Every business needs to be publishing engaging, informative content that helps drive traffic to their site, generates leads, and provides solutions to its customers’ problems.
The only problem is that producing this sort of content yourself can get pretty difficult and time-consuming.
One of the reasons businesses have a tough time finding writers is because they don’t know what to look for in a content writer. With this in mind, in this article, we’ll take a look at ten of the most important qualities you should look for when you’re hiring a content writer.
One of the biggest reasons business owners hire writers for their website or blog is because they’re struggling to produce content regularly themselves. For this reason, one of the first things you should look for in a content writer is that they’re able to submit deliverables on time.
One way to see if a writer takes client deadlines seriously is to have them work on a test project for you. For instance, you can ask to see if they’ll write a paid trial article for you. If they agree, give them a reasonable deadline and see if they’re able to meet it as promised.
#2: Writing Ability
Everyone can write but not everyone has the ability to write for the web, for your target audience, and to your specific requirements. When you hire a content writer, you can expect to work with them for the first few assignments to help them get a grasp of the writing style you’re looking for.
A good content writer is keen to learn and will be receptive to the feedback you provide. However, if you find yourself pointing out the same mistake over and over again, the writer will most likely end up costing you a lot more time and effort than you’re willing to spend.
#3: Interest in Your Company/Industry
Most writers you’ll find for hire won’t be experts in your industry or be well-versed with the products or services your business sells – and that’s not a problem! However, the writer should express genuine interest in learning more about the industry as they continue to work with you.
One way to gauge a writer’s interest in your company – or lack thereof – is by paying attention to the questions they ask. For instance, a good writer will talk to you about your company and the products or services you sell in their discovery call and ask you about your goals and objectives.
As we mentioned above, one of the reasons why business owners hire content writers is because their time would be better spent focusing on growing their business. By working with a resourceful writer, you’ll be able to completely outsource your writing work without having to worry about providing detailed outlines or research material for each article you publish.
Initially, you will have to give the content writer some information about what it is you’re looking for. This could be in the form of a style guide, articles you’ve previously published on your blog, or a simple discussion about your content requirements. Once that’s done, you’ll want a writer that is able to produce high-quality content as per your requirements and only comes to you with important questions.
#5: Ability to Write Content That Sells
Finding a content writer that can write eye-catching sentences and paragraphs is pretty easy. Finding one that understands how to captivate the reader’s attention and subtly guide them down your marketing funnel through persuasion is slightly more difficult.
For instance, you don’t want your writer to take a salesy tone in blog posts that are meant to be informative. Content that doesn’t serve its intended purpose seldom gets shared. And if your purpose is to make a sale, you don’t want the writer to be adding in fluff or outbound links that distract the reader from your intended conversion.
One of the most important features to look for in a writer is their ability to adapt their writing style to your requirements. Businesses need to be publishing all sorts of content to establish themselves as an authority in their niche. This could mean blog posts, documentation, editorial pieces, and white papers.
A good writer is able to adapt their writing style and tone to the intended reader. For instance, articles written for CEOs and marketing managers will be much different from blog posts written for consumers. The writer you hire should be able to distinguish between different writing styles and adapt to your requirements.
#7: Understanding of SEO
Having a clear understanding of SEO and the ability to implement it is an important quality to look for in a writer. Good content writers understand that even the best written content loses effectiveness if its target readers aren’t able to find it.
When you’re interviewing writers, make sure they have a solid grasp on SEO best practices. If you’re running a WordPress website, you can ask them if they’re familiar with using popular SEO plugins – like Yoast SEO.
Some writers will tell you they can turn in assignments within a few hours. The problem with hiring a writer like this is that you’ll most likely need to hire an editor to improve their work.
Editing requires patience and a keen eye for details. Finding a writer who’s able to edit their own work will save you time, effort, and money. Writers that spend time editing their work are able to:
- Spot the occasional spelling or punctuation mistake.
- Make sure they’re not overusing words.
- Remove fluff that doesn’t add value to the content.
Look for a writer that edits their articles instead of sending you first drafts that they haven’t even proofread.
As a business owner, you can’t afford to hire raw talent to produce content for your readers and prospective customers. You need someone who has experience.
Hiring content writers that are new to the writing business will almost always cost you time and money. And unless you’re tight on budget, you don’t need to spend time training a writer and helping them improve their skills.
Instead, look for a writer that has some experience writing the type of content you’re looking for. Go through their portfolio and testimonials to get a better understanding of what they’re capable of and what other clients had to say about their writing services.
#10: Great Communicator
Working with a writer who’s difficult to communicate with or get a hold of is unproductive. For this reason, one of the most important things to look for in a writer is what tools they’ll use to collaborate with you on content ideas, outlines, and revisions.
For instance, if you’re working with a writer who prefers to send you .docx files via email, you’ll have a difficult time giving them feedback or asking for revisions. Similarly, if your only mode of communication is email, it’ll be difficult to keep track of content requirements, questions, and final drafts.
At BloggInc, we have a tried and tested set of tools that we use to deliver our writing services including Google Docs (for easy collaboration on articles), Trello (for keeping track of assignments and project management, and Skype (for discovery calls).
Hiring the right content writer and executing a successful content strategy can benefit your business in many ways. For starters, you’ll experience increased online visibility and improved conversion rates while you save time.
We shared some of the most important attributes to look for in a writer so that you’re able to find the right content writer for your business needs. If you’re still on the fence about outsourcing writing, check out our post on Should You Hire a Content Writer?.
How do you find writers to produce content for your business website or blog? What are some of the attributes you look for in a writer? Let us know in the comments section below!