How to Find Writers, Editors, Contributors for your Website or Blog is the question this article will answer. Finding writers, editors, and contributors for content generation for your website is a prudent first step before you launch a website and a necessary one after it has grown to such a degree that you need assistance to meet its traffic and editorial demands.
The Benefits of having more Writers
Everyone wants writers for their website. It makes the owner or editor-in-chief’s life much easier. Your work load is lessened, your site gets more published content, you are given more free time to do editorial work, site mainteance, email, and prospect for new advertisers.
Additional writers can go to advanced film screenings for your site in your stead and write reviews for the films they see. They can write succinct editorials about anything that crosses their mind, aggrandizing the content your site offers.
There is also the added benefit of Google News admission. As a requirement, you need a multi-author website to apply for inclusion in Google News (written about: How to Become a Google News Publisher).
Where do I find Writers, Editors, and Contributors?
Now that you realize that you need additional writers for your website and have read about their benefits, where do you start your search? Where do you find them?
As it turns out, finding them is the easy part. Like in the past, all you have to do is post you job opening somewhere accessible, highly trafficked, and in a place likely to draw the attention of the type of employee you are looking for. Here are some suggestions:
Whether in the header, footer, in a post or on your sidebar, advertise your job opening(s) on your site. The readers of your site might be great writers themselves and may be looking for an opportunity to join the team. They will not know that this opportunity even exists unless you tell them.
Craigslist is very popular and makes it easy to post job openings. Since you will be posting about writing, I would suggest placing your job posting under “writing gigs”. Best of all, its free to post on Craigslist.
Facebook Fan Page Posting
If your site has a Facebook fan page, post the jobs you are looking to fill there. You might also want to pin it to the top of the page for a week or two. Linking to a jobs posting page or a description of what you are looking for in the Fan Page post is a good idea as well. This only works if you have a decent amount of “Likes” on your fan page.
Post the job opening on your Google + page. This only works if you have a decent amount of plus ones (people following your Google+ page). Hashtags in your posting will help as well.
I have seen this method used on many HeadHunter Twitter feeds. Write a brief description on what you are looking for and then end the tweet with some kind contact information. The benefit of this type of job posting is that it can be retweeted all over the place. This only works if you have a decent amount of followers and/or use good hashtags (written about here: How to Advertise your Movie Review aggressively on Twitter) in your tweet.
If you have a newsletter like Aweber or MailChimp (detailed here: How to Start Movie Website Resources), advertise the jobs that are open on your site within it.
Help Wanted Newspaper Ad
Magazine Help Wanted Ad
Many high-end corporations advertise job posting here and so can you. Posting here is free. Keep in mind though: “[They] generally DO NOT accept postings for: Unpaid/Intern blogging, writing or otherwise free content generators.”
Bloggers and job seekers frequent his job board. Posting here is not free ($50 for a month).
One of the major benefit of posting on this job board is that your posting will appear on the home page of the website, under “Recent Marketplace Listings”, for a limited time. Posting here is not free ($75 for a month).
A cutting-edge, tech savvy, social media news site that gets oodles of traffic. Posting here is not free ($199 for a month).
The “It” place for job seekers, HeadHunters, employed people, and people looking for employment. This is one of the premium places to place a job opening. Posting here is not free ($295 per month).
What do I say in the ad
I have written many job listings on Cariglists and received replies asking how much the job paid, laughter (“who wants to work for free?”), funny quips in reply, people that didin’t want their work critqued, etc. These questions, humorous responses, venom, and dead air were all a result of the wording of my job postings. The wording was inaccurate.
Be clear in your job posting whether or not the advertised job is a paying job or a non-paying job.
Using a word like “compensation” means it may be a paying job the person is reading about. Using words like “volunteer” or “contributor” means it is a non-paying job. This wording will help you and the person reading your job posting not waste each other’s time.
Spell out the position’s responsibilities and the expectations for the person seeking the job e.g. how many articles are they responsible for per day.
Don’t jump the gun
Test and vet your perspective employees once they have made their interest known by responding to your job posting. Don’t just give access to your site over to a complete stranger. Ask them in the job posting or in subsequent email communications to:
1. Supply samples of other similar work.
2. Ask them to write new samples on something current. If they are ready to write for your site they are ready to show what they can do with something current. (1. and 2. can actually be combined). Have them email them to you.
3. Ask them for their credentials e.g. a resume/CV.
When you find someone you like, the final test is the most important: consistency. Does this person do what they said they would do? Do they produce? Do they produce on a regular and timely basis? Do they do what you have asked of them, what you adevrtised you needed in your job posting? The only way to gauge this is to use father time and patience. Wait. If they begin submitting articles to you like they said they would, good. That doesn’t mean you should give them access to the backend of your site yet. Now the new recruit sees what it takes, sees and feels the workload, the expectation.
Here is what I would do:
1. Set up an account for them and post their supplied content for them on your site. Email the URL of their published content to them. They will see their name on your website, their work, and they will be encouraged to keep producing.
2. Tell them they won’t be able to post their own content thenselves on your website until they prove themselves, until they are consistent.
3. Read over their supplied work, give them pointers, and post their work promptly. It works both ways: you earn their trust by publishing their work under their name quickly and they earn your trust by writing and submitting work to you on a regular and consistent basis.
Access, the Backend, Posting Tutorial
Access and User Roles
When the time comes to give your new writer access to the backend of your website, you should still not let your guard down. Certain user roles on a site come with more privileges, the highest being the administrator. In Blogger you can “Invite Authors” to your site to be authors but WordPress gives you more user options (“Contributor”, “Author”, “Editor”, “Administrator”). Like Blogger, choose “Author” for WordPress. Con for WordPress: the person can publish directly to the site with the privileges under “Author”, so instruct them to set their posts to “pending” so you can inspect the initial ones for errors. Pro for WordPress: users under “Author” can post pictures in their posts and write in picture “titles” and “alternate text”. I spoke of the importance of this practice here: 5 Ways to Optimize Images for Increased Pageviews and SEO.
You should also supply your new writer with a tutorial on posting on your website when you give them access to the backend of your website. The tutorial should explain how you want your title tags written, the tags for the article, what post goes in what category, what you want at the beginning and ending of a post, post picture protocols, bolding and italics protocols, etc. A PDF tutorial is a good idea.
Another way to insure the security and integratity of your website is with a security plugin. If you are using WordPress, the Secure WordPress plugin may be the way to go. Amongst all the other things it does, it: “Removes core update information for non-admins, Removes plugin-update information for non-admins, Removes theme-update information for non-admins (only WP 2.8 and higher), and Hides wp-version in backend-dashboard for non-admins”. This is information non-administrators do not need to see when on the back-end of your site. More on WordPress security in an upcoming post.
Finding new writers for your site is easy, finding good writers, writers you can trust and that are consistent is the hard part. Take it slow, vet them, test them over weeks or months if you have to. Remember: the goal is for them to publish new articles on your website. That does not have to happen over night and should not be rushed into. You are letting these people into your house where all your hard work is stored. Back it up before you do so and protect it.