The short answer will be, he or she should be able to write well, convincingly, and just the way you want him or her to write.
The long answer is that you need to take certain facts into consideration before settling for a particular content writer.
Of course, you’re not just going to hire anyone. You will visit a few websites. You may also scour through freelance websites where many content writers have created their profiles. Some people prefer to hire from LinkedIn. That’s your choice.
Whoever can write, is not always a content writer you can rely on. As mentioned above, there are multiple factors. You also need to remember what’s your requirement.
Why do you need a content writer?
Do you need a general content writer whose services you can use for writing blog posts, social media updates, email campaigns or website content?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when hiring the right content writer for your business.
Carefully analyze your requirement
This will definitely have an impact on the performance of your content writer. What are you looking a content writer for?
There are writers, and there are content writers. A person who is a good writer should be able to write for any requirement. At the cost of bragging, I can give my own example. I write content for all sorts of writing requirements. Even if a client needs a copywriter and not a content writer, I can fit the bill. This is because of two factors:
- I have written content for many years now (almost 2 decades) and I have lots of experience writing for different businesses and for different requirements.
- I’m a writer first, and then a content writer. It means I’m good at expressing myself. Provided I know what is to be said, I can say it well through writing.
Therefore, clients hire my content writing services for all sorts of needs, but this may not be applicable to the content writers you are evaluating.
Hence, analyze your content writing requirement carefully. If you’re not sure, don’t try to cast a wide net. Look at your immediate requirement.
Do you want someone to revamp your website content alright your website content from scratch?
Do you need a blogger?
Do you need an email writer?
There are some clients who unknowingly are looking for a stenographer who will simply write what they want him or her to write, and yet, they want to work with a content writer.
Whatever are your requirements, look for a content writer accordingly.
Do you need a content writer or a copywriter?
There is a fine distinction between a content writer and a copywriter. A content writer is supposed to inform and educate your visitors. A copywriter is supposed to sell.
Both are important. A content writer brings traffic to your website and a copywriter converts the traffic to paying customers and clients.
Many clients commit the mistake of mixing them up. They think that just because someone can write, he or she can also write to generate sales.
No, it is not as simple. There is a reason why copywriters charge so much money. They have the ability to turn casual visitors into paying customers and clients.
Hence, when you’re looking for a content writer, make sure that you’re looking for a content writer, and not a copywriter, and if you’re looking for a copywriter, make sure that your content writer can wear that hat too.
Ask for writing samples
Every professional content writer should be able to show you some writing samples. They can be websites. They can be blog posts. Anything that gives you a sense of how the content writer writes.
You will need to pay close attention to how the content writer writes for your industry. If you are in tech industry, you must be looking for someone who can comfortably write about technology. If you’re in the fashion industry, then the content writer should be able to comfortably write about haute couture. For a food related website, the content writer should be able to write about, of course, food.
What if the content writer is good but does not have samples related to your business or industry?
Again, I will give you my own example. Sometimes I don’t have the appropriate samples. I offer to write a few hundred words for the client and if he or she likes what I have written, we go ahead and decide to work on the project.
You will need a content writer who can write for the web. Sentences should be crisp and clear. The writing style should be convincing. The writer must know how to use your keywords strategically. He or she must be able to pack the maximum punch in as few words as possible.
Look for consistency and commitment
Although, on the Internet it is quite easy to find content writers who may fit the bill, looking for new content writers repeatedly can be a hassle. It adversely affects your content quality. Hence, when you are hiring a content writer, make sure he or she can commit for at least a few months.
How can you know that you can depend on a content writer?
There is no scientific formula for it. Use your own judgement. In my case, you can see that I have a website to offer my content writing and copywriting services. This at least tells you that I’m serious about my business and I’m constantly putting an effort to promote my work and get new assignments.
You can also check social media timelines of a content writer, preferably LinkedIn. Is he or she active over there? Most of the serious content writers consistently post on the social media accounts they maintain.
Even if you find your content writer on freelancing websites, the ratings should be able to tell you if he or she is consistent. If he or she has worked on many assignments, you can safely assume that he or she will be able to commit.
What about the charges? The content writing rates?
Although rates matter, if your decision to hire a content writer depends on paying a few dollars more or paying a few dollars less, then the writer is not important.
Set a budget in advance. This is not a government tender where you need to hire a content writer who charges the least. Remember that you are building an asset – the content for your website or blog. It’s the quality that matters. When you are building a home or an office, do you go for a talented contractor or who charges the least no matter how lousy his work is?
Again, I’m not telling you to spend more than you can. Set a budget and then scale your content writing requirement accordingly.
Hire a content writer in a manner that it is a mutually beneficial partnership. Just as you need to grow your business with the help of the content being written by your content writer, a content writer needs to grow financially and intellectually while working on your project. Keep that in mind.