How To Hire a Good Content Writer
Just like in classic noir films that feature detectives in black and white, learning how to hire a good content writer takes some serious investigation. Sometimes you can’t find any fresh leads (cue the melancholic jazz); however, as in the best detective films, if you put your mind to it, you can “get the girl” and find a few exceptional content writers. Just make sure to stay away from Chinatown, at least if your name is J.J. Gittes.
In all honesty, hiring content writers isn’t complicated. There are many freelancers and copywriting agencies that offer their services online. The catch is to find the ones who offer quality writing and can write the kind of content you’re looking for.
So don’t worry, Velma. You’ve come to the right detective’s office. Here is how you hire a good content writer.
Why Do You Need To Hire a Content Writer?
If you’re asking yourself “why hire a content writer?”, there are countless reasons. For growing your business, posting valuable content on a consistent basis is a must-do to keep up with your competitors. This requires creating a lot of content each week that is both useful and informative. If your team is already burdened with other tasks, hiring a writer or content agency to write articles for you saves a lot of time and effort.
Hire a Content Writer With Experience
Along with this, one of the biggest reasons why companies invest in content writers is because these writers have experience that you or your team may not have. This expertise includes having extensive knowledge about researching, formatting and editing content. Many writers also know how to incorporate SEO into each article, giving your content an even bigger edge in the digital sphere.
And just think about it: If J. K. Rowling could create her own world just in her head, imagine what a team of experienced writers can create with a few guidelines and resources.
We guarantee that you can learn how to hire a great content writer, but keep in mind that you’ll need to know in advance what you’re looking for. Do you need someone who can write technical content or someone who can whip out product descriptions? We’ll talk more about that later.
How Do You Hire a Good Content Writer?
Good content writers don’t grow on trees. If they did, “Lost” would’ve had a far more satisfying finale. To attract top talent and make sure you hire a content writer who can nail your brand style, tone and voice, consider the following:
1. Clearly Outline the Content Writing Job Specs
How do you hire a good content writer if you don’t know what you want? If you want the right content writer for the job, you need to tell prospective partners what that job is in detail. A good job description hits many of the following points:
- Project length
- Payment type (by word, by hour, by project)
- Project rate
- Minimum and maximum word counts
- Desired tone
- Formatting specifics
Along with these details, be sure to include what type of writers you need. Depending on how much in-depth research you want (and are willing to pay for), you may want to search for a health writer, real estate writer or any industry-specific writer who can match the tone, voice and understanding you’re looking for.
Not sure exactly what you want? It might be a good idea to do some sleuthing and check out similar websites to see the kind of writing they publish. Analyze your brand voice, consider future brand goals and base your specific writing style on these guidelines.
2. Get Content Writing Samples (or Have Someone Else Get Them for You)
Samples form the backbone of the writer search. If you want to know how to hire a good content writer, ask candidates not only for a resume but also for a writing sample.
As a follow-up, ask writers that pique your interest to complete a brief writing task assigned by you that’s relevant to the project for which they’re being considered.
If you need to hire a content writer to write video scripts, give him or her a brief video script assignment. After reviewing a resume and two different writing samples, you should have a solid grasp of whether a writer is a good fit.
Work Through a Content Writing Agency
Alternately, you can also source writers using a content creation agency and its managed services. This is a particularly cost-effective strategy for large businesses, as it involves the hiring of not only writers but also a project manager who oversees the entire process, including those writers toiling away at your copy. If you need a lot of content on a regular basis, managed content services can be an extremely rewarding — and smart — business venture.
3. Ask About Applicable Content Writing Experience
Many content writers are Jacks- and Janes-of-All-Trades, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re prepared to write anything you throw at them. If you need to hire a content writer who can complete specific assignments, such as those that involve technical language, be sure to ask prospects about their experience with that particular type or format of writing.
Learning more about the experience of prospective writers also can spark original writing projects for the future. Did the writer earn a degree in psychology? Have them write a blog series about how your products or services can have a positive mental effect on consumers. Or, if they enjoy writing topics related to business, have them focus on your business-facing articles.
4. Be Wary of Hiring Content Writers Who Sound Too Good To Be True
Exercise extreme caution if a writer wants to handle any business off the books, under the table or in any other way that seems shady.
Your protection is minimal to non-existent if that promise of an incredibly low writing rate or other odd behavior turns into an abandoned project or other headaches. Stay on the up-and-up, and your brand visibility will too.
When hiring a writer, remember that you often get what you pay for. Content marketing can be extremely effective when quality content is used consistently and strategically, so expect to pay a decent price for this kind of writing. Although investing in a lot of content can get pricey, it is well worth the cost.
Types of Content Writers
There are three general types of writing services you can invest in depending on your needs: in-house writers, freelance writers and writing services. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs, so learn how to hire a writer who fits your needs.
In-house writers are the ones you hire directly to your team. They’ll come into the office and work closely with you or other managers. You’ll likely give them a range of tasks to complete, as well as incorporate them into your marketing and advertising meetings. If you’d like to work closely with your writers, having full-time writers may be very effective for your company.
Outsourcing to freelance writers is a great option for companies that have projects that change from time to time. You only pay for their time on the project, versus paying the salaries and benefits of in-house writers. If you’re still figuring out the swing of your content marketing plan, this is a good way to get quality writing when you need it.
Content writing services are a good way to meet in the middle. You only pay for what you buy, but you also get the organization of a steady team of writers and can work closely with the managers of those writers. Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, content writing agencies may be the best source of reliability.
For all of these options, knowing how to hire a good content writer remains the same. Have a job description, request samples and check the validity of each potential choice.
5. Mention Additional Content Writing Work When Relevant
Before beginning the hunt for good content writers, it may be wise to write up a content plan. Are you planning on publishing content once or twice a week? Do you want to update old content or write fresh product descriptions? Write down your needs as well as any big writing projects you hope to complete.
If any of these content writing projects have the potential to turn into multiple projects, say so. For many writers, these writing projects pay the rent. A steady workflow is a huge draw for writers, including the professional content writers you want to continue collaborating with. This can also help you know whether writers are willing to work with you on more than one project. This is important to know, especially if you really enjoy the writing style of a writer.
Hire a Good Content Writer Today
Sometimes the best way to hire a writer is to start looking. Now that you know the basics, start doing some research, put up job descriptions and talk to copywriting services. The experience you get during the hiring process will further develop your content marketing plan and strategy.
Although hiring a good content writer may feel as risky as catching a culprit in your favorite noir film, remember that content marketing is becoming more and more widely known. Part of learning how to hire a good content writer is to be aware of your options. There are many reliable companies like BKA Content that are willing to offer their services. Quality content really can make a difference in your company’s success.
Have you successfully hired great writers? Case solved! Let us know your tips in the comments.