Did you know?
In today’s content marketing, 47% of all content creation is outsourced.
This number has increased, year after year, but it’s never been as high as this year.
It’s common now to have 99% of your brand content completely written by someone else. After all, we have to run our businesses, right? (Write?)
Now that we’ve cleared up that you share a commonality with every other marketer, outsourcing to a marketing content writer, let’s talk about how to find that writer.
THAT’S the big question.
No matter what you’re selling, the most important thing is how you get your message across.
Read on to learn more about why & how to hire your next best business rockstar: a great marketing content writer.
Why Hire a Marketing Content Writer?
Real talk for a second.
Today, in our online world, you can’t just write your message in any old way.
“Come and get it! This is what you want! We have what you need!”
Ugh. That doesn’t work anymore.
If the copy isn’t well-written, none of the phrases you send your customers tell them anything about the product you’re selling.
Come and get what?
I bet if your potential customers were to keep reading, the content wouldn’t wow them with any real explanation.
That is where a marketing content writer steps in.
The goal of content writing should always be to promote interest in a brand or specific products.
The best type of content marketing does not lay all the cards out on the table.
These covert creative writers integrate SEO techniques while also producing high quality content that can organically stay on message. The content has the perfect mix of education, entertainment and product placement.
You might dabble in writing yourself, but this is an entirely different ball game.
Think of all of the written content that you incorporate into your business: blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, ad copy, email campaigns, holiday cards. If you’re running your own business, it’s nearly impossible to take care of everything alone.
If you haven’t already considered content marketing, you’re in the minority.
As of 2018, 91% of B2B organizations utilize content marketing strategies.
Writing is no walk in the park, especially when it coincides with marketing.
Marketing content writers have to think about even more than producing well written content. One major component of this type of online marketing is optimizing content for search engines. Writers have to integrate keywords, links, meta descriptions and headers into their content seamlessly. This requires an incredible amount of research and skill. Writers also have to edit, proofread, publish and distribute the content so that it reaches the widest audience. This all has to be done while keeping the content easy to read, relatable and engaging.
Is this something you have time for?
I’m guessing your answer is a swift no. In short, the best decision for every business is to hire an expert marketing content writer.
5 Steps To Help You Find a Quality Marketing Content Writer
If you’ve ever searched the depths of Craigslist, Facebook or LinkedIn, you can easily see that writers are plentiful. The problem is that not all of these writers may be perfect for your business. In fact, not all of these writers may even be able to write.
Anyone can call themselves a writer – the trick is finding one that can actually write.
Also, for you as the client, hiring a content writer is a process. You need to have a strategy and expectations before you start. For example, you should know the answers to:
- How do you want to position and sell your brand online?
- What type of content do you need in order to match your content marketing goals?
These are questions you need to ask yourself before hiring anyone.
Beyond the specifics of marketing your brand, you also have to figure out what type of person you want to work with. Do you need someone to be constantly on call or can they work on their own schedule? Are they able to meet deadlines? If you’re hiring a writer to work remotely, you’ll need someone who can effectively communicate.
Remember that marketing content writers are more than just writers.
Yes, writing is their main job but they are also strategists. They need to be familiar with SEO and marketing just as much as they need to write high quality content.
Take time with the hiring process. Utilize these tips to help you find the perfect writer.
1. Set Clear Expectations
The right writer will be able to help you create a strategy for your content, but you also need to consider this on your own. Do you want someone who can edit themselves? How many blog posts do you need? Are you looking for more than web content? Setting expectations ahead of time will give applicants a sense of the workload and help you organize your tasks.
2. Include Requirements in Your Job Posting
Have you ever read a job posting that asks you to include your favorite band in your email response? These potential employers aren’t just messing around. By asking a random question or including specific instructions, they are ensuring that applicants pay attention and read thoroughly. When hiring a writer, you always want to ask for at least three writing samples, a resume and a link to their portfolio or published work. You can take it to the next level by requiring a specific email subject line or another detailed instruction at the end of the post.
3. Test Your Applicants
You can choose to include a paid or unpaid test to ensure you can work with potential applicants. One effective test strategy is asking for a new example of a blog post that incorporates a specific keyword. You can also make this relatable to your company. Many content writing jobs ask for this, like this one from Texas Monthly posted on Craigslist:
We have a very specific writer testing process at Express Writers that includes a proctored test (timed test that we set up with multiple questions on copywriting, SEO and content marketing), and a written sample with guidelines and specifics. 90% of candidates that come to us do not pass this testing process.
4. Be Specific with Hiring Expectations
Most writers are hired on a 1099 contract basis. They may have their own rates but you should have a budget in mind too. Will they be able to include a byline? Do you have a specific word count? These are all things to consider before you talk in depth with applicants.
5. Hire a Writing Agency
Searching for a writer on your own can feel overwhelming. A few scrolls through Craigslist and LinkedIn can quickly send you through a black hole online.
Even with samples, how can you ensure a writer’s content will be on point with your business? Can they guarantee no spelling errors?
Writing quality is at the top of our priority list. Only 2% of writers pass our applicant tests. They are verified from the start, and continuously trained on SEO and best marketing practices. Read more about our process.
A final draft from the writer still jumps one more hurdle before being sent to a client. Our content quality specialists check every project to ensure it meets both the client and our standards.
Full transparency of our pricing and quality levels, as listed here, ensures everyone is on the same page.
4 Tips for Hiring Content Writers
With all of this research you may start to realize one thing: writing isn’t easy. It’s important to consider the quality of content you are paying for as opposed to only quantity. Don’t get bogged down by strict SEO guidelines when you’re trying to find the voice of your brand. Expert content writers can effortlessly fuse marketing techniques while producing high quality content.
1. Don’t Get Hung Up on the Rates
Consider why one writer charges $10 per post and the other charges $50.
Don’t look for a bargain when it comes to your content. Top notch writing will be more expensive, but it’s well worth the value. Not every business requires the same type of copy.
We’ve broken our pricing down to three quality levels: General, Expert and Industry.
Each level ranges in research, SEO integration and voice to fit every niche.
2. Quality First
Don’t have it in your mind that you need 5 blog posts a week no matter what. Quantity is worth sacrificing in favor of quality content. When hiring a writer, you’ll quickly be able to tell whether they are writing for a real audience or only for the web.
3. Remember Your Readers
Yes, you will be reading this content but you’re not trying to sell to yourself.
Think about your audience. What are topics that they want to learn about? How can you help them get the most out of your products as opposed to just selling them more? The best content writers will turn your one time customers into loyal followers.
4. Don’t Forget About the Marketing Side
The whole point of integrating more content into your site is to further market your brand. There is a delicate balance when optimizing content for online. Don’t overburden yourself with keywords and SEO strategies. Find a writer that will seamlessly work those things into their content without you even noticing.
Summarizing The Top Traits of Superstar Content Writers
Now that you’re equipped with all of the strategies on how to find the best content writer for your business, be prepared to be flooded with applicants. The narrowing down process is a tolling and time consuming task.
Lucky for you, not all writers are the same.
There are a select few skills that every great content writer possesses that sets them apart from the rest. Once you can identify these, you’ll be on your way to hiring the perfect candidate. Here’s a shortlist.
Top Writing Traits to Look For
- Comfortable adapting to different subject matter and audiences
- Ability to thoroughly research and use reliable online sources
- Clear understanding of SEO
- Pro at managing their time
- Strong editor and proofreader
- Unique voice that shines through
- Clean formatting skills
- Expert at using language to communicate
All of these traits distinguish superstar content marketing writers from their counterparts.
The ability to adapt means that even if you are running a fitness business, the writer that you hire will be able to think outside of the treadmill. They can write about a winter squash recipe while still sparking the interest of dedicated gym rats.
Thorough research goes in line with adaptability. An expert writer doesn’t mean that they are knowledgeable about every subject. Their expertise refers to their understanding of deciphering credible online resources.
Knowledge of SEO is just one aspect. The best content writers will also keep up with the trends to ensure their content ranking is continuously high.
It’s likely that the content writer you hire, especially if they are outsourced, will be juggling a few different projects at once. Professional content marketers set deadlines for themselves even when none are required so that they are always on task.
A great writer is also a great editor. Even spellcheck doesn’t catch everything. The best content writers continuously proofread their work. They also can edit themselves when it serves the quality of the content.
Some content writing is like following a basic formula. However, writers that go beyond the formula do so by distinguishing their unique voice throughout their work. A writer’s tone can bring life to otherwise monotonous subject matter while still sticking to the point.
In a matter of seconds, your audience will decide whether or not to keep reading. Sometimes this has nothing to do with the content at all.
Clean formatting plays a large role in keeping readers engaged.
Exceptional content writers will structure their articles so that it is pleasing to the eyes as well as the mind. This means including bulleted lists, numbers, bold titles and breaking up large blocks of text.
Above all, content writers are trying to reach people through their words. The best writers have a command over the written language. They don’t try to fluff their content with confusing language or stray away from the focus of the article. Instead, they speak to people as if they were right beside them, and show instead of tell.
Are you Ready to Hire an Expert Marketing Content Writer?
All of this information may make it seem like hiring a marketing content writer is overly complicated. The truth is that it is definitely not. Finding the perfect writer or team or writers to take over your content online is crucial to running a successful business. Investing in content will help you reach a wider audience and keep them coming back.
Outsourcing is a great option when hiring marketing content writers. You have a better shot at finding a freelance quality writer rather than training an in-house team to handle all of the responsibilities. Using a professional content service will ensure high quality content that is specifically designed to reach your target audience. Outsourcing also gives your team the opportunity to focus on their areas of expertise.
Producing high quality content is our bread and butter.
Over the years, we’ve curated an expert team of writers with a passion for content writing and a deep knowledge of industry tools.
Our team of marketing content specialists will set your business apart from the rest by creating engaging copy for any of your marketing needs.
See your online presence grow and invest in a truly valuable content marketing strategy with the right writer. Talk to us today.