week or two, giving them a week or two to also accept your invitation to move forward. Once they accept, give them their WordPress/blogging logins, email addresses (if necessary;applies), and any other information needed for them being a successful part of your team.
After They’re Hired
They are now hired, and a week or two into their new job, having a stable calendar for publishing dates is crucial. The time after they are hired is also crucial as well. This is the time you find out if their application had some truth, or if it was all crap. Once you reach the month mark, you’ll know if they are truly in it for the team and not any monetary value. In that case, give them a bonus for showing your appreciation. If you don’t pay them, give them the day off or still give them some form of a monetary way of showing your appreciation. Blogging isn’t the hardest job out there, but it’s not always a walk in the park either. One key piece of advise for editors and website owners out there is to show appreciation for your writers, a happy writer translates to a happy blog.
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