Finding a content writer isn’t hard. Finding a good content writer that suits your business is! In this article, you’re going to learn how to find a good content writer that suits your brand!
Let’s start at the beginning…
Why you need a content writer that suits your company
You may be wondering why you need a content writer that will suit your brand.
“Aren’t all content writers the same?”
Well, they all write. Apart from that, there are big differences from one writer to another.
Some content writers or copywriters focus mainly on writing ads. Others focus on website content.
Some base their content around facts and statistics, while others are more “artsy.”
For example, you wouldn’t want me writing for your average baby-store. You also wouldn’t want your average baby store writer to write for your accounting blog.
While not all content writers are specialized in just 1 area, most do have their preferences and areas of knowledge.
That being said, all good content writers should be able to write on most given topics with a bit of research. There are 2 much more important things than prior experience in an industry.
If your writer isn’t interested in the topic, then you’ve lost half the battle. Enthusiasm and interest aren’t things that can be faked.
This one is often underestimated. The longer you can keep a content writer on, the better they’ll get. This is something I notice a lot when working with my clients.
It takes some time to get used to the formatting, the brand/voice, and the industry. As long as you have a good content writer that is interested in the industry, you should receive good content.
If you don’t make the right choice, it could have a negative impact on your brand.
People can often base their opinion of your brand on just 1 piece of content. If it’s written in a style or tone they don’t like, then you may have lost that client forever.
So, even though most writers will do a decent job, it takes hard work to find a content writer that really fits in well with your business.
The difference between content and copy
Content writing and copywriting get used interchangeably a lot. Unfortunately, people who use these two interchangeably may have trouble when it comes to hiring.
Content writing is focused on writing content like blog posts, articles and information content like guides or manuals.
Copywriting focusses on getting the reader to perform a specific action. It’s mainly focussed on writing texts (or even scripts) for advertisements, sales page content and white papers.
(For more information on this difference, check out this article!)
There’s also a big difference in cost between the two…
The price of copy vs content
Copywriters are, on average, going to charge a higher price per word than content writers. The reason being is that a copywriter needs to get readers to take action.
This requires a whole lot more research and preparation than writing helpful and SEO-optimized content, like a blog post.
This doesn’t mean they charge more per hour, it just means that copywriters write, on average, fewer words per hour.
How can I tell if a content writer is good?
Let’s keep this one short. It’s really a matter of preference. Some content writers will swear by writing helpful content while others focus on humor and entertainment value.
A few things you can do to screen a content writer are:
- Have a chat with them on social media or via Email.
This isn’t so you can nit-pick about their spelling and grammar. People aren’t perfect 100% of the time, especially not on communication channels like social media and email. The main this here is you can tell if they have a high enough level of English and if they will suit your brand.
You wouldn’t believe the number of non-native content writers who try to pass off other people’s work as their own in their portfolio! Checking their level of English really helps you to weed out these writers.
- Take a look at their portfolio and reviews
This will give you an idea of the kind of work they have done in the past. It will also help you gauge quality to some extent.
Try to read in between the lines!
- Get a test piece written
You will have to pay them for this of course, but this is the best way of actually seeing what they are like to work with. Do they know what a content strategy and style guide is? Are they easy to work with? Helpful?
After you’ve worked with them once, you are in a much better position to judge if you can work with them going into the future.
How to find a content writer that’s right for you
There are a few other important things you should think about. They’re all listed below, in no particular order.
- Do they sometimes tell you no?
You are hiring a content writer for a reason. They should know what works and should be able to explain this to you in a calm and easy-to-understand manner. They’re a copywriter after all!
You may think something looks or sounds better, but keep in mind that this is your opinion. At the end of the day, it’s about your target audience, not you!
- Do they back up their claims?
This has a lot to do with the previous one, but let them explain some things to you. For example, when writing a blog post they should be able to explain why they used particular words as well as back up a lot of their claims with research-based facts.
Don’t take up too much of their time, just ask a few questions when first starting to work with him or her.
After purchase checks
- Does what they’ve written match your brand’s voice?
In the beginning, you’re going to have to help the copywriter. They aren’t going to match your brand’s voice straight away and they may even have some suggestions to make it clearer or more distinct.
A good copywriter will work with you to further develop a strong brand voice and tone.
- Is it written in an authoritative and persuasive way?
You don’t need to be a full-fledged content writer yourself to be able to judge their writing.
Learn some of the basics and then use this to your advantage when talking to them. Is there anything you’re not sure about or feel should be done differently? – Ask them to explain!
- Measure their work!
This one is extremely important. As long as the copy matches your brand’s tone and voice, this is all that matters.
Does the copy perform?
Content writing, as with all marketing, needs to be backed by data. Make sure you measure their work for a period of time, allowing them the work with the digital marketers in improving the reach that the piece of content has.
A good content writer should be able to write content that performs well. A good performance can be ranking in the search engines with some SEO work, but could also be organic reach on social media, for example.
A good content writer can be hard to find and finding a content writer that suits your brand even more so. Keep in mind that a content writer that enjoys the topic they are writing about and one that can get behind your brand is much more valuable than one that just writes good content.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to start your search for a good content writer that suits your business and brand. If there’s anything you feel I’ve missed, or have any questions, please shoot me a message!