A rule of thumb, for ensuring success from an outside content creator, you must have a thorough guideline which can be followed for your blog.
These guidelines will let the writer know the type of content that performs best on your blog, the audience you are trying to impress, and other standards which must be met by the writer. In case your blog has any type of restrictions, such as restrictions on usage of stock photos for example, be sure to mention that in your guideline. Size guides for your images must also be mentioned, with a certain resolution etc., all these things must be listed in your guidelines. A good set of guidelines will save you time spent on editing, formatting and image polishing after the writer returns the final work to you, so make sure to spend a substantial amount of time on writing a good guideline.
After that you will have to show some examples of articles on your own blog, this is done in order for the writers to follow a similar style of writing and design. You could also provide links of articles that obtained a lot of traffic in order to show the writer the direction you are planning to evolve in.
When the writers know what you are looking for, and are accustomed to the guidelines, ask them to tell you what kind of post they are going to prepare. Inquire the following information from them:
- The title of the article, which is also called a headline, is a crucial part of the article since it is the first thing the readers see… so they must be hooked.
- The outline of the post, details for each section, and the images that are going to be used. The more detail you receive from the writer up front, the higher are the chances of success.
As you get all this information from the writer, approve it or make suggestions where needed. Ask questions until you are completely satisfied with the writer. You have to be 99% sure that the writer will generate a post that is of good quality, and publishable on your blog.
Timeframes and deadlines are also of major importance. If you have never worked with someone before, ask the writer to complete 25% of the post and send it to your editor for review. This will allow you to make adjustments and work with the writer before they complete the post. It makes it easier for the writer to avoid future mistakes.
Last but not least, respect the time of the writers. Make sure you let them know how long will it take to send back edits or questions? How long before they know if their post is approved? When will the publish date be known? With these things out of the way you are going to have a great time with your outside writers. If you follow these tips, you ensure that there is minimal space left for failure.