How To Hire the Best Website Content Writer
How To Hire the Best Website Content Writer
Your website is your business’s virtual storefront. Additionally, most of the interaction between consumers and your brand likely takes place online. That means your site must be designed to provide an optimal user experience, which entails easy navigation, a streamlined layout, and peak functionality at all times. Along with these crucial factors, hiring a quality website content writer is just as vital to your business’s online success.
While some business owners choose to create their own web content in-house, going it alone deprives you of many great benefits. It also puts you at a disadvantage against competitors, who may be working with professional writers to develop content for their sites. You may save money on content creation this way, but you could be losing much more in sales by forgoing professional assistance.
Consider this statistic: It’s estimated that 1.8 billion people shopped for goods online in 2018. Additionally, it’s projected that US online retailers will earn $4.8 trillion by 2021. Businesses that take the proper steps when hiring a content writer have the best chance of improving their website, its impact on visitors, and their sales figures.An estimated 👀1.8 BILLION👀 people shopped online in 2018, and it's projected that US online retailers will earn $4.8 TRILLION 💰💰💰 by 2021. It's absolutely crucial to have an online offering in 2020. #ecommerce #marketing Click To Tweet
Why Is Hiring a Skilled Digital Content Writer So Important?
The more people who visit your website, the more opportunities you have for sales conversions. This is the goal of search engine optimization, which helps your site adhere to the criteria set forth by search engine algorithms.
The more search engine criteria your website meets, the higher it will rank in search results. Keep in mind that a majority of web users never make it past the first page of results and that the first five links on the first results page receive the majority of clicks, so a high search rank is an essential component of increased visibility.
Improving your search ranking can involve a few different techniques. Along with applying important SEO principles during website creation, the content contained within your site must also be up to par.
Search engines penalize sites for repeating content or using too many keywords in succession (also known as keyword stuffing). A quality website content writer understands SEO best practices and utilizes them to make interesting, compelling content.
Content must also be unique from page to page of your site, as recycling blog posts, titles, and other content can lead to lower search ranks, fewer visitors, and decreased opportunities to convert visitors into customers.
Along with ensuring search engine algorithms are satisfied, a skilled content writer will also provide an enjoyable experience to readers. Consumers these days are savvier than ever and don’t appreciate blatant marketing efforts.
Content must be informative, entertaining, and educational to sufficiently fulfill the need of all visitors to your site, who will likely be on different stages of their customer journey (more on that later). Simply presenting a product and its features is not enough. You must also demonstrate the value of your business by showing how you can help customers.
What To Know About the Customer Journey
Consumers take many different steps from first realizing a need for a product or service to finally making a purchase. These steps comprise the customer journey, which all business owners should have a good understanding of to devise an effective content creation strategy. In most cases, a customer journey will contain the following five stages:
- Stage 1: Awareness – At this point, a customer will realize he or she has a need that can be fulfilled by a specific product or service. The awareness stage involves information gathering on products or services, which can lead to your website. Keep in mind that virtually all people perform research online before heading out to a store or contacting a company to schedule service.
- Stage 2: Consideration – After compiling cursory information during the awareness stage, consumers delve deeper into the details. Customers in the consideration stage often compare different local businesses to see how they measure up against each other.
- Stage 3: Decision – After completing research, a consumer is ready to make a decision based on the information acquired during the first two stages. At this point, consumers check online reviews, which highlight what a business does well and any areas where it’s lacking.
- Stage 4: Retention – The customer journey isn’t over once a consumer has made a transaction with your business. You’ll also need to take steps to retain this person’s business so they return again and again. Remember, it’s easier to retain an existing customer than it is to attract a new one.
- Stage 5: Advocacy – While repeat customers are essential to a thriving business, having your customers be your advocates is even better. Word of mouth is still a valuable commodity within online marketing, and the more positive the experience, the more likely a person is to be your business’s advocate.
How To Create Web Content for Each Stage of the Customer Journey
The most successful business sites make sure content is available to satisfy each stage of the customer journey, which is another important reason to secure a capable website content writer. Here are a few examples of the different types of articles and posts that make an impact throughout the purchasing process.
How-To Guides & Educational Info
Educational content, including instructional guides or how-tos, establishes your business as an authority in your field. It also shows that you’re capable of meeting a customer’s needs or solving their problem during the initial phase of their research.
For example, if you own a plumbing company, you may hire a content writer to create blogs on common plumbing issues and how to deal with them (i.e., reach out to your company for professional assistance once a problem has been identified). Below is a great example where Home Depot demonstrates how to install one of their products, making the customer’s decision to buy from them that much easier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) & Datasheets
The need for pertinent information goes deeper during the consideration stage, and you must be able to provide relevant info so that a customer can feel confident choosing your business over a competitor.
Well-written, comprehensive FAQs increase consumer confidence by addressing common concerns, including questions about how a product works or how prices are determined. Datasheets are also quite valuable because they drill down into product details to provide a full understanding of function and construction. This type of content is often more technical than what’s provided during the previous stage.
For example, Apple does a great job answering common questions and saving their customer support staff time by providing an FAQ for each of their products.
When a visitor to your website is ready to make a buying decision, a well-placed call-to-action can be highly effective. Calls-to-action include targeted language, such as “buy now” or “purchase,” that encourages readers to take certain steps. Additional examples include requests to download an informational packet, sign up for an email newsletter, or call to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
A call-to-action may be disguised by persuasive commentary, or it may be to the point with an “Order Now” button like you see here on the Tesla Model Y page.
Social Media Messaging & Requests for Testimonials
Content creation for the retention and advocacy stages of the customer journey often go hand in hand. Content writers can create social media messages that compel satisfied customers to leave reviews and testimonials, which then go on to influence new visitors in the midst of their information-gathering process. Social media writers should also take the time to reply to follower comments, which strengthens engagement and makes customers feel more connected to your brand.
Nike is a perfect example of a brand that takes the time to interact with many of their social media followers.
How Can I Know I’m Hiring the Right Web Content Writer?
Now that you understand the importance of hiring a solid writer and how doing so can help you take advantage of the different opportunities presented during the customer journey, the next step is to begin your search for the perfect candidate. There are a lot of factors that should be considered during the selection process, which entails a review of your business’s content creation needs, as well as prospective content writers’ qualifications.
3 Questions To Ask Yourself When Looking for a Website Content Writer
For your search to be most effective, you want to enter into the process with as much information as possible. Asking yourself the following questions can help you develop your desired content writing strategy:
1. What Are My Goals for Content Creation?
Maybe you’re designing a new website and must create a number of pages in a hurry to get up and running. Or perhaps you’re adding a blog to an existing website and are in search of frequent posts on a weekly or monthly basis to keep readers engaged. In either case, easily identifying your marketing goals allows you to communicate them to applicants effectively. Write down two or three goals and be ready to discuss them in detail with candidates.
2. What’s My Budget for the Project?
Having a solid figure in mind for your budget is a must before you create any contracts or agreements with content writers. It’s also a good idea to think about how you’ll remit payment to the freelancer you ultimately choose.
Are you going to provide an advance and pay the remainder upon completion of the project, or only pay the full amount when the project is finished and submitted? Including this information in the contract ensures everyone is on the same page and prevents disputes or confusion from occurring down the line.
3. What Keywords Should I Use?
While you’re ultimately relying on the website content writer’s skill and expertise, you are the authority on your business and industry. As a result, you’ll probably need to make keyword decisions to point the writer in the right direction.
Keywords are terms and phrases web users type in when performing searches. Relevant keywords for business often include a description of services (like plumbing or HVAC), products (TVs or laptops), and localities (typically a city or region).
Red Flags To Avoid During Your Search
Along with knowing what to look for, it also helps to know what to avoid when in search of a web content writer to join your site. The more due diligence you perform, the more certain you’ll be of your final decision.
Performing the necessary research and knowing what to look for also spares you lost time and money because you’ll need to hire another writer if the first choice doesn’t work out.
In this case, requesting a portfolio or writing samples is highly encouraged. Applicants to the position should be ready and willing to present writing samples from previous assignments. These professionals may even be able to provide links to blog posts or articles they’ve written, which proves they’ve worked professionally on projects before.
Seeing a portfolio is extremely important if you’re hiring a legal blog writer or real estate content writer, both of which require a higher level of knowledge. You want to be assured that the person has a command over knowledge or terminology relating to that industry or profession before proceeding. While writers can research any topic, hiring a writer with the appropriate knowledge base removes a lot of the guesswork.
A writer being unable to supply a quality portfolio or applicable writing samples is just one red flag of many you should be on the lookout for when searching for a skilled candidate. Here are a few other signs that your search for a website content writer should continue beyond the most recent applicant:
- Their communication is poor. Is the writer late in replying to your messages, even when a time-sensitive matter is being discussed? When they do respond, do their replies not make sense or fail to address the issue? Are you left to fill in the blanks when it comes to questions and requests? If you’re experiencing these problems at the outset, just imagine how confusing the actual project will be.
- They don’t ask the right questions. Even seemingly straightforward projects often require clarification, and complex projects typically entail a lot of back and forth between client and writer. When a web content writer fails to ask the right questions at the start of the project, it’s likely that the client will not be satisfied upon its completion. A good writer will be engaged with the work and will be eager to learn all he or she can before proceeding.
- They claim to specialize in many different areas. While it’s true that content writers acquire many different skills throughout their careers, most excel in an area or two. There are many different types of content writing (see below), and hiring an actual specialist will ultimately be in your business’s best interests. When writers claim to be specialists in all areas, it’s worth asking for different writing samples from each area of specialty to verify their skills.
- They don’t listen to your opinion. You want the writer you choose to have plenty of ideas regarding content creation, which will help refine your marketing strategy. However, you also want to rest assured that your opinions are heard and respected. A good writer will be able to take your ideas and incorporate them into your content in a way that pleases everyone, particularly your target audience.
What Else Should I Keep in Mind When Looking for a Digital Content Writer?
Every business’s selection process will have some differences and variations when seeking a writer’s assistance. While the above information can keep you on the right track when making a decision, keep in mind that your need for a content writer may vary wildly from that of your competitors. Accordingly, there are many other factors that must be considered to ensure you make the best possible decision for your website’s needs.
Different Types of Content Writers To Choose From
You’ve probably heard of copywriters before. This is a general term that refers to a writer who produces marketing content for businesses. Copywriting includes many different types of online writing, including the following:
- Webpage Writer – Your website’s pages provide essential information to visitors, from an explanation of your goods and services to information about your business location and hours of operation. A webpage writer will present practical information in a way that’s easy to read and to comprehend.
- Social Media Writer – While your website is the primary face of your business online, your social media pages are equally important. Proper social media usage improves brand recognition and helps you click with customers old and new. Social media messages are more conversational and casual than other types of content, so your social media writer must be able to strike the right tone.
- Blog Writers – Along with the static webpages explained above, blog posts also add a lot of value to the user experience. A good blog writer will combine information regarding your business with trending issues and statistics to enlighten visitors. A blog writer will also be able to come up with new, exciting topics. Making frequent blog posts is a good method of keeping your business on the mind of consumers, especially when you share posts on various social media platforms.
- Technical Writer – When discussing products with consumers, technical writers take complex subjects and topics and render them comprehensible to a layperson. This is beneficial when creating guides and instruction manuals to be posted on your website, which are beneficial to consumers who are still in the decision-making phases, as well as those who’ve made a purchase and are in search of supplemental info.
- Ad Writer – Ad writers must pack quality content into a relatively small character limit. Ad writers are beneficial when developing a pay-per-click advertising campaign, which entails creating focused ads positioned to be seen by your target audience. PPC ads must contain the right keywords to be the most effective for a business.
How To Ensure a Smooth Working Relationship With a Website Content Writer
Once you’ve finally found a writer to work with, how can you make sure that the working relationship between you and your writer remains constructive? Clearly defining project goals and directives is crucial to receive quality writing in return.
Along with sending an article topic (which should be clear and concise), also provide a word count minimum/maximum, desired keywords, any links to be included, resources you consider helpful, and a content or style guide (if available).
You can also provide a buyer persona to the writer for further guidance. A buyer persona serves as an outline of specific segments of your target audience, which can include information on age, gender, location, income, occupation, hobbies, interests, and other pertinent demographic information.
Also, don’t be afraid to return drafts to writers if you’re not completely satisfied with what you received. It may take one or more revisions to get where you want to be, especially if you’re working with a writer for the very first time.
Most writers are accustomed to tweaking drafts multiple times, and it’s important that the final product meets, and possibly even exceeds, your expectations. An article or post should be sent back for the following reasons: It’s poorly written, it doesn’t follow the guidelines you provided, or it requires substantial editing on your part.
Finally, to ensure the best possible results, you must take full responsibility for the ultimate success (or failure) of the project. Being proactive throughout the content creation process, communicating freely with the writer you’ve chosen, and having an open mind when it comes to suggestions and recommendations greatly increases the odds that you’ll be highly satisfied with the end result. Remember, great online writing pleases visitors to your website, but it can also boost your profits by increasing sales conversions.
As explained throughout this guide, there are a number of factors that go into finding the best content writer for your business. You want to feel comfortable with the writer you choose, both on a personal and professional level. Additionally, you want to feel that your marketing dollars are being allocated correctly and that you’re receiving the greatest return on investment.
The decision to hire a content writer is vital for other reasons. A high-quality writer can improve your website’s ranking in search results, provide essential information to web browsers, and compel any visitors to your site to take the desired action (whether that’s setting up a consultation, signing up for an email newsletter, or committing to the purchase of a product or service). Conversely, hiring the wrong writer will result in a loss of precious time and money, which can harm both your business and your website.
BKA Content is happy to fulfill your content creation needs, whatever they might entail. We offer managed services to accommodate businesses with more substantial content creation needs, such as larger recurring orders. Visitors can also check out our Content Shop to choose from webpages, blog posts, social media posts, SEO articles, product and category descriptions, press releases, meta descriptions, and many others as the need arises. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your marketing goals with our skilled content writing team.
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