Craigslist is the New eLance, But Better!

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Yesterday I found myself planning a new content generation & copywriting project, where I’ll need a handful of writers to generate topical blog posts on a daily basis. Just to be clear, I work with a couple of very good copywriting services which have always delievered quality work on time, usually worthy of posting without too much proofreading. Some of those services are offshore, some of them manage offshore writers, and some are based in the US. All of them, more or less, charge around the same price.

In the past I had found new writers for client or side projects via referrals, or via service sites like eLance. One problem with eLance however is that it took weeks to find a qualified copywriter, and once that was put together, I’d have to wait 5 days or so to get my assignments back to me. I also found out that some friends were laid off the other day, and given the current state of the economy, and knowing that more and more people are in need of side jobs, or a part time gig to hold them over, I looked into my favorite late night web destination, Craigslist and posted a part time copywriting and blogging job on the local Tampa Craigslist page.

At first, I thought maybe I’d get a handful of replies, and a lot of them from bots and people all over the world, wasting my time and energy. Boy was I wrong!

The post asked for :

  • List of Favorite Blogs
  • Writing Experience
  • Resume and Background Info
  • Must be Fond of Social Media and Search Engines
  • Links to Social Media Profiles

I have received over 100 replies to my part time blogging job post on Craigslist, 99% of them from the Tampa, or atleast Gulf Coast of Florida area. And these people are incredibly qualified. The applicants have been an amazing selection of college students and seasoned marketing people, with incredible resumes, their own blogs, highly connected Facebook and Twitter profiles, and some who work for local businesses, schools and government bodies that I already feel I should and can connect with.

People have written me back with lists of their favorite blogs, links to their work, their thoughts on blogging and social media, and even their Stumble Upon or Digg profiles. I am IMPRESSED.

I’m not saying that your business has to Buy American and get Nationalistic in these tough economic times, but I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that I can help out someone in my own backyard who is highly qualified, and can honestly churn out more and better work in an hour for a cheaper rate (in the office or Starbucks) than an offshore copywriter will charge for just one article.

By hiring a part time contractor, I can give them the goals of churning out one or two articles or posts an hour, get them commenting and using their social media networks to assist with our projects. These are also people who have networked in the local business area, and can perhaps bring in new clients or make excellent connections. They know other likeminded local people and can attract other students and interns to our business, and other Twitters via TweetUps. You can’t buy that on eLance, can you?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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