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How to Hire a Blog Writer for SaaS
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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.

Don't Settle

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.

Solution The first tip I have for you is this: don't settle.

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.

Searching For a Blog Writer

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.

Look for a Specialist

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:

  • Why there's a market for your product in the first place,
  • The size and scope of that market,
  • The kinds of people most likely to be reading your posts,
  • Your company's reputation and position in the industry,
  • Your competitors and their relative positions,
  • What problems your product solves, and how,

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.

Looking For a Specialist

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.

Develop a Test for Prospective Writers

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?

What to Define for Prospective Writers

You will want to define things like:

  • Any target keywords you want them to use.
  • Any key points you want them to make.
  • Specifics about your tone, voice, and style.
  • Details about your target audience.

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.

Copyscape Website

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:

  • Overly-long paragraphs. Modern web writing rarely uses more than 2-3 sentences per paragraph, and paragraphs should be a single complete thought.
  • Bad links, if you asked the writer to include links. Did they link to competitors? Did they include affiliate links or broken links?
  • Too many keywords or keyword stuffing. Bad use of keywords can drive away an audience and even get you in trouble with Google, so your writer should know not to do it.

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.

Look in the Right Places

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.

Upwork Blog Writers

There are a few different places you can look for SaaS blog writers.

  • Content Mills. Yes, I told you to avoid them before, but you can use them if you're willing to pay for premium rates or direct order prices. The trouble is, it's hard to find those first good writers, and content mills don't make it easy.
  • Freelance Hubs. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer allow you to browse profiles of writers, see what kind of work they do and who they've worked with before, and approach them with your pitch. You can find some great writers this way, but it's still a lot of digging.
  • Job Postings. Sites like the one you're reading now, the ProBlogger job board, or even just traditional job boards allow you to post job ads and get writers to apply. This is the most "they come to you" strategy, but you'll have to filter out a lot of the dross.
  • Writer Communities. Certain subreddits, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Hashtag discussions, and other discussion communities can be good sources of writers if you can approach them in the right way.
  • Word of mouth. No SaaS business owner stands alone, so why not ask your compatriots in the industry who does their writing or where they found their writers? Word of mouth referrals can be a powerful source of good writers.
  • Content Agencies. A content marketing agency can do a lot for you and guarantee great results, but it will generally be among the more expensive options out there. They also scale better, if you can afford it.
  • Writer Personal Sites. Many top-tier writers are confident enough in their own marketing abilities to create personal sites to market themselves. You can seek them out and send them your pitch.

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.

Build a Team

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.

A Business Team

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.

Hire with Confidence

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.

Hiring a Blog Writer

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.