Hiring Writers with E-A-T

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#1
E-A-T has become a much bigger part of SEO and I truly believe it is the right thing to do long term, regardless of SEO. I want to build a serious publication even if it is a small website with limited resources.

I have been buying content for a few years. Not a lot, but chunks here and there. I've used services from some of the members of this site and I've also used Upwork/Elance. Every article that I've ever purchased has gone up on my sites with no by-line, with a "Staff Writer" by-line, or under my personal by-line.

If you look at any serious internet publishers like news, finance, health, tech sites, or even something like Harvard Business Review, you will see that every article is written by real experts with bios. You rarely see "staff writer" and you never see the same person writing every article unless it is a personal blog.

I wrote to Brian Lam (founder of theWirecutter) back before he sold to NYT and asked him how he found writers and how he could afford it on small/no budget. Holy crap, he wrote back!! He said, "find people you like and offer them a job and a mission." He also said that he paid writers ahead of himself for a long time and most of them made more per hour than he did. I'm a little scared about how much a writer will charge compared to the content producers we all use, but you never know until you ask!

Do any of you hire individual writers for specific articles based on their expertise? How do you find them? How do you convince them to write for your no-name website?

How about the technical aspects. Do you handle payments through UpWork or some other system to take care of 1099s and to make both sides comfortable that you won't get screwed?

I assume this can also help build legit links since people tend to promote their own work and if they are legit experts then their links will be more natural and valuable.

Any other thoughts on this?
 

CCarter

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#2
I'm a little scared about how much a writer will charge compared to the content producers we all use
I think you are seeing the cost instead of seeing the benefits of an article and that's why you are scared to invest.

Look at it from this perspective - if I pay a writer $100 to write me an article - that article can potentially produce unlimited amount of revenue for me.

Lets say in a year time I make $2000 in new revenue that can be contributed to that article - is making $2K worth spending $100? HELL YES!

At that point it's all about scaling your business, that extra $2K will get you 20 more articles that can generate you $40K at that point. But this line of thinking requires you seeing your website as a real business with real expenses and real projections.

You can go off of past results to create projects - if you create a website with $1000 worth of content and generated $8000 - that's a 4x return on investment in the first year, everything afterwards is gravy. But you have to start from somewhere when you have no revenue.

I do that with videos and marketing content I create. I created a series of 20 videos ($5K investment) that ended up generated over $100K in a year, going off of that, scaling and growing that business is as easy as creating more videos or doing content creation - or whatever moves the needle for your business.

As well businesses fail all the time - I'm going to have to shutter another operation I spent a good chunk of money off of that never got off the ground, but that's a part of the game.

In the end whatever you do - hire writers, get one off of TextBroker/Fiverr, or grow a team, you have to look at your costs as a true investment in your business. And if you can't get over that mental block of seeing the cost as an investment then maybe running a business is not right for you.
 
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#3
I think you are seeing the cost instead of seeing the benefits of an article and that's why you are scared to invest.
Ah, crap. This isn't what I wanted this question to focus on. I've been told various versions of what you wrote over and over by plenty of people here and in real life. I know your advice to be true. I'm looking at hiring more expert and qualified writers so I think I am over that hump (although, obviously not all the way :wonder:). I do want to make a long term investment.

I'm hoping to get some advice on how to find these experts and develop a relationship with them. How to get an expert to write for my little site. How to deal with the administrative side.

Has anyone out there gone this route?
 
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#4
I've gone through what I think is a similar thought process to what you describe, and have found a simple solution that works for me.

I still find my writers on the likes of Upwork, however I take more care in finding those that have experience/qualifications that I can leverage on my site. I do this by specifying clearly in the job description that I want people with relevant experience, and then of course confirm this during the hiring phase.

If for example I was publishing content about guitars I might hire only musicians, or for health blog only personal trainers. You'd be surprised how many writers have other qualifications or experience. I then get them to include an author bio when they submit the article, and often link to their personal site/blog if they have one.

Not sure if this approach will work for your niche but it works well for me.
 
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First of all, the site needs to be something that at least doesn't repel serious people.

Which means it must look good and trustworthy.
 
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#6
Another option you have is to use an existing writer (if the quality is ok) and then pay the qualified person to review and put their name to the piece - eg: "Medically reviewed by" rather than "Written by".

I am still trying to recover from the update that (seemed) to focus on E-A-T. Apart from using a paid writer or reviewer, another option I thought of was to ask established authorities in my niche to "sponsor" a post where they could put their name as a reviewer and get to link back to their site and put their comments/blurb in the article too.

Not sure if it would work though :smile:
 
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#7
I'm still surprised we haven't seen some sort of persona creation services popping up where someone creates a name, social profiles and makes a bunch of "name citations" across the internet. Probably unlikely to move the needle but a good productized service to sell on Fiverr.
 

CCarter

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I'm still surprised we haven't seen some sort of persona creation services popping up where someone creates a name, social profiles and makes a bunch of "name citations" across the internet.
Why don’t you create that service? This is how unique business are started - with an idea that fills a gap in the marketplace.
 
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#9
Why don’t you create that service? This is how unique business are started - with an idea that fills a gap in the marketplace.
Ideas need execution - I don't want to get distracted away from my other projects.