Niche websites, lots of traffic, heavy commissions, ad clicks and passive income.
That’s the dream, right?
If you’ve been chasing it, I don’t blame you.
Who doesn’t like partying in luxury beach resorts with dozens of other millionaire marketers who’ve made it big and broken free from 9 to 5 slavery? (You know, the ones who send you their party pictures all the time)
It looks so tempting, so easy and so much fun.
But there’s one really boring piece of this puzzle without which you can’t accomplish anything.
It’s the life-blood of any niche website and the biggest roadblock for most wannabe niche marketers.
Content creation – you guessed it right!
To build successful niche websites that generate reliable passive income, you need to create high-quality content regularly (LOTS of it).
In most cases, you can’t do it all alone and, at some stage, you’ll need to hire content writers to help you
And that’s where it gets tricky.
If you hire the top bloggers and writers, the content will be great but you’ll need to pay them big bucks.
On the other hand, you can source cheap content from content mills, agencies or non-native freelancers but the quality won’t be great. In fact, there’s no guarantee the content would be unique.
Like this member of NicheHacks Private Mastermind found out.
So how exactly can you strike the right balance and find writers who can produce good quality content at affordable rates?
By the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll have a clear answer to this burning question.
What You'll Learn in this Post
- The key traits of a good content writer
- A simple technique to reduce content costs by intelligent categorization
- A smart way to get niche enthusiasts to create content for you
- A hugely persuasive pricing model that every writer would gladly accept
- How a small value addition can help you hire talented writers for cheap rates
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)
"The success of your site depends upon you finding the most competent and influential writers in your industry" - Russ Henneberry (Digital Marketer)
Look for These Things When Hiring a Niche Content Writer
We all have our favorite bloggers and writers, right?
The ones we can read all day without blinking an eye. I remember once going through a 10,000-word post by one of my favorite bloggers without even noticing it.
You need such writers on your team.
Because you don’t need content just to fill empty spaces.
You need it to attract, engage and convert the right traffic into buyers and subscribers.
A study by Slate revealed that more than 50% of people never read an article till the end, let alone take action.
While there are several reasons for this, boring content is one of them.
And this is where high-quality and engaging content makes the difference.
All writers are different from each other, but the good ones usually have the following qualities
- They write flawless content
Because typos and grammatical mistakes are the last things you need from a writer.
- They write in a conversational tone
No one likes reading boring essays or instruction manual type articles.
Blog content needs to be written in an engaging and conversational tone that talks directly to the reader.
- They create ‘scanable’ content
Lots of subheadings, short paragraphs and intelligent use of bolds and italics.
Content that’s easy on the eye and can be scanned quickly is much easier to read.
You don’t want articles with walls of content because that immediately turns off readers.
- They solve problems
People read content to find solutions to their problems.
They might be looking for the best wedding dresses in winters or the ideal shoes for a hiking trip.
Your content needs to solve their problem in clear terms. Good writers do that all the time.
- They know how to generate traffic
You don’t want to hire writers who just write for you.
You want people with active social media profiles, a solid understanding of content promotion and a knack of generating traffic to their content.
This can make a huge difference.
- They’re great at research
You know, the ones who can find references for every argument they make and dig out data from boring studies and lengthy PDFs.
Well-researched articles with lots of numbers, data references and real-world examples convince people to take action much more easily.
Ways To Find Your Ideal Content Writers
So, where do you start looking for such writers?
There are literally hundreds of websites and platforms where you can find writers.
But you don’t want to do that because you’re looking for specialized writers who understand your niche and can meet your quality requirements.
So instead of looking all over the web, focus on these methods to find your ideal writer.
1. Begin Your Search from Competitor Blogs
No matter how unique your niche is, there must be other blogs already doing what you’re planning to do.
You can find your main competitors either by searching your primary keywords on Google, or by searching your URL on SEMRush.
For example, this is what I found when I searched NicheHacks on SEMRush
So before looking anywhere else, find the best writers on competing blogs.
They’re already familiar with your niche and know what to write about.
They're mostly freelancers writing for a specific fee.
Contact them from the links in their author bio and offer them work.
As a freelance contributor to dozens of blogs myself, I get approached by website owners regularly through my byline on other blogs.
This approach usually works well if you’re researching authority websites, since most of them feature authors with their bylines.
However, many niche sites hire ghostwriters, so this approach won’t really work there.
But don’t worry, we can still find your ideal writer.
2. Look for Writers on Popular Freelance Portals
However, since there’s literally no entry barrier for freelancers on these sites, every job requirement is usually bombarded with dozens of applications from crappy writers or agencies that outsource content to even cheaper writers.
But in between, you can find rare gems like this writer who made more than 6 figures writing for high profile clients on Elance (now Upwork).
To find them, you need to do two things
- Create a Detailed Job Description
When you post your job requirement on these sites, be as detailed as possible.
Describe even minor requirements and use reference articles to give writers a clear idea of what you’re looking for.
For example, I found this job post on Upwork by NicheHacks Private Mastermind member Al-Amin (Marketever)
It’s a pretty detailed job description that gives the applicants a fair idea of your requirements.
I would probably add a couple of article links from competitors or my previous sites for benchmarking.
- Only Hire Writers Who’ve Cleared Relevant Tests
All freelancing portals allow freelancers to take different skill tests to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
If you’re looking for quality writing talent on these platforms, only hire writers who’ve cleared writing and language-related tests.
Here’s a snapshot from the Upwork profile of a freelance writer.
- Ask Applicants to Share Previously Published Work
This is one of the easiest ways to filter through crappy writers and find the ones that meet your quality requirements.
A word of caution
Although there are good writers on Upwork and other freelance portals, I’d recommend using them only for sourcing articles that can be written with a little guidance and editing.
Most writers on these platforms write dozens of articles every day to make ends meet since they charge so little money.
So don’t expect high-quality stuff.
"Writing is easy. Just pick up a pencil and start putting words on paper. But writing stuff that people actually want to read? That’s hard." - Bryan Harris (Video Fruit)
3. Source Really Cheap Articles from Content Mills
All of them claim to offer unique and high-quality content, but that rarely happens.
So when you get content produced from their writers, search for it on Google just to make sure it doesn’t already exist.
Some of these sites give you author ratings as well to give you an idea about their quality.
To find the best writers, you’ll need to adopt a similar approach to freelancing portals and provide detailed requirements coupled with tight screening.
I’d personally never recommend using them unless you’re short on budget or prepared to edit the articles yourself.
4. Target University Students to Get Cheap Content
University and college students love to make some extra money on the side because they’re always short on cash.
I remember working on several writing projects for pennies when I was in college.
These are qualified people with good language skills looking for a quick buck – if you’re looking for cheap content, it doesn’t get better than this.
So how do you find them?
- Search for Students on LinkedIn
There are thousands of students on LinkedIn that you can find with a few searches. In this snapshot, I simply searched the word “student” on LinkedIn and filtered the results for USA only.
Contact these students from their profiles and offer them a quick job.
In my experience, few would decline.
- Contact University Professors
Many universities teach creative writing and communication as a subject.
Find them using Google search, and contact relevant faculty members with your requirement.
Mitchell Wright of Lean Marketing actually did this with a lot of success.
Here’s the email he sent to college professors.
Most of them forwarded the email to their students with Mitchell’s contact details.
As a result, he got several well-qualified writers at really cheap rates.
5. Use Reputable Job Boards to Find the Best Writers
You’ve heard of Problogger Jobs, right?
It’s one of the best places to find high-quality writers.
When I started my writing career it was my go-to source for regular clients.
In fact, Stuart hired me from Problogger in 2014 (long time, I know).
You can post your job requirement on Problogger for 30 days in $50.
You could also post jobs on Craigslist and expect hundreds of responses.
Reddit also has a huge “for hire” thread where you can find awesome writers.
Post your requirements here or scroll a little down the list and you’ll find dozens of writers offering services.
However, writers from these job boards usually charge higher rates (because they offer higher quality).
"Your goal should always be to get your writers to a place in which all you have to do is send them a list of keywords." - Spencer Haws (NichePursuits)
6. Search Social Media Groups and Forums for Niche Enthusiasts
My grandma was so passionate about gardening and knew more about plants and flowers than most people. For a gardening blog, she would’ve been the perfect writer.
You can find such passionate people in EVERY niche.
But the best places to find them are social media groups, niche specific forums and Q/A sites like Quora.
Search these platforms for discussions related to your niche.
You’ll find dozens of niche enthusiasts who’re not only knowledgeable about your industry but can also write really well.
And here's the best part.
They’re not even professional writers so they don’t demand the kind of rates that specialist niche writers have.
For example, look at this answer on Quora
He certainly knows his stuff and also writes pretty well.
Why not reach out and make an offer?
All these members are potential writers for you.
You just need to identify the active commenters and make them an offer.
7. Ask Your Connections for References
If no other method works for you, just send a quick email or Facebook message to your connections and ask them for help.
For most people, this can be the first step to finding writers.
But I put it at the end because it’s so obvious, I don’t need to tell you this stuff.
"A great blogger can write on any topic due to the fact that anything can be researched on the web" - Neil Patel (QuickSprout)
What’s the Right Price to Pay for Niche Content
$1000 for 1000 words – how about that?
I’m a freelance writer myself so I wouldn’t mind that rate at all.
But seriously, what is the right price to pay for niche content?
There’s no fixed answer (don’t hate me for saying this)
But as a general rule, the more specialized the content is, the higher you’d need to pay.
Simple demand and supply rule.
But to give you an idea, you can find decent writers offering 1000 word articles for $25 to $50.
It won’t be in-depth, but good enough to get your site going.
Of course, it becomes easier to find high-quality writers when you enter the 7 – 10 cents per word range ($70 to $100 for 1000 words).
From there, the rate gets higher with the complexity of the topic.
I’ve charged clients $1000 for a blog post as well, but you rarely need to spend that much (unless you’re getting amazing business value in return)
Usually, even the highest quality posts, should not cost you more than $250-$300 for 1000 words.
But that’s still pretty high for most niche site owners.
You want more insights on pricing?
Categorize Your Content Needs for Better Cost Management
However, you can optimize your expenses by hiring different writers for different types of posts.
Not all content is equal in terms of results and ROI.
Blogs that use affiliate marketing as their primary monetization mode publish several types of content, for example
- Product reviews
- Comparison posts
- Informational posts
- Long-form Pillar content
- Sales page content
- List posts
Each of these content types has a separate objective.
For example, most affiliate marketing blogs generate the highest sales from product reviews, product comparison posts and How-To tutorial posts.
So you’ll need writers with deeper knowledge of your niche and better writing skills.
Other post types such as list posts, link or expert round-ups, and general information posts are used to engage readers and keep them coming back to your site.
They also help you rank for specific keywords in Google search.
You don’t need specialists to write such posts for you.
Writers with normal writing skills can do this with a little guidance and editing.
Hiring writers for specific content types helps you manage your costs much better and gives you a good balance of quality and quantity.
How To Get High-Quality Content on a Budget
You’ve read this far, so I’m assuming I’ve done a decent job convincing you.
But what if your budget isn’t big enough?
How do you get quality writers in a small budget?
Honestly, it’s hard to find good writers at cheap rates.
But here are a few techniques that'll make your task a bit easier.
- Offer Long-Term Contracts and Pay for Bulk Orders to Get Discounts
High-quality writers are never short of work. But who doesn’t like lots of cash coming in at once?
They’re still freelancers trading time for money.
So instead of hiring them for 2-3 articles and paying on completion, offer them 3 – 6 month contracts with quarterly payments in advance.
This becomes a much more attractive offer, even if you’re offering the same rate.
Perrin, the content manager at NichePursuits, calls this his ‘top secret tip’ for hiring good writers at affordable rates.
- Target New Writers and Grow Them with Your Niche Site
Self-explanatory, isn’t it?
Find young talented writers, and get them on board with a long-term vision.
Offer them exposure to your network, your audience and incentives based on your business growth.
- Compensate Writers in Other Ways to Create a Win-Win Scenario
Stuart pays the NicheHacks writing team pretty well.
Plus, we have an open offer from him to leverage his network whenever we need help in our own businesses.
We even have a Facebook group just for the writing team where we discuss different ideas.
Another client that I work for, regularly offers me free tools and plugins.
These things mean a lot and help you hire and retain good writers.
If you have something additional to offer your writers, do it.
It’ll only help you build a better team.
Are You Any Closer To Finding Your Ideal Writers?
You should be.
And once you find them, make sure you take good care of them because the longer a writer stays with you, the better he gets at understanding your product and creating the right content for you.
So, what are you waiting for?
Try some of the methods I’ve shared in this post and share your thoughts in the comments.
I’ll be waiting for you.