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A Simple Trick for Finding Top-Notch Writers to Create Your Content While business owners call in SEO experts, ask their friends for freelance referrals and even search through the latest content-dating sites, finding quality writers to produce content may just be right under their nose.

By Joe Pulizzi Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're a small business. You're putting everything you have into marketing and selling your product or service. Unfortunately the ads aren't working like they used to and prospects aren't taking your calls. You aren't the only one. The online world has taken notice of this trend and is shifting tactics.

Now more and more, you're finding you need content. You need content to get found in search, for social, to populate your email newsletter delivered to your customers and prospects. Heck, you need content for your Facebook ads because all your fans don't see your updates anymore (thanks Facebook!).

While you know your industry better than anyone else, you most likely weren't born a content creator. Nor were you trained as a journalist and video production doesn't come naturally. You hate Twitter and you have no idea what the heck SnapChat does. And because you are focused on the business, managing any kind of consistent publishing schedule is beyond what's possible.

So what do these businesses do? They call in SEO experts, ask their friends for freelance referrals and even search through the latest content-dating sites. All the while, the solution may be literally right under your nose.

Related: Want to Break Through All The Content-Marketing Noise? Keep Your Customer at the Center.

Enter the masthead. Remember the masthead? It was that place where you found all the writers, editors and circulation managers that worked at a print magazine. Today, mastheads are harder to locate, but they still exist. And once found, they can be extremely useful to your business -- you just need to know how to use it.

Opening up the leading trade magazine or visiting a website in your niche and finding the masthead is a gold mind for competent writers. These writers (many part-time) not only understand your customer base but can formulate relevant and original content in a skilled way.

Besides writers, the masthead also has editors, who can help turn your raw content into an engaging story.

Related: What Gives Entrepreneurs a Content Marketing Edge?

Plus it provides information on your audience. The masthead shows circulation and the publishing roles responsible for circulation development, audience building and subscriber generation. (Note: Another great place to get information about the customer demographics is the publication's media kit.) This can help in targeting subscribers, building relationships and ultimately, getting them to buy from you.

Design needs? Check the masthead has that as well.

And the timing couldn't be better. At many media companies and trade publishers, the business models aren't working so well. Raises are harder to come by these days. That leaves the door wide open for you and your business.

Related: The 5 Brilliant Strategies You Can Learn From Top Content Marketers

Joe Pulizzi

Entreprenuer and Author; Founder, Content Marketing Institute

Joe Pulizzi is founder of Content Marketing Institute, a Cleveland-based education and training organization for content marketing, which hosts the annual Content Marketing World event. He has written four books, including the most recent, Content Inc. (McGraw-Hill, 2015). You can read his blog here.

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