The following is a guest post by Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and How I Make Money Blogging. She enjoys working from home as an ad manager for bloggers and runs her blogs as side hustles just like she did when she started in February 2010. If you want to guest post, check out my guidelines here.
I am a staff writer for two sites right now. I also co-own several personal finance sites and have helped hire the staff writers that we have needed. As someone who sees both sides of this particular coin, there are a few steps to find the best staff writers in the long run.
What is Important to You?
The first step to hiring a staff writer is to figure out exactly what you need. If you don’t know what you are looking for, how are you going to find it? Try narrowing down your most important expectations before starting the hunt. For example, I appreciate reliability and punctuality, an interesting writing style, and 450 words or more in every post. That is why I would look for writers who can dependably turn in their 450 or more word posts on time and have a good sense of humor. The site owners I write for probably appreciate my dependability just as much as the fact that I can cover whatever personal finance topics they request.
Once you know what you are looking for, try reaching out to people you know that use the same service. Recommendations are an excellent way to find the perfect staff writer for you. For about 3 months this year, I was balancing 11 staff writing positions. 10 of those 11 found me by recommendation or because they saw my work elsewhere. So take a look around in your niche and ask other bloggers who they like working with. If you email me, I actually have a list of staff writers that I personally recommend.
Try Them Out
Once you find a staff writer you want to hire, let them know that you are hoping it works out but that you would like a certain amount of time before you will be sure you want to keep them on. No one likes being caught off guard, so letting them know in advance that you are testing the waters is usually seen as the polite thing to do. I love transparency and appreciated the blog owners I wrote for that gave me feedback regularly. It also opened the lines of communication enough that I could keep them informed of my intentions as well.
Evaluate Their Performance
Don’t get lazy with your blog. If you don’t read every staff post you receive, you may not notice blatant mistakes. You may also miss the fact that someone’s work is getting worse over time or they have stopped turning in posts on time. In short, make a note on your calendar to regularly review the posts you’ve been using from staff writers to make sure that you are continually happy with their service. As a staff writer, I rather be told when someone needs changes in the beginning than be summarily let go months later over something that could have been fixed.
What other tips do you have for anyone looking to hire a staff writer?