With more and more companies switching to different mediums to grow their businesses, blogs have become an integral part of promotion strategies and a new and effective way to directly connect with the customers. With the increase in blog becoming an essential part of every business's online marketing strategy, the requirement of professional bloggers has increased significantly. Are you planning to hire a blogger for your company or business blog? Here's a basic guideline to effectively fill the position of a blogger with a person that exactly meets your requirements.
Assessing The Requirements
The requirement may differ significantly depending on the type of blog and the purpose of your blog. A company blog created for the purpose of pulling more traffic and diverting it to the main site may need a full-time blogger compared to a tech blog already having a writing team solely made for the purpose of making money out of it. For the latter case, a part-time blogger can also do the job.
Posting Frequency - A lot matters on the number of times your blog will be updated with fresh content. A non-profit organization may require a posting of 1 or 2 times a week, while a business blog or a make money blog may be updated 5 times a week or even several times a day. Depending on the frequency you may want a full or part time blogger.
Extent of Involvement - The level of involvement you are expecting from the potential candidate also plays a major role in selecting the right person. Are you hiring a blogger only for creating content or are you expecting him to take charge of comment moderation, blog maintenance and social media marketing as well?
What To Look For?
Writing Style - Unarguably the most important thing is the writing capabilities of the blogger. Every blogger has its own unique style of writing. Some like to start with metaphors in opening paragraph summarizing the post in the leading text, while some other may prefer to simply jump on to the point of discussion without building any anticipation. In any case, it must match the style of writing you are expecting. To better assess his writing capabilities you can...
1. Ask for a sample post on the topic related to your blog.
2. Read his existing posts and various guest posts done on different blogs to get a fair idea about his writing capabilities.
Consistency - Whether you are aiming for a part timer or a full-time blogger, delivering the content in time is must in any case. It will be icing on the cake if you can get some references of his previous employers. If his track record suggests that he delivers in time then be sure he is good in most of his duties.
Social Media Participation - If you are expecting him to take charge of blog marketing as well, look for his social media profiles and the ask for some quantifiable statistics about the success he has achieved in the past through this medium. You must also observe how he has dealt with comments on different posts and his level of engagement with the readers.
Ability to Work in Team - If you have a multi-author blog, you must give preference to a blogger who has previous experience of working in such kind of environment. It will help him in quickly adapting to the situation and results will be fast and more promising. However, if the candidate has exceptional skills you can hire a fresher as well.
Although every one has its own recruitment policy, I think this approach works well in most cases. Once you have decided to hire a candidate, make sure you create a draft of clauses tabulating all the terms and conditions. In most cases, exchange of faxed signed document containing all the T&C works fine. First let the candidate work on your blog for 3 to 4 weeks and pay him on per-post or per-week basis. Once you are satisfied with the performance, go ahead with signing the agreement.
Payment Criteria - In most cases paying on per-post basis is the most popular and comfortable payment scheme for both the parties. Short posts (300-400 words) are paid comparatively less than a long post (800+ words).
Performance Incentives - Generally, employers agree to reward on performance. It should be made very clear in the agreement how much a blogger would be paid in each case. For example, you may agree to pay $1 for each new subscriber.
Termination Clauses - Make sure you clearly mention the conditions under which the agreement may stand null and void. For example, if the content is already published somewhere else it may lead to termination of agreement without any prior notice.
Monitor, Encourage and Reward
And last but not the least is tracking the progress and rewarding on performance. Whether it's increase in traffic or more engagement of customers and readers or increase in sign ups of new subscribers. All these results deserve to be rewarded in terms of money as per the signed agreement. If you have enough budgets and your blog is getting heavy traffic, it is highly advisable to keep a back up as a trainee blogger in case the current blogger leaves on short notice.
Image Credit: EricMagnuson