When you hire a blogger or a social media consultant for the first time, you tend to have lots of questions on what to expect, how it works, and wether hiring a blogger is worth the cost. Here are my answers to some of the most frequent questions I receive.

What type of services do you offer, and how much do you charge for them?

My basic blogging/social media package includes 2-4 monthly blog posts, in addition to social media accounts maintenance – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, or a combination of those. Also included are quarterly reports on all social media activity.

The price for this package varies depending on the client, because different topics require different amounts of research and work. The fastest way to know how much I’ll charge in your case is to email me – vered (at) momgrind.com.

Add-ons to the basic package may include creating and designing various social media accounts; regular contests and promotions; and Facebook ads.

Why should I hire you and not an agency?

You are welcome to hire an agency. They will provide the same value as I, but will use big words, will have shiny offices, and will make you pay through the nose.

Budget is tight. Blogging is easy, right? I’d like to pay $10 per blog post. Are you cool with that?

Not really. While I am far more affordable than an agency, I do provide high quality work and real value. I don’t just write blog posts. I work with my clients to identify their business goals, then use social media tools, including blogging, to help them achieve those goals.

I have helped many satisfied clients to build a devoted, engaged social media following. In fact, several of my clients have turned to me after trying a “cheap” blogger and finding that they were unhappy with the quality of the work they had received.

No one can provide high quality work for low pay. It just doesn’t work that way. If your budget is tight, consider publishing less frequently. As a long-term strategy, it’s always better to choose quality over quantity.

Why do I need a blog and social media accounts?

A blog can help your search engine optimization efforts by adding fresh, keyword-rich content to your website. It can also establish you as a thought-leader and an expert in your space.

Getting found in search engines is a crucial first step for getting qualified leads that can be turned into customers. For B2B buyers, for example, search engines are the primary research source, and one of the top influences on purchasing decisions.

Using social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to create brand awareness also works to enhance your conversion rate. Consumers who engage with brands on social media sites show significantly higher propensity to subsequently search for those brands, and to click on their ads. When it comes to promoting your brand on the Web, search engine optimization, Search engine marketing and social media all work together to create awareness and demand, and to bring people to your website.

Your blog discusses parenting, women’s issues and recipes. Are you sure you can blog about other topics?

Of course. MomGrind is my personal blog. This is the space where I write about my life and my own personal interests. I do write a lot about blogging and social media, and of course many blogs on many different topics for my clients. I can write about anything, except for maybe the most technical topics which would require a technical writer.

How soon will I see results?

Social media is a process of slowly building brand awareness and customer loyalty. It doesn’t happen overnight – but if you give it time, at least six months and ideally a year or more, it almost always works.

I want my corporate blog to have lots of traffic and lots of comments. Can you do that for me?

I wouldn’t worry about traffic and comments. Both are not good indicators of a corporate blog’s success. “Lots of traffic” is only important if your revenue model is ad-based, which is a difficult model to begin with and requires huge amounts of traffic to make real money. Even large online publications are struggling with that these days.

As for comments, the vast majority of online readers (anywhere from 90% to 99%, depending on the source) read, but do not comment. This doesn’t mean they are not engaged. As a small business or an enterprise, you do want the people who land on your site to take action – but that action isn’t necessarily commenting on your blog posts.

Instead of traffic or comments, measure your company blog’s success by the long-term impact it has on your search engine rankings, by its contribution to brand recognition and to building your name in your space, and by the number of qualified, high-quality leads it brings you.

What are some of the services you do NOT provide?

I don’t provide link-building services in the sense of posting for you in hundreds of low-page-rank, low-quality blogs with the goal of creating backlinks to your site. Instead, I focus on building high-quality links via your blog, and via getting your name out there in social media.

Social media works for SEO because people become aware of your company and of your content and will sometimes link back to you. For example, I recently started following someone on Twitter on behalf of a client. They followed back, and a few weeks later wrote a blog post titled “Great Marketing Blogs,” which featured my client’s blog among other blogs, and linked to it.

This is organic, natural link-building and it works beautifully because it often comes from high-quality, high-pagerank sources and those links are far more valuable than low-quality links. You need just a few high-quality links to get the same effect you would get from hundreds of low-quality links.

But I really want you to get me links. I heard that on-page optimization is not as important as off-page optimization via link building.

Both are important. I actually had a client who jumped from nowhere on the SERPs to page 3 after on-page adjustments to their site and no other efforts whatsoever, so I can’t agree that on-page optimization is not important.

As for links, yes they are important, but in my experience, the combination of on-page SEO on your main site, a high-quality company blog and active social media campaigns is very effective in improving your search engine rankings over time and getting qualified traffic to your site.

The bottom line: I much prefer getting you natural links through creating awesome content for you and spreading it in social media, than chasing after links artificially. If you must get those artificial links, you could probably find an SEO company to help you with that.

How do you measure results?

I combine information from Google Analytics and from SproutSocial.com to create my quarterly reports. I generally expect to see social media sites among the top external referrers to a client’s website. I also expect to see high levels of engagement and influence.

Why do I need you? Can’t I just use the info you provided here and do it by myself?

You probably could. SEO does require expertise, and blogging requires basic writing skills, in addition to an understanding of search engine optimization. But almost anyone can run a social media campaign using the tools I’ve listed above.

Most of my clients hire me for the same reason they hire other team members – they simply don’t have the time to do it all. Often, they also don’t enjoy writing, or frequent interaction with customers over social media channels. Blogs are easy to start, but difficult to maintain, and the customer service side of social media can be stressful and requires a lot of patience.

But if you have the time, and the patience, then yes – you can absolutely run your own social media campaign.

How soon can you start?

It depends on my current workload. I won’t take on new work if it interferes with my work for existing clients. I can usually arrange to get the first deliverable to you, within seven business days after you hire me.

Can we talk on the phone?

I prefer email communication. Having said that, if you become a client, you may ask for – and receive – my phone number and my Skype ID. I do ask that you schedule all your calls with me in advance. I usually screen all non-scheduled calls and respond to all of them at the same time, twice a day, but I check my email compulsively multiple times during the day, which means you’ll get a faster response if you simply use email.

How do I pay you?

Via Paypal, or a check. Once we agree on the project’s scope and on the price, I usually split that into a few payments and request that you make the first payment before I start working on the first deliverable.

Will you feature my company in your online portfolio?

I can’t showcase everyone, but I do reserve the right to showcase all clients in my portfolio.

How do I contact you?

Email me: vered at momgrind dot com.