Why is it essential to prioritize content?
Written content is important to position high on search engine pages, generate leads, and engage with your audience. The importance of content will only grow, according to a HubSpot report, 24% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing efforts because it’s the leading source of organic leads.
However, it’s challenging to achieve the desired results without a dedicated writer. Content writers, bloggers, copywriters help brands shape their message and create relevant and informative content. The tricky part is to choose a writer who can deliver captivating content and help your brand grow.
Why is content writing important?
Whether a B2B or B2C company, content writing can get you found online and establish credibility. Blogs, website copy, social media they all run on quality content.
Other benefits of content writing for business
- SEO. Optimized content is key to ranking high on search engines. If you use targeted keywords, well-written information, and appealing style, search engine crawlers will rank your website higher. If they scan your site and instead of valuable information, they find a keyword soup, too many illustrations, poor user experience, you may forget the first pages.
- Organic lead generation. According to the same HubSpot study, organic search is the primary source of blog readers. If your potential audience is looking for information, finding valuable insights on your website will lead them through the sales funnel.
- Customer education and engagement. You know your product by heart, but customers need precise information to understand if your offer suits them and how they can benefit from it. Customers tend to stick with service providers if they can easily find information about the product or service.
- Guidance throughout the buyer’s journey. If you use the content on your website or social media strategically, you can turn a reader into a customer. A person comes to your blog or website, looking for answers to a specific issue. When they find what they came from, they are more likely to stay.
- Social media engagement. Many companies have thousands of followers on their social media, but no engagement. It usually happens when followers can’t find valuable information on your channels. Blog posts, case studies, guides can increase your social media traction and the number of followers.
As you can see, content writing isn’t only a fancy phrase to describe something anyone can do. Content writing takes profound marketing knowledge, SEO skills, creativity, and persuasion abilities. A professional writer should know your industry by heart, be able to understand your audience, and deliver easy-to-read yet informative and compelling content.
How to find a writer for your business?
First, make sure you know what writer you are looking for
When I go through job postings for writers, I mainly find that companies are looking for copywriters, even though job requirements don’t describe someone with the necessary skill set. The copywriter term has got popular, and people use it to describe all kinds of writers.
Before posting a job ad for a copywriter, see if you’re looking for someone to write sales copy. While many writers can easily switch roles, inherently, copywriting is different from content writing, blogging, journalism, or technical writing.
If you want to update your blog, then you might want someone who can write longer, more in-depth content. Although not all the time, copywriters mainly focus on a short but persuasive copy to advertise and attract leads. Blog or website content, on the other hand, is more educational and informative, and it’s not as direct.
Decide on where to search
I follow a few Facebook groups for writers. Whenever someone puts a job post, writers jump on it with messages and proposals. If I were posting a job ad, I would probably avoid the chaos. It’s more challenging to filter good writers in the clutter of people introducing themselves with one sentence, “I can do it!”
Different platforms attract different talents. If you’re looking for long-term partnerships and quality service, I would recommend going through blogs you find interesting and asking for referrals. Writers (or any specialists) love being referred. It’s a win-win situation as you get quality service, and writers get more orders.
If you’re looking for cheaper and fast help, job boards might be your best choice. My only advice — avoid scammers.
Also, LinkedIn is becoming more popular among freelancers. LinkedIn is useful because you can find a description of a writer’s prior experience and education, making it easier to decide if they are a good fit.
I used to be a generalist. I was starting my career as a writer, so I had to chase every opportunity to make a living. I won’t lie, I wasn’t good because I didn’t have experience or knowledge in many of those industries. I used to research every new industry I took and try to figure out more details along the way. That led to mistakes and factual errors.
Simple tasks might be a good fit for a generalist, but if you want to build a long-term partnership, it’s better to look for someone who understands your field and knows how to communicate with readers.
Regardless, a new writer will need to learn about your company, positioning, and communication strategy. However, it will be much easier to work with an expert who can also teach you a few new tricks and bring a unique point of view.
Make sure a writer can prove their credibility
A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I found a post about a scammer translator. A woman who posted this information explained that the freelancer took money in advance and then disappeared. After several calls, the fraud started making excuses that her kid is sick with COVID-19.
That could be enough to delay a deadline, but apparently, the “translator” has been manipulating and scamming people for years. But most importantly, screenshots of the conversation showed that the freelancer didn’t send any credible sources of her work.
I could find similar stories circling freelance groups at least once a day. To avoid a similar scenario, you should be 100% sure you’re buying an original service from a credible writer.
Things to look for:
- A website;
- Blog or Medium with the writer’s name on it;
- Guest posts with the writer’s name;
- Social media;
Have a call, get to know them
A video call can be a great way to know each other better before jumpstarting a new collaboration. If you’re looking for someone to be responsible for one of the most important parts of your company, you have to make sure you can trust that person.
Even a brief call can help you decide if you want to work with this person and show you the knowledge they have. It’ll also prove that they are who they say they are. You might be surprised how far a person can go to scam someone for money.
Agree on a test task
This point is optional, but in some cases, might be necessary. Even though the writer presents credible examples of his or her work, those clips might not be entirely suited for what you’re looking for. You might want to find if the writer can deliver the desired results, and that’s completely normal.
However, you want to avoid asking to do it for free. If the person has no portfolio to prove their word, then yes (although I wouldn’t recommend working with someone without a traceable proof of work). But if they show clips of previous work, then a test task should be paid.
I usually offer a discount on the first task so the client wouldn’t need to invest in something they might not even use. A task can be a great test to see if you like the writer’s style, vocabulary, and skills.
Make sure they can work legally
When it comes to legal work permits, you want someone who pays their taxes and can send invoices. I don’t know about other countries’ tax systems, but where I come from, each payment a freelancer receives has to extract tax.
Again, I see so many freelancers who don’t have working permits and take payments under the table. That shows how frivolously that person sees his or her business, which often later shows up in their writing and communication with a client.
Choosing a writer to work with can be difficult in the world of thousands of unprofessional freelancers who do more damage than good. Although I’m a writer myself, I always recommend my clients to make sure they know what they are looking for and that I can meet their requirements.
Content is your way of communicating with the audience. It has to show credibility, authority, and provide people with value and relevance. You can only achieve that by having an expert on your side.
Originally published on Medium: https://medium.com/@eglrakauskait_32617/a-guide-on-choosing-a-writer-for-your-business-ec4b6c8161c1