The secret to hiring better, more affordable niche writers is to source and test more candidates. Learn how Workello helps content teams hire better, more affordable niche writers.
It Takes a Lot of Work To Find a Suitable Writer for a Particular Niche—We Know From Bitter Experience
Before we had created our automated hiring system, we were a small, industrious content agency that wanted to operate on a bigger scale. We had our break in 2019 when we undertook a content project for a VC-backed client that required us to grow their organic traffic from 1 to 1,000,000 monthly visitors.
The project was a huge win, and it turned into one of the greatest SEO success stories in the content market! But this would’ve been impossible with a one-man team. As demand for our articles skyrocketed, we had to expand our team from 1 to 45+ writers and editors—in just 18 months!
Scaling a team to such a size wasn’t easy, and we started encountering difficulties as soon as the first applications came in. They arrived in such great numbers—and from different job boards— that it became impossible to log them all efficiently. Many candidates failed to get an answer from our HR team on time, and a good number of them grew disinterested and left.
Some applicants submitted their portfolios via email, while others relied on a plethora of various platforms. The applications arrived in varying formats—some in Word, others in pdf.— entangling the whole situation even further.
In the middle of this mess, we decided that the only way forward was to devise our own solution. We had to—there was no ATS around that could single-handedly fix all of our issues!
In our search for the perfect hiring system, we spent upwards of $100,000 and sank innumerable hours into R&D. But we got our answer at last—we had Workello!
In the next 15 minutes, you’ll learn why you need a qualified writer for niche website content—and how Workello can help you optimize your funnel to hire those writers quickly and at a reduced cost!
Best 15 Hiring Platforms To Find Niche Writers
We used numerous hiring websites in our search for quality writers. Here’s a table showing our 15 favorite ones for finding niche writers:
|Job Board||Pricing per Job Ad||Pros||Cons|
|Freelance Writers Den||$25 per month||InexpensiveUser interface is easy to navigatePortfolios are available in public||Lacking a free trialSmaller candidate base|
|Free of chargeSponsored ads cost $5 daily||Posting ads is freeCan integrate an ATS easily Can be used to set up interviewsPopular platform among niche writers||Easy Apply feature leads to dozens of incomplete application formsPremium ads can’t distinguish specific audiencesCandidate tracking functionality is a paid feature|
|Monster||$279+||User interface is easy to operateLarge candidate baseGreat candidate tracking functionalityModifies services based on company size||Too many inactive candidate accountsCandidate profiles often lack in-depth information|
|Fiverr||5% fee of the settled hiring cost||Used by writers specializing in various nichesEase of usePublic candidate evaluations||Poor writers can promote themselves if they pay extraExpensiveAgencies have to apply with individual candidates|
|Glassdoor||$219–$599 monthly||Company profile is visible in publicCan check out salaries offered by competing agenciesVast talent pool||Too many spam emailsExpensiveBad tracking functionality|
|Upwork||3% of the hiring fee||Excellent site for hiring niche content creatorsInternational candidate poolSuperb choice for finding freelancers and part-time writers||Fees progressively become expensiveHard to distinguish between good and bad writers|
|ProBlogger||$300+ monthly||Used exclusively by niche writersLarge audience||PriceyDifficult to sort out writers|
|Indeed||Job listings are cost-freePremium ads range from $0.10 to $5||Ad posting is freeUser interface is easy to manageCan review candidates’ portfolios before reaching outSome automationLarge base of skilled niche writers||Poor filtering functionalityRejected candidates can apply againToo many spam newslettersSponsored ads can become expensive|
|We Work Remotely||$19.95 each month||Large number of experienced niche writersSimple to useOffers pre-vetted job description templates||Top 100 companies of their choice get free promotionsFewer junior writers|
|All Freelance Writing||$19.95 per month||Used by various niche writers||Exclusively used for freelancing work|
|FlexJobs||$399+||Responsive customer support serviceExcellent for remote writers||Most candidates are in the IT businessBecomes priceyLacking a free trial period|
|Contena||$99 for each job listing you post||Great for finding junior candidatesDedicated to writers specializing in various types of website content||Smaller number of seasoned writers|
|SimplyHired||$9.99 for each applicant you reach out to||Candidate-sorting functionalityAble to set up interviews||Lacking automated communicationDoesn’t integrate well with any ATS|
|PeoplePerHour||Posting job ads is freeAd promotion starts at $15||Freelance writers available in all price rangesWorldwide audience Can check out ratings and review history of candidates||Fees can quickly become too expensiveSub-par technical support if you run into any errors on their platform|
|Hubstaff Talent||Free of charge||Less competing job adsFree||Smaller number of job seekers|
Hiring the Right Writer for Your Website Niche Is an Uphill Battle
Post your job ad on any platform, and you’ll soon realize that most of the candidates who apply are unqualified for the role. Why? Because talented writers who know their niche inside-out don’t stay on any job board for long. Depending on the industry they specialize in, their skills and expertise are in high demand among content agencies—they swallow them up as soon as they spot them!
Since the competition is so fierce, you have to identify a suitable candidate and extend them an offer fast. Doing this requires you to dig through hundreds of portfolios and test dozens of applicants. It’s a series of tedious tasks without process automation—we learned that from experience.
The platform we started out with was Upwork, though we soon branched out to LinkedIn and numerous other websites. Regardless of where we turned, the same issues kept recurring:
- Tracking candidates by their status in our hiring funnel was impossible
- There were no configurations for finding writers for specific niches/industries
- Candidates’ portfolios gave us a bad estimate of their actual skills
Soon, we began receiving applications from a variety of other hiring networks, including Glassdoor, Indeed, Facebook, FlexJobs, and so on. With each new one we relied on, another problem cropped up. We couldn’t:
- Log every application or get back to each candidate on time
- Follow up with niche writers who piqued our editors’ interest
- Keep track of applicants whose portfolios seemed good
- Effectively filter out candidates who don’t meet our hiring standards
It was passion and effort that made Content Distribution succeed—and there was absolutely no effort going into our hiring process! We decided to turn this around.
After dedicating the same amount of effort that went into our content production, and investing many thousands of dollars, we eventually developed a fully automated hiring funnel that specializes in hiring writers for all market niches!
Why You Need a Writer Who Specializes In Niche Website Content
Any writer who has sufficiently mastered the language can create content, but not every writer possesses the adequate knowledge and experience to write about niche-specific topics.
Having an industry expert on your team can bring value to your business in many ways. For one, they can set a reliable benchmark against which you may measure future articles written for the same niche.
Second, you won’t have to invest time and resources teaching junior writers the ins and outs of the industry. A writer who is already familiar with it will perform far better in the role.
There may also be tasks that require an intimate understanding of niche-related jargon, which an outsider will have a hard time navigating.
Hiring a niche writer will yield you more professionally-made content—and this is precisely what will distinguish you as a company with a high-quality standard.
Hiring Funnel of a Top 1% Hiring Agency
To fix a problem, we first had to identify it. We went back to the drawing board and reanalyzed our entire work process up to that point. This was our thought process:
- To turn a profit with our content, we had to publish hundreds of top-notch articles monthly
- Only top-performing writers with knowledge of the industry could write articles of a high standard
- To hire the best niche writers, we had to sort through hundreds of resumes and test dozens of sub-par candidates
- Identifying a good niche writer meant quickly spotting and disqualifying bad ones from the selection process
- Our hiring system lacked the functionality to easily filter out poor candidates with outstanding resumes
We were receiving applications day in and day out—that’s something we never struggled with. What troubled us was deciding how to handle them when they arrived.
That’s when we began composing a list of components our new hiring funnel had to include. We needed a comprehensive system that would streamline every key feature, such as:
- A rock-solid platform that would serve as the only access point for all applications regardless of their source website
- A fine-tuned candidate sorting system that could let us update their status in our funnel with one click
- A single dashboard for evaluating, testing, scheduling interviews, and hiring the most proficient niche writers
- An automatic test that would allow us to spot poor writers at a glance
- Automated communication that would let us provide our candidates with instructions and regular updates on their status without the need for manual correspondence
For our first model, we tried the combination of Google Sheets + Google Forms + Zapier. It was a significant improvement, but we wanted to develop something much better. Countless iterations later, we had precisely that—with Workello!
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A Clear-Cut Job Description Lets Candidates Know Whether Their Abilities Match the Role
To get the attention of the right kind of writer for your website niche, it’s necessary to compose a detailed job description. This document should cover every responsibility and requirement that the role entails, such as:
- The industry they have to be familiar with
- Their qualifications and niche-related credentials
- The number of articles/words they have to write per day
- Their level of education
You should be specific with your demands, and don’t worry about being too exacting—if the job specifications discourage a candidate, they probably realized that they lacked the needed skills or experience. Simultaneously, seasoned writers with lots of experience under their belt will be all the more encouraged—when they see that their skill set matches the job description perfectly!
Don’t forget to state some key benefits that experienced niche writers will enjoy as your employees. This includes the number of PTO days per month, the possibility of higher pay rates, and career advancement opportunities. All these aspects may decide whether a skilled candidate will choose to work for your company or a competitor’s!
If you’re looking to swipe a template for your job description, feel free to use one of ours. You only need to adjust it according to the particular requirements of your website niche, and you can use it in your job ad without any problems!
- Content Writer
- Technical Writer
- Digital Content Writer
- Freelance Writer
- E-Commerce Content Writer
- Staff Writer
- Law Firm Content Writer
- Senior Writer
- Course Writer
- Website Content Writer
- SEO Writing
- Catalog Writer
- Business Writer
Distribute Your Job Ad Across the Internet
When we began scaling our writing team, we didn’t have an expert in charge of the recruitment process. We delegated this role to our editors and managers instead. This additional task wasn’t difficult, but it distracted them from editing and managing content.
Gradually, our content production started to drag at a snail’s pace as more and more of their time was occupied with posting job ads and reviewing tests.
This was too inefficient and time-consuming, so we decided to hire a Recruiting Officer. But before we could do that, we had to properly document our entire hiring process and instruct them on how it worked.
We had to divert even more time and resources, but there was no other option. We spent hours gathering the required documentation and eventually had everything needed to delegate the job to a professional. Now, you don’t need to waste time doing the same!
Once you register for Workello for free, you’ll be able to access our documents, which you can use to delegate the recruiting role to someone else!
The Workello Dashboard—One Point of Entry for All Your Applications!
Our dashboard acts as the single entry point for all applications, regardless of the site where a candidate applies. No matter how many job boards you use, a job ad with our Workello-hosted application form automatically redirects all submissions to your Workello dashboard! This form also ensures a consistent format for all applications, ensuring you’ll no longer receive documents that lack crucial candidate details.
Our custom application form looks like this.
Watch Candidates Stream In
The Workello dashboard will be your only point of input for each decision you make during the entire hiring process. Without leaving the page, you can perform every necessary step—from reviewing portfolios, distributing tests, and assessing applicants’ performance to interviewing them, and finally hiring the best-fitting niche writer for your website!
To update a candidate’s status, merely select the appropriate option from the drop-down menu:
- Application Received
- Application Rejected
- Test Candidate
- Test Complete
- Reject Candidate
- Invite for Interview
- Offer Sent
Each status is color-coded to easily differentiate the various stages your candidates will go through as they progress along your funnel.
Reject Unqualified Content Writers
The blunt truth is that you will receive many poor applications from unskilled or inexperienced candidates. If you spot someone who doesn’t meet even the most basic hiring standards, you can instantly eliminate them from your funnel by choosing the Application Rejected option.
Workello will send them an automatic message informing them politely about the unsuccessful application. This automation ensures that you won’t be bothered by incessant emails from rejected candidates whom you have not yet informed about the rejection.
Point, Click, Test
Even if you’re pleased with the contents of a candidate’s portfolio, that doesn’t mean you should hire them right away. Poor writers can compose deceptively brilliant portfolios if they include only the finest samples of their work—and only after they’ve been heavily edited!
To get an accurate estimate of their potential, you need a look at their first draft, which you can get by testing them.
We didn’t have a testing system in the beginning. Instead, we extended job offers based only on the quality of a candidate’s resume. This was a major error, and we wasted 1,000+ on poor content that our editors had to rewrite from top to bottom.
With Workello, we implemented an efficient testing system that allows us to spot bad writers with brilliant resumes. To assess whether they are suitable for your business, select the Test Candidate option. This triggers an automated email:
- Congratulating the candidate on his arrival at the testing stage
- Including the link to the written assignment
Once they go to the test, they’ll open a page that looks somewhat like this:
How To Make a Good Test
To properly determine whether a candidate can create quality content for your website, you need to assess the following aspects of their skill set:
- Language usage
- In-depth knowledge of a particular niche/industry
- Ability to conduct independent research on a niche-specific topic
- Article formatting
While you should strive to make the test thorough enough to cover all these major points, it’s a bad idea to make a 3000-word long aberration that even skilled candidates will struggle with for days. The adequate length of a good test should exceed the 800-word limit. After all—what’s the use of a test if nobody will be willing to complete it?
With Workello’s automated messaging system informing your candidates about their status and providing timely instructions—you can create a more complex test! Since the entire process is so efficient and transparent, serious writers won’t mind tackling a more demanding assignment. They will do this if you give off the air of a professional company that treats its candidates respectfully.
If you’re unsure of how to compose a test on your own, feel free to steal ours. We’ve used this same test to evaluate all of our writers!
Once a candidate has finished the written test and turned it in, their status automatically updates to Test Complete. Your managers and editors can then access the test and see how well the candidate performed. After evaluating them, you can further change their status to:
- Reject Candidate—Sets off an automatic email that politely informs the rejected candidate about the unsuccessful outcome of their test
- Invite for Interview—Sets off an automated message that congratulates the candidate on passing the test and invites them to schedule an interview appointment via Calendly
The Candidate Status Page
Workello also provides your candidates with a convenient way to check up on their application’s status by going to the Candidate Status page. This way, they’ll have no reason to spam your HR team with unnecessary questions.
The page also has a What to expect next section, where candidates can stay up-to-date regarding each successive stage in your funnel.
You can check out what the page looks like here.
Our Investment Paid Off Big Time
Workello’s process automation makes hiring niche writers a breeze—every feature is streamlined for maximum convenience, so both you and your candidates will have a pleasant time!
Before Workello, hiring was a tedious process that involved dozens of repetitive tasks. Nothing was streamlined, and we had to manually post ads and then check up on them on each job board we used. Due to the sheer number of applications, we couldn’t respond to each candidate in a time-efficient manner. Many lost interest—others got hired by the competition.
Our editors and managers had their hands full of recruiting responsibilities to be equally effective in their main roles. Content production stagnated, and we were caught in a downward spiral. We had to clench our teeth and persevere—there was no alternative. But you do have an alternative—Workello!
All these problems disappeared once we developed Workello! It helped us:
- Scale our team to 45+ writers and editors in under 18 months
- Lower the costs of content production by up to 75%
- Lead one of the best SEO campaigns ever
- Allow our editors and managers to switch focus on our content production
Developing Workello cost us hundreds of hours of hard work and more than $100,000. You can now acquire it for the price of a single article!
Written by: Nick Jordan from Workello.