Content marketing is very popular, and there are so many content seekers I’m surprised more aren’t using this technique.
All it requires is you post a job, which you can do on any job board, including LinkedIn.
To get as much free content as possible, you’ll need to customize a job application form. (I can’t help you with this little detail, as I don’t have a clue how. Sorry.)
You want the best respondents, so don’t be like lesser HR people. Their application pages specify one first upload a resume and then second, demand the applicant complete a form that asks for all the information already supplied on the resume.
Smart applicants won’t waste their time and will leave, some of them cursing at you.
Instead, ask for a resume and links to their portfolio and LinkedIn profiles. Then begin your questions asking for proof of writing ability, like this:
“Write three subject lines for _______.”
“Write an introduction to a digital post about ____.”
“Provide your opinion of ________”
“Describe _______ in 300 or fewer words.”
Provided your job ad converts into plenty of responses, plenty of writers will supply you with answers, all hoping to land that great job you’ve offered.
The answers you receive will be your new content.
If you need more content (and who doesn’t in this content-crazed world?) post more jobs. Use slightly varied descriptions in each job posting, so the best candidates apply more than once, giving you more answers, which equals more content for you.
If you want places from which to gather more content ideas, ask:
“Name 10 people in your field who you follow.”
“Who do you most admire in your field?”
When you visit sites of the names listed, you’ll see what their content discusses, and you’ll have plenty of new content ideas.
Suppose you know you’re a lousy writer and you want to improve. Knowing how a real writer works might help you. In that case, ask:
“Describe your writing process from the beginning. List how you research, develop ideas, outline, write, edit and publish.”
Read enough of these process descriptions and you’ll have an idea of how a real writer writes. Knowing that, you’ll probably choose to continue your free content gathering. Why?
Because Paul Gallico was only half-joking when he wrote: “It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader.”
You don’t want to bleed; you only want content you haven’t paid for.
Q: Will this method provide you with quality content?
A: Of course not. This is about how you can get free content. If you want quality content, you’ll have to hire a quality content creator. Although you may get a bit of quality content, before a s/he figures out what you’re really doing.
Q: Can you use job ads to find a quality content creator?
Just don’t expect that after completing several of these unpaid assignments and receiving 0 responses that the quality ones will continue. Although if you want to be cheeky you can send them a note saying they had promise and you’d like to see them complete a couple of internship assignments. Some might fall for it.
Few quality content creators will write for free – not even under the guise of applying for a job.
Good content creators know you’ve already received their:
- a) LinkedIn profile
- b) Resume and
- c) Portfolio.
Those three are all you need to determine if they’re worth contacting about your quality content.