Whether you realize it right now or not, your content writer is one of the most important members of your team. When you start looking for a content writer, keep this in mind.
What do people do when they come to your website?
Do they mostly watch the fancy design, fall head over heels in love with your graphics and animations and then only death can stop them from doing business with you?
Or does it matter to them how you talk to them with your words, how you explain your services, how you describe to them and illustrate how their life is going to change after doing business with you.
It’s the latter part. You realize this, and this is why you’re looking for a content writer, no?
You know that you need a content writer to educate and inform your customers and clients, keep them coming to your website, and then ultimately, convince them into doing business with you.
Your customers and clients go through a pre-determined sales funnel.
A sales funnel can be as complex as the stars in the Milky Way, but ultimately, every sales funnel can be wound down to 2 stages:
- Educate and inform your prospective customers and clients.
- Convince them into doing business with you.
Educating and informing customers and clients is an ongoing process.
They are constantly looking for answers to their questions.
They need a source that can solve their problems.
Although in rare instances someone may land on your website and there and then decide to buy from you or hire you, in most of the cases, it is a prolonged process in which the person visits your website repeatedly and is exposed to your content multiple times before he or she decides to give you money.
Why you need a content writer
The job of your content writer is to provide what your prospective customers and clients are looking for.
There are practically infinite ways people can come across your content.
They may simply land on your website or blog via search engine results.
They may come across your link on one of the social networking websites.
Someone may recommend your link through email or direct message, or even verbally.
They may discover your link on product packaging. Someone may mention you in his or her article or blog post.
People will be entering your website or blog through different links.
They may check other parts of your website or they may leave just after checking the link they arrived on.
The sales funnel stage where you get people to your website, is the education and information part. This part may manifest on your blog, in your newsletter or in your social media updates.
Once they are on your website, you need to convince them into doing business with you.
This is a convincing part of the sales funnel.
People are on your website, they are a bit informed and intrigued, and now, it is the job of the copy on your website to keep them there and convince them into doing business with you.
At every stage, your content writer plays a very important part.
You cannot educate and inform people with drab content.
Your content needs to be informative, conversational, engaging and in many instances, even entertaining.
It should be easier to read but at the same time authoritative.
Why am I explaining in such detail what sort of content you need for your website to generate business?
Because, when you’re looking for a content writer, you keep these qualities in mind, these needs in mind, and then accordingly, you settle for a content writing service that can help you achieve what I have mentioned above.
Writing content is a serious business. Your entire business depends on how well your writer can write.
Benefits of hiring a content writer and therefore, you should be looking for one
You need to publish content continuously. If you don’t want to, your competitors certainly are.
It’s not just your competitors, in one way or another, everyone publishes content on the Internet, and this makes it hard for your prospective customers and clients to notice your business.
A consistent content marketing means good 15-20 hours every week doing research, writing, updating and editing.
You want to do this yourself? If yes, sure, go ahead.
You should be looking for a content writer because
- You need to publish fresh content regularly.
- You need to create long-term value and not just promote yourself in spurts.
- Your business needs to stand out in terms of providing exceptional content on an ongoing basis.
- You need to improve your conversion rate, and this can only be done by someone who can write persuasively and convincingly.
- Bad writing can dissuade people from doing business with you.
- You need writing all the time for your blog, for your web pages, for your newsletter, for case studies and social media updates.
- You need to improve your search engine rankings, and SEO these days depends a lot on high-quality, relevant content.
If you need a content writer and you’re looking for someone who can help you create a convincing presence on the web, you may like to look for the following:
1. Look for talent, not for price
I’m not saying price doesn’t matter, but don’t make it the first quality when you start looking for a content writer.
You don’t want to save money at the cost of your business.
Often, it is a mental block that stops you from hiring a good content writer just because he or she seems to be charging more than another content writer.
A good writer is going to charge more, and this is fine.
Just like you need a web designer, you need a programmer and you need a graphic designer to have a professional website, and you are fine with paying him or her what he or she is asking, the same applies to a content writer.
Remember that writing is not a product. It is not something that can be automated. It is not a piece of code someone can save and then use as and when needed.
It takes the same amount of time every time a content writer writes 500 words for you. It may be a few minutes here and there, since you always need original writing, your content writer needs to make the same effort every time. So, keep that in mind.
2. Spend time studying the website of your content writer
If you need a content writer, it isn’t necessary that you look for someone who has a website (many writers work from various freelancing portals) but as a business owner, you can easily understand that someone who has his or her own website is going to be more serious about the business than someone who merely creates a listing in a directory where no stakes are involved.
A professional content writer is going to have a professional-looking website. The content will be well written. All the information you need to make up your mind will be there.
3. See if the content writer publishes a blog
Again, it isn’t necessary that you need a content writer who publishes a blog but, well, a writer must practice his or her art even when he or she is not being paid for it.
I have been writing professional content for more than a decade now and I have seen that writers who write just for money are, may be good writers, but not “good” writers, although, exceptions are always there.
Through the blog you can get an insight into how the writer expresses himself or herself.
4. Ask the content writer if he or she is comfortable writing for SEO as well as for better conversion
SEO no longer remains about using your keywords repeatedly throughout your blog posts and web pages.
Although you still need to use your keywords because that’s what people are looking for on search engines, more important is the quality of writing and the value it provides to your readers.
If the writing is not good, no matter how well-optimized your content is, your rankings are not going to improve.
Google has been updating its algorithm in such a manner that your rankings these days depend on how people react to your content rather than how you have “optimized” it and how many people are linking to it.
The above-mentioned attributes definitely help, but what helps the most is the quality and relevance of your content. An experienced writer must be able to strike the perfect balance between SEO and better conversion.
5. Take your budget into consideration but don’t be stingy
Although I have talked about the importance of hiring a good content writer irrespective of how much he or she charges, by the end of the day, it matters how much you spend on your content.
This is one advice I give to all my clients: if you don’t have the needed budget, don’t aim for having lots of content.
One high-quality blog post is always going to outperform five mediocre blog posts.
If you cannot publish a blog post every day, try publishing on alternative days. If that is also expensive, try once a week. Even once a month.
But never go for inferior content just because you are getting it in bulk. You will be wasting your money, and it is also bad for your SEO.
6. Go with a long-term content writer
This is another reason why I recommend working with a content writer who has a long-established business providing content writing services rather than someone from one of those freelancing websites – someone who has a business is going to stick around for a long time.
Just as you have stakes in your business, the content writer who runs his or her own business too has high stakes. This is why, he or she is going to stick around.
You can easily check these days the age of a website to know how long a particular website has been active.
7. Google your website or blog writer
Once you have come across your website or blog writer, or copywriter, Google him or her. See if you can find some bad references. Purposely use some bad phrases like “this writer sucks”, “stay away from this content writer”, or “very bad experience with this content writer”, or something like that – use the name of the content writer.
8. Pay close attention to your gut feeling
The way the content writer responds to your emails, the way he or she answers to your WhatsApp questions, your gut feeling will tell you whether to trust that person or not.
Does he or she sound too eager to please you, or this is the way he or she aggressively gets business from you (which should be fine)?
Does he or she seems to be over committing?
Remember one thing: if you compromise on the quality of your content, you are going to attract content writers who have no problem compromising on quality just to get work from you.
This is also a general life lesson. You attract the sort of people you want in your life, whether they are good or bad. I know, doesn’t seem like a business advice, but this happens.
Anyway, if you need a content writer or if you’re looking for one, first most, focus on finding an awesome content writer and then figure out whether you can afford him or her or not. Don’t start with money in mind because that way, you will always end up with a lousy writer.