SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses have a distinct advantage over many other kinds of businesses. That advantage is being globally accessible. Since the service you offer is entirely online, anyone can use it, no matter where they are in the world.
Unfortunately, this situation also loses you the advantage of local marketing and SEO. You have to make up for it with excellent global, niche, and industry marketing. It's entirely possible to do, but it requires high-quality writers capable of creating expert-level content and speaking with authority on your subject.
How can you hire those writers?
The good news is, they're out there, and they aren't even particularly difficult to find. Here's how you can go about it and arm your business with excellent content creators.
It's really easy to just go on down to the first content mill you find, throw $20 into the hole, and get some content. It's also a terrible idea.
SaaS businesses need to compete against the whole world in their niche. That means you need to position yourself as an authority with top-level insights, expertise, and thought leadership. Unfortunately, you aren't going to be able to get that for just a few dollars at the local mill.
If all you want is some basic filler content you can slap some keywords onto, by all means, buy cheap content from the mills. If you want your content to actually work for you, you shouldn't settle.
This means you'll be paying for your content. Expect to pay at least $0.07 per word (or around $105 for a 1,500-word blog post) at the very minimum. High-quality content can cost significantly more, with a good post ranging from $200 to $500 on average.
Before you balk at the pricing (if you were planning to), remember writers are often underappreciated. When you pay them a solid rate for their work and value them for the quality they put into your content, they'll very likely be loyal to you for a long time.
Specialization in your industry, if not your specific niche, should be a requirement when you're looking for and vetting your writers. Just about any decent freelance writer can write a reasonably competent post about the surface-level details of your industry or your product.
It takes a specialist to understand things like:
And plenty more. Someone who has industry experience or who has spent a reasonable amount of time writing in the industry will have a better idea of how to address your potential customers. They will also be able to write using the kinds of language, jargon, and tone your readers will have come to expect.
Sometimes, when your writer is enough of an expert on their own terms, they may even be able to develop their own unique insights to bolster your company.
Specialists, of course, don't come cheap. They're in high demand, and they may even be working for many similar businesses at the same time. If you want exclusivity, you'll have to pay for it.
An alternative is to find someone with a basic understanding and interest in your industry and train them over time. The more they write in your niche – and the more they can talk to members of your team to learn more – the more of an expert they'll become. This takes longer and is a more significant time investment, though.
If you're looking to hire a writer to write a SaaS blog, you need to do more than put out job ads for SaaS writers or look for freelancers with SaaS on their profiles. You need to issue them a test and evaluate the writing they give you.
Your test should be something that you would actually want to be written for your blog. Pick a topic that requires more than the bare minimum in terms of industry understanding but isn't so exotic that they'll need to conduct original research or interviews or have a deep working knowledge of your product. Something challenging but not impossible, you know?
You will want to define things like:
All of this is stuff to watch for when they hand in a finished piece. How well do they cover the topic? How well do they work in your target keywords? Does what they write seem like it would be effective in reaching your target audience?
Remember, it doesn't need to be perfect; it just needs to be a good start. You want someone in the same ballpark so you can work with them to get them where you want.
Also, make sure to pay for your test assignment. Writers are often burned by "clients" that ask for unpaid test posts and just take that content and run. Thus, many great writers won't even give you the time of day for an unpaid test.
When your writer hands in a test article, evaluate it. There are some things you should look for, but the first thing to do is run it through a tool like Copyscape. Any writer who plagiarizes their content is immediately cut from the running.
If it's original, evaluate it. How well did it cover the topic? How well-written is it? Is the content presented in a compelling way? Is it formatted nicely? Some potential issues can include:
Once your writer has passed their first test, test them again. Give them specific feedback, and see how well they adapt to it in creating another piece. You want them to be able to take feedback and adjust to your needs, and you want to make sure their quality is acceptable from piece to piece. After all, it's no good to go all-in on a writer only to find their first post was a fluke.
Hiring writers online is easy. Hiring good SaaS blog writers online is much harder. Why? Writers are a dime a dozen. With COVID-19 and the explosion of work from home positions, unemployment, and freelancing/gig work, millions of people have decided they have what it takes to be writers. Spoilers: most of them don't.
There are a few different places you can look for SaaS blog writers.
Depending on the place you find your writer, the way you approach them may be different, but the end result is the same: you evaluate them in a talk to see if they seem like they might know what they're talking about, and you send them a test to see how they put their money where their mouth is.
Writers are just one part of the content marketing puzzle. If you're running a SaaS business, you should be no stranger to building teams to complete your objectives. Well, content marketing requires more than just one person to write blog posts for you.
Consider the SEO and publishing end. Will you have your writer publish their content directly, or will they hand you content for you to format and publish? Do they handle meta titles, descriptions, and other SEO? Many writers aren't SEO or marketing experts; they're writers, so you may need someone else to handle the publishing.
Consider the media. Blog posts aren't just text. Images are a key part of your blog posts, and a writer isn't going to be a graphic designer, artist, or photographer (at least, not most of the time), so you will likely need someone to create the media for your posts.
Consider the strategy. Writers are good at implementing the strategy you give them, but chances are, they shouldn't be the ones guiding your marketing strategy. You should probably have someone else working on keyword research, title optimization, and other elements of marketing.
Consider other forms of content. Do you need website copy, product descriptions, service page content, landing page content, social media posts, or technical documentation? Any of these other kinds of content may or may not be within the wheelhouse of the writer you hire. You may want to hire multiple specialists rather than one generalist.
Consider what happens if your writer is sick, quits, or takes a vacation. Consider hiring more than one to ensure that you always have someone ready to write content for your blog. This also allows you to build up a backlog and maintain a faster publishing schedule than what one writer alone can handle.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to confidence. You want to look for writers in places that make you confident that you'll find someone with talent. You need to test them and only pick up writers who can impress you with their ability to create content. You should be confident in their skills and their consistency.
It's not easy out there looking for talented SaaS blog writers. If it were, I wouldn't have to put together a whole guide for it. Luckily, I'm here to help you have confidence as well. Whether it's looking through my job board for talented writers or browsing my blog for more tips on how to find and hire writers with confidence, I'm here to help. So, if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line! I'll be sure to answer any questions you may have and will gladly point you in the direction of any additional information you may need.