Blogging is one of the greatest businesses growing with the emergence of the online economy. There are innumerable blogs from every corner of the world, whether by amateurs or professionals. Some post as a hobby, while others make a career of it, a money-earning profession.
For those in the latter category, this article might be worth reading. Here, we will look at the facts behind making it in the big world of blogs and, specifically, whether to hire other bloggers for your venture, which is an obvious question for any professional blog owner. Let’s look at it in detail.
The web world is fast, and you need to be, too, to keep up. Everyday, thousand of blogs are born, and to make yours visible, you need to update regularly and serve readers nothing but the best, and you need to be fast enough that your blog doesn’t fade away. When starting a blog, you might think you can handle it alone, but after a certain point, to stay in the race, you need extra hands. Now the question arises, is hiring staff necessary? Extra hands bring extra work, but you’ll get both the good and the bad, and you will be the one who has to clean it up. Would this increase your own workload and mess up your blogging business? Well, not really. Today, a huge number of bloggers are hiring staff and reaping the benefits. But remember: with the boost in productivity, you will face some challenges. To overcome them, you can try a few techniques.
There are two types of staff for a blog: freelance and salaried. Both has its advantages and disadvantages. Salaried staff brings stability, but a freelance staff is more beneficial to new blogs. While salaried staff requires office space, payroll, funds, vacations and other responsibilities that you may not be able to afford initially, a freelance staff will not create these responsibilities. However, be careful in choosing your writers because not all are trustworthy or worth paying. A salaried staff brings more efficiency because it works in an office space and needs to maintain certain obligations. But freelance writers can be more efficient because each hour of their work is paid and thus valuable. The choice is yours, but a freelance staff would probably be more beneficial for new blogs.
If you do make use of freelancers, you’ll need to keep in mind a few basics to succeed. Communications the most important. You need to be able to communicate well with your freelance team. You won’t be able to meet with them all the time, so you need to make your points clear from the very beginning itself. Communication can take several forms:
Healthy communication with your team makes for good work. Be active with your emails, and reply to queries from your staff. This will build trust and make them aware of their responsibilities. But communicate within limits: remember that freelancers are not your full-time employees, and they may have other responsibilities. Make sure your emails, calls, chats and messages donor hamper or frustrate them.
Here are some other factors to keep in mind:
Freelancers will generally charge you by sending an invoice of the work done. Make sure to account for the invoices properly. An invoice should show the amount payable against the work rendered and should show the contact’s details. It should include local accounting specifics; for example, in Australia, an Australian business number is required. Keep the invoices even after payment is delivered.
Maintain contracts or agreements for long-term projects. This will help you and your writers stay within certain bounds, which will make the project go more smoothly. For example, if you hire freelancer to write 200 articles, then you will need some kind of agreement stipulating that they cannot leave midway. If you pay per article, the writer could leave the work early, leaving you in a lurch. Also the writers should be reminded at the end about the payment, so that everyone remembers the terms of the contract.
Rates should always be finalized beforehand. Freelancers usually charge a little more than employees because they need to provide their own equipment and space. But you can sometimes expect faster work than regular employees. For blogging, rates are set either per hour or per number of articles. If you are hiring staff for the first time, consult the salaries on Salary.com or inquire with other blog owners if you know any.
To maintain healthy relationships, an employer needs to be responsible towards their staff. Be clear about your expectations, and fulfill their expectations as well. For example, pay your employees on time. Only a caring attitude towards your employees will help you build healthy long-term relationships.
Whether you hire freelancers or salaried staff, there are a few things you should always maintain. An employer should look after the office space, administration, maintenance and other such things for a salaried staff. In the case of freelancers, one is devoid of such responsibilities; still, if certain tools or resources are essential, the employer should try to provide these. Secondly, the employer should look after administrative details. From payroll to accounting to taxes, everything should be maintained properly and on time. If you expect the trust and good work of your staff, it is necessary that you give them the same. Also, take a balanced approach to management. Don’t make your managing style so rigid that employees find it a pain to handle, nor so flexible that the work suffers. Manage in a way that builds mutual understanding.
As for where to find good efficient workers, for salaried staff, it’s a bit simpler. You go to any job portal (Monster, TimesJobs, Naukri, etc.) and pick appropriate candidates. Otherwise, many job consultancies will help you with this process. In interviews, you can judge the capabilities of the candidates and select the best ones. However, for freelancers, it doesn’t work the same. You may not be able to interview the freelancer in your office. You might to do it through an online interview or via email. This can be abit tricky.
Below are a few ways to make you are hiring good and responsible freelancers.
In hiring freelancers, there are many websites that mediate between employer and employee:
The success and efficiency of these websites is evident from the huge number of employers who go there to get employees. To use them, just post your requirements. What you offer may or may not attract worthy candidates, and you could have a rocky experience, but still these websites are worth trying.
Make sure your ads are clear and not stuffy. A simple and straightforward ad will attract the right candidates. Clearly mention the requirements, the criteria and how one should apply; this is enough.
Identifying the most promising applicants will be difficult. To get through it, you could use a “bozo filter,” which tests the basic skills of candidates and shows you only those who pass.
Asking for references from the applicant’s former employers and colleagues can work well, too. The reference should know something about the job description and the requirements so that they can assess whether the applicant is suitable. In case of freelancers, you can ask your current staff to refer people they know who write or edit. Because they are from the same field, the reference will be valuable.
You can check an applicant’s previous work on other blogs to determine the quality of their content.
When your blog is new, it is better to keep it small and avoid hiring permanent employees. You will need to test the skills of your writers, so keeping it small makes that process more manageable. Once you’re established and are sure of the quality of work provided by your staff, you can move to expanding the blog and the staff permanent. Assess each person on your staff to find the best employees, and then try to keep them for the long term.
In the end, maintaining a freelance staff is better in the early stages of a blog. And then once you’re established and have made a name for yourself in the web world, you can think of hiring permanent salaried staff. You’ll probably want to make the editor and chief editor salaried positions because they have bigger responsibilities and oversee the writers. This will help you create an effective blogging business. It is worth paying for professional bloggers if you want to make it, because you need a good efficient team to handle the workload. But be clear that more hands will bring more work but also more responsibility. And the road will not always be smooth, so be prepared to experience both the good and the bad.