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How to Manage Writers Effectively and Skyrocket Your ROI

How to Manage Writers Effectively and Skyrocket Your ROI

Managing freelancers can sometimes feel like herding cats. Finding good writers can be even harder. But if you do manage to find a couple of good writers and you manage them correctly, you can build a content machine that runs almost automatically and makes you a lot of money.

As the SEO & Content Manager at Niche Pursuits, I've worked with a lot of writers. At one time, I was working with almost a dozen different writers on almost a dozen different sites. I've also been a writer on large editorial teams in very large organizations, writing for some of the biggest brands in the world. As if that weren't enough, I spent several years teaching writing classes at the college level and tutoring college writers.

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here; I'm just trying to make a quick point: you can't do all of that without learning a little bit about what makes writers tick, where to find them, and how to keep them both happy and productive.

Today, I'm going to share some of these writer management techniques with you guys because I really, truly think that learning how to find great writers and manage them efficiently is one of the best things you can do for your business.

Why getting this right is absolutely crucial…

In the current internet marketing landscape, I really do believe finding, training and managing writers efficiently is mission-critical. I probably don’t need to remind you of this, but in our last several blog posts (here and here), we revealed that we’d taken a massive hit to our business.

In a few of our recent podcasts, like this one with Gael Breton from Authority Hacker, we spoke with people who were absolutely crushing it with content-driven sites and promoting fantastic content to garner tons of white-hat links and social traction (you can read more about this in Brian Dean’s recent article on this technique, which he calls the “skyscraper method”).

I also mentioned a few times in several different podcasts that I’ve spoken to a few Niche Pursuits readers who were doing very, very well with a content-only strategy—meaning that they were making serious cash with no linkbuilding and no promotion. None. At all.

Let me distill that for you: we’ve seen sites earning many thousands of dollars per month with nothing but good content built on A+ keyword research.

In other words, in a very real way, as an industry, we are being yanked back to the old adage many of us find so annoying: content is king.

Plus, we know that PBNs have gone the way of every other gimmicky linkbuilding scheme, and they now carry substantially more risk. And that means you’re going to have to spend a lot more time promoting your site instead of building your own links.

So here’s why managing your writers is mission-critical: (1) if you’re currently building sites, content is probably one of the most important part of your business, and (2) you’re going to have to be spending your time on other stuff.

That’s why you need to build a content machine, and you need to build one that produces fantastic content. Or, if you only plan on buying batches of content, you at least need to have some systems in place to help get your content quickly and without stress. So let’s hash that out!

Why I almost never use content services (and why you need great content)

Typically, I only use content services if I’m in a bind and need lots of content fast. And it’s not because of a shortage of services. There are dozens out there.

Content services are very fast, but they have one serious drawback: the content is never great. It just isn’t. And you must, must, must have A+ content in today’s SEO landscape.

I’ll give you an example. When I do need to order a bunch of writing, my go-to content service really is super professional. They have account managers who manage your whole project and make sure the writing is to your specifications, and they do it at about $20 per 1,000 words, which is very standard in our industry. They’re fairly fast, and they have a very large network of writers who are comfortable tackling most topics.

And a lot of that is really great, and I always appreciate their work. Still, no matter how many rounds of revisions I go through with them, the writing never gets above a B+. Most of the time, it’s more around a B-. I often end up rewriting things and/or removing ridiculous, fluffy language.

Why? The writers don’t care.

This is the fundamental flaw in all content services: they’re trying to offer content for the industry-standard price, but they’re also trying to make a profit. That means they can’t hire the best writers, and the content suffers for it.

Even more importantly, though, their writers are typically wading through stacks and stacks of assignments, and yours is just another thing on their desk.

In my experience, it’s incredibly rare to find a content service that really yields the type of content that keeps people on that page, and keeping people on your site is what makes you money. And at the end of the day, shaving a few days off of a batch of content does not make up for the profits you’ll lose by having mediocre writing.

I guess what I’m saying is that this is the main lesson: invest in great content, not bulk content. That doesn't mean you can't have lots of content; I recently launched a site with 60 articles, and our current authority site has over 100 articles on it. It just means that quality should be the first priority.

Where DO I find writers?

If I’m not hiring content services, where am I finding my writers? This has always been my dirty little secret, and I’m sure it’s going to utterly disappoint some of you.

I find almost all my writers exclusively through my own social network.

I'll tell you why this works. Here are the things I’m looking for in my writers:

  • Open communication
  • Speed
  • Dedication to the project
  • Adaptability

If I find a writer that delivers on those four things, the quality will take care of itself. It’s extremely difficult to get any of those things with a content service (aside from speed). It’s extremely easy to get them if you hire someone you know.

First, you’ll get open communication because you’ll probably be Facebook friends, or you’ll be connected on gChat, or you’ll have each other’s phone numbers.

This, in turn, creates adaptability. If something changes, or if someone has a question, or if a revision needs to be made, it can be done totally on the fly. All it takes is a Facebook message. Obstacles stop being obstacles and turn into actual opportunities to improve the site. When this happens, you’ll find that your site will even get better over time.

Speed and dedication usually come from hiring someone you know has a good work ethic. I don’t hire just anyone. I hire people I know work hard. And I don't do that for my own sake. I do it to protect my writers’ time.

If I’m paying $20 per 1,000 words, writing for me can be an incredible deal for a writer who writes 1,000 words in 30 minutes, since they can make $40/hr. However, it’s an atrociously bad deal for writers who write 1,000 words in three hours ($6.66/hr, which is less than minimum wage). I want to pay my people well, and the only way to do that is to hire people who work hard.

So, I hire almost exclusively from my own social network. Sometimes, it’s as simple as posting a message on Facebook. Other times, I’ll reach out to people I really want to write for me. Often, these are people whose writing I really love.

Here is just an example of the incredibly diverse writers I’ve hired this way:

  • My dad’s former assistant
  • My former philosophy professor’s wife
  • Spencer’s friend’s wife
  • Two of my former students
  • Spencer’s uncle
  • A few broke poets
  • My own brother

Here’s why this works (and you may not know this): there are droves of writers or aspiring writers out there literally working for free in order to build a portfolio. I know this because I did it. Most of them will jump at the chance to actually get paid for their work.

These people care. These folks plan on adding the writing they do for you to their portfolio to show future employers. These folks are not going to write B+ stuff.

When I tell people this, sometimes the reaction is “Oh, but I’m not on Facebook,” to which I almost always reply, “Why not?! You’re an internet marketer! Get on the internet!”

However, if you need writing now, and you don’t have a social network, there are a few other places you can go, but you should expect to pay more. If you do go here, you should be looking for exactly the same things you'd look for in a writer you know (more on this below).

  • r/Forhire: Fantastic talent pool here, but they’re usually all career writers who command higher prices.
  • Craigslist: You might find some good ones here, but it’s going to be a crapshoot.
  • Problogger: Great talent here, too, but usually much more expensive.

When you start trolling for writers, you're going to want someone who can produce good content fast. If I'm hiring outside of my own network (which means I don't know the person I'm hiring), I base most of my decision on their writing sample (ask for some samples). Then, I give them a one-article assignment with a short deadline (usually one day) to see if they can work quickly. If they can't, I thank them for their time and move on. There's no shortage of writers in the world.

Just to be clear, I’ve had about a million times more success hiring people from my own social network, and I’ve had the most success by far hiring people I really like.

Lastly, the biggest benefit of hiring folks this way is that it’s super easy to reach out to them for more work opportunities. In fact, you’ll probably find that they’ll reach out to you to ask for more work. Because of this, it’s very easy to find a consistent writer to do almost everything you need.

Enough rambling, Perrin! How do I actually manage my writers?

Alright. Let’s assume you’ve found yourself a writer or two. Now we can talk about how to manage them. To some extent, it’s going to come down to your personal management style. So take this with a grain of salt; it’s just what works for me.

Provide short, clear, simple guidelines in a short, clear, simple workflow.

A while back, Doug Cunnington from Niche Site Project polled a bunch of internet marketers to ask them about their favorite project management tools. I was totally baffled by some of the responses. I had no idea there were so many crazy tools you could use to divvy up assignments and manage work flow.

All of this stuff, to me, is highly overrated. So is micromanagement. When a writer agrees to work with me, they get one email, with one set of ultra-clear, ultra-concise instructions and a deadline. If it’s the very first time they have written with me, I’ll send a more detail set of instructions (still less than one page) for them to look over.

Here’s my email template (see how fancy it is?):

Writer management Pic 1

Those guidelines (what I refer to as the “Product Article Cheat Sheet” in the above email template) are very simple and very short. Here’s an example of what I’d send if I were working on a site about dog toys.

  • Intro (100 words): Write a creative introduction about this type of dog toy
  • Section 1: Informative section (500 words): Write about the benefits of this toy)
  • Sections 2-7 (250 words each): Write a fun review of good 5 toys as if you owned them

I might include a few notes on the overall tone and style if the writer was brand new, but you don’t need much more.

After that, I follow up with them (usually on Facebook) to see if they have any questions. If they’re not 100% comfortable, I tell them to send me the first few paragraphs when they’re done or to hop on a Skype call.

That’s it. I don’t create massive workflow spreadsheets. I don’t write 5-page process docs. I don’t use project management programs. I send one email per writer, per batch of assignments. If I have three writers writing 15 articles each, that means I’m managing 45 articles with 3 total emails. Three emails per month. That’s my workflow.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean that the work is over. There will probably be tweaks, questions and revisions along the way, and that will take some time, but this will still put you way out in front at the start of the race.

Train your writers really well, and then give them tons of autonomy.

This is very important. Writers are funny folk. I know because I am one. They usually come in two distinct types. The first, like me, is ultra-autonomous. The second, more analytical type of writer works best with lots of direction. However, even the second type of writer will be fine working autonomously after they understand what’s expected.

Your goal should always be to get your writers to a place in which all you have to do is send them a list of keywords.

Why? Because the more autonomous your writers are, the more they’re going to care about the project, and the more time you’re going to save.

This takes time and training, especially if you’re starting a new site. For our new authority site, it took about a month and a half to get our writers 100% autonomous. However, even though we were constantly tweaking and discussing on Skype (this is the training), I gave them lots of autonomy to start. I wanted them (mostly our best writer) to own the project, to feel like they had a stake in the site.

And believe me, it paid off. We now add about 3,600 words of content each day, it gets done in about 3 hours, and it’s 95% hands-off for me. My writers just give me a quick update each morning, and I glance at the articles each week.

Training your writers well and giving them as much autonomy as possible is where you can realize a truly massive ROI.

Offer long contracts.

If there’s any “top secret tip” in this piece, this is it. When at all possible, offer your writers longer, steadier contracts. That might mean $500 worth of work each month for the next three months, or it might be $1,500 worth of work each month for a year.

I want to be clear about this one: you don’t need to spend a bunch of money; just make the contract longer.

Writers love long contracts, especially freelancers, because it means they’re going to have some money coming in that they can count on.

But it’s also incredibly beneficial for your business. If you offer long contracts, you’ll be able to train one writer to do everything you need, and they’ll  be many, many times more invested than they might be otherwise.

Additionally, longer contracts are bigger contracts, and bigger contracts attract much better writers. You’d be surprised at the quality of applicants you can get if you post “$6,000 writing contract available. Any takers?” on Facebook.

Long-term contracts are one of the best possible tools at your disposal.

Take care of your writers!

I don’t have any delusions about how important my writers are to our business. They are absolutely the lifeblood of what we’re doing here at Niche Pursuits. I depend on them to put the meat on the bones of my ideas. It would never, ever happen without them, and I really, really appreciate them for that.

So why wouldn’t I treat them as well I possibly can?

Some of my internet marketing colleagues often try to hire the cheapest possible writers and interact with them as little as possible. Usually, this leads to mediocre content because it’s clear to the writer that they don’t care.

I take the exact opposite approach. I make it incredibly clear to my writers that I care a lot about both them and the project. More importantly, I try very hard to show it. Here’s how:

  • I track their time closely to make sure they are making as much money per hour as possible. If their earnings per hour is getting too low, we discuss and tweak until they are making good money. I want it to be a fantastic deal for them.
  • When possible, I give them bonuses. I can’t do this every month, since our largest project is a new site that isn’t making money yet, but I still try to give my great writers bonuses when I can. For example, my best writer got a $200 bonus last month.
  • Tell them they’re doing a fantastic job. This is so simple, but I’ll be dammned if people just don’t do this. My writers are vital to our business, and I make sure they know it. I tell them simply and often that I appreciate all their hard work.
  • Treat criticism as a natural part of the process and don’t make a big deal about it. If I need to tweak something—or even totally rewrite an article—I don’t treat it like a big deal. Why? Because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal, and my writers are working hard. That kind of thing is just part of the game, and it’s totally fine. Your writers shouldn’t be afraid of you; they should be coming to you with ideas of their own.
  • Encourage feedback on your management and on the project. The best writers are going to be the folks who really feel like they have ownership in the project. So ask them for ideas, and let them know you’re totally open to taking criticism yourself.

If you find a great writer, keep them at all costs!

Lastly, you’ll want to hang on to your best writers when you can. It won’t always be possible, because you often won’t be able to offer them a full-time job. But if they like writing for you enough, they’ll often keep working for you even if they move on to other things.

In our case, our authority site has basically one awesome writer named Nina, and she’s incredible. She’s fast, funny and creative.

As soon as I knew the scope of our project, I offered her a 6-month contract, which will probably end up being a 12-month contract. She also knows that if the site becomes profitable, one of the first things I’ll do is go to bat for her and sell more of her services to Spencer—or possible even try to hire her full-time.

She’s by far the best writer I have, and in turn, I act as her advocate. We’re in this thing together, and the quality of the site reflects that.

A few words from Nina (our best writer)

There’s only so much I can tell you, so I figured it might be beneficial to hear from one of the writers I actually manage. So, here’s our best writer, Nina, who handles the bulk of the writing for our authority site, on my management style and our work dynamic. Before you read it, you should know that I asked her to provide criticism, too:

“Writing for Niche Pursuits has been a great experience for me. I started out as just a gal who liked to write with very little professional experience. If it wasn’t for the great working relationship that Perrin and I cultivated I doubt I would be any good at this at all. I am a firm believer that in order for a writer to be successful they need to have a solid support system. This is something that Perrin provides without a doubt.

We work together as a team and approach each project that way. This is possibly one of the most important things that we do. I know that if I have questions, concerns or even ideas, Perrin is there to bounce things off of.

Perrin works very hard to make me feel that they we are more than just writer and manager. I feel that I am a peer and important to the success of Niche Pursuits. He has an innate ability to know what I need as a writer to propel me and keep my motivation flowing.”

Final Thoughts & Questions for You

If you’re going to be treating your sites like a business, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t treat your writers as a pillar of that business. Even if you’re not spending a bunch of money, finding great writers and treating them well will make your life a lot easier and make you a lot more money.

What do you guys think? How do you manage you writers? What did I miss?

72 Comments for this Post

  1. Doug

    Doug

    Perrin – Thanks a lot for the shout out.

    There are a lot of tools & apps out there. They should never get in the way and if they don’t enhance the process then there not a good fit. Usually Simple is best!

    Awesome article. Super actionable.

    Cheers!

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Thanks, Doug 🙂

  2. Alexandria Ingham

    Alexandria Ingham

    As a freelance writer, I was getting a little worried when I first started reading this post, but I’m pleasantly surprised. They’re great tips to get high quality writers. I’m one of those who happily takes on longer contracts, not just for the money but because I like to get to know my clients and love working closely with them. Awesome post!

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Thanks! This is super important.

      A great writer is one of the best possible resources for any online business, so it pays to take care of them!

  3. Neel

    Neel

    Hey Perrin,

    Great write-up! Quick question about your instructions for new writers – do you just ask the writer to get smart on a certain product or do you provide the background on the product? For your dog toy example, would the writers be expected to research 5 different dog toys themselves and research the benefits of the toy? I’ve always wondered how much a writer is expected to do.

    Thanks!

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      It depends on the market and the writer.

      For something simple like dog toys, the writer could probably write a great article based purely on their own research.

      However, for a more in-depth market (e.g. yoga, finance, nutrition), I’d try to hire someone who knows about it–at the very least, I’d try to find someone who does it as a hobby.

  4. Tung Tran

    Tung Tran

    Good article Perrin!

    I’ve used Odesk and Elance over the years but recently switched to Problogger to find writers for my authority project.

    And I have to say that Problogger will be the only place I use for hiring writer now.

    The $50 fee is nothing compared to the amount of high quality and well trained writers I found through the job board.

    I got over 100 applicants in 30 days, gave 10 the trial tests (paid), and ended up hiring the top 3 writers.

    The cool thing is that all the writers know my niche pretty well and have personal experience with it as I mentioned clearly on the job description that I don’t hire people with no experience about the niche.

    I pay about $0.03/word, pretty high compared to what I was paying writers but I’m happy as the quality is high.

    I’m using Copycog by AuthorityHacker as a content management system and it works really well too. The process now runs pretty smoothly and I don’t have to spend a lot of time on emails.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Yep; $0.03/word is slightly above the industry standard, but you typically get great stuff.

      I’m currently paying as high as $0.06/word for important one-off pieces.

      You can sometimes save money per word with longer contracts, though (getting a small unit discount in exchange for stability/consistent work).

      • Marc

        Marc

        Perrin what’s a good rate to pay for Amazon product reviews that are in depth around 1500-2000 words? You said $.03 is slightly above industry average.

        • Perrin

          Perrin

          The current industry standard (as far as I know) is $20 per 1,000 words.

  5. Bob

    Bob

    I admit that I’m a slow writer and pretty finicky at times, but who’s writing a thousand words of even mediocre content in half an hour? That’s about 30 words a minute (I think it is, anyway). If you’re a reasonably quick typist, you’ll be at around 50 words a minute. But that’s just typing. Add thinking to that and it’s only going up from there. I love to write and I need clips, but at $20 for a thousand words, I’m not going to bother.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      I think you’d be surprised.

      Nina, our best writer, is a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids. She does all of her writing in about 3 hours when her kids are asleep.

      That amounts to 3,600 words in three hours or about $26/hr. If she was doing that full-time for us, she’d be making about $50k/yr.

      I was a professional writer for a very long time (almost a decade), and I can tell you that one of the first things you learn is speed. Speed, speed, speed.

      For example, this post is about 3,500 words long, and I wrote it in around 2.5 hrs (although I’d be thinking about it for a while, so I was organized).

      Writing good stuff fast is the most important skill for any professional writer, and the folks who do it professional almost always develop that skill as a necessity.

      1,000 words in 30 minutes IS fast–that’d be really A+ stuff. Most top writers do 1,000 in about 45 minutes, including me. That’s still a fantastic hourly rate, though.

      • Bob

        Bob

        Just watched your writing process video. Lot of helpful stuff. I’m going to incorporate some (a lot) of it. Thanks so much Perrin!

        • Perrin

          Perrin

          No prob, Bob!

      • John

        John

        mom with 3 kids <<<—— right there ….

  6. Bob

    Bob

    By the way, this is a great post. Did Nina write it?

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Ha. Nope! I did. She did write her own quote, though 😛

  7. Walt Heisenberg Jr

    Walt Heisenberg Jr

    It took me 2 months to weed out a good writer for my authority blog.

    I’ve found that good writers have the ability to keep the audience interested and therefore making them come back for more.

    Great post.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      And THAT = more $!

  8. Vin

    Vin

    Great post guys. This is on point!

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Thanks Vin. For everyone reading, I’m currently trying out Vin’s ultra-luxury content service. I can’t speak to the results yet, but I hear good things. 🙂

  9. Stuart Walker

    Stuart Walker

    Tell me about Perrin, it can be a real headache with disappointing results.

    I’m currently testing out new writers for my blog.

    I tried hiring on ODesk and through content services initially and couldn’t find anyone worth hiring.

    Then I posted an ad on the Problogger Job board. Got a ton of applications, most junk.

    Some stood out as being decent so hired a few and waiting to see how my audience reacts to them. Mixed bag so far.

    The best people I’ve found to create content so far is other bloggers. They just get it.

    They don’t write perfectly written posts with “fluffy words” but instead solid, actionable, content with personality…and that’s what I want and I believe what people want to read.

    That’s why I’d rather take a guest post from a blogger who isn’t the best writer in the world over a post from a professional writer in most cases.

    But this is content for the blog rather than content for an SEO based site which is different.

    Do you really think good content is so important for a small niche site (to begin with at least)?

    Isn’t getting it to rank first far more important than shelling out money on content that might never be seen?

    Dan from Domain Coliseum recently wrote a guest post on my blog about how content is NOT king for new niche sites that generated a lot of buzz…

    http://nichehacks.com/google-sandbox-effect/

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      I talk to Dan every week, and he’s a good friend of mine, but we disagree on that.

      Even if your goal is to create a small niche site, you’ll want to maximize the profits for that site.

      Assuming that you’re not going to magically have millions of visitors, the single best way to do that is increase time-on-page and reduce bounce rate.

      How do you do THAT? Great writing. Other stuff helps, too, like formatting, videos, etc. But having fantastic content is a key profit maximizer.

      And why wouldn’t you? Would you spend $10 more per article to make $200 more per month? I would!

    • Marc

      Marc

      Hi Stuart I have niche sites and they rank with content I pay $3 article for.

  10. Patrick

    Patrick

    Great article! Really helpful information to everyone building nice sites.

    In the process of publishing the content on a site I would like to know if you make anything else like putting affiliates links in the site. Or videos, pictures etc. Our do you also outsource this kind of work?

    Thank you for this great informations!

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      This is an excellent question. I didn’t address this in the article because it was getting so long, but it’s important.

      In a nutshell, I only train long-contract writers to post on their own.

      For short-term writers, it’s just not worth the training time.

      However, if a writer is going to be working for you for 3/6/12 months, they should absolutely be trained to post content, and that includes images, affiliate links, etc.

      I’ve found that this often takes the most training time of all. Some writers have never used WordPress in their lives.

      But it’s important. For our authority site, Nina writes and posts everything.

  11. Reid Yamamoto

    Reid Yamamoto

    This is a great post and you’ve answered a lot of questions I’ve been asking myself lately. I write my own content, and I’ve been told I’m a good writer.

    The downside is that it takes me up to two hours to write a 1000 word post. That time includes doing some research, which is almost always needed for what I’m writing about.

    I’ve thought of outsourcing, because if I look at what it costs me in time, relative to what I’d pay to get a good writer, I think I’m losing money.

    Thanks for the great tips and resources.

  12. Perrin Carrell

    Perrin Carrell

    Yep; totally get it.

    If you’re writing your own content, I made a video guide on how I do it fast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebPSCSnt4TQ

  13. Masks_Leo

    Masks_Leo

    Perrin,

    Wow, you’ve grown so much since the NSP project. I’m now learning from you as well. Love getting the updates from you and Spencer, and I’m sure we’ll all bounce back from the recent google change.

    -Leo

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Thanks man 🙂

  14. Kenny

    Kenny

    Nice article, it came in just in time. I have been strugling with a magazine website for few months now.

    I have not been having enough time to work on it. I will definately look into how to hire a writer for the project.

    Thanks a lot Perrin for your advise.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Yep; good luck 🙂

  15. Gerasim

    Gerasim

    Thanks for another good article Perrin. I am very thankful to you and Spencer for that spirit you share, through that blog. For me it’s not about tricks and how to, it’s the mood you have doing your business.

    Do you have an administrator for content searching like pictures, videos..? How much is he paid if he exists?

    Thanks 😉

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Thanks, Gerasim.

      No administrator at this point. We’re not busy enough to need one. We may need somebody as we scale, though.

  16. Vishal

    Vishal

    Thanks a lot Perrin for this write up.

    $0.03 is pretty high for me.

    I used to be a full time content writer few years back. Now that I have my own niche site and it earns well, I have focused totally on my authority site development.

    I always prefer to write my content on my own. After 7-8 months now I am very much comfortable in my niche and I am starting to like the process of writing high quality and user targeted content on my site.

    All of my articles are from 3000 to 7000 words in length and just 10 of them are getting almost 3500 visitors a month alone.

    My main point behind this explanation is once you know your niche very well, you can write better quality content that your readers like a lot. It also does save you a lot of time and money if you write your content yourself.

    Now that I know my niche well, I can produce high quality content quickly and that does help to increase my ROI fast. So yes, if you are a writer and if you know your niche well, then you can quickly build a high net worth Authority Site without any need of hiring writers.

    Regards

    Vishal

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Yep; totally true.

      That’s also a good reason to get a long-term writer who can write about that niche for several months (or even years).

    • Red Skelton

      Red Skelton

      I am very impressed with all of your work! Does this post I just made constitute an incomming link for you? Thanks , Red

    • rajkanwar

      rajkanwar

      How much money are you making from 3500 visitors per month?

      • Vishal

        Vishal

        Hi Rajkanwar,

        my niche is more product driven and most of my visitors reach the site looking for specific product reviews. My conversion ratio is about 7-8 percent.

        This means for every 1000 visitors to my site, it earns me around 70 bucks. So 3500 visitors to my site produce about 250 bucks.

        Good thing is my site traffic is increasing steadily as I am adding more content and getting relevant links to my site.

        So overall this strategy of writing high quality content and getting niche specific links works all the time.

        Regards

        Vishal

  17. Leon

    Leon

    G’day Perrin: I do affiliate marketing purely as a hobby, and concentrate on a couple of Clickbank products in the health niche,

    I’ve been getting bogged down in writing my own content and have not yet outsourced.

    Your post was very informative and will be a big help if I ever decide to go that route.

    What was of immediate help was this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebPSCSnt4TQ you provided to assist those of us doing our own writing.

    Research was taking me too long and this was compounded with my need for perfection.

    The video has great advice on how to simplify the research process and top tips to get in a productive writing groove/flow.

    I recommend others to check it out.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Thanks man!

      One of the most important things I learned as a professional writer was to be okay with 90%.

      NO ONE is going to read your writing as closely as you, so what you feel like is 90% done is usually 100% to your readers.

      Just write your articles, and shove them out of the nest!

  18. steve

    steve

    Hey Perrin,

    I’m curious: do you have any supporting content on your authority site for which you don’t worry about the quality as much? Like, maybe, short articles that aren’t keyword-related but provide juice for your main articles?

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      We have short, 300-word news articles that we use for (1) social promotion and (2) a continued effort to get on Google News (no luck yet). However, those are still well-written and up to journalistic standards.

      Nina, our main writer (quoted above), writes one 3,000-word article and 2 short news articles per weekday.

      You absolutely DO NOT need to produce this much content. We’re just investing heavily into this particular business.

      If I were to start an authority site on my own (and I’ll likely have to soon if aPennyShaved doesn’t recover), I’d just do a 1:1 ration of long-form SEO content and long-form social/viral content using BuzzSumo as a reference.

  19. John

    John

    Thank Perrin, this really helps

  20. Jenda

    Jenda

    Hey Perrin!

    I just love your writing – would you work for me? 😀

    Anyway, I took your advice on hiring writers from your social network, when you said it back then in your case study article. And it really paid off! My friend’s friend is crazy about herbs and I just started website about herbs! Wohoo! His writing is average, but his know-how is just suberb! So with little editing it’s definitely great content! 🙂

    However, I would love to hire someone for my English niche site. And since English is my second language, I don’t have that many friends who are natives. Bummer, but at least I’ll try Problogger. 🙂

    Thanks again for your article, love it from the top to the bottom! Keep it up!

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Nice! Yea; it definitely pays off.

      I’d probably try r/ForHire first, especially if you’re offering a longer contract. It’s just quicker and doesn’t have any listing fee.

  21. Shuyin

    Shuyin

    Hi Perrin,

    great advices.

    These rules are good for a general writer.

    But what do you do, if you need a writer for a specific niche?
    If your great writer hasn’t got a good knowledge in that niche of your needs, he surely will need more than 1 hour per article (included research time on every article topic).

    Do search for a new writer? Or do you support your writer somehow?

    Greets,
    Shuyin

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      There are two things you can do:

      1. Hire a writer who knows about the niche.

      2. Train a new writer in that niche.

      For our authority site, I took the second route. Nina didn’t know much about our market, but we spent a long time going over the sources, terminology, competitors, audience, etc.

      • Travis

        Travis

        How to train a new writer for a niche sounds like a good topic for another article!

        • Perrin

          Perrin

          Noted 🙂

        • Todd

          Todd

          I agree. A tutorial on training writers in general about a niche would be really helpful.

          My biggest question was how the writers knew what to write about? I hadn’t realized that you were either hiring writers who knew about the subject or were training them on it. It sounded like you were just handing it off and I was thinking “how do they know what to write!?” This makes a lot more sense though.

          If I could ask another question here I was wondering about the area where you provide keywords for your writers. Are those keywords that you want them to hit on in their writing (as in niche site keywords and long tail keywords), or in this instance do you just mean “the main points you want them to hit on?”

          Thanks, Perrin, this was a really helpful article!

  22. Michael Bely

    Michael Bely

    Writing a good well-thought and researched ready-to-publish article takes days, not hours (or minutes).

    But of course it depends on what kind of articles you need (generic kind of SEO article or new investigation on some matter?) and who (expert? already has materials?) will write an article.

    Anyway, I agree, that finding and holding good writers is very important.

    And that’s for your post! There are good advice there.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂

      However, I’d never hire a writer who took days to write an article–even it was the best thing I’d ever read.

      In this business, speed is just one of the skills you need.

      As an easy example, do you think this post was a well-thought-out post?

      This particular post took me about 2.5 hours. Not trying to toot my own horn. I’ve just been a professional writer for about a decade, and speed is really, really important for anyone writing professionally.

      • Michael Bely

        Michael Bely

        Perrin, thanks for your thoughts.

        I believe there are two different approaches to content creation that we are talking about. First one is very speedy, hot and what people need right now. It is very effective as you say it. I totally agree.

        The second approach is a kind of a scientific magazine approach. One article can be written sometimes only after years of preparation.

        So it is just different audience, different purposes, different aims and motivation.

  23. George

    George

    Nice post
    I’ve a question
    I have a site all his traffic is from china
    how can i make money of it

    thanks

  24. james mccallum

    james mccallum

    Hi Perrin
    I better say it was the best write up I have ever read. He He.
    When you’r paying someone to write content is it best or standard practice to check if its not just respun stuff? What advise can you give on this.
    Thanks.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      It should be fairly easy to tell just by quality alone.

      Also, authority articles should be interesting enough that they couldn’t possibly be respun. If an article is generic enough that it COULD be respsun, it’s not interesting enough in my opinion.

      Finally, hire writer who are professional enough to never do that. If I found out my writers were just spinning, they’d be fired immediately.

  25. Yaro

    Yaro

    Great article and tips Perrin!

    I think some people afraid to hire people they know for business purpose to not ruin relationship.

    I am hiring writers almost the same way as you.
    And i only hire writers for long time.
    My steps:
    1. Post a job opening
    2. Select couple candidates
    3. Ask them for their previous jobs or examples
    4. Reduce number of candidates if need it.
    5. Give one job to each of candidate, (500 words article usually)
    6. Again reduce number of candidates if need it.
    7. Give one 2500+ words article to write to each candidate for specific topic.
    And I define rules, like:
    write description, benefits, pros/cons if it’s a product and small conclusion at the end.
    Have a “cheat sheet document” like Perrin has.
    8. Choose the best one or couple of writers.

    Honestly if you give small article to write (500 words), most writers will give descent result (even bad writers). On another hand if you give topic to write 2500+ words article and writer doesn’t have experience or knowledge about it. They can either produce terrible or excellent content. Writer should self educate and learn about the niche.

    I hired before couple bad writers for $0.03 after just first 500 words article test. But then they were producing terrible content for specific niches.

    My main point is that you are investing your money into “your business” and you need to invest time to find and educate your writers to work for you.

    If you are seeing that you content machine doesn’t perform well then you need to go back and check every single step and improve it. It’s like designingdeveloping software that helps to automate your job.

    • Perrin

      Perrin

      Well said!

  26. 1,000 Follows! | Jessie Jeanine

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  27. Warren

    Warren

    Hi Perrin,
    I really appreciate what you have to share. I would love to have you as my writing tutor. So before I pose my question. Let me tell you a little about myself. For six years now, I have wanted to make a living online. To do that as you know and so clearly advocated, you need stellar content that is well written and unique.

    I have one big problem, I hate to write and was never good at it. I was the kid who played, played, played instead of spending time reading. I now know reading at an early age sets the foundation of a good writer. So I took science classes in electronics and became a technician.

    Now, things have changed. I know writing is a huge key to ones success, able to express oneself with words contributes to a good speaker and so on.

    Even though I have this handicap, I told myself, how are you going to get better if you don’t write. Having a website that gets 1000 visits a day is now a big motivator for me to improve my writing.

    Okay my question.
    First, I want to find a writer NOT to write my content but to look over what I wrote. Much like a teacher who grades her student’s paper, red lining my content and telling me how dumb I am, what I need to work on, and to offer some helpful criticism. I thought of just entering a college campus and asking who will help me like for $20 an article. Basically, where can I find someone like yourself to be my online tutor?

    Second, I’m looking for a good grammar and spell checker software that I can download and install on my computer, not those monthly fee or online checker apps. What do you think of ‘StyleWriter’? I was born and raised in the US. So I need something that’s not just an English checker, but something that does a decent job checking my writing style.

    Even though I’m real busy and a family man, I’m determined to work on my writing. I know I’ll never be another H.G. Wells, but I can be a better writer who cares about what his words portray about himself.
    Thanks a bunch,

    • Perrin

      Perrin

      What you’re looking for is an editor, and you should pay WAY less than $20 per article, since it’ll take most editors 15 minutes.

  28. John Zakaria

    John Zakaria

    Hey Perrin,
    I really thank you for discussing all information about managing writers who we outsource them.It is really important to control the process of outsourcing writers to get the best quality for our content.I will apply your steps sooner.

  29. enterdiving

    enterdiving

    i used to know it too !!!

  30. George

    George

    Hi Perrin
    I’ve a question
    I have a site all his traffic is from china
    how can i make money of it
    thanks

  31. Podcast 49: How to Mange Writers Effectively | Niche Pursuits

    Podcast 49: How to Mange Writers Effectively | Niche Pursuits

    […] Perrin and I were able to sit down and record a podcast based on our last blog post, How to Mange Writers Effectively. […]

  32. charles marabella

    charles marabella

    Perrin, when working with writers for the first time off places like reddit, with no brokerage for a ripoff safety net, what is the best way to do the transaction?

    To clarity, examples would be wait till they send article then pay, pay 20% upfront then 80% upon receiving article etc. Trying to think of the best way to avoid scams, to initially try out new writers.

    Thanks
    Charles

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Its pretty standard to get the content, then pay.

  33. Ian

    Ian

    This is a great post dude! Very informative. What a great resource for those who are looking for writers and have either failed miserably to find hte right people or are just plain stuck. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Podcast 49: How to Mange Writers Effectively | IM Aggregator

    Podcast 49: How to Mange Writers Effectively | IM Aggregator

    […] Perrin and I were able to sit down and record a podcast based on our last blog post, How to Mange Writers Effectively. […]

  35. Vineet

    Vineet

    Hi spencer. I just want to know the right time for putting ads on my site. Should i immediately post ads or wait until i get a decent amount of traffic to my site. And second

  36. Vineet

    Vineet

    Hi spencer. I just want to know the right time for putting ads on my site. Should i immediately post ads or wait until i get a decent amount of traffic to my site. And secondly i found a decent keyword with a kc of 18 but on the first page there are youtube and Wikipedia sitting with above 1kof page links and having a domain authority of 100. What should i do?

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