Where Do You Find and Hire Writers?

I remember when I sat down to write the first blog post on my very first niche site. It was exciting, yet scary.

I was looking at the cursor in the WordPress post editor. I struggled my way to 500 words, filled with mistakes.

Fast forward just three years to 2016 and I was publishing an average of 1.33 posts a day for 5 months straight. It that content sprint did three amazing things:

  1. Proved the Keyword Golden Ratio on a large scale.
  2. Provided a huge ROI with a $4,000 investment of content.
  3. Field tested my templates for Upwork for creating and running a lean content team.

In this post, you’ll learn about:

  1. My GO-TO freelancer marketplace to hire writers.
  2. My recommendation for dedicated outsourcing, Content Refined, made specifically for affiliate marketers.
  3. My tip to make sure you don’t get kicked out of Upwork as a client.
  4. Why I don’t like 2 of the bigger marketplaces in the content arena.
  5. Two other rarely used sources of writers. (Rare for the affiliate marketing world.)

All these ideas about hiring writers should work for any kind of site, but my specific experience is for Amazon Affiliate Sites.


Upwork

Upwork is my preferred method to hire writers. Even if you’re not planning on hiring a lot of writers, it’s great (maybe even essential) to get experience hiring contractors with freelancing becoming a very important piece of the economy.

It’s not as easy to hire a virtual assistant as it sounds in the Four-Hour Work Week and even harder to get the desired results. If you dabbled with hiring a freelancer, then you know there are some pitfalls.

Working with freelancers isn’t necessarily hard but like any skill, it requires some practice and learning from your mistakes.

It can be challenging to sort through lots of proposals and figure who is a good candidate. But if you have the right templates, it’s easier to get right.

You can get all my Upwork templates here.

Don’t Get Kicked Out of Upwork!

Be sure not to mention “Amazon” or “Reviews” in your job listing because it will trigger a Terms of Service violation. I believe sellers on Amazon used to hire people to write fake reviews on Amazon. If you use those words, it’s likely your job listing will be deleted or you may find that your Upwork account is closed.

Just follow my templates, add your own personality, but do not mention anything about “Amazon Product Reviews.”

My #1 Tip for Upwork

Don’t accept more than ONE excuse. Sometimes things happen (dog ate my homework, sick child, delayed flight, etc…) and your freelancer may be late to finish something.

If a freelancer is late to complete work due to an uncontrollable circumstance, then I’ll generally assume they are telling the truth. If it happens again, I end the working relationship.

If a freelancer is late and didn’t let me know ahead of time, then I immediately end the working relationship. E.g., “Sorry, I’m late submitting the article. My child was sick 3 days ago so I’ve been behind.” I don’t accept that excuse because they should have told me as soon as they knew there would be an issue.”

I’ve accepted the excuses before but quickly realized that people make excuses over and over again. It’s always a different reason, but they are always late. So I learned my lesson and just give someone the benefit of the doubt once, and that’s it.

Pros

  • Cheaper for the quality of the writer compared to other marketplaces.
  • Might be able to find a very good writer at a bargain price.
  • You can find LOTS of writers fast.
  • Client payment protection so you only pay for actual work. (More from Upwork)
  • Escrow protection for the client and freelancer.

Cons

  • Can be hard to create a great job listing.
  • Overwhelming because there are so many freelancers.
  • A lot of new freelancers that are dipping their toes in the freelancing pool to test the waters. So they might flake out.
  • Freelancers can make excuses, flake out, or disappear.

Want more details about how I hire and how much I pay for content on Upwork? Read this post too.


Dedicated Services

Companies like Textbroker and iWriter focus solely on content. They pair up freelance writers with people that need content. It’s pretty amazing because you can submit your article titles with some light details and have dozens, literally, dozens of articles written in a day.

Here are some prices from Text Broker.

Companies like Textbroker and iWriter vet the writers and rate them with a “star rating” which denotes the quality of the content produced by the writers. The cost is dependant on the length of the content and the quality of the writer.

But I actually don’t like using any writing service since it’s more expensive and I didn’t like the level of quality for the price point. Some people love the services so don’t be afraid to try it.

Content Refined

There is a service that is oriented to affiliate marketers called Content Refined (affiliate link so I get a commission if you buy it- thanks!). They do a better job than the general services but it’s relatively expensive compared to hiring a writer from Upwork.

The upside is they write great content and it’s a full-service situation. So Content Refined will even do keyword research for you if you don’t want to. If you do the keyword research, then it’ll be cheaper overall.

One cool thing about Content Refined is the fact they use a very high-end tool called Market Muse. It helps the writer and editor use the optimal number of keywords and latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. It’s a very expensive tool, so expensive that only a content agency or large company could afford.

They get the images for you and will even draft and format the content in WordPress for you.

They have monthly packages with  4, 8, and 12 posts so you can really ramp up your content production.

Pros

  • White Glove service so you don’t have to worry about anything — you just hire the service and they do the rest.
  • If you do hire one of the premium companies, you can even have them upload and draft your posts in WordPress so that it’s totally hands off.
  • Can hire a lot of writers fast without having to deal with them directly. Basically, the service plays the project manager.
  • You don’t have to worry about writers that flake out or disappear — the service will deal with that.

Cons

  • More expensive for the quality of the content (most of the time).
  • Sometimes the quality is poor even if the star rating indicates the content should be better.
  • Sometimes it’s clear native speakers aren’t writing the content.
  •  It might be harder to provide a template for the writer depending on the service. (Like if you wanted to follow the “Perfect Amazon Review Template…”)

Check out Content Refined (affiliate link so I get a commission).


Craigslist

I haven’t actually hired a writer from Craigslist but there’s tons of traffic for jobs and gigs so it’s just a matter of posting a job, then sorting through the proposals.

Craigslist is organized by city, but you can hire people from anywhere. So I recommend posting in a midsized city or two to start out with. You could use a similar job listing as my Upwork templates, then adjust from there as you test what gets the best response.

Pros

  • Cheaper for the quality of the writer.
  • Might be able to find a very good writer at a bargain price.
  • You can find LOTS of writers fast.

Cons

  • No client or freelancer protection like Upwork.
  • Overwhelming because there are so many freelancers, cities, localities.
  • It’s pretty likely that you’ll get some spam messages anytime you post on Craigslist.

Friends and Relatives

I tried to get my wife to write an article for one of my first sites — uh, that didn’t really work out.

But I did hire my sister to write a couple articles about a topic that she was interested in. She had a good time writing and even taking some photos for the blog post.

Most of us know someone in our family or friend-network that is interested in:

  • Earning a little money on the side,
  • Learning about internet marketing,
  • Working, even if it’s a part-time gig.

It’s really a matter of asking around and you’ll almost certainly find someone that wants to write for you. I had a good friend who was able to get his mother to write for him since she was retired and had free time as well as an interest in the topic.

Pros

  • Cheaper for the quality of the writer.
  • Might be able to find an excellent writer at a bargain price.
  • You can help out someone that needs to make some money on the side.
  • They can potentially partner with you to lower the costs in exchange for equity.

Cons

  • If the working arrangement doesn’t work out, it could be a contentious situation.
  • Friends or relatives might not be good at accepting feedback.
  • You might be bad at giving constructive feedback, especially to people you know.

Over to YOU

If you have any tips you want to share, please let us know in the comments.

If you have any questions, ask away in the comments!

Want a Profitable Affiliate Site?

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Doug Cunnington, PMP

I show people how to create Affiliate Sites using project management and a proven, repeatable framework. I love creating systems, using templates, and brewing beer (but not at the same time).

Show 8 Comments
  • Jared Cox November 12, 2018, 6:13 am

    Hi Doug I enjoyed the YouTube livesteam 2 days ago… awesome you’re helping a lot of people for free. I’ve used Fiverr for writing and BHW, I haven’t tried Upwork yet for writing but I have had some really bad experiences on there with freelance devs who promise more than they can do and like you say have plenty of excuses. I should give it another go for writing though, it’s one of the best investments when done right.
    Thanks, Jared.

    • Doug Cunnington November 12, 2018, 8:23 am

      Jared, thanks for watching!
      Give it a shot! I think Black Hat World may not be a good place to hire people for anything. Fiverr can be okay if you find a good contractor.

      Also, development can be tough to hire for since it can be hard to explain what you need to a developer. Good luck!

  • Dmitry November 12, 2018, 7:13 am

    Thanks, Doug, great article as always! I have downloaded your Upwork templates and one mentions that you also have a style guide to provide to writers. Would you be able to point me to where I could download it? Massive thank you!

    • Doug Cunnington November 12, 2018, 8:27 am

      Dmitry, thank you!
      I don’t share my exact template but it’s list here where it says, “Provide a Style Guide”. So you can just make your own style guide — figure out what you want, then write it down.

  • Mel November 12, 2018, 7:59 am

    I’ve hired a writer from Fiverr that worked really well and is very inexpensive. I think I lucked out in finding someone good, there may be a lot of less talented writers there, too.

    • Doug Cunnington November 12, 2018, 8:27 am

      Mel, nice! I think you can find some good people on Fiverr.

  • Claudemir November 15, 2018, 9:06 am

    I Doug, I’m just starting a new blog and I hope your method can help me.
    The blog is brand new but I’ve tested some of my articles and they are KGR compliant (just a coincidence).
    Let’s see what happen in the following months…

    • Doug Cunnington November 16, 2018, 3:25 pm

      Yeah! Claudemir, keep me posted. I’m betting the KGR terms rank more quickly.

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