More than eighty million results. That’s what turned up on Bing when I entered the term content writer. No wonder you feel overwhelmed looking for a content writer. When you work in publishing, writers come to you, but for business marketers and business owners it isn’t easy to find the right person. How do you find someone who knows your business or is willing to invest the time to learn? How do you find a content writer who understands what you want to accomplish? How do you find someone who can deliver web content that will raise your company’s search engine rankings, increase your traffic and generate leads?
Here are five ways you can separate the good content writers from the bad.
1) A content writer should have credentials.
Look at where a content writer’s work has been published. Are the publications or websites familiar to you? Is the content writer focused on the needs of consumers or business? Who are their clients? I would also look for some professional affiliations that identify their areas of interest such as the Construction Writers Association or the International Foodservice Editorial Council .
2) Writing should be clear, concise and understandable.
Check out the content writer’s examples of web writing. Is the copy clear, concise and understandable? Does the writer offer a benefit, answer the visitor’s questions and include a call to action? Is the writing free of spelling and grammatical errors? Can the writer provide examples of blog posts, email newsletters and other online marketing initiatives?
3) A content writer should be creative.
Evaluate web writing samples, and ask for the submitted Word files for the project. You want to find out how much editing was required. Does the content writer make an effort to draw the reader in with a creative headline or lead? Does the content writer offer a unique or unusual perspective? Is the website content unique, or does it look very similar to other competitors in the space?
4) A content writer needs to understand SEO.
Does the content writer have experience in writing copy that is optimized for search engines? Does the content writer research keywords and key phrases for your business? Ask what traffic results the writer achieved? What does the writer’s own website look like? Is it well written and easy to navigate?
5) A content writer should be easy to work with.
Good content writers become invaluable when they are responsive, timely, and take the initiative to develop original content ideas. They welcome your feedback and suggestions. A good writer makes a concerted effort to accommodate your schedule and meet tight deadlines. Ask other businesses, agencies, web developers, marketing and PR professionals in your industry for recommendations. Talk with prospective writers and their clients. For a long-term assignment or if you have ongoing writing projects, I think it’s fair to ask for a small writing sample geared towards your specific needs. Do your due diligence and you will find a writer you like to work with.
And don’t forget to call Content for Biz to discuss your content writing needs.