Content is king.
You’ve probably heard and read that phrase as an entrepreneur.
In this digital economy, relevant and high-quality content is becoming a bigger focal point in marketing efforts. As such, it’s crucial to hire a content writer to connect your company to the right audience effectively.
Nowadays, potential and current customers like to learn about a company through different types of content online because of their accessibility. Thus, the need for amazing content and freelance content writers is on the rise.
The purpose of this article is to explain why hiring a skilled content writer is imperative and how your business can benefit from it. We’ll also give you a guide on hiring one complete with examples. Ultimately, you can sort out your hiring strategy to find a writer that fits your mold.
With that, are you ready to boost your content?
Why Is It Important To Hire Content Writers?
Creating compelling content takes a lot of time, effort, and a certain level of expertise. As a business owner, you might not have the time to hone your writing skills. On the contrary, professional content writers have the skills and experience necessary to produce high-quality work consistently.
Here are some benefits of having an A+ content writer:
A. Increase Web Traffic
The role of content writers in making your content marketing strategy successful cannot be understated. A beautifully written piece of content can create a great domino effect on your business. Captivating your audience with words can attract them to spend more time on your website and learn more about your business.
Furthermore, many content writers are adept at SEO strategies and keyword research, which can help your website rank higher on search results and be seen by a bigger audience. Also, they can provide actionable insights to build brand trust and help sway customers to return.
B. Better Social Media Content
It’s not just your website that could benefit from a wordsmith. You can also utilize their writing skills for your social media accounts. The best social media content can engage your audience, resulting in more leads. Plus, sometimes, the right words posted at the right time can make your content viral, increasing your company’s name recognition.
On top of that, writers are great at repurposing blog content into social media content. They summarize the key points from the blog and turn them into social media posts. Of course, the tone and delivery may differ to cater to a slightly different audience on social media platforms.
C. Helps In Brand Continuity
Hiring a writer also helps you maintain continuity since the longer they work for your company, the better they’ll grasp what you need. Not to mention, the writer will have a greater understanding of your audience, which will help create more relatable content that can boost engagement.
As such, it increases the chances of your content getting more memorable as the relationship between your audience and the company builds up. Although, it’s important to remember that writing is only one part of creating brand continuity.
D. Professionally Made Content
An excellent writer results in more professional content without misspellings and improper grammar. These mistakes can turn your audience away since they may see it as the work of an amateur. Remember, a certain part of your audience will always be more critical, and seeing mistakes in your content will leave a bad taste in their mouths.
That’s why writers use grammar checker tools to polish their work and present masterful content. These tools are fantastic for catching grammatical errors and even giving suggestions for contextual improvement.
Now that you have an idea of their importance let’s look at the aspects you need to consider when finding a writer.
3 Major Factors To Consider When Looking For A Writer
Before we go through the steps you need to hire a content writer, let’s have a brief overview of the factors you need to be on the lookout for when you’re selecting candidates.
I. Skill Level
The first factor to consider is the writer’s skill level. Online content will be there for anyone to see from anywhere in the world. Hence, your writer should connect with the audience through engaging, exciting, and relevant content.
There are plenty of ways to judge their skill levels, including portfolios, client feedback, or sample articles. You could also look at their backgrounds to gauge their skills.
For example, some writers have a Master’s Degree in business, communication, or other related fields. With that, you can make an educated guess that their English capabilities and grasp of grammar may be higher than other candidates.
Also, the skill level may depend on what type of writer you need. The following are some examples:
- Copywriting: If the focus is product copy, you’ll need someone good at descriptive and technical writing.
- Long-Form Content: You’ll need someone exceptional in research and expository writing.
- Social Media Content: You need someone great at creative writing who has an excellent grasp of social media slang.
II. Experience Level
The best way to determine the experience level is to analyze your content needs, which will be discussed in more detail later. But to give you an idea, if you need snappy, fun social media content, look for a writer specializing in that. Long-form content writers may not give you the results you want since their writing styles differ.
However, if you need to write technical or explainer articles, a long-form content writer will be most helpful instead of a copywriter. As you can see, it’s not just about choosing the writer with the lowest rate and knowing how many years they’ve been writing. You must look at their experience level related to the content you want to publish.
III. Knowledge Of Your Industry
Look for a writer that’s familiar with your industry. Their industry knowledge can add value to their content because they’ll know the industry jargon and how to use it properly.
But there’s one more reason why this is important.
In some industries, like the insurance or financial sectors, unintentional misinformation can get you in trouble, legally speaking. Therefore, you’ll need to be careful when the topics you have in mind are more delicate and need fact-checking.
With that, it’s time to move on to the focal point of this article, the 7-step guide, to help you find a suitable content writer for your brand.
7 Proven Steps To Follow In Hiring An A+ Content Writer
With so many websites, agencies, and professional writers offering content writing services, you’ll have a plethora of choices to find what your company needs. Instead of browsing aimlessly, follow these steps to make the right decision.
1. Choose Between A Freelance Writer Vs. An In-House Writer
The first step is to decide what kind of working relationship you want. Choosing either has its advantages and disadvantages. Finding the right one not only helps with the actual content but also with creating harmonious work relations.
Let’s check out the pros and cons of each.
a. Freelance Writers
Quality freelancers can produce a wide variety of content without the same overhead and hiring costs of an in-house writer. Additionally, since they’re usually hired for specific content writing projects, the turnaround time can be faster as long as the guidelines and goals are clear.
- No employee benefits (e.g. paid leave and health insurance), thus, reducing costs.
- Easier to find since there are job marketplaces or agencies for freelancers.
- Quicker onboarding time.
- Some have very high hourly or fixed rates per project. It can be costly if you need plenty of content.
- Freelancers often work in different time zones. Communication may be an issue, especially if you need quick replies.
b. In-House Writers
Having a full-time writer on your payroll can be highly beneficial since you’ll have their complete focus during work hours. Not to mention, communication can be more seamless and reaction time for any tasks needed is quicker.
Although initial costs may be higher, in-house writers can be cheaper in the long run, especially if you always need extensive content. There’s no need to pay per writing project. Plus, if you have great retention strategies, you don’t have to go through the hiring process repeatedly, saving you time and money.
- They’re more dependable since they don't have other clients or companies to focus on.
- More dedicated and committed to the company and its success.
- Consistent voice and writing style.
- The whole hiring and onboarding process can be time-consuming and costly.
- A new employee is subject to the financial and technical complexities of hiring, from redundancy costs to health insurance and other benefits.
The choice between the two will depend on a variety of factors, such as
- Company size
- Your project needs
- How much content you need
Considering these factors will help you decide on which type of writer is right for your company.
2. Know Your Content Needs
More often than not, writers are incredibly versatile. They can write content on any given topic when given enough time to research. However, that doesn’t mean the quality will be excellent for every piece of content they produce. Essentially, writers also have their specialties.
The following are some content types they may specialize in
- List type article
- SEO blog posts
- Feature articles
- Product reviews
- Long-form articles
- Product descriptions
- Social media content
- Common article types
With so much diversity, it’s a crucial step to determine your content needs before hiring a writer. Knowing their strengths with the topics you wish to write about can save you plenty of headaches down the line.
Let’s take a look at a face mask company as an example. If you look at the brand’s product descriptions, you can see it's very informational, from the details to the materials. As such, you need a writer who’s great at research. Plus, you need someone who can write very technical and descriptive content.
Moreover, to make this step easier, you could create a brand content style guide. By doing so, you can have clarity about the type and direction you want your online content to take. Also, this could help once you’re in the hiring process already since you could be upfront with what you need.
3. Establish A Budget
Hiring a talented writer is an excellent investment. The question is: How much are you willing to invest?
There is an abundance of writers out there waiting to be hired. Some of them charge per word, and some charge by the hour. Some will do an excellent job for you for $100, and others for $2,000. Content creation can be expensive, but it doesn't have to break the bank.
Here are the reasons why defining a budget is essential:
- You can easily wind up with outrageous costs when you don't know how much you want to spend before hiring a content creator.
- Once you have a budget in place, it will help you focus on finding the right writer for your needs instead of just anyone who might be able to write at a low cost.
- It can help with negotiations between yourself and the writer if they know your expectations ahead of time.
One of the things you could do is to look at other companies in your field and see what they're paying for similar services or products (if any). This will give you an idea of what price range makes sense.
In addition, you could review your content strategy to answer the following questions:
- How much content do you need?
- How many words are you expecting?
- What results do you expect from creating the content?
- What topics are the priority? (Research time of the writer may depend on the topic. More work, bigger pay.)
The answers can help give you a ballpark range about how much you could spend. That, along with the price threshold of freelance content writers or in-house ones.
4. Know Where To Find Writers
In this digital economy, many writers for hire are found online, and the process can be like finding a needle in a haystack. As such, you must be careful to avoid picking a substandard one.
The first thing you could do is utilize Google Search. Usually, the more experienced writers have their websites to showcase their portfolios. On the downside, chances are they’re more expensive.
Moreover, there are many online job marketplaces to find a writer for hire that fits your content needs. With these services, onboarding is made easier since the writers can start immediately once they’re briefed about the project. And often, the process involving other factors (payment and contracts) is streamlined.
With so many platforms and writers to look at, doing the previous steps in this list will come in handy. Also, you can use recruitment tools, like an applicant tracking system, to help you sort through all the applicants. Hence, making your task of finding a writer seamless and faster.
5. Shortlist The Candidates
Once you’ve sorted through the writer profiles or applications, it’s time to shortlist them to make a final decision easier.
Here are some suggestions on how you could proceed with this step:
- Be clear on what type of writer you need.
- Ask writers to include writing samples in their application. You can browse through their portfolio if they have their website.
- Check if their writing styles (e.g., tone and formatting) match your guidelines.
Afterward, create a shortlist and interview the ones you’ve chosen. By conducting an interview, you learn more about the writers and which fits your content needs and company.
The following questions can give you a headstart:
With the answer to these questions, you’re one step closer to finding the one. Needless to say, your questions should help you determine if a writer can meet your content needs. For instance, if you’re more SEO-focused, it’s best to ask how they write SEO articles or blog posts and how they incorporate keywords.
6. Give Them A Skills-Based Assessment
When you already have a shortlist of candidates, you should give them a writing assessment. As such, you’ll have an idea of their skills and even their turnaround time. Of course, the test will have to be based on your content needs.
Let’s have a comparison to give you a bit more guidance. For a company selling workout or performance supplements, the content needs to be more technical and scientific. That's the writing style that engages readers in this niche and shows the brand has research to back up its claims and supplement formulas. Thus, presenting the products as trustworthy.
On the other hand, let’s take a look at a lingerie company. When you look at its website, you’ll see images of ladies wearing the products. Hence, you’ll need a writer who is comfortable writing informal yet engaging, sensual product descriptions. Otherwise, the tone and overall quality may not connect with the audience.
Overall, your test should provide you with insights into who can elevate your brand content by delivering unique, relevant, and captivating pieces.
7. Negotiate And Hire Your Content Writer
Finally, it’s time to hire your content writer based on their interview and assessment results. But first, you need to let your negotiation skills come through. There are a lot of components to discuss before finalizing everything so that you can create a harmonious and effective working relationship together.
Here are the contract components that need to be clear:
- Contract length
- Turnaround time
- Content ownership
- Payment (Price and terms)
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Content creation process (i.e., research, drafts, and edits)
Additionally, your contract may be dependent on what kind of writer you’re hiring, either in-house or freelance. When negotiating with the former, HR will take an active role in resolving all legal and financial issues related to hiring a full-time employee, including discussions about benefits and company rules. As for the latter, the main conversation will likely revolve around the pricing, project details, and contract length.
With immense accessibility to information, it’s no surprise companies are focusing on content marketing strategies, specifically content writing. Therefore, finding a writer online can be done in a snap of a finger, considering there are thousands of them.
However, how do you find the RIGHT one for your company? That’s the hard part.
Fortunately, this 7-step guide can help you sift through the pile of applications and separate the amateurs from the exceptional wordsmiths that can elevate your content. And to make your life even more accessible and expedite the process, Wishup can match you with your ideal, top-tier content writer. Get a free consultation today.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. He helps innovative B2B companies implement revenue-driven SEO strategies to scale their organic traffic to 1,000,000+ visitors per month. Curious about what your true traffic potential is?