A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 6 – Working With Freelancers
Hey guys and gals!
Last week we wrapped up with me trying to figure out where the heck to find a good, knowledgeable writer that wouldn't charge me an eye and a limb for my skyscraper post.
I've found her. And I'm going to tell you exactly how, and how to avoid possible major mistakes.
Spoiler: I found her on Facebook. Ever read about people saying on the forums "just go to Facebook groups and you'll find writers"? I did. And it can work but there's more than meets the eye and you should definitely know a few things for this to work.
Also, this is mostly for some high-end pieces. If you're trying to get the bulk of your site done, I still recommend content agencies with pro writers as it will work out miles easier and cheaper.
Additionally, I've also found a guy on Fiverr who's going to get me emails for me to pitch the infographic and the skyscraper.
Let's jump into this!
Week 5 Summary
- Find a good writer and place order - Check
- Find good data entry guy and get emails - Check
Time input and Expenses for the week
So this week I've spent a grand total of 5hours total working on the site, spread across the days as I was having multiple conversations with possible writers, scanning through Fiverr profiles looking for a good data mining gig and testing, testing, testing.
I've spent $30 testing (test assignments for writers and some data scraping guys) and $60 on the actual skyscraper post. Then another $50 on a 300 email list spreadsheet.
I'm still to get both assignments back but I'm confident the writer and the data entry VA will do good as I've done a test run of both.
Which is one of the main things we'll talk about today. But first, let's start with actually finding these people.
Finding a passionate writer through FB groups.
So, if you're in any of the many niche site facebook groups or you read case studies (like this one LOL) you probably have read that some people find their writers going to facebook groups that talk about the topic of their site.
But how they do it? Do they simply post "hey guys this is my site i'm looking for a writer" and they magically have dozens of people willing to write for free? Well, not exactly.
You'll have to filter amongst the curious and the ones that just want to waste your time.
And you'll need to know how to make the business proposition appealing to the possible writer!
So, I'm going to share the exact step-by-step proccess I've followed to find my writer using Facebook groups.
1. The Obvious: Join Facebook groups
So like I've mentioned in other episodes, MMG revolves around fitness. I went ahead and joined every big fitness and supplements group there was on FB.
And you may think "but hey dude, some of those are Malaysian and Philippines groups, is that ok?"
Short answer: sure it is. If they speak good English I don't care about where they're from LOL, I'm not a native speaker myself either and I'm sure you can follow along just good 😀
You may even find cheaper writers on foreign groups!
So, join groups: Check
2. Post looking for a writer.
Now it's time to let the thousands of people on those groups know that you're looking for a writer for your brand new site. Here's how to do it right:
- Tag one Admin in your post (see example below) so you're upfront with the community and don't look sneaky.
- Be very concise about what you want.
- Tell the candidates what they can expect in terms of compensation and frequency.
- Remain open for a chat both in the comments and MP.
- Point out the obvious benefit for both parties.
- Don't feed the troll.
Here's the exact message I posted on 7 different groups (the larger ones I found)
Hi, I hope the admin [admin name] is ok with this:
I’m looking for someone who’s truly knowledgeable on nutrition supplements and fitness overall and wants earn some money writing content on a weekly basis for a website I help manage.
We’d provide with a list of topics (such as how to use [supplement name] effectively, best pre-workout supplements, different kinds of workout routines and their pros/cons etc etc) and some basic guidelines for the writer.
No BS from either side. If you know what you’re talking about when you talk fitness and nutrition (as broscience-free as possible please) , we’ll agree on a topic, a rough lenght, delivery date and $ amount, you’ll get paid (well above market price, beforehand, via paypal), write, deliver and move onto the next article on the list.
We get high quality content to help our readers and you’ll get money to spend on your passion by writing about it. If this sounds good to you, simply reply here or send me a pm
No bs, no obscure secretive propositions that can only be spoken in private. Scammers do that, don't be one!
I got around 18 responses in 24hours, enough to keep me busy during the next few days.
3. Filter, filter, filter.
I got a wide variety of responses. From people asking to see the site (just that) to people pretty much pasting a CV of fitness accomplishments and why they'd be SO interested on having an opportunity to write for me (And a few trolls. Remember not to feed them)
I went with the passionate ones of course.
Then, you'll have people who's asking more questions than they're interested on answering. These are the curious, the ones that don't trust you or the ones that think you're trying to scam someone so try to catch you. You'll spot them by their language.
What I did was to give everyone a bit of background. When did the site start, that I've got a few friends helping me with content, that I want someone who's a proper enthusiast on board and I'd ideally be looking for a ghostwriter but could make a writer's profile for them if they really want the credit etc.
You'll find that most people is ok with the ghostwriting thing, but again being upfront here is nice. Then if they react nicely "sounds good man, could I see the site?" or "yeah great, I'd love to write about workouts bro! I don't need no credit, some compensation would be cool but yeah I'm in!" then I tell them to go to MMG, have a look, let me know what they think etc.
But if they're like "ok. And how much does this pay? What's the site?" then well, I move onto the next passionate response.
So, have the most passionate looking ones have a look at the site and have a little chit chat about them, how they got involved into fitness etc to get a vibe of the person.
4. Structuring a good deal for both sides.
After that initial filter, I proposed a more detailed deal:
Pay is $25 per 1,000 words. I’ll hit you with a list of topics and you pick one. We agree on a rough lenght and a delivery date and you get paid (paypal) . If the article ends up being way longer because the topic NEEDED to be covered in more depth, I’ll adjust the payment no worries. If the article ends up several hundred words shorter because it didn’t need as long as you thought, we leave those $ in a pool for the next one, no worries either.
Now, I know you can get cheaper articles. But I value people's time and knowledge and you should too. You must know where your ceiling is in case someone finds that too low and be ready to negotiate too (It will depend on your niche. I guess if I was talking about robotics $25 per 1,000words could be even offensive)
5. Agreed? Good. Now test.
Alright I know some of you are thinking "Why don't you test before you propose a deal?"
Well, in my mind, if they don't find the proposition suitable, It doesn't matter how great of a job they do on the test assignment, they won't take the offer. So I'm upfront about the conditions and expectations.
So, how do you test a few writers at the same time?
What I did was to go back to my list of KGR keywords and find a topic that looked complex enough yet not too hard to answer in a short article.
I gave the same assignment to everybody.
A question type of keyword that I knew could be properly explained in less than 800 words. I asked them if they thought they could do a good job on that topic and if $20 was a decent amount for this first job.
Some people will be like "I'll do this one for free man, don't worry let me try it and if you like this first one then you can pay me for this if you want or we move to the other topics" and some will be like "perfect! I can get it done tomorrow :D" and some will try to juggle an extra $. Dump the last ones and try all the others. (He who squeezes you before to know you properly, will only squeeze you more the more confident he's with you)
Pay the man or woman what you've agreed and ask them for a clear deadline. Today? Tomorrow? Monday? and let them freely pick a day. If they pick a day that's 5 days from now for a 700 word article, move on. If they don't deliver on time, move on.
And remember. Don't be an ass. The nicer you're with people the more interested they'll be to do business with you.
Idieally, you should have some knowledge about what your own site is about. I don't (but my partner does) so that you can read an article and distinguish the BS from the fact. Then read a bit more and decide for the one that you enjoyed the most reading.
If you enjoyed reading it, so will your audience, so that's the writer you should go with.
Agree to a communication medium such as FB chat, trello, email, smoke signals and start giving tasks to the writer.
Finding someone to collect emails for you.
This is miles easier to be honest.
Go to Fiverr and search for web scraping/data mining/email extraction:
Check for anyone who mentions email extraction or lead collection on their profile and has good reviews. Then send them a private message asking if they're able to complete the following task:
- Search for blogs inside the fitness and supplements space (gym routines, workout, calisthenia, nutrition, equipment, martial arts...add as many related topics as you can, don't expect the guy to find the topics for your, help him)
- Find and collect: Name of author, contact email.
- Paste data on a spreadsheet alongside name of the blog and URL
Nine out of ten guys I asked said they could do. Then ask them their rates for 50-100-200 entries. Then from the ones you think are asking for a fair amount (I paid 50€ for 300 entries), ask them if they'd be able to find you two right now as a test.
Most of them will. Bang, slap a couple of results and ask you if you're happy. Check them to make sure they are legit and go with the fastest. I went with the nicest and he's taking it to the very limit of the deadline so go with the fastest hahaha.
Alright, this has been the progress so far this week, still outsourcing heavily as you see, it works out more expensive than doing it all yourself but in return you move miles faster. Remember, time is the only asset that never grows. Spend it wisely.
For the next week I'll probably be publishing the skyscraper post and I'll see if I have time to send some emails.
I may get HPD's article pack back from the writers too so if that happens I'll be busy just with publishing, which may mean I won't have anything interesting to share until the following week. Maybe not, maybe something awesome comes across, or I learn something valuable in the proccess of publishing a ton of content. You never know.
But as always, I'll be around in the comments to chat with you so I'll see you down there!