Hire Your First Content Creator: Easy Guide

March 30, 2021

Over the years, content creation has proven to be the surest way to rise up through Google rankings, build brand awareness and authority, and, finally, increase customer engagement.

Consequently, content creators are in demand more than ever before.

However, unlike ads and social media posts whose success relies on immediate interaction, the success generated by creating content is not felt overnight. Rather, content creation is a long-term investment into a business.

It’s slow, yes, but quite efficient.

When done right, a business will not only grace the first page of the search engine, but also convert the site’s visitors into buying customers.

But this is easier said than done.

Creating content that is SEO-friendly, engaging, and helpful to customers requires a highly skilled content creator. And, in this case, they have to adequately understand your target audience to create consistent and compelling content that solves your needs.

They should also have knowledge in search engine optimization, which is essential to improving site rankings.

Hiring a content creator can take a fair bit of research — especially if it’s the first time you’re doing so.

What’s more, it’s easy to make mistakes that could cost your business both time and money.

So, how do you go about the process of hiring the right content creator for your business while avoiding expensive blunders?

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Content Creator

As simple as it sounds, it’s surprising how often failing to ask for samples of past work happens. Presently, with the emergence of free CV or resume builders, anyone can claim to be a content creator.

Thus, it’s easy to be distracted by the glowing qualifications and forget to ask for proof. Then, when it’s already too late, you realize that the writer over-promised but under-delivered.

Requesting a sample or a portfolio of similar work a candidate has done in the past could save you an unnecessary headache later.

For example, if the content creator states blogging as a skill, get proof of blogs they have written and assess them according to your business needs.

Hiring the ‘Cheapest’ Content Creator

Cheap is expensive.

Content creation, like any other aspect of a business, is an expense. Content creators charge a fee according to their level of expertise. To keep the costs down, you may be tempted to hire the creator who is least expensive.

Although there are a few cheap creators who can produce high-quality content, it’s good to be wary about those who promise the stars at throwaway prices.

You get what you pay for — thus, it shouldn’t be shocking if exemplary work isn’t delivered on a beginner’s pay.

Being Uninvolved in the Content Creation Process After Hiring

After hiring a content creator, you might decide that your role in the content production is done. You might abandon the creator in a corner without any feedback or guidance, hoping they will soon find their way around.

Being uninvolved in the process often leads to the production of mediocre work that will cost you low rankings by Google’s Search Algorithm and Ranking System. In addition, customers leave as they cannot engage with the content.

No valuable content, no customers.

The Five-Step Process of Hiring a Content Creator

1: Determine the Type of Content Required

To hire a content creator, the first thing to do is decide on the kind of content your business needs.

There are different content types, including blog articles, podcasts, and infographics.

What type do you want?

It can help to look at what services or products your business offers, as well as the people who buy from you.

Looking at your product or service, do you want to create content that teaches your customers how to use that product?

What about your customers? Are they young people, working-class, or work-at-home mothers?

Putting yourself in the customers’ point of view, what content would you enjoy?

Deciding on what content your business needs is crucial, as it determines where you go to look for your content creator.

There are specialized job search websites for different creatives, and it will save you a great deal of time and money when you know exactly where to look.

Moreover, it becomes fairly easy to do a little bit of background research on developing specific content.

For instance, if your chosen content is blogging, you can research average salary rates for bloggers. This information would come in handy when you’re planning your budget, keeping you on track with the business goals.

2: Allocate a Budget for Content Creation

Content creation is a marketing strategy. Investing in quality content requires intentional budgeting.

A budget will assist you to thoroughly examine what financial adjustments need to be made in the business — this will help to accommodate producing content as a part of your marketing strategy.

Also, depending on the expected returns of investment, a budget will help in understanding the profitability of the content created.

Basic Tips When Setting a Budget:

  • Set achievable content creation goals — What do you want to accomplish?
  • Set a reasonable timeframe — How long will it take?
  • Choose suitable tracking tools — How will you track your progress?

Moreover, later during the hiring stage, a clear budget will help you to stay within limits and business goals. It will act as a guide — in determining which content creator you can afford and in filtering out those that are out of your range without greatly compromising on skills.

Finally, as it’s your first time hiring a content creator, avoid going overboard by setting a large budget. It’s advisable to start on a reasonably small budget, and then increase as business needs increase.

3: Create a Job Posting

Once you have narrowed down the kind of content and set aside a workable budget, it’s time to look for a content creator that matches.

Whether you’re looking for a freelancer or seeking to hire a permanent employee, it’s fundamental to create a job posting. A good job posting cuts work in half by attracting the right people and eliminating those who do not meet minimum qualifications.

To create a well-written job posting, include an overview of the business, the position’s responsibilities and requirements, and state if it’s permanent or contractual. Keep it brief and straight to the point.

There are various ways in which you can put the job posting in the pathway of content creators.

Firstly, you can post it on job search websites such as Indeed, or on freelancer sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

Secondly, you can share the posting on social media networks like LinkedIn. For a better response, you can target LinkedIn communities consisting of the candidates you’re looking for.

Finally, you can create Google or Facebook ads that distribute the posting specifically to the kind of content creators needed in the shortest amount of time.

4: Select a Suitable Content Creator

You created a job posting, now you have a hundred applications to work through. How do you select the right match for your business from the fold?

For a start, eliminate all applications that do not meet the minimum qualifications listed on the job posting. If you didn’t ask for samples of past work as part of the application requirements, then it’s a good idea to do so at this point.

Without concrete evidence to back up said skills, applications are just applications.

Familiarize yourself with the applicants’ work to evaluate if they will be suitable for your business content needs.

Most importantly, be careful to keep within the allocated budget.

While evaluating possible great fits, you’ll come across candidates who outshine the rest. Their portfolios will be stunning and their skillset exactly what your business is looking for.

But, as tempting as it may be to hire them, resist it if they go over your budget. 

Hiring them will lead to a strained budget which will cause friction in the other departments of the business. Instead, rearrange and manage your expectations to suit the candidate whom you can comfortably support.

Furthermore, avoid hiring the cheapest offer just to save money.

Remember that you get what you pay for — if you pay below average, expect the output to be below average.

5: Be Involved in the Content Creation Process

You have hired your first content creator. What happens now?

As mentioned earlier, a common mistake many employers make is hiring creators and then forgetting all about them.

Disengaging from the process of content production is fatal. To enable the content creator to deliver optimum results, it’s crucial to be involved in the process.

For instance, assist them in coming up with a content strategy or a template to use, offer feedback on work completed, set clear standards to be followed, and periodically review their overall output.

Where applicable, provide them with access to add to their skill set by training them on aspects such as digital marketing.

But what if there was an easier way to get all this done without much hustle?

Well, the good news is there is another more effective way to create content for your business.

Hire a Content Writing Service

While freelance content creators are amazing to work with, they may sometimes disappoint — especially when it comes to scalability.

Supposing you urgently require three blog articles, or need the content to be professionally edited or thoroughly researched, it would be a lot to demand from one person.

Without a team handling different aspects of the content creation process, it’s hard to scale up on content or even venture into additional kinds of content.

Katrina McKinnon


I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.