Elance Blog

Three Hiring Tips for Prolific Bloggers

Meet Alan LeStourgeon, a full-time affiliate marketer, celebrating his third year working from home. Alan manages 38 websites and writes about his experiences as an affiliate marketer on his small business advice blog, Affiliate Confession.

In 2006, Alan started using Elance providers to write for his websites. “It was nearly impossible to keep the content on all of my websites fresh, so I posted a few writing projects on Elance to see if I could find talent,” Alan explained.

The trick, though, was finding writers who could get as close as possible to Alan’s writing voice. ”It wasn’t as hard as you would think,” Alan said. “Now I use a number of writers, and I am very happy with the work I receive.”

Although Alan still likes to tweak the articles he receives from writers, he realizes that the more he communicates his objectives and style, the less polishing needs to be done.

Among his many Elancers, Alan recently hired Barbara Peterson (username: thethunderchild) to complete a writing project. He communicated his voice using his own guidelines and was satisfied above and beyond his expectations with the work.

Are you interested in hiring a writer to work with you and create content with your voice and writing style? Follow these three tips from Alan to successfully communicate your writing voice:

1. Review Writing Samples
Before Alan hires a writer, he always checks their portfolio. “I like to see what the writing style is like and whether or not it’s close to the way I write,” Alan explains. If the portfolio doesn’t give Alan enough information, he requests a small project to deliver a 100-word essay on a specific subject to gauge the fit with his audience.  

2. Communicate Details
Alan stresses the importance of communicating the high level writing goals, but also emphasizes the details. For example, he provides his freelance writers with an instruction sheet on how the articles should be written. The instruction sheet is very detailed, and lists everything he wants included in the article. “Much of my work is based on keywords I'm trying to target – I will write a paragraph or so of the kind of article I'm looking for under each keyword to explain what I want in the article,” Alan explains.

3. Provide Feedback Early and Often
Creating an open communication channel with frequent connections with your freelance writer is key. For example, Alan asks for the first couple of articles early in the writing process so he can make sure the writer is on the same page in terms of voice and style. “This way, I can make adjustments immediately if I need to. Don't wait till you have 10 or 20 articles to discover you don't like what the writer has done. Ask for work as soon as possible so you can stay on track.”

For other tips on how to hire a freelance writer, browse this link