Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hired Guns & Rented Hands

Dear Whore,

I'm looking to hire some blog writers or buy content for my blog. What do you suggest? (Who do you suggest?)

Bogged Down in Blogs
Dear Blog-Bogged,

The Whore is not anti-paid writers, but she does have words of caution.

Blogs are largely popular due to passion, voice and other personalisation the format allows, so the matter of guns for hire for blogging is vastly different than hiring copywriters for website pages, press releases and other writing gigs.

Since a large part of a blog's appeal is that readers come back for more ~ and this more isn't just another post on the subject, but more of the person they enjoyed ~ buying content is trickier.

It's best to have a regular writer (or several) at your blog. Regular and engaging authors allow for a consistency in tone and voice that gives the blog its style. This also means you will be less likely to have redundant (boring) content. Hiring or contracting writers to write on a theme means you're going to end up with several generic pieces. I know this is quite a popular thing for some bloggers to do ~ hire writers to write based on a set of keywords and just wait for that Google ad money to roll in (not!) ~ but honestly, have you ever visited that blog again? Do you think those blogs have fans?

(Those are rhetorical questions; the answers are 'No.')

I know several writers quite well who write weekly posts for other blogs (under differing pen names or completely selling the content to the person who owns the blog), and their 'regular Wednesday post' or whatnot has developed a following all its own. Readers visit every week to read those posts because of it's voice and personality. (Hopefully each other hired gun has the same pull for the other days of the week.)

If you don't have enough passion to write on the subject, if you are not able to speak to the audience you are seeking, or if you just plain aren't "a writer" at all, hiring a pro may be a good thing. (Please, do not use free-to-use-as-long-as-you-include-their-credit-box as posts ~ that's not original or unique to your blog. If in a pinch, it's better to have a blog 'guest' write an entry for your blog than it is to use such useless and old-hat material. If it's just a time issue, maybe form a group blog?)

If you must hire, try to find & hire regular writers. They'll add more than just words to your blog, but give it the je ne sais quoi that sets your blog apart from the others.

(As for the 'who,' as mentioned, I do know a few writers who'll do this ~ if you really need a connection, email me and I'll see if I can hook you up.)

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