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Should I Hire a Staff Writer?

Hello readers!  I need your opinion.  I have seriously fallen behind on my posts.  I usually have at least a week scheduled in advance, but I ate all of that up over the past crazy weekend and am down to writing each night for the day ahead. 

As I catch up, I realize that someday, I might not have a weekday post ready for you here at BFS.  That actually hasn’t happened yet since I started in February 2010 to my knowledge.  So, I started thinking of bringing in some outside blood.  Maybe someone who covers family stuff or investing stuff since I suck at both?  I had someone specific in mind, but they are unavailable for a while, so I would be reaching out to other fellow bloggers.

But then I thought that it takes a very special blogger to make a good staff writer.  I usually just skip over staff posts at other blogs unless I like that specific writer.  I also think all of you tune it to hear whatever nonsense comes out of me on a daily basis and I don’t want to scare you off.  I already have a guest post nearly every week, but a staff writer would probably be taking that spot.

So here are the pros and cons that I can think of:

Pros

  • New blood and viewpoint
  • More time for me since it saves me at least a post a week
  • Ensures there are daily posts even after crazy trips
  • Maybe readers of the staff writer’s own blog will visit this one to see their writing

Cons

  • Not all of the posts here would be from me or guests
  • It costs money
  • Finding a great fit may be hard

So, what do you think?  As my readers, your opinion matters the most.  Yay or nay for a weekly staff writer?  If the majority votes yes, I’ll start looking.  If the majority votes no, I’ll suck it up and keep writing 5-7 posts a week.  🙂



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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37 thoughts on “Should I Hire a Staff Writer?

  1. I don’t mind reading posts from a staff writer once a week. If it helps make you less stressed and you find a good fit, I think it would be fine.

    Alternatively, you could shed some of your own less lucrative staff writing positions to free up some more time to work on your own blog. Either way it is all about finding balance. 🙂

  2. I don’t mind reading staff writers either. Though, the way I see it, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to hire a staff writer if you’re also staff writing elsewhere. Maybe it does, IDK.

    Anyway, I’d be willing to do a guest post for you with investing topics. I’m looking to guest post more and your blog would be a great place to kick off the new posts. 😉

  3. Staff writers are fine, as long as they produce stuff people care to read. Your articles on our site get quite a bit of traffic and feedback.

    I think what is important here is how you want to proceed with YOUR site and how personal it has been over the past 18 months. If you ultimately feel you would like to keep the site as Crystal’s site, then perhaps culling some of your own staff positions would free up time to meet the goal of keeping this site “personal”.

    It is admirable to ask your readers. Many will have opinions i’m sure. But you need to do what is right for you in the end!

  4. I agree, I would decide whether it was more profitable (financially or satisfaction-wise) to spend the extra time staff writing for another blog, rather than writing here.

    But I certainly don’t see a problem with having a staff writer come in one a week and write a post. In fact, I think it is often a good thing to have varied perspectives.

    With that, I would also love to contribute regular posts to your blog. My expertise is in college finances, but I have a lot of experience in investing as well. Best of luck!

  5. @Mom’s Plans, I thought about giving up some of my staff writing positions, but it is hard to pass up the extra income plus getting your name out there on a regular basis. But it is definitely one of my main options!

    @JT, I thought it didn’t make sense either and then I realized how much better my own traffic got after taking a ton of positions all over the web. 😉 I would LOVE guest posts from you about investing! I’ll make sure to email you in case you don’t see this reply, lol.

    @SPF, right this second, I am leaning towards simply finding the most awesome guest posters every week. As long as fellow bloggers contribute, I think we all will win. 🙂

    @STRONGside, financially, staff writing is really the only super stable income I have, lol. Satisfaction-wise, my ultimate goal is to reach the point that all I have to do is blog for my own sites, comment all over the place, and run advertising for myself and others. Those are my favorite parts.

    Guest posts about college finances or investing would be awesome! Those are definitely two areas that I don’t cover much at all. 🙂 I’ll be emailing you too, lol.

  6. I like your idea of having a staff writer that fills a gap in your own experience-base. Maybe have Wed be the day you talk about expenses associated with kids or something.

    I also agree that it should be someone who fits into your type of reader. For example, People don’t come here to read super analytical stock market analysis, so I think that might actually take away from the quality of your site (even if it’s well written). They like reading stories, so tales of investing in a story format might be more appealing.

  7. I try and write as often as I can on other blogs to increase our exposure. Most of it is just for fun, guest posting on other sites, but I also have 2 regular writing gigs that I need to look after. If I found myself strapped for time, I would drop the guest posting. And if my other 2 writing gigs were getting in the way of posting on my own blog, I would probably drop them as well.

    Like others have said, it doesn’t make sense to hire a staff writer when you could just give up one of your staff writing gigs. I’d rather see more of Crystal here on your own site than see you hire a staff writer or publish more guest posts.

  8. First Gen has a good point. If you can fill a gap that you want to fill, that makes sense. Assuming your readers want that gap to be filled at all!

    I think your site can attract enough legit blogger guest posts that you could build up a queue for weeks like this one where you are strapped. When the posts go live the writers will be happy to have their material placed in front of a large readership.

  9. You seem to post something every day; sometimes multiple times per day. What if:

    You take 1 day off per week (nobody is superhuman)
    Only post 1 thing per day
    Guest posts count as the post per day

    This would free up some time and you wouldn’t have to pay a staff writer your hard earned dough. Just a suggestion. 🙂

  10. I like reading your posts. If it will help, I will send you some posts and you can edited them down and keep them for emergencies. I write. I do not blog, just read them. Most of my stuff is too long for a blog. I will send you several topic ideas with my “short” summaries, lol. I will be lucky if they fit on one page.
    Guest posts are informative, but your posts seem more “readable”.
    Keep up the good work. It is good you are taking your blog seriously and trying to plan ahead, but life doesn’t always allow for perfection. If you continue to “talk” to your audience, I am sure even a shorter, not as thought out blog will still be more entertaining and informative than what I have read on other blogs.

  11. I don’t mind staff writing posts, though sometimes I think it just depends. If you hire someone who has a really specific niche, then that would be a lot more intriguing than someone who just posted random stuff once a week. (Like, for instance, I love how over at Sweating the Big Stuff there are regular posts from the guy who’s trying to make it as a zookeeper.)

    On a different note, just out of curiosity, what’s the going rate for blogging staff writer positions?

  12. @First Gen, good point, I’d need to find someone who also concentrates on the “personal” part of personal finance and connects with the readers.

    @Echo, no worries, the longer I look at the options, the more I realize that I know a ton of bloggers who wouldn’t mind guest posting. 🙂

    @SPF, very true.

    @Jen, I only have 1 real post a day. The rest of those posts you see are sponsored posts that I stick in after the fact since a few readers seem to get all uppity about them, lol. But I will start utilizing great guest posts more. 🙂

    @Retired and still Budgeting, I see that people seem to be leaning towards the no-staff writer side. No worries. I’ve already caught up a bit and am working on getting a back log again today and over the weekend.

    @Melissa, I have to go check out that zookeeper…

    I don’t know what the going rate is exactly, but I get paid $20-$30 per post and am slowly getting to $25 or more period. If anybody has different info or suggestions, let me know! 🙂

  13. I’m actually contemplating the same thing right now. My site is making good money, and I would like to expand myself in other areas. If you don’t hire a staff writer, there’s only so much you can do to improve your site because you’ll be limited on time. If you do hire a staff writer, you earnings will most likely soar higher than you’ve ever had, only because you’ll have time to work on those minor details that you’ve been avoiding with your site recently.

    I’m not hiring yet, but I think it will happen very soon. I think it’s a good move.

  14. I think a part time staff writer would be great! It would free up your time to produce 1 or 2 high quality though provoking posts per week. While the staff writer can provide fresh content from a new angle. This also give you more time to think strategically

    I know that for my blog my biggest constraint is time for research and development. I have great ideas but spend a lot of time on my daily posts. There is a great concept I have been workin on for a guest post at bitfs. But time has been an issue. A staff writer would do wonders for me; soon I hope http://www.networthprotect.com

  15. Is there a major problem with publishing 3 times per week on this blog? Is a daily post set in stone anywhere? I find that it often takes a day or two for my posts to percolate and gain some traction so maybe less will become more. I don’t think your readers will blame you whatever you decide. Ironic that without a full-time job, the daily posting has become more difficult.

  16. I would have an interest in a staff writer position if you (or any other blogger, for that matter) have an interest.

    I gave blogging a go for several months and had great feedback on my articles. Finally I learned that I had no interest in the technical side of building a blog, so I have not posted in forever.

    I have a strong interest in being a financial writer, but I found out that running my own blog was not the outlet I wanted long term.

  17. First, I come to BFS to read more personal/anecdotal stories on personal finance. So if you hired someone who starts writing long and hard about Stochastic Oscillator and Fibonacci series, I will just close it and say I will come back tomorrow. Other than that, I wouldn’t mind reading staff writers’ posts at all.

    Who you will hire depends on what you envision BFS to be I guess. If you want to keep BFS a fun PF corner you really do have to find a person who will balance s writing style that is very close to yours but venturing into the new areas. On the other hand I know people specifically hiring folks who write very different posts (like staff writers @ GRS) to give the readers fun, serious, technical, light, comprehensive… all types of posts.

  18. Funny, I’ve been having the same thoughts about my site:) Though from the perspective of adding additional perspectives…

    Anyway, as far as your situation goes, here’s what I think. First, I like reading posts where your point of view comes through. I think that regular readers seem to gravitate toward certain blogs because of the author’s viewpoint, enthusiasm, or whatever. So, keep in mind that this is probably a draw for quite a few others.

    Having said that, you can’t do everything! If you need some help, you could post less frequently. Every day isn’t necessary at all. However, I see nothing wrong with adding a staff writer. A GOOD staff writer can add another interesting voice to the blog without taking away from yours. Bottom line is that if you pick wisely, why not add a staff writer if that’s what you want to do?!

  19. I like the idea about having a day for a specific niche, like the guy who is trying to make it as a zookeeper. Or one about how to choose a career or place in life. I would write about the lady who is trying to own her own island with a husband that doesn’t know how to swim, lol.

  20. I think a staff writer would be fine on here. While I really enjoy your posts, I also think it would be cool to have another perspective on here. Maybe you could find someone that complements your interests well?

  21. I like hearing YOUR voice here, so I vote no. Also, you’re stressing about something that hasn’t even happened once yet (missing a day). If writing daily is stressing you out, I’d rather see you just cut out the weekends or something. I recently cut back to 3 days a week and (so far at least) there have been no ill effects. My posts now also feature at least slightly fewer typos 😉

  22. I like hearing your voice, but I think a staff writer contributing once a week would be just fine too. Also, if it gives you more time to “catch-up” on other projects, that’s a win-win situation. Good luck to whatever you decide to do!

  23. I am 50/50 on this one. I know you write for a lot of other blogs, so does it make sense to hire a guest writer on your own site? Unless, like First Gen says, you are doing it to fill a niche that your own experience cannot fill.

    There are several blogs that I hit backspace on when the usual staff writer posts that day. (None of them are Yakeziens…) I don’t know- for you, blogging has become a business so you have to look at the financial aspect more. For myself, my blog makes some income, but it is also my place to vent and just give my own opinion on things. It is as much for me as anyone else I guess.

    Tough decision. Personally, I don’t think you would be letting the world down if you just posted less each week. You could then take that time to focus on your other blogs too. You have so much momentum going that you could go down from 7 to 4 or 5 posts a week and be just fine. I would try that first before hiring a staff writer.

  24. I don’t have a problem with reading an article from a staff writer (since I have written many “staff writer” articles), but maybe you could just write one less article a week for this site.

    It would seem odd to be a staff writer and also hire one; but then again, being a staff writer is about more than just the income, so it may be worth it!

  25. The nice thing about blogs is that no one expects you to post every single day. We know you’re human and have a life outside of the blog, so if you miss a day or 2, we won’t mind. A lot of us read your blog via RSS so we’ll just catch up when you do post something new. But, a staff writer can always come in handy. If you’re looking for someone, please keep me in mind 🙂

  26. If it saves you time and leads to less headaches then I say ‘yes.’ I guess knowing the person’s work really well will be your insurance that they are a good choice.

  27. @LifeAndMyFinances, I hope you find the right fit! I actually have an opening starting in September, lol.

    @NetWorthProtect, yeah, time is always an issue. Whenever you get the chance, send on over that guest post!

    @cashflowmantra, the irony wasn’t lost on me, hahaha. I’ve gone from 15 advertising clients to more than 30, so I know where the time went. 🙂 As for posting only 3 days a week, I always said I’d post at least one a day since that’s what I enjoyed on the blogs I read all of the time. It’s a personal goal.

    @Bogey, I wondered what happened!

    @Suba, I know. Picking the right sort of writer will be the hardest part. That’s why I’ve decided to just throw out more requests for guest posts. 🙂

    @Squirrelers, I am thinking my blog only does well because of my personal posts too. I’m being sure to add in way more of those now. 🙂

    @Annette, I had not heard of that last situation before…

    @Julie, I was seriously thinking about it, but I’ve decided to scale back elsewhere, request guest posts, and dig in to catch up here again.

    @Jeffrey, if I hire someone, that’s what I’d be looking for. 🙂

    @Jackie, lol, I never notice typos unless they are in my own posts…

    @Little House, thank you!

    @Everyday Tips, I staff write to get my name out in the web and backlinks, so it serves a different purpose than my blog writing does. 🙂 But I am shying away from the idea…

    @Khaleef, yep, the income is good but the name recognition is even better.

    @20 and Engaged, posting less is totally an option, but I think my blog grew as fast as it did because I am stable and post daily. But we will see. 🙂

    @Amanda, you and 4 other commenters so far, lol. I will never have to write again…

    @Kay Lynn, it’s nice to hear that it can work out well!

    @Jerry, thanks.

    @Mike, I’m surprised you said that since I have avoided the subject ever since I started http://howimakemoneyblogging.com except for monthly updates. But I will keep that in mind…

  28. There are definitely pros and cons to hiring a staff writer. If they can write on the same topics that readers have come to expect and love, then it can work out.

    At the same time, the staff writer is not you. People might miss your particular writing style and stories.

    In the end though, there’s only so much time in a day and maybe one post a week or every two weeks is a good compromise that gives you more time while not depriving your readers too much. 😉

  29. I am actually not that big of a fan of staff writers unless they put their personality into their posts. For example, when you write on another’s blog I still feel Crystal writing…too often staff bloggers are cold

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