Tag Archives: Content Writer

When should you spend money on a content writer?

when-should-you-pay-a-content-writerOr when you shouldn’t. It depends on what you want. The problem with people’s attitude is that since content writing is mostly writing, they think it should either be free but it should be available at a very low cost. So low that one doesn’t even feel it. So, the moment it comes to paying a content writer, people start wondering, why should I pay for a content writer?

Everybody can write, right? You write emails. You write Facebook posts. You post updates on Twitter and LinkedIn. So how difficult would it be to quickly write a blog post or a webpage or an article?

Mostly two types of people hire me for their content writing needs and eagerly pay me:

  1. Those who are not comfortable writing business-critical copy and content. Although they have basic writing skills they’re not confident that their writing skills will be able to get them business. They want impeccable writing. They want a writing style that engages their visitors. Most of them want the writing to be casual, but error-free.
  2. Those who are, although, comfortable writing business-critical copy and content, cannot do it consistently over a long time. They want someone who can create great content on an ongoing basis. They are looking for a content writer they can rely on. Once they have assigned topics, they want to be rest assured that content will be delivered on time and according to their guidelines.

You should spend money on a content writer if you really want to use your content as an asset. You value your content. You recognize its importance. You know that your content can take your business places. You realise that quality content writing improves your conversion rate and if search engine rankings matter to you, it improves your search engine rankings.

There is a gentleman in Itarsi, a very small industrial town in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. His business doesn’t have a website. He uses my services for his official correspondence. Though, you can write in Hindi, he cannot write in English. So he jots down whatever he wants to say on a paper, and clicks a photo with his camera and then sends the image to me on WhatsApp and within a few minutes, I send him back a professionally written communication in English. So yes, although he doesn’t have a website, he pays for my content writing services because he values what I deliver.

Looking for good content marketing writers? Here is what you should do

The success of your content marketing depends on your writers whether you intend to use text content, video content or image content. Ultimately it is the written word that gets the message across and if you are unable to get the message across, your entire content marketing fails.

When pursuing content marketing both quality and quantity matter. Quantity matters because your competitors are continuously publishing tons of content and you are constantly in danger of getting drowned in the din.

Quality because, well, there is no content marketing without quality content. By the end of the day, your content needs to convert. It needs to make an impact. It should be well-written. It should be conversational. It should be able to reach out to your target audience and consequently, your target audience should feel like reaching out to you after getting exposed to your content. Your content should be so well-written and so well-produced that people should feel like sharing it without you having to prompt them to share it. How does this happen? This happens when you have good, experienced and creative content writers in your team.

This blog post at NewsCred lists the following ways you can find yourself good content writers:

  • Use your LinkedIn network:
    Many professionals list themselves on LinkedIn and this includes content writers. In fact, these days I am extensively promoting myself on LinkedIn (I have also upgraded my account to Premium) but I mostly try to find clients. It is also a good place to look out for competent writers because as my work increases, I will need more writers.
  • Find good content writers among your own employees: You will be surprised to know that many of your employees have this hidden talent. Without putting extra pressure on them you can encourage some of your employees to come up with good blog post regarding your business. Even if they are unable to churn out complete blog posts and articles, they can create outlines using Google Docs or OneDrive and later on these outlines can be turned into full-fledged pieces of content.
  • Work with freelance content marketing writers: This might be one of the best options available to you because when you work with freelance content marketing writers, you enjoy unprecedented freedom. First of all you are not stuck with the writers that you have hired. They don’t use your office resources because most of the freelance content marketing writers work from their own respective locations. It is extremely easy to change the writers because all you have to do is approach someone else in case you don’t like the writers you are currently working with.

Of course it doesn’t just stop at finding good content marketing writers and working with them. As the article rightly mentions, you will need to vet these writers to make sure that you work only with the best. Initially you will need to hire and fire repeatedly and you may feel disenchanted but once you are working with the writers your content marketing strategy really needs, there will be no looking back.

I sometimes prefer that my client has already worked with another content writer

“Dear Amrit, the content writer that I hired before contacting you totally botched up the project and I haven’t just ended up with lousy content my website launch has also been delayed by a full month because my web designer was waiting for the content writer to complete his job. I so wish I had found your website before hiring this content writer. By merely going through a few pages of your website I’m damn sure you are the content writer I need, and should have sought.”

It may seem like a self-boast, but I actually got this message recently from a new client and this is not a new phenomena. I mean, not all emails are so praising, but the message is more or less the same, that they have had a very bad experience with the previous content writer, they’re looking for a new content writer and they hope I can undo the damage to some extent.

I prefer such clients. I don’t mean to say that I cherish the fact that they have been shortchanged, that they have lost time, that someone did a lousy job, no, what I like is, by the time they come to me, they’re pretty sure what they want and what they don’t want and since they have already had a bad experience with their choice, they are more open to my suggestions. It makes easier for me to work on their projects. This doesn’t happen with great regularity, but I get at least 5-6 projects like these in a year.

How to find the best content writer for your business

So you have finally decided to hire a professional content writer who can help you create killer content and implement your content marketing strategy. Mind you, a strategist doesn’t necessarily mean a good writer, and vice versa, I’m just writing this from my point of view as I have experience in both.

Hiring a content writer for your business is going to be one of the most crucial decisions of your business life, and I’m not saying this because I am a content writer myself. Content marketing has the ability to take your business up many notches and drastically bring down your advertising and promotion costs, provided you know what sort of content you need and how it can satisfy your visitors.

You have two choices while trying to find the best content writer for your business: hiring a full-time professional, or outsourcing your work. Both the options are good depending upon your business model. Since I am a freelance content writer and I look for people who want to outsource their writing needs, I am writing this blog post from that perspective. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while trying to find the right writer for your business:

Ability to communicate

There is a reason why not everybody is a professional writer despite knowing how to write. Every educated person can write but still he or she works in a different profession. Writing just doesn’t appeal or he or she is unable to communicate through written word. Communicating through writing is a specialized art. Does your content writer possess that art? Can he or she communicate convincingly?

Dependability

Your content writer must be dependable. Every serious content marketing strategy hinges upon a steady flow of quality content. Can your content writer provide quality content on a consistent basis, or, as and when you need it? Timeliness and relevance are of high importance. There is no use of writing content whose time has passed by. When you need to reach your content writer, he or she should be there. He or she should be able to deliver on the designated day without you having to pursue him or her all the time.

Ability to research

Verifiable data makes your content authoritative. There is lots of demand for data-packed content that people find hard to obtain. Your content writer should be able to use various data mining tools and methods to find reliable information for you. Also content curation these days is as important as creating original content. Finding timely, relevant and highly useful information from all over the Internet and compiling it into a single article or a blog post can be very valuable.

Having a unique voice

When you have a unique voice you are able to articulate more convincingly. Being successful as a writer is all about style. When you write in a certain manner, people are either going to like it, or dislike it. So look for a writer who has his or her own voice. Having said that, it will be important for him or her to adapt his or her style according to your industry, but whatever is your requirement, a unique writing style must always be there.

These are the core abilities you must find in a content writer for your business. Other attributes like affordability and the ability to write well are a given, of course.

What makes you an outstanding content writer?

Becoming an outstanding content writer

So are you an outstanding content writer?

I was just now going through this “Business Insider” article that talks about how you have to be above average, or rather extraordinary in order to survive today’s work environment. Of course we have different definitions of exactly what is extraordinary and outstanding; it depends on your level of expertise and the degree of competition you face around you. But the article makes sense.

Since I provide content writing services, I am thinking in terms of a content writer; what makes you an above-average content writer? To understand this we have to go to the root of exactly what service you have to provide in order to become extraordinary.

Although my primary business is providing content I have no hesitation in admitting that it’s not the most important thing in your Internet marketing kitty, nonetheless it is the most fundamental thing. I mean, if you don’t have content, you have got nothing. It isn’t just content that can help your business. You need to disseminate that content, you need to market it (and hence, content marketing), you need to grab attention, you need to improve your search engine rankings, and you need to maintain a constant buzz on social media and social networking websites.

Of course you should be able to write quite well and create compelling content that converts, but that’s a given. Listed below are a few things you can do in order to become

An outstanding content writer

  • Practice your art, constantly: Like any other art or skill, content writing needs brushing up every day. It is an invisible muscle that begins to grow weak if you don’t use it all the time, and use it in the right manner. Write as much as you can. You should write even if you don’t have work right now. I have seen many aspiring content writers and bloggers shying away from writing unless they have got paying assignments. This atrophies their ability. Write just for the sake of writing and you will sooner or later – provided you promote your services in the right manner – will get paying assignments. But unless you write well, you’re not going to get paying assignments. So practice, practice and practice.
  • Stretch your content writing abilities: You shouldn’t just write about things you are comfortable with. Write on totally alien topics because this is how you have to write when you begin to create content professionally. You are not just going to get what you like. Many times you will get assignments you have never even heard of. You will have to learn many things, and learn them in such a manner that you can write about them clearly. So you might as well start writing on “difficult” topics right now rather than getting into a fix later on.
  • Read constantly: There are very few professional writers who don’t read regularly. Reading isn’t always about entertainment and passing time, it gets you into that mode that creates conducive environment for writing. Reading begets writing. It triggers your muse. You get to learn many new expressions and you also get to learn how various writers express various emotions and expressions in their own ways. You should also read contemporary literature, articles and essays so that your language is not antiquated.
  • Expand your intellectual horizon: Writing doesn’t just mean you can write error-free sentences. Good readers can read between the lines and they can easily make out what’s your intellectual level. Always try to broaden your perspective. A big reason why I constantly get new content writing assignments (I have been providing professional content since 2004) is because I haven’t limited myself to providing just content. When my clients hire me, they get a complete package and in most of the cases, especially when it comes to doing business online, they rarely have to brief me or provide me extra information. When you know stuff, you can write with conviction. It also saves you lots of time and speeds up your writing.
  • Create an active presence for yourself: Unless people know of your existence how are they going to give you work? And since most of the people these days come in contact with other people via social networking websites, you have to be present there, and not just as an inactive account, but a vibrant and active profile. You don’t have to be present on every platform. For example, you can just choose Facebook and Twitter and be regularly visible there. It also reassures your prospective clients that you’re not someone lurking around quietly without any testimonial and reference. When they know that you can be easily found, it’s easier for them to trust you as a reliable content writer.
  • Provide a turnkey content writing solution: Your client shouldn’t have to work with different vendors in order to meet his or her content writing and content marketing requirements. Provide exceptionally well-written content, and if your client also has to market the content and disseminate it, you should be able to help him or her out. Even when your client needs to formulate a long-term content strategy he or she shouldn’t have to seek another content provider? Have enough experience and knowledge to provide strategy and consulting whenever required.

So these are a few work habits and professional traits that can help you become an outstanding content writer. You don’t always have to wear different hats at the same time, it’s all about knowing what you do. This is where you can get an edge. You will notice that most of the content writers simply create a website, somehow manage to create a search engine presence, and after that provide totally uninspiring content writing services. You can survive that way, but you cannot thrive. In order to thrive in the content writing business, provide a package, instead of a service. Provide a solution, instead of a product.