As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
For startups, blogging can be a great way to gain exposure and position yourself as a subject matter expert. But as a startup, you need to be careful about how you’re allocating time and budget. When you’re in early growth stages, you can't spend all of your energy on writing blog content. There are way too many other pressing initiatives that you need your attention. But you can’t neglect the need to blog, right?
That's why at Lean Labs, we have a few in-house writers that bridge our content gap. We prefer the in-house option over other ways companies source content, from sites like Blog Mutt, Text Brokers, or Constant Contact. These sites are decent when you're behind on content, but they won't provide the quality you need to scale.
A better option is to look into hiring part-time or full-time startup blog writers. You can get the quality you need at the rate you can afford. But where do you find startup blog writers that can get the job done?
How To Find Quality Blog Writers For Hire
Before joining Lean Labs, I worked as a freelance writer. I can guarantee that bringing a blog writer on board can be a life-saver. We focus on writing and production while you get things done. That way, you can generate traffic and leads while you're crushing it in other areas.
However, good writers are hard to locate. A surprising amount of companies don't prioritize content enough, and the select few that do already employ the best writers. To hire a writer that can craft the blog posts you need, you need to know exactly where to look.
When I was looking for work, there were a few select places I found potential writing jobs. Here's where they are, and how you can use those tactics to hire a writer for yourself.
Put A Listing On Your Site
At any given time, a writer is looking for work in your industry. I guarantee it. When I was freelancing, I looked at the website of every single company in my area. I also scoured the kind of companies I wanted to write for, the ones that were in my ideal industry. When I didn't see an active careers section on any of these sites, I moved on. I assumed they weren't hiring and went elsewhere.
If you want a writer for your niche, you need a job listing on your site. From a search on AngelList, I saw a lot of startups supposedly looking for writers. Then when you go to their website, there isn't a career section anywhere. If someone searched for a writing job in their industry or city, they wouldn't necessarily see that opportunity.
That's why you need to get a listing up on your site and optimize it for SEO. Otherwise, it won't be clear you're actively hiring.
I've gotten more requests for writing from industry peers than I can count. Often, it's when I'm working for someone else, so I usually pass on the gig to another writer. I've also seen a lot of people asking on behalf of a friend of a co-worker on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Recently, a LinkedIn connection of mine was seeking help with email writing.
I took the initiative to connect them with a collection of freelance writers I used to work with, that I knew could provide him the support he needs. A lot of writers pass along referrals. It's like a game of telephone. We've all been that writer seeking work before, so we like to help each other out.
Invest In Trusted Forums
It can be expensive to submit a job listing on some sites, but these are the platforms writers trust. We've all had an experience with companies wanting to pay little or nothing for writing. As a result, we prioritize listings that require an initial $50-$200 investment to publish.
For instance, this job on LinkedIn for a Content Coordinator at Thunder Token looks legit:
The listing has other responsibilities in addition to blogging, but if I were a writer living in California, I'd apply. LinkedIn gives you the ability to list the skills you're looking for to narrow your search and improve the performance of your post. And writers with those skills are browsing by those specific functions, so there's a better chance we can connect.
Use Social Channels
If you try LinkedIn or Indeed and don't get anywhere, you can also try using social channels. There's a new jobs section on Facebook that allows applicants to apply for opportunities in their area. Here's a job listing for Siftly looking for a Front End Developer.
If you don't want to submit the listing right on Facebook, you could also consider boosting a post on Facebook or Instagram with a small budget of $5-$100. You can refine the target audience to include demographics such as location, job title, and industry, so you only spend budget targeting people that are writers or editors.
Create An Upwork Profile and Vet Out Candidates
Upwork takes a cut of payments on the platform, but it can still be an exceptional place to connect with talented blog writers. Upwork is a place that writers source work quicker, so a lot of us are on there trying to build up our profiles. Upwork also provides a lot of hiring resources and support. You can narrow your blog writer search using relevant tags, your ideal level of expertise, and the location (if you're not seeking remote workers.)
Another advantage to using Upwork is that a majority of freelancers have reviews and feedback from previous gigs. You can vet candidates based on their experience, and run short-term contracts to get a preview of what kind of writing they would deliver. Companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and other companies already use Upwork to source their talent.
What If Hiring Startup Blog Writers Doesn't Help?
Once you have a blog writer, you can start creating blog posts and bringing in traffic and leads. But if you're looking for growth across the board, a blog writer may not be the solution. If there are other aspects of your website or strategy hindering performance, you're not going to see a massive difference with a writer, and it will be frustrating.
I've been through this before, and that's why I only write for agencies. At an agency, I have an entire team behind me. We work with clients on building a more substantial and encompassing strategy that goes beyond blogging. We focus on every opportunity for improvement within inbound marketing and growth-driven design. If your needs extend beyond creating blog content, hiring an agency is probably a better investment.
If you need some guidance on your next steps, consider checking out our Game Plan Offer. We frequently work with startups looking to improve and may be able to provide feedback on how you should move forward.
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