Bringing Bloggers On Board
July 28, 2014 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Please give me guidance on how to find professional bloggers and work with them.

I do marketing communications work for clients, and one client in particular has developed an ongoing need for blog posts. I’ve been writing these posts myself, but for a number of reasons, I don’t feel like this work is the best use of my time. I’d like to outsource these writing tasks. I’m looking for advice on finding and working with a blogger or two on a consistent basis.

The blog topics are fairly general and would require only basic research. Think along the lines of “The history of the Christmas Tree” or health topics like “How to take care of your feet properly.” Length would be about 300-500 words or so. The posts need to flow, make sense and have minimal errors, but they don’t need to be masterpieces. I don't care about SEO keywords or anything. Once they are submitted to me, I’d expect to do a little light editing.

Some areas I have questions about are:

Finding candidates
I’ve used oDesk in the past to outsource design work, and I know they have bloggers looking for work on it too. Would platforms like oDesk, Elance, etc. be a good resource for these tasks? I’ve noticed that often writers’ profiles on such sites have a smattering (or worse) of basic grammatical mistakes, and that turns me off. Are there other sites out there that would be better and also blogger specific? Should I look to operate outside of these freelance platforms and just hire direct?

I’m not looking for the cheapest blogger who charges only a few bucks a post. But what can I expect to pay for something of decent quality as described above?

I have it my contract with my client that it’s OK for me to use outside vendors, but I don’t want to advertise the fact that I am using them. Ideally, I wouldn’t want the blogger to use what he or she has written for me for their own portfolio or marketing purposes. Is that a reasonable request to ask? And if a blogger does agree, would it be naive of me to expect them to actually honor that request?

How concerned should I be that the posts turned into me were copied in part or in whole from elsewhere? I've heard of the service Copyscape that cross checks for copied material, and I’ve seen some bloggers for hire advertise that they use this service or another one. What services are out there, and how does this all work?
posted by Leontine to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could go with a professional content service that could provide exactly what you need rather than trying to recruit, manage, and edit a team of freelance bloggers.
posted by erst at 11:03 AM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

You could use one professional who you found outside Elance and oDesk and all that. If you do a google search or ask for recommendations, and check their references etc., you should be able to find someone decent. It is a good idea to get the SEO thing covered while you're at it - any decent content provider (service or individual) should be able to do that - it's certainly something I offered when I was taking on new clients (I'm not looking for new work at the moment and so this is very much not an advertisement, although I might be able to find someone to help you if you would like to MeMail me!).

I would expect to charge around £10 per article for these myself, (on a £30 per hour rate, I could probably churn out around 3 per hour, but I am quite fast). That would be for a decently researched and written, non-plagiarised and SEO'd piece with a good standard of grammar, etc., by a native English speaker.

Edited to add: Most people are fine to white-label it and not have their names appear - I've done that a lot on various projects. Have them sign an NDA if you're at all worried - again, common practice.

I would have the supplier do a short contract with you which includes something on non-plagiarism. I would run their first piece through a plagiarism check (just pasting a chunk of it in Google first of all before doing anything fancy).
posted by LyzzyBee at 11:15 AM on July 28, 2014

Check your memail.
posted by Michele in California at 11:41 AM on July 28, 2014

What industry are you in? Some industries have specific blogger marketplaces where you can look for people to partner with. (For instance, food blogging has a number of markets where you can find bloggers to do freelance work.) I would have a contract that is very clear, including who retains rights, how the work is attributed, what they can/cannot do with the content, plagiarism clause, etc. I would expect to pay more if they cannot use it for a portfolio and cannot use it elsewhere. It'd be hard to speculate on price without knowing the industry but I might charge $50-75 for a short, general blog post that didn't require research, interviews, etc.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 5:52 PM on July 28, 2014

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