8 Reasons Why You Need a Writer
8 Reasons Why You Need a Writer
Being able to write and being a business professional are two very different things, and that’s why you need a writer. Think of it this way: Celebrity chef Bobby Flay may have a steady hand and great knife skills, but you probably wouldn’t want him to perform your emergency appendectomy.
The same goes for you in your business communications. Just because you nailed that last sales email to a client doesn’t mean you should be writing evergreen, in-depth, SEO-optimized content for your blog. Find content writers to do that for you, instead.
Do You Need to Hire a Content Writer?
If you’re asking this question, then the answer is likely yes. Every business that wants to rank organically online needs a content writer (or content writing team) that can help them to scale their content marketing campaigns. Seasoned content writers have the skills and experience necessary to grow your brand. These men and women, most of them freelancers, live and die by the comma.
They may work odd hours, and they may work in their pajamas with The Clash cranked up to 11, but these creative workhorses know how to tell stories, engage readers and meet deadlines – all while keeping the professional tone and consistency of your brand. Here are eight reasons why you need a content writer.
8 Compelling Reasons Why You Need a Writer
Now let us begin…
1. Typos and Other Bad Writing Drive Traffic Away
To paraphrase the criminally underrated ‘80s band Human League: You’re only human, and you were born to make mistakes.
Whether it’s a missing word, a homonym that slipped past spell check, or a “there” when you meant “their,” a single typo in your content can undermine your message. Leaving an entire platoon of errors on your web page or blog can demolish your brand’s image.
How you say what you say matters. According to the Pew Research Center, 96% of Americans perform their own research before making a big decision, whether that’s choosing what car to buy, which church to attend or whether or not they can really just skip “The Godfather Part III.”
Additionally, 46% of their research is conducted using the internet (namely through informative blogs and reviews). When the voice of your brand is garbled or your website is riddled with grammar mistakes, that’s a monster turn-off for patrons who do their homework, and they’re going to take their business elsewhere.
That’s where professional writers and editors come in. They’re trained grammar assassins. When you hire a writer to create and edit your content it’s like having your own personal Jason Bourne on staff — but with thoughtful revisions and savvy edits instead of all the memory loss and punching.
You Need To Hire a Content Writer That Can Engage Readers
There’s more to strong writing than just knowing how to use a semi-colon, though. Engaging material is 100% cliché-free. Hire a content writer and you can avoid tired phrases and dusty angles in favor of a more novel approach that’ll get your brand noticed by the people who matter.
The Nielsen Norman Group found that the average user typically leaves a page within 20 seconds, unless its content captures his or her attention. Writing — and persuasive writing in particular — is a talent. If your content is stale, your audience isn’t going to click, literally or figuratively.The @NNgroup found that the average user typically leaves a page within 20 seconds, unless its content captures his or her attention. #ContentMarketing #Marketing Click To Tweet
Why not bring someone on board who can tell stories and snag readers’ attention? Hiring a content writer can not only take time off your plate, but it can be a huge catalyst to your branding.
The shorter your content, the more important ironclad syntax is, by the way. The last thing you need when you’re whipping up a new slogan or hashtag for your brand is a typo, awkward phrasing, or word soup.
2. It Takes a Village To Raise Your Brainchild
It takes more than a web page to build a brand. You also need a social media presence, blogs, articles, ebooks, and maybe even some video scripts or press releases to compete, depending on the size of your business. That’s a lot of content writing, and those are jobs for which you need a writer or two. Or three. Or — well, you get it.
If your company is large, hiring one marketing content writer who writes killer blogs likely isn’t enough to really connect with your audience, either.
Writing a great blog requires different writing muscles than creating an engaging social media campaign does. Ditto for product descriptions, web pages, and virtually every other type of content that exists today.
Rather than trying to wedge four different hats onto one sweaty and overworked head, consider hiring a team of freelance writers. Think of them like specialists — or maybe the Beatles:
Sure, Paul McCartney is a legendarily talented songwriter and musician, but in order for the Beatles to become one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time, they needed more than just Paul’s knack for melody. To connect with audiences on a truly massive scale, they also needed John Lennon’s brooding yet playful lyrical prowess, George Harrison’s iconic guitar licks and sly songwriting, and whatever it was that Ringo did.
Create Collaborative Content Writing Opportunities
Working with your own handpicked dream team of writers — or even just a single pro — also presents opportunities for collaboration.
For starters, fresh eyes on your material can do wonders for it. Odds are, you’re very, very familiar with your content. You need a writer that can point out any ideas or connections that may be missing, but that you haven’t caught because you know the process being described backward and forward.
A professional writer may be able to point out areas of your content creation process that can be simplified, too, saving you valuable time and resources in the content writing process.
3. You’re Not a Content Writer (and That’s OK)
There’s a reason why most television shows employ an entire room of writers to craft a season of knee-slapping comedy or gut-wrenching drama: Writing is hard.
In order to foster brand growth and build relationships, you need to carefully analyze the rhetorical situation of every single piece of content that you write — whether it’s an informative 2,500-word blog or article, a taut and technical product description, or a tweet that you want to rack up the likes and retweets.
If you have trouble putting your big ideas into words, you should strongly consider letting somebody else do it for you.
You have to consider your audience, your purpose, your message and your medium before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, as the case may be). Oh, and you need to do all of that while establishing your own signature writing style and voice as a brand. It’s a juggling act, and it’s a lot of work.
If you have trouble putting your big ideas into words, you should strongly consider hiring a content writer to do it for you. If you’re currently dividing writing responsibilities between your existing staff, you should consider letting a freelance writer do it for all of you — and let your employees focus on their strengths.
Hire a Writer With Expertise and Industry Know-How
This is especially important if you’re a small business or if you’re relatively new to your field. Teaming up with a content writer who already has experience writing for clients in your trade is an easy way to soak up industry-specific knowledge while building your brand. Here are some examples:
- First, a professional writer may be able to provide valuable suggestions about which types of media you should use for your messaging and which types it would be wise to avoid.
- You also need a writer if you think “Meta Description” played small forward for the Lakers. The reality of the content marketing landscape is complex. There’s much more to being visible online than cranking out a few good blogs every now and then and hiring a writer that has SEO expertise can do wonders for your content marketing campaigns.
To climb Google’s ranks, you need a content writer skilled in the art of SEO who knows how to construct title tags, meta descriptions and killer copy that has the perfect number of keywords. Employing a marketing content writer can help you do just that.
Adding a professional writer to your team can also benefit the team itself. Consider turning your content writer loose on the rest of your staff in the form of regular grammar workshops and refresher courses. Before you know it, your entire staff will be writing more professionally and representing your brand better with every email they compose.
4. Google Is Getting Smarter
Google is adapting. No, not in a creepy HAL 9000 way, but in an algorithmic way. It used to be that all you needed were the right words to send your content skyrocketing up the search results page. Now, just like a ravenous high school wrestler trying to make weight, your page needs to “EAT” in order to succeed. This is something most content writers understand and implement in most everything they do.
More specifically, to meet Google’s page quality rating guidelines, your content writing needs to demonstrate solid levels of the following:
If your page doesn’t “EAT” like a bear at the end of autumn, then it’s time to stock the pantry, cancel your plans and go into your own form of hibernation so you can start your site over from scratch.
Or you can hire a writer, and when you do …
5. You Can Pay as You Go
For some brands, the decision to hire a content writer full-time is a no-brainer. Maybe there’s room specifically reserved for that in the budget. Maybe the company’s found a talent it wants to lock down. Maybe the organization has a mysterious benefactor à la “Great Expectations.”
For other brands, particularly smaller ones, contracting professional writers through a content writing service is the better option. These freelance contractors are typically paid per project, so you don’t pay for writing that you don’t want or need.
The level of commitment is low, too, which is particularly appealing to new companies just starting out. As business ebbs and flows, you can put a temporary hold on various content writing projects as you see fit. You only pay for what you need without any extra overhead costs.
Once your brand finds its footing, you can start hiring freelance writers again. If you find a writer within a content creation company who connects with your brand and turns in stellar work, hire that writer for another project, and pick up where you left off.
6. Writing Consistency Is Key
We’ve all been there before. You start a blog to drive traffic to your page. It’s pure poetry, and you post consistently once a week for three weeks and then … radio silence for eight months. Whoops.
When it comes to establishing yourself as a force to be reckoned with, it’s imperative that you release fresh content on a regular basis. If you’re not dropping content like it’s hot, you’re not reaching your full SEO potential and you’re not growing your business. In short, you need a writer.
What’s more, you need to stay in contact with your clientele. That means inviting — and maintaining — meaningful dialogue anywhere and everywhere you can, from social media to blog comments.
Even if you hire just one or two content writing ninjas, they can make sure your blog is updated consistently and becomes a reliable, authoritative presence in your industry.
It’s important to free you up to do other things because …
7. Your Time Is Precious
If you run a business, your to-do list is likely longer than the Great Wall of China, and maybe just as pedestrian. From generating invoices to responding to emails to remembering to inhale a handful of pretzels every now and then to keep your blood sugar up, there’s an endless stream of tasks to manage.
Your time is just like Danny DeVito: short and valuable. That’s why you need a writer. Delegating content writing to a professional can free up a large slice of your daily schedule. What’s more, by entrusting the work to someone whose sole focus is that blog or press release, you can be confident in its quality.
Think about it. Who would you rather write your company newsletter: A professional writer who has composed dozens of newsletters from a quiet home office or a harried small business owner who needs to crank that letter out at 11:30 p.m. after the kids are in bed and after she’s finished a stack of invoices, updated her store’s social media accounts, emailed a new supply lead, and written her overdue weekly blog?
If Option B hits too close to home, or if you got tired just reading that sentence, consider bringing in a ringer. Hire a content writer and let them focus on what they do best so you can spend more time shepherding your brand and its future.
8. Professional Writers Live — and Pay Rent — by Their Work
If you’re hesitant to find a content writer and bring them into your organization, that’s natural. What if he flakes out mid-project? What if she insists upon working the phrase “it’s finger-lickin’ good” into every blog she writes? What if the writing is just plain bad?
Those are legitimate concerns. OK, so two of them are legitimate concerns, and you probably have others that are equally merited.
The thing is, because most content writers and editors are independent contractors, their livelihood depends on how good they are at their jobs. If they’re flaky, full of it, or oddly obsessed with KFC, they’re not going to be able to secure many projects.
No projects means no money, and no money means no rent or mortgage payments. In the simplest terms, it’s tough to make a living as a writer if you’re not very good at writing. Just ask my cousin who self-publishes *NSYNC fan fiction.
When you need a writer, don’t let the fear of hiring a bad one stop you from dipping your toes in the content writer pool. If you happen to connect with a marketing content writer who can’t capture your brand’s voice the way that you’d like or who struggles to meet deadlines, you can find a replacement.
You’re in charge, and you don’t have to cede any control by choosing to play well with others in order to build your brand.
How Do You Hire a 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 that can nail your brand style, tone and voice, consider the following:
1. Clearly Outline the Content Writing Job Specs
If you want the right 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
2. Get Writing Samples (or Have Someone Else Get Them for You)
Samples form the backbone of the writer search. When you’re looking to hire a 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 a 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 on whether a writer is a good fit.
Alternately, you can also source writers using a content creation agency and their 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 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 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.
4. Be Wary of Content Writers That 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 means he or she is being Shady McScammerpants.
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 headache. Stay on the up-and-up, and your brand visibility will too.
5. Mention Additional Writing Work When Relevant
If this content writing project has the potential to turn into multiple projects, say so. Remember our discussion about how 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.
To Invest in the Future of Your Brand You Need To Hire a Content Writer
Hiring a writer is an important, and often exciting, step in your company’s growth. Recognizing that you need a writer can benefit your brand in a myriad of ways, from boosting your content’s professionalism and appeal to saving you valuable time that you can devote to your next big idea.
When you’re ready to conquer Google and watch your traffic climb like Sir Edmund Hillary on Mount Everest, enlist the writing services of a seasoned pro.
And if the entire process of headhunting a writer or team of writers sounds overwhelming, let a professional writing agency handle that for you. Let us know if you have any questions about the writing process or if you need a writer for specific campaigns you’re trying to launch. We can help you to hire a writer that will get your content creation strategy off the ground.