How To Find Professional Content Writers
Effective content marketing positions you as an authority in your field. It builds trust with your audience by providing useful, relevant information. Statistics show that the more quality content you produce, the more traffic your website is likely to receive.
You may understand the value of content marketing but lack the time to write your own material. Perhaps you do not feel confident in your own writing ability. In either case, hiring professional content writers may be the solution to your problem.
What Qualities Should You Seek in Professional Content Writers?
The good news is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of content writers for hire willing and eager to produce content for your website. The bad news is that many of them are not able to create the quality of content that you need.
Some are scam artists trying to turn a quick buck. They offer ridiculously low rates so that they can produce great volumes of bulk content. Because they are interested in profit only, the quality is very low and does not reflect your business in a good light.
There are also many amateurs out there who aspire to be professional content writers. They are looking to get started in the business and have genuinely good intentions. There may be raw talent there, and some of these amateurs may eventually go on to be successful professional writers. For now, however, they may not have the necessary knowledge, skills, experience, or training to adequately serve your purposes.
When you want to hire a writer to create content for your business, it helps to have a specific idea of what you are looking for. Here are some of the most valuable qualities that professional content writers typically possess.
Another term for this is writing “voice.” A professional content writer should create copy that is purposeful, insightful, intelligent, and engaging. The attitude should convey confidence, strength, and personal integrity. Find content writers who have a strong sense of self to produce content with a distinctive, captivating personality.
Professional Content Writing Skills
Professional writers for hire should know about the basic mechanics of writing. Concepts such as correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, organization, etc. are the writer’s tools. A knowledgeable writer knows how to wield these tools effectively, which sometimes means knowing when to break the rules. Though not necessarily required, it can be helpful if the professional content writers you hire also have essential knowledge about your field.
For example, say you are in charge of marketing for a health care system in a large city. You would like a series of blog posts to highlight the services you offer within the specialty of orthopedics. You may want to hire a writer who has experience with medical language, perhaps as a former transcriptionist or speech-language editor. His or her familiarity with the terminology may result in content that is slightly more accurate than what an otherwise competent layperson would produce.
Professional writers for hire should be able to produce verifiable references and credentials that attest to their experience. While it is important to check these thoroughly, you should never hire a writer without first seeing a sample of his or her work. You can either ask to see a portfolio or have the writer create a trial piece of content for you. Keep in mind that professional content writers do not always retain the copyrights to work that was created for hire, so producing a portfolio may be difficult.
Ideally, blog writers for hire should also have experience incorporating keywords into the content for search engine optimization. However, this is a teachable skill that many writers are likely to pick up quickly. Therefore, you may have a successful professional relationship with a writer who does not have specific experience with SEO but who nevertheless exhibits the other qualities that you seek.
The originality of the content is the single key that can determine the success or failure of your content marketing strategy. Search engines ignore and sometimes penalize duplicate content, and customers usually do not waste their time retreading territory that they have already covered.
Lazy or unscrupulous content writers may purposely copy someone else’s content and try to pass it off as their own. An unskilled or unpracticed writer may unintentionally plagiarize a source by not presenting the information from research in a unique way.
Conscientious, skilled content writers have a personal code of ethics that forbids intentional plagiarism. They are practiced at taking information from a source and making it their own so that there is no duplication.
Flexibility as a Writer
Content writers for hire typically work with several clients at the same time, each of which has specific requirements. Skillful and successful professional writers are able to adapt individual styles to your specifications and to produce exactly the type of content you need.
You may mistakenly believe that a unique voice makes it more difficult for a writer to assume your desired tone and style, but the opposite is true. Having a strong writing personality makes it easier to understand your point of view and to adapt the style to your specifications. You need a writer who can emulate tone and style while also providing valuable information.
Professional content writers deal with you openly and honestly. They do not make unrealistic promises as to word count or turnaround time. They set reasonable deadlines in which they can complete the work and have it back to you, and if for some reason they cannot meet the deadline, they are proactive in letting you know why and in working out a viable contingency plan. You can depend on professional content writers to submit high-quality content in a timely manner according to your specifications.
Professionalism also means a passion and pride in the work. The types of content writers you want to work with are not those who put in the minimum amount of effort and expect maximum pay. Whether or not they get a byline, they know that the writing they create reflects on them as a professional, for good or bad. Therefore, professional content writers devote their energies to creating content that they are proud to put out into the world.
What Kind of Relationship Do You Want To Have With Professional Content Writers?
Do you want to hire in-house writers to work for you full-time or part-time? Or do you want to outsource your work to freelance content writers for hire? There are pros and cons to each approach. Your decision may depend on the type and amount of content you want.
If you need content that is extremely technical, it may be worth your while to find a subject matter expert to add to the payroll. Similarly, if you have a sufficient volume of work to keep a full-time writer busy, it may make sense to find content writers you can put on your staff. An example might be if you wanted a steady stream of long-form content that takes at least several hours to research and write per assignment.
Keep in mind, however, that if you hire one or more in-house writers, you have to justify not only the salary that you pay each writer but also the employee benefits, payroll taxes, hiring costs, and equipment expenses. Therefore, many businesses large and small find it much more cost-effective to outsource to professional content writers.
How Do You Find Professional Content Writers for Hire?
The professional relationship you want to have with content writers (i.e., employees or independent contractors) has some bearing on where you should start looking for them. Here are a few of the available options.
1. Contact the Writers Directly
You probably have newspapers, magazines, and blogs that you read on a daily basis. Pay attention to the content writers that you admire, whose work you find particularly enlightening, entertaining, or engaging. Many freelance journalists and bloggers provide contact information that allows you to reach them directly. You may be able to hire them to create content for you. However, if other people find their work as impressive as you do, you may compete for their time (or pay a pretty penny for their services).
2. Get Referrals
Chances are that you know other people in your industry or a similar field who have hired content writers in the past. If so, try asking for a referral. This is a good way to find high-quality content writers because you know that the referrer is pleased with their past work. It can also be a good way to find professional writers familiar with your industry, which can be particularly helpful if you need a subject matter expert.
3. Look at Online Job Boards and Freelance Writing Marketplaces
Consult online job boards, which can include generic employment sites like LinkedIn or Indeed that match companies to workers in a wide range of fields, e.g., accounting, human resources, etc.
Also you could consider companies that focus specifically on writing jobs, like ProBlogger, ContentWriters or Constant Content. The services these sites offer usually fall between a spectrum of sites that focus mostly on full-time employment opportunities and sites that focus mainly on freelancing. There is still a lot of work on your end that will go into contracting writers from these sites, but they are at least an aggregate of writing talent. Knowing what kind of relationship you want to have with professional content writers can help you choose a company that will best serve your purposes.
Sites like Constant Content typically work in one of three ways:
- You post a description of the content you need, and writers get in touch with you to offer their services.
- Writers post their profiles, resumes, and possibly portfolios, and you pick a writer you’re interested in for a specific project.
- You describe your project to the company hosting the listings, which will then match you to a writer with the appropriate skills and experience.
Whichever method best suits you, you are most likely to find a high-quality writer from a site with a strong reputation (which may be hard to come by with an marketplace-based site). Most freelance market websites leave you at the mercy of your own interactions with writers, which can be somewhat of a crapshoot. Can you find professional writers for hire on Craigslist? Yes, you can, but you’ll probably have to invest a lot of time and energy to find one with the necessary skills, credentials, and ability.
While some freelance marketplaces allow you to advertise for free, some charge a fee to access their listings on top of whatever you end up paying the writer for the content. These fees tend to support services like vetting writers to ensure that, for example, English is their first language.
If freelance writing marketplaces were online dating services, they would be more analogous to Tinder than eHarmony. In other words, they are more useful for helping you find a professional content writer to write a single article for you rather than one you can build a long-term professional relationship with.
Benefits of Working With The Same Professional Content Writer(s)
It can be beneficial to your business to work with one professional writer consistently over time. This gives the writer an opportunity to learn about your company to produce expert content and to adopt your desired tone and voice. However, it may require more time and effort on your part to help the writer attain that level.
For example, there are a lot of very talented, experienced professional content writers out there who may be unfamiliar with search engine optimization. You may have to teach them how to incorporate keywords into their writing as part of an effective SEO strategy, and you may have to check their work in the first few pieces that they submit to you.
Similarly, the tasks of checking for plagiarism, proofreading, and editing for quality control may fall to you if the content writer is unable to perform them or you are unwilling to pay extra. These tasks can take almost as much time as the writing itself.
Freelance writing marketplaces are also similar to online dating services in that, while many of the users are legitimate, there are also some scam artists just trying to get close enough to take advantage. That is why it is so important to make sure that the writers you are communicating with are who they say they are and can do what they say they’ll do. Perform your due diligence beforehand by seeing the writer’s work and checking references.
4. Use Professional Content Writing Services
Professional content writing services are agencies that have their own staff of in-house professional content writers or contract with a network of freelance writers. These services offer many advantages over freelance writing marketplaces.
For one thing, the work of screening and vetting writers to be sure that they have the necessary skills and experience has already been done for you. Content writing services will also often handle the follow-up work of editing and plagiarism checks, so you don’t have to.
Professional content writing services are also extremely flexible. If you need only a handful of pieces written, but you need them as soon as possible, you can order through self-service. On the other hand, if you order large numbers of content regularly, managed services might be a better alternative. In either case, you do not need to communicate with the content writers directly. You have one point of contact at the company for streamlined communication.
Content writing services may be the best option for large orders because you do not need to hire each writer for the project individually. There is already a network of professional writers in place who can handle your project quickly and efficiently. If you choose managed services, you have even more options for customization.
For example, you can create your own unique style guide, and the company can appoint a designated team of professional content writers to handle your content. Each results in greater consistency among individual pieces of content to reflect your desired company voice and tone.
Professional Content Writing Services are Convenient
Of the different options listed here, hiring a professional content writing service is probably the most convenient because the agency handles so many of the tasks that would otherwise fall to you. However, there is a trade-off for the convenience: You must sacrifice some of the control that you would otherwise have over the project. You can offset this by providing detailed instructions when ordering the content and keeping the lines of communication open with your project manager.
Another potential disadvantage of working with a content writing service is that some will charge you a monthly membership fee or a retainer for access to managed services. These can amount in the thousands of dollars. However, the practice is not universal throughout the industry. BKA Content charges no retainers or additional fees to access managed services.
If you already have an existing relationship with one or more professional content writers, you do not necessarily have to sacrifice this to work with a content writing service. You can turn to an agency if your preferred writer is unavailable or if you have an order that is too large for even a handful of writers to finish on time. Self-service ordering exists partly for situations such as these.
Looking To Hire Professional Content Writers? Explore Your Options
If you’re still not sure which solution for finding professional content writers may be best for you, reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you understand the ins and outs of finding content writers, which is best for you, and what you can expect to pay for our services.