Hire Good Writers

by Dan Walsh

Difficulties Doubling Publication Post Production.

My 2014 goal for TangentsAndDistractions.com is to increase post output to one article per day. I have milestones along the way, the first of which is to hit 8 posts in January. This would effectively get me to a 2 post per week run rate – which is double¬†what I’m currently producing. The straightforward solution is for me to simply write all of these posts, but I want T&D to evolve into a legitimate publication with dispersed production. If this is my intent, then writing all posts myself defeats the purpose. I have started bringing on other writers, but I seem to be doing it incorrectly.

My January strategy was to find interesting people and get them to write for me. This isn’t working. The interesting people are either all too busy or writing seems a daunting endeavor for them. I understand. If someone else asked me to write for them, I might feel overwhelmed… and I publish everyday!

I’ve offered to pay a friend who actually is a well-published journalist, but so far this hasn’t panned out either. It’s possible he’ll still pull through before the end of the month – he definitely seemed excited about it. My assumption is that my flexible deadline makes it easier for other writing assignments to butt their way into his schedule ahead of mine.

I’ve also tried a hybrid approach where I ask interesting people for interviews. I thought this approach would be less daunting because it reduces their responsibility. All they have to do is have a 30 minute conversation with me and I’ll do the rest. They don’t have to write anything. This might still work, but so far these interviews haven’t panned out. People are busy.

It’s obvious that I’ll need to change my strategy moving forward. Instead of looking for interesting people and asking them to write, I need to find writers and simply give them interesting topics. I suppose that’s how it works at established newspapers, magazines, and blogs. They have a stable of good writers, not necessarily a stable of interesting people.

My trials this month felt like failure at first. I had a bunch of dominoes lined up but none of them were falling over. I see the lesson now, however, which makes these first 21 days completely worth it: hire good writers. It seems so fundamental, but in some ways that also makes it more valuable. It’s a solid foundation from which to build.