Discussion 3: What is your biggest struggle when looking for Good Content Writers?
Jessica Foster 🎓
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to finding good writers?
Feel free to comment others below
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Here is a message I just sent to a content writer. Please excuse the language.
Free advice brotha:
The problem with content writers is the majority are flaky. Inconsistent results, deliverables, etc. Even if the articles are good at first, i.e. you write them yourself, as soon as you get busy you try to scale and outsource and the writing goes to shit. Orders aren't fulfilled, messages aren't answered and so on.
You promised me a free article, then I see you offering one to anyone who replies. No way you are going to write these all yourself. You are already late on doing mine and you are out soliciting new work.
All danger signs to me my friend.
I wish you the best of luck.
Yikes. This is why I am planning on keeping my agency small and high-end. Scale in quality vs quantity. Raise your prices vs get more clients. It's hard to keep up with quality control if you are managing a bunch of writers.
Jesse Neubert 🎓
I think I know who this is too lol…I was supposed to get a free article to test…never came but they keep offering others…prob building a big email list idk.
Also, AI is still weak from a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) standpoint.
As for faking out search engines, the right AI can do wonders. Google isn't as smart as we give them credit for. In some ways yes, but in others not so much.
We originally offered a "filler content" tier that utilized AI in a very specific way and was then cleaned up by our team with a 10-15 min editorial session per 1k words.
Pumped out articles that I gave for free and people were stunned. Read 100% native and provided a lot of value.
Might bring it back at some point but I wanted to focus on building a high quality stable first.
Sadly, it seems so many content writers get so excited to finally be acquiring jobs. They become very greedy and instead of working harder to build a name for themselves (even if it is less lucrative and more time consuming), they choose to outsource. For me- I would rather make less in the beginning and have fewer clients, but I receive a birthday card from my clients- they are loyal and I am loyal to them. Point is: they appreciate the work that I do- that said, my hope is that over the "long game" they will remember me and the work I have done for them and remain loyal. If I am really lucky they will recommend me to others in need of my services. However, if you claim to be a content writer, the worst thing you can do is outsource or half ass it (pardon language). My agency is small, but every single client who I promise will work with me directly, works with me, directly. I sometimes ask a colleague or intern to do some preliminary research (which I verify). However, if I promise the work with be done by me, it is done by me. PERIOD. No excuses. For a business to trust you and then to pass them off to some freelancer you hire for a fraction of the cost is disingenuous and gives the rest of us a bad name. Sorry, this is simply my personal opinion.
I am a professional content writer… that's all that I do… I research my client, their competition and the current trend. Then I create SEO copy that is unique, original and conveys my client's goals in a way that generates business. I think it's important to pick a copywriter who isn't afraid to say, "I am a copywriter with a comprehensive understanding of how to research and implement SEO friendly tactics that will generate results. That said, I am not a developer or a designer, etc." I think it's finding someone who is willing and able to admit their strengths and not promise to be master of everything. Personally, I am always looking to connect with developers and designers… my hope is we can work together and help each other gain new business. Being up front about strengths and weaknesses is crucial (in my opinion).
Oops, didn't mean to do the laugh reaction the first time lol Courtney if you are still open to writing gigs, send me a ping. I have to offload work sometimes/ refer people to other writers. Thanks!
I replied… thanks for thinking of me… I would really appreciate any overflow as I really want to branch out on my own. Please let me know if you'd like samples… I can send countless for you to review so you can vet me. That said, trying to do this on my own is hard, so any help or referrals would be so appreciated. Also, I am fair… if you introduce me to a client, you get a cut. PERIOD. That's fair… also, so you know- all of my clients are entitled to three rewrites that's one extra from standard practice that most agencies subscribe to. I am super committed to complete satisfaction. I used to do unlimited rewrites… then I found myself in a situation not rewriting so much as them trying to throw in new content and I was new to the industry, so I obliged. Terrible idea. Financially stupid. I am fair— I go above and beyond for any client of any size. That said, after seeing how blatantly obvious the manipulation and desire to get as much free work out of me as possible made me a little more careful in the way I do business. It seems you already learned that lesson…or perhaps, you were smarter than me and didn't fall for the bait lol
Courtney » Jessica Foster
Thanks for thinking of me… I am always open to new partnerships and appreciate you thinking of me. I will message you my personal contact info if that's okay? Thanks!
Jessica Foster 🎓 » Courtney
Jesse Neubert 🎓
Quality vs rates charged.
I've now interviewed close to 200 applicants for my content agency. Hired maybe 20.
I swear good writing is a lost art. Somewhere along the way we lost touch with how to communicate and engage in an effective manner.
As a result of having a both a small team and competitive pricing, we end up booking fast and our turn around times often suck.
So we're admittedly guilty of slow delivery. Though we try to be as transparent about delivery times as we can.
That's my biggest complaint about myself lol…
P.S. I'm always hiring and anyone is welcome to message me and apply
Your writers work is legit! Every last red cent i gave you has been more than worth it buddy.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Aaron
Appreciate the kind words 🙂. Still owe you a meeting though, just been swamped on my end. We'll connect soon.
Your right it's a numbers game i have to have 20-30 interviewed for any task just to find a couple of keepers
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Aaron
Nature of contract work in general I suppose. We run into the same with Dev ops positions. Even when paying US workers $75/hour thru TopTal we had trouble finding good devs.
Aaron » Jesse Neubert
No worries i have been on the grind as well!
I honestly think devs are pricing themselves out of the market. The good ones anyways. It's complex coding i get that but at the end of the day it's coding also you know what i mean.
Jesse Neubert 🎓
Yeah Aaron that's the exact discussion we had internally. I know enough to understand the level of complexity. And when our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) literally architects the whole thing it's not like we're asking for rocket scientists. Boiler plate shit that just needs to be done to spec and with implementation of best practices like proper documentation and commenting etc.
Here are the top 4 complaints, clients have about my content writers (we are a full service Digital Marketing Agency)
1. Late delivery (research is a killer)
2. Content seems repetitive (only so many times you can write about advantages of cloud)
3. Subject matter expertise (cannot reject DM projects for lack of content expertise)
4. Not SEO friendly (anchor text, keywords)
Thanks for the insight!
Discussion 2: What is your biggest struggle when looking for Good Content Writers?
Jessica Foster 🎓
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to finding good content writers?
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It depends on the content I am ordering. I can get 500 words for 2.00 and then I just need to go in and do some heavy edits. If I need quality the price goes up, same with TOT (turn around time), Depends on how fast you want it and what quality you want. If it's just filler I need I go w/ the cheap stuff and adlib it to suit my needs.
Where do you go to find writers for "filler" content?
I've got a couple of services I use, none in the US. I give basic info, site, couple of keywords and turn them loose. Sometimes I get stuff that is un-usuable! Examples available!!
Jessica Foster 🎓 » Mike
Ah okay cool. Thanks for sharing 🙂
People have started to use strange methods to spin copyscape stuff. For example.
I take my big article in English. Use Google to translate that to Chinese. Then translate that to Korean, then back to English. Reads like crap but passes all tests.
Jessica Foster 🎓 » Mike
Interesting… I have heard of all kinds of weird methods.
Insert any languages of course to spin, the logic works but the product is not so good!!
As a professional content writer, the biggest hurdle I have found is in the siloing effect. There are some small companies that have an SEO guy a web dev. guy and then hire us, writers.
When there are no solid guidelines for communication or a content strategy, the entire team struggles to meet deadlines. Hope my two cents helps! Good luck with your post 😇✌💚
Culture – People from abroad can write in good British English if you find somebody of the native level of competence with English but knowing British culture enough to seem authentic is a different story.
"What is your biggest struggle when it comes to finding good content writers?"
– Wading through the huge number of people who believe they are a good writer, say so, even somehow have good samples to back it up, but aren't actually even close to good and produce utter shite on the first assignment.
When I advertise, I find – after heavy filtering to already delete 90%+ of applicants – I have to trial on average 7 writers for each individual long term writer I want to actually work with.
The struggle is real! 😛
That sounds like a super tedious process! I feel your pain
As a writer; unique and original, quality, visitor oriented, SEO content is hard work that most companies will not, or cannot pay enough for our time and skill. What does it take to write for clients?
-Conversations with the client individual or team (very complex) to determine what they need and want.
-Keyword, phrase, and page analysis
-Design the content structure
-Research the topic
-Write the content
Good writing is the result of preparation, fit and finish, and years of honing your skill.
I would add one more item to your list — check to see what competitors are adding to their article and try and outdo them . The POP (Page Optimizer Pro) SEO tool compares your page to up to 10 competitors to let you know what text you need to edit to outrank them.
In all honesty, this is one thing I've never had a problem with. I have helped scores of clients to decide to build their own in-house content team and train them, and it is one of the easiest wins for medium and large clients.
With the smaller clients the only issue is cost, and they usually want a part-time writer. For this, we usually look to university students, or to the retired, each of whom is usually easily able to do the job, and very happy for the extra income.
Given just how easy it has always been to source and build in-house content writing, and the massively superior ROI in doing so, I really wouldn't want to be a freelance writer. That's one tough and flooded market.
Same here. Sufficient budget + looking at enough applicants always results in finding good writers.
Someone who is willing to do the research (for both SEO & subject matter), and then write in a way that's entertaining, but also helpful for readers. We have some pretty good ones, but it can be hit or miss depending on the industry for which we need the content.
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Discussion 1: What is your biggest struggle when looking for Good Content Writers?
Jessica Foster 🎓
How to Find a "Good" Writer 👩💻
With so many resources online, it's interesting that I still get so many questions around where to find a good copywriter.
First off, you got Fiverr, Upwork, Craigslist, and even Facebook groups for a nearly endless supply. Simply make a post and you will be met with a wall of comments and likely a barrage of PMs.
.:.:.: That's why I don't think the issue is *where* to find copywriters, but *how* to find GOOD ones :.:.:.
You can tap into any of the resources above to FIND a copywriter, but then the key is in ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS in order to weed them out.
You'll want to know…
1) What their experience level is.
2) If you can see examples of their previous work.
3) What their rates are.
4) What their turnaround time is.
5) What method of communication they use (FB PM, email, Google Docs, etc.).
6) How many edits are included.
7) Whether a deposit is required and what the terms are.
😎 What their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is. (ie Do they write for a certain niche? Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Do content marketing? etc etc)
9) Whether they understand the purpose of the content and how to appeal to your target audience.
Ultimately, a GOOD copywriter will understand your vision for the project and be able to showcase work that aligns with the style you are looking for.
They will also *hopefully* have references to confirm their timeliness, professionalism, and more.
But here's the thing…
• Most GREAT copywriters don't come cheap. As someone who did SEO at an agency and was responsible for collaborating with copywriters, experience has proven that the best writers were the ones that showed expertise in a particular niche and had a proven track record of success. This meant higher rates, but it often meant better Return on Investment (ROI).
It was few and far between that a $20 blog post was able to drive conversions or serve the client's best interest when it came to content marketing.
What do you think? 🤔
What has been your experience in hiring writers –
and do you have any tips on how to find a great one???
Leave a comment 🙂
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I would like to add some interesting facts tor Jessica Foster's content. There are great content writers out there, however a good content writer, tries to understand what exactly the client is looking for, the tone, even the audience they are trying to target. Just because you hire a good content writer it does not mean the piece you are receiving is "Great". Most of the time from my experience, hiring content writers, I ended up revising the content, as the tone and the approach was wrong. I do not recommend hiring content writers on Fiverr, specially that cheap. If you are looking to benefit from the content, you need descent piece, something that will get a read and can easily be shared in social media. You should get a content writer who is good in both writing and researching. I would also get someone who is expert in the industry to writer blogs! A retired plumber looking to do some part time job, a lawyer who also does real state, and also like to write …
Great addition to the discussion! I could write a whole blog post about this, but yes, the writer should understand the tone, your brand message, and who your audience is/what they want. I haven't used Fiverr for hiring writers myself – and I haven't had much luck there for other things either. Sure, it's a place the find writers, but the quality is questionable. Your point about finding an industry writer is helpful too. We did this quite a bit when it came to our legal clients.
GSmith » Jessica Foster
Will you be open if we do a joint post on this maybe a blog or two?
For article content, hire 3 or 5 for every one you need long term…1-2 will attrit on their own, 1-2 will prove to be untrainable, and if you are lucky, you might end up with one gem.
And don't be a cheap ass.
Subject matter experts are much better than general writers.
Note…I consider "copy writing" as something different…salesy stuff that converts.
The ability to take great photos is a huge plus.
Regurgitated shit with stock photos only goes so far.
Do you source your photos from your writers then? I have been curious about this. I am a writer but not a photographer 😉
On me biggest site…95%. Probably 30% on the next biggest site (with a goal to replace all stock over time).
I take a few myself as well, especially for physical goods affiliate posts…luckily one of my old hobbies was photography and I have a decent kit with "fast glass" and good lighting…both strobes and continuous.