So you’re finally getting your content marketing plan in high gear, and you’ve decided it’s time to hire article writers. Good for you! But be aware, the process of putting together a group of great writers who understand your business and can meet your needs is time-consuming, and has its own unique challenges. And managing team of said writers? You might as well try managing a kindle of kittens! Just kidding. Professional content writers are just as easy to supervise as any other group of professionals, which means they’re quirky and have their own personalities, but, with a little knowledge of selection and breeding, and proper care and feeding, you too can assemble a magnificent writing team that will take your content marketing to a whole new level.
Assembling Your Team
- Avoid low-quality talent sites. Bidding sites may seem like a great way to find bargain bloggers, but you usually get what you pay for. Stick with premium sources to find premium writers. Browse freelance writing websites and forums, and advertise the fact that you’re looking for talent. And ask around, word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find good prospects.
- Consider recruiting content creators from within your organization. They’ll already know the business and can speak with authority about your products and services.
- Ask for a portfolio. Most serious writers will have samples of their work, or have their own website. Don’t ask for an original test article, unless you’re willing to pay for it.
- Aim for a variety of skills. Some may be experienced journalists, others SEO experts, still others may be copywriting gurus. All of them can write, but their individual strengths will strengthen the whole, and make for a more versatile team.
- Go global when building a remote team. If deadlines are a necessity, having writers working in several different time zones has obvious benefits.
Managing Your Team
- Having a set of written content writing guidelines to keep everyone on the same page is essential. There are plenty of great style guides that can be found online for free. Writers should also have access to your preferred SEO tools and educational resources.
- Consider using a centralized project management platform for team communications instead of e-mail. It’s much easier and more efficient, and you can also create an editorial calendar to ensure team members stay on top of assignments and deadlines.
- Be upfront and transparent about payment and contractual issues. Writers need to know how much, when and how they’re going to get paid, whether they retain ownership of their work, and other work-related details.
- Be diplomatic and polite about editorial criticism. Content writers are professionals, and they understand, accept, and even appreciate constructive criticism, but being obnoxious, arrogant, demeaning, and/or condescending will only ensure unhappy writers. Or none at all, word of difficult employers spreads fast in the writing community.
- Be available, and answer questions in a timely manner.
No one’s saying it’s going to be easy. But remember that the foundation of effective content marketing is great content, and that requires a great writing team that is well managed and directed. It’s a lot of work and there will surely be some bumps along the way, but in the end you’ll achieve results that prove that it was well worth the effort.
Bob P is a lifelong collector of books and an avid reader with a wide variety of literary interests, but especially enjoys short horror fiction, action-adventure and history. He also enjoys hunting and fishing, finding and identifying wildflowers, edible wild plants and mushrooms. Bob is a commercial pilot and is interested in general aviation and aviation history. He also enjoys classical and jazz music and is a jazz trumpet player and collector.