Want to make money blogging?
It’s simple… STOP trying to do it all yourself.
The fact is that blogs that make big money aren’t really blogs at all. They’re media companies.
Big money blogs function like Forbes Magazine or “O”, The Oprah Magazine.
When was the last time you saw an article from Steve Forbes in Forbes magazine? Do you think Oprah is sitting in her basement writing articles for “O” Magazine?
I know… I know… you’re not Steve Forbes or Oprah Winfrey… I get it. You’ll be operating on a slightly smaller scale… but it’s the model for operating a media publication you should steal from these uber-successful media publications.
Learn more about how this model works in this video from Ryan Deiss.
Don’t worry… we made the exact same mistake. We wrote content for hours and hours. We wrote guest posts on other people’s blogs. It didn’t work… so we flipped the model on its head.
The minute we started thinking of our blogs as media publications… we started down the path of creating VERY lucrative authority websites including this one that generates over 1 million in revenue every single month.
So… how do you find writers for your blog?
First… understand that you don’t want just anyone creating content for your authority site.
You want writers with REACH. These are the writers that come built in with the ability to send you gobs of traffic.
Here’s the deal… when someone writes something for your authority site — they’re going to share it with their social network. It’s just how humans are wired.
The bigger their social network and reach… the better.
More on finding writers with reach in a second…
First – make sure you understand the rules.
Here’s how the game is played…
An outside content creator could be writing articles, creating audio/video or even taking photographs that will be published on your blog.
When you approach a content creator, you have two things to trade:
The first is simple, you cut them a check and they create a piece of content for you. More on how much a writer will cost later in this article.
The second, exposure, is only applicable to writers that are trying to generate new business or otherwise make a name for themselves — which is almost all of them. If your blog has no way of getting exposure for these writers, you won’t be able to offer exposure.
If, however, you have a way to get traffic to your blog (or already have traffic) you can trade in exposure instead of dollars.
But it’s not an either/or thing. You will find that the more exposure you have to offer the less you will have to pay for content. In fact, once your blog reaches a critical mass you won’t need to pay a dime for content — writers will come to you for the exposure.
Now that you know what a writer wants — let’s get busy finding them…
How do you find content creators?
Over the years, I’ve sourced content from 100’s of channels and these are the 5 methods I have found that work well.
1 – Search Google for blogs
If you need a blogger, search for blogs.
Go to Google and search
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] blogs
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] blogger
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] author
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] speaker
These people are content creators and they are often looking for exposure and cash.
TIP: Don’t just search the first page of Google search results. Search deep into the results pages —- this is where you might stumble upon a good writer that just isn’t very good at SEO.
2 – Poach from the competition
Find blogs that have hired outside writers and steal them.
These people are usually freelancers that would love more money or exposure.
There’s nothing illegal or unethical about sourcing writers from competing websites — this is how the game is played.
3 – Search Twitter
In most niches, anybody who is creating content is on Twitter.
Use a site like FollowerWonk to search Twitter Bio’s for terms like,
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] blogger
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] writer
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] author
- [YOUR BLOG TOPIC] speaker
Here’s what you’re looking for when searching Twitter Bios on Follower Wonk,
4 – Create a ‘Write for Us’ page
Create a page on your authority site that interested writers can use to contact you.
But be careful… you can get a lot of low-quality content creators sending requests from your Write For Us page.
Here are the elements to include on your page to attract high quality writers…
- We accept bylined articles – Most writers want to know that you will include a byline with a link to their website. Let them know that you allow a byline.
- We pay for articles – You don’t need to tell them how much you pay but, if you pay, you will increase response by letting writers know on the ‘Write For Us’ page.
- Content categories – Outline the topics you are looking for from guest writers.
- Examples – Link out to example articles that model the articles you want from guest writers.
- A Form – Include a form that the interested writer can fill out to contact you. Ask for Name and Email at a minimum. If you want to filter our low-quality submissions — ask for interested writers to submit links to 3 articles they have written that are similar to the article they have in mind for your site.
5- Chase down your best commentors
The people that are leaving the most in-depth and thoughtful comments on your articles are often writers and speakers looking for exposure.
Find them online and browse through their content (if they have any) to see if they would be a good fit to write for you.
How much do you pay writers for your blog?
I’ve worked on blogs that are paying $10 for a 500 word article and sites that are paying $300 for an article.
As a rule of thumb… the more specialized the knowledge your writer needs the more the content will cost. It’s a supply and demand thing.
The key is to test the market.
One way to check the market is to visit the Problogger Job Board and browse through the open jobs. You’ll start to get an idea of the going rate for a content creator.
A second way to test the market is to post the job on Craigslist.
But here’s the thing… you’re going to get a LOT of people contacting you through Craigslist that aren’t qualified. To avoid this ask for links to content they have written in your Craigslist post.
When you find someone that looks like a good fit on Craigslist — start an email conversation with them and try to pin them down on the price. Do this with 3 to 5 people and you’ll start to understand the going rate for a writer in your niche.
But this is important… the REACH the writer brings to the table will affect the cost.
The more reach a writer has the more exposure or money they will require.
The funny thing is that the most influential people (Tony Robbins for example) will only create content for you if there is tremendous exposure. There is no amount of money (within reason) that can compensate them for their time without the presence of ample exposure.
But the rest of us can be had… for the right money/exposure combination.
Ok… it’s time to do the work…
Compile a list and check their reach
As you find writers, compile a list in a spreadsheet.
- Facebook Reach
- Twitter Reach
- LinkedIn Reach
- Klout Score
These latter four determine how much reach the writer can bring to the table.
Visit their social media profiles and make note of the amount of connections they have in each of those networks.
Lastly, check their Klout Score.
Klout is a social influence scoring service that will tell you (with surprising accuracy) how influential someone is on the social web.
A Klout Score over 40 indicates that they are fairly active on social media.
Contact the writers that create outstanding content and have the most reach first and work backwards from there until you find some takers.
The success of your site depends upon you finding the most competent and influential writers in your industry… and putting them to work for you.
(NOTE: Want to create viral blog posts fast, without ever having to “write” a single line of text? Use the “Content Aggregator” template and create content your audience loves in any industry or vertical — including the FREE tool we use to crank these posts out FAST. Learn more about the “Content Aggregator” here.)