Today is the 1099th Daily Golden Nugget!
There have been a few special number nuggets so far, like the 100, 200, 404, the 505, the 970, 1000, and now the 1099. What's so special about 1099? Well in the United States, that isn't just a number; it's also the tax form you give to your freelancers and subcontractors at the end of every year instead of a W2.
Although the US employment rules say you should hire employees and put them on payroll, there are times when you might want to only hire someone on a contract basis.
So if I tell someone "I'll pay you on 1099," what I'm telling them is that I don't want to hire them as a full time employee, only as a temporary employee. Sometimes that can be temporary for a few weeks, or sometimes that can be freelance work for whenever I need to hire you.
It's very common to hire a freelance content creator to work on your website during the initial setup. You probably won't need their services after your site launches, so why not hire them as a freelancer. Just make sure to send them a 1099 tax form at the end of the year.
Although you can hire a freelancer to do just about any task on your website, it's probably best to stick to some basic tasks. Some ideas for freelance work include:
1. Writing blogs
2. Writing product descriptions
3. Designing online ads
4. Creating email newsletters
Each of those tasks can be done from anywhere in the world, but it's always best to hire someone who is a native speaker from your country. It might be tempting to hire a lower paid freelancer from a different country, but it's probably not going to be worth it for your website optimization and sales conversions.
Can you find someone who writes in your version of English? English is spoken all over the world and there are 3 different versions: American, British, and Australian. Within each of those, there are sub-dialects and expression that are then spoken in other English-speaking countries like India and the Philippines. For example, what do you call a brown colored soft drink? Do you call it Coke, Pepsi, pop, soda, or cola? Each term is well rooted in different areas of the US. That's just one example, but there are plenty of others.
So, even though the cost of hiring someone from another country might seem attractive when you have a lot of content to create for your website, if that content doesn't read correctly for your region, or reflect your own voice, then your customers will be disenchanted by your website.
Before you consider hiring a freelancer to work on your website, you yourself should have some direct experience with the job you want them to do for you. This is an important factor in your hiring process because you need to be able to measure the freelancer's skills. You can't take their word for it that they are doing a good job; you need to be able to evaluate it for yourself.
I do suggest that you write a few blogs yourself. Before you hire someone to write product descriptions I suggest that you read the product descriptions found in a catalog, or on a competitor's website, and try writing some of them yourself.
Before you hire someone to design online ads for you, whether text ads or image ads, I suggest you read up on what it takes to do your online ads correctly.
And before you hire someone to manage your email marketing campaign and write your emails for you, I suggest that you write a few newsletters yourself.
Having this direct experience with it will help you understand the delicacies of the actual work involved. It will also make you a better employer because you'll be able to appreciate the time it takes to complete a particular job. Additionally, you'll also know if your freelancer is taking too much time getting a job done.
You should always review the work of the freelancer when it's returned to you. You can return it to them if you think their skills are not up to your standard, or you can simply make changes to it yourself and choose not to hire them again.
Many freelance writers are aspiring writers that need experience. They'll happily work for $15 - $20 per blog post even though it might take them 2 or 3 hours to write it. They accept that low fee because your feedback helps them improve their skills. There's also a large pool of stay-at-home moms that simply want to keep their skills sharp while they are on hiatus from their careers.
Although I've not had the direct experience yet, many of my website and SEO colleagues have told me that stay-at-home moms are frequently the best types of freelancers.
When it comes to general content creations, like blog writing, you should not hire someone for less than $15 per blog. You should carefully evaluate their first few blogs to make sure they can represent your store correctly. Don't commit to a longterm writing contract until you are fully satisfied with their skills.
You might also want to hire a freelance writer to craft the information on your home page, product pages, or your landing pages. This type of "copy" writing (not to be confused with copyrighting) is more important than general blog posts. Well written copy will entice visitors to continue further on your site; while poorly written copy will likely lead to higher bounce rates.
Freelancers might consider this type of writing as "performance based writing" and they will charge extra when they realize that their work is helping you increase sales. On the other hand, they might not be paying attention to your sales at all; but you should be. You should pay them more money if you have a measurable increase in sales due to their work. Remember that a freelancer will work for the best money and treatment. When you find a good content writer, you'll want to keep them for as long as they're willing, so don't be stingy with your money.