In order to increase traffic to your website, it is important to have the best content available. Gone are the days of search engines based on keywords. Today’s search engines are more complex and based on the context of the query rather than only the words it contains. If you’re not into writing yourself, getting good content can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be with the right resources. Let’s start with the most important part of getting good content…finding a writer.
Don’t roll your eyes or click away, it MATTERS, and you have some options:
Staff Writer vs Independent Contractor
A versatile staff writer is a unique asset to have if you have enough work and the economy of scale to provide medical benefits. Once hired, a staff writer can provide a variety of services whenever your business needs if given the right tools and direction. Additionally, a staff writer has the same accountability and availability as any other salaried employee which allows for a certain level of trust. However, the tax man rests for no one and you will be responsible for payroll taxes, Medicare, and Social Security. This is a considerable cost for most businesses and is not always an option for small businesses.
Using independent contractors to write content is not only a great way to have diversity of thought amongst your worker-bees; it is also extremely cost effective. Why is that? Well, the biggest benefit financially is that an independent contractor is responsible for their own taxes. Payroll taxes are not an issue with freelance writers, as they report and are responsible for their own earnings through a 1099 tax form. By hiring a freelance writer, not only are you getting a professional with a quick TAT, you are also freeing up capital that might otherwise be tied up in payroll taxes. Still, there are some things to keep in mind. If you hire an independent contractor, he or she will have the power to dictate his or her workload and hours – which could leave you feeling a bit “less-than-important” if your terms are CLEARLY DEFINED up front. It’s always smart to identify and clarify any “fine print” before you sign on the dotted line. This is also true when hiring a contractor to create content for you.
Finding Quality Freelance Writers
Whether you are looking to find someone long term or looking for someone to complete one project, lots of people are out there willing to fulfill your content needs. Some may have a fee/word requirement while others work on an hourly basis. So how do you find the quality freelance writer you need to propel your business forward?
One way is to post an ad on career websites such as Indeed.com or in your local classifieds. Another is to use a freelance service such as Elance or oDesk. Both kinds of services will require a detailed description of the task as well as a price range in order to yield high quality candidates.
Online career sites and local classifieds are a more traditional approach to finding talent. An ad is posted and many applicants will apply with their resume. It is then your decision as an employer to choose the best candidate for the job. By applying for the job, it is assumed that the freelance writer accepts all listed terms. The delivery of service is not monitored by the career or classified website and there isn’t a way to provide feedback for great or horrible service. After the job is done, the ad is simply removed.
As with the other info, there’s a speed bump you might have to navigate; not all freelance writers are as awesome as they first appear. Far too many people learn the hard way that when it comes to these freelance sites, you get what you pay for. If a writer says he or she can do five pages of copy for ten bucks – run away – far, far away. This may sound harsh, but years’ experience in the industry has taught us to “know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away or RUN.”
Use A Professional Service
Of course, we’re most partial to this option because it’s what we do. But, we understand that our services aren’t for everyone, hence the above info. Still, using a service has tons of benefits that the above options don’t offer. For example, there’s not “hunt” for the right person. There’s no tax issues to think about or schedules to make out. You don’t even have to pick the topics if you don’t want to! With a service company, like Virtue Marketing, you simply choose your products, and Client Care takes it from there. You will need to answer a few questions, but you can be as involved – or uninvolved – as you like. We talk to some of our clients every day, and others prefer to sit back and watch us work. The sky is the limit and you customize the service to suit YOU. At Virtue, we have already cherry-picked the finest writers available, who have experience in legal, medical, and consumer content. Not only that, but we LOVE what we do and we are eager to serve. Our writers are happy to share their expertise with you whenever you need it!
BONUS TIP: No matter what option you choose, it is essential to be clear about your expectations and budget. There should be hard deadlines and the cost should be arranged and clearly established ahead of time.