At orobora, we hire journalists with experience covering a specific news beat. We also hire writers with a combination of specific credentials (often masters degrees or doctorates) and superb writing samples.
If you are hiring a freelance blogger here are some tips:
Where to Post the Job
Post your position on these three places for the best candidates:
1) Blogging industry sites, such as ProBlogger’s job board
2) Industry and professional sites relating to your topic(s) (e.g., American Chiropractic Association
3) Flexible hour and telecommute job boards—we like FlexJobs.
Craigslist should be avoided, because it often results in a lot of spam and no real candidates.
Detail Hiring Specifics
What topic and news area(s) will the blogger cover? How will they be compensated? What language is required? (For example, if you need a writer who knows English, which kind? British, Australian, and American?) Does the site require AP Style or Chicago Style (and does the blogger need to know the rules to those styles, or do you have an editor)? What metrics warrant a finished post? (For example: What is the average word count? Number of references? Does the blogger provide artwork? Who retains the copyright?)
Require Writing Samples
Seems obvious. It isn’t. Professionals have writing samples. Blog samples.
The general public believes anyone can be a blogger. This is technically true. There are dozens of ways to start a blog. So, many would-be “bloggers” apply thinking, “no big deal.” None of these people have writing samples. Cull them immediately by requiring samples.
It’s also good measure to check that your applicant read the whole listing. Details matter.
Check References if a Byline is Missing
Most sites encourage bylines. We prefer to give our writers bylines for two reasons. First, pride of work. Writers work harder when their name is attached. Second, a byline keeps a wall of separation between the blogging contributor and the client.
However, some blogging assignments require bloggers to work without bylines. These posts are attributed to the “Editorial Staff,” or a similarly vague byline. A blogger may have legitimately contributed to a site without a byline. Of course, they could also have been fired…best to find out sooner than later.
Check for Plagiarism
If samples seem inconsistent, or if the blogger’s communication style over email or phone doesn’t seem to match the samples, check for plagiarism! One tool for this is Copyscape. Another is Originality.AI
Blogging can be DIY. If, however, you want a professional team that works behind-the-scenes to deliver news content every day of week, contact us!