There are as many different niches for blogs out there as there are topics in the entire scope of human experience, which is to say, nearly infinite. Yet out of all of those, very few are as potentially lucrative as finance. Finance, financial technology, stocks and the stock market; these niches are all very potent.
The people who succeed in them often seem like they have some source of insider knowledge, but many of the people who truly win out are the ones selling the shovels to the gold rush. The advice bloggers, the news and journalism coverage, and the resources.
Of course, keeping up with a blog is hard work, and even if you're an expert in finances, you need an expert in content writing to handle that blog.
How can you find a writer to work with? Here's my guide.
The first thing you want to do is specify exactly what niche you're operating in. This is foundational information for the whole of your search, and it's near-required to find writers to work with you appropriately.
The reason is pretty simple when you think about it. While a lot of financial competence, literacy, and basic information is transferrable from one niche to another, the specifics are not. Terminology can change, standards and practices change, regulations change, and all of these make a difference in terms of what your writers will write.
Plus, many writers have a niche they prefer and are most comfortable in, and will work best when they're working in that niche. A stock market writer might not be interested in cryptocurrency, a fintech writer might not want to cover hedge funds, and so on.
This all goes back to the choice between a generalist or a specialist. Generalists can write great top-level content, shallow-but-broad content, and basic resources, but if you want real insights, deep knowledge, and tips to set you above the competition, you want someone who specializes.
There's one exception to all of this, and that's if you're an expert and you're willing to put the time into developing content briefs. Many finance blogs are powered by ghostwriters because the owner doesn't have the time to manage the content on their own. Other times, you may be more than happy to create these briefs week after week. It's entirely up to you.
You already know you need someone specifically knowledgeable in your niche and topic, but there are other requirements you'll want to pin down before you start searching for a writer.
For example, how much content do you want them to produce, and how often? Asking a writer to write 1,000 words every week isn't much, but it's a low bar, and you can keep a site going by hiring half a dozen writers like that and cycling through their content. Conversely, asking a writer to create 2,000-word blog posts every three days is a very high bar, so you will likely have relatively few people up to the challenge, and you'll certainly pay for it.
Sometimes, the sweet spot will be somewhere in the middle, and it will be most cost-effective to hire more than one writer. A blog can thrive with 2-4 regular writers, possibly supplemented by a host of irregular writers, guest posters, and other contributors. Be sure to analyze the potential costs, content volume, and frequency you want to aim for.
One major choice here is whether your site is going to be a low-volume, high-quality authority site or more of a news site and aggregator. The former will be less frequent but much deeper and more authoritative content, while the latter will be more frequent (perhaps even multiple posts per day from a variety of writers) but lower in quality and depth.
Another critical tip for finance writers is to find writers who are local to you. Now, I don't mean local as in "in the same city," but rather, the same state or the same country is fine.
The main reason for this is simply due to laws. Financial laws exist at all levels of government, but the most important laws are from the FTC, SEC, and other national-level organizations. If you're operating in the United States and you hire a writer in the Philippines, are they going to be familiar enough with the US legal system to produce accurate content? Maybe, but probably not without a lot of support.
Financial advice is also held to an extremely high standard online. There's a reason most of the big financial sites are all very conservative in the advice they give: they need to be. Google's YMYL updates, in particular, place high standards on any site that affects "Your Money or Your Life."
Before you look for writers to hire, you might benefit from establishing a workflow. This can help you determine how much of an active role you want to play in managing your blog and what skill level you need out of your writers.
For example, a very light workflow might involve you coming up with basic topics or keywords and trusting your financial expert writer to create expert content based on your recommendations. On the other hand, a heavier workflow would involve you creating a full brief with your advice, descriptions and details of the topic, points you want to be included, and specific keywords, with an editor to review both the brief and the content to make sure it all works.
Where you look for a writer depends on what you're looking for.
The first choice you have to make is whether you want to hire an agency or a freelancer . I've gone over this at length before, but to sum up: an agency is more expensive in general but more full-service. They'll handle pretty much everything for you; you just have to feed them the basic information they can't create on their own. Freelancers are cheaper, more customizable, and can grow along with you much more readily. For finance, it's generally a good idea to hire freelancers rather than agencies unless they're specialist agencies.
You also have to decide whether you want to hire a ghostwriter or an expert. There are a number of recognized financial experts and finance writers out there who are perfectly happy to write for a variety of blogs, especially for a fee. Hiring them means you don't even need to come up with your own financial advice: they do it for you! On the other hand, they can be extremely expensive since they're experts.
Next, you need to decide whether you want to proactively look for writers or just put out a job ad and let them come to you. A job ad is more passive; you post it and evaluate the people who apply. That said, many of the best writers aren't actively trawling job boards, so you might miss the real expertise this way. On the other hand, it's a good way to get a lot of applications very quickly.
Seeking out writers can get you the top talent, but you have to pitch them your project, offer them a compelling rate and terms, and hope they're open to new clients on a regular basis.
Where can you find these writers?
Once you locate prospective candidates, you need to reach out to them and pitch them. Your pitch should generally include information like your specific niche, your business model (in case you do something they don't support), your requirements, and your rates. Be prepared to offer more information if the writer is interested, and don't be surprised if they want to negotiate.
Interviews aren't always necessary when hiring a writer, but in some cases, they can be a good way to filter the experts from the chaff.
In particular, for a complex and high-stakes subject like finances, an interview can help you compare notes with your prospective writer and see how much they know, how much they fit with your positions and expertise, and how well they can discuss the subject with authority. All of that transfers into their writing.
Interviews are also a great way to thin the field when you're putting out a job ad and getting dozens or hundreds of applications. Anyone who doesn't meet your standards of knowledge, expertise, and skill can be removed from the running.
What do you ask in the interview? That depends on you and your specific niche. Usually, you'll want to look for culture fit, expertise in the subject matter, and expertise with writing in general. There are many different ways to ask about all of these, so just think about what is most important to you in a writer and ask about it.
I will always be a proponent of a paid test article or project.
In the case of content writing, this should be as close to the real thing as possible, if not just a real assignment. If you're testing multiple writers at once, you might issue them all the same topic and pick the best writer, but it can also be better to give each of them a unique topic so you can use all of the content that comes in a usable form.
A test article should be the same length, the same complexity, the same deadline and workflow as any real article you would have the writer create. Likewise, the pay rate should be around the same as they would be getting for a normal assignment.
Why? The best writers will never work for free. Experts, especially in lucrative niches like finances, don't need your work; there are likely many other clients clamoring in their inboxes. Anything that waves a red flag for them will make them drop you as fast as possible in favor of someone easier or better to work with.
Once you've issued tests, you can evaluate the writing you receive. Give them a read. How's the spelling and grammar? How compelling is it, and how well-written is it? How well does it cover the topic, address the audience, and convey meaning? What's the tone, voice, perspective, and style, and does it match what you're looking for?
Likewise, you'll want to make sure they followed any briefs or guides you gave them and that they've properly conveyed the ideas and information you wanted in the post. It doesn't do you much good to hire a writer who doesn't really know how to write for you rather than just in general, right?
If you think you've found a good writer or writers to hire, it's time to make a contract. Sometimes the writer will have one; other times, you'll need to provide one or work with them to produce one. Contracts don't have to be exceedingly complex, but they do need to exist. Of course, in a financial niche, you should be well aware of the value of a contract.
Do you have any questions? If so, feel free to reach out. I love to help others build their sites, especially when it comes to building up content marketing teams and strategies. Just leave me a comment or drop me a line, and I'll be sure to get back to you ASAP. In the meantime, you can always check out my job board to post a job or look for a writer to hire.