So – you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in your brand’s content (or your client’s). You want to hire outside help to do it.
*cue Ghostbusters theme music*
Who you gonna call?
A-hem. That is, a professional content writer (or a high-quality content writing service) will be your best bet.
You can’t just hire anybody and/or leave the rest up to chance, though. 🛑
You have to understand WHY pro content writing will make a difference in your content marketing, and you need to know the steps to take to make sure you achieve success.
The thing is…
Brands everywhere are realizing the value of great content and want to add it to their web presence.
According to HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound report, 55% of marketers are setting blog content creation as their priority.
Meanwhile, an additional 61% say generating traffic and leads is their top marketing challenge.
Is that your problem? Zero traffic and not enough leads?
…Well, the solution could be staring you in the face.
Carefully crafted, purposeful content is ace at just that: generating REAL traffic and leads.
It’s no wonder people are climbing aboard the content train. 🚂
Now that you’re buckled in, the next step is understanding what a professional content writer adds to your marketing strategy.
Then, we’ll discuss how to find your ultimate content writer for hire, plus tips for getting the best content possible when someone else is doing the actual writing.
How to Find and Work with a Professional Content Writer: Table of Contents
What Is a Content Writer, and Why Do You Need One?
Content Writers Wanted: How to Find the Right Professional Content Writer
- Search Trusted Freelance Marketplaces
- Read Their Samples (Or Ask for a Trial Content Piece)
- Know What to Avoid in Your Professional Content Writer Search
4 Tips for Collaborating with a Professional Content Writer Seamlessly
- Don’t Leave Them Hanging
- Give Concrete Guidelines
- Provide Feedback
- Respect the Job
What Is a Content Writer, and Why Do You Need One?
So, why are you planning to hire a freelance web content writer? Is it because your hands are full with other marketing tasks? Or do you lack the time or skills to pull off rankings-worthy content by yourself?
Whatever your reason(s), you’re probably aware of the value of great content.
BUT – are you also aware of why content writers for websites can do it better?
First, let’s define “content writer” – what this role demands, and what it doesn’t.
A good web content writer job description might fall along these lines:
A content writer is a creative who specializes in writing blogs, articles, web pages, ebooks, and other types of online content. They understand how to drive traffic with SEO and generate leads with user-centered writing techniques.
Here is an example of content writing that serves both of those purposes (driving traffic, generating leads for the brand) from Farmers Insurance:
The blog provides insights into the finances involved in owning and maintaining a boat. There are no sales pitches urging readers to get boat insurance or talk to an agent inside the blog – instead, the information is meant to stand on its own and build trust with readers while building the company’s authority about financial matters.
On top of that, this blog is SEO-ready so people who are interested in this topic will find it via Google search. It’s ranking #1 for “maintaining a recreational boat.”
Lastly (but never least), the quality of this blog is enough to make you want to read more. As you browse additional articles on the Farmers site, you’ll see all of them are of equal caliber – compelling stories, useful information, and great reads.
You might become a follower, then a fan of this brand. Eventually, when you need insurance down the road, what’s the first name you’ll think of?
You guessed it: Farmers.
It’s a long-term game for lead generation, but the ROI is incredible once you start earning that trust and brand loyalty.
THAT is the essence of content marketing – and a professional content writer’s work is the lynchpin in all of it.
Writing search engine optimized, user-centered, engaging, readable content requires skill. When you hire a professional content writer for your online writing jobs, that’s the investment.
A content writer is a creative who specializes in writing online content like blogs. They understand how to drive traffic with SEO and generate leads with user-centered writing techniques. - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
Content Writers Wanted: How to Find the Right Professional Content Writer for Your Website or Copy
You’re ready to hire content writers. Where do you start? Right here.
1. Search Trusted Freelance Marketplaces
Good professional content writers are out there, looking for exactly the type of opportunity you’re offering.
To find them, it’s a matter of knowing where to look.
To contract professional content writing services, check out one of these great job platforms:
- Cloud Peeps – This is a freelance marketplace where you can search for pro content writers, post a job, accept proposals from experts, and find the right fit for your needs.
- Fiverr – On Fiverr, content writers post “gigs” where they essentially market their skills. Comb through the “writing and translation” category to find blog and article writers, copywriters, technical writers, scriptwriters, and more posting web content job descriptions that match up with your requirements.
- nDash – On this platform, writers will pitch you content ideas (as well as their services) based on your needs.
Psssst… our content writing agency at EW can help you out, too. We have dozens of hand-picked expert writers on our roster with a multitude of industry specialties. To see what we can do, check out how we operate.
2. Read Their Samples (Or Ask for a Trial Content Piece)
Hiring a professional content writer without looking at any of their samples is a recipe for disaster. You won’t know what they can do until they show you – even if their resume includes some impressive experience and education.
When becoming a solid content writer, education helps, but experience (actually putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard) matters more – and that will show up in their work.
If your potential hire doesn’t have a lot of samples they can show you (many sign NDAs with their clients), request a trial content piece from them. This is a short, mock assignment they complete in your requested voice and tone, topics and keywords, and brand style.
Pay attention to how well they fulfill your brief, but also look for things like how well they communicated with you, whether they stuck to your agreed-upon deadline, and any other qualities that speak to their professionalism.
3. Know What to Avoid in Your Professional Content Writer Search
While you search for a professional content writer, there are some red flags you need to watch for. If/when you see one waving, run the other way – you will not get your money’s worth from that writer.
Awkward-Sounding Sentences Sprinkled in the Content
Maybe you’ve been in this scenario: You’re reading a writer’s content sample. It sounds pretty good, but something is off. You can’t put your finger on it, but the sentences sound a little weird, even if they look okay at first glance.
Here’s an example. It looks decent at first glance, but the more you read it, the more you see the awkwardness peeking through.
Congrats – you just found a writer whose first language isn’t English. (The above example is from a company that hires blog writers in India.)
Unless they’re incredible English speakers with writing talent to spare, these content creators (like the above content writers in Kolkata, India) will never be able to capture the flow and nuance of our native language. (If they had, you wouldn’t “hear” that subtle awkwardness when you read their work.)
The Cheapest Rates You’ve Ever Seen
You’re browsing professional content writer gigs and profiles. You stumble across a writer who’s offering rates so low, they’re too good to be true.
Sorry to be a downer, but they are. Cut-throat rates = a writer who only cares about volume to make a buck. Move on.
Overblown Content Creation Promises
Besides the lowest rates you’ve ever seen, be wary of a “professional” content writer who offers you the moon and the stars – in other words, ridiculously fast turnaround times (emphasis on ridiculous).
For example, what if a content writer is promising you a well-researched, well-written article of 1,000+ words overnight?
That’s not good.
Why? Because truly amazing content, the kind that ranks in Google and makes readers feel understood, takes time. Don’t believe the claims of a hack writer saying they can get it to you lightning-fast without sacrificing quality.
How do you find the right professional content writer? 🔎 Search in trusted freelance marketplaces, 📜 check writing samples, and 🙅♀️ know what to avoid: awkward sentences, cheap rates, and ridiculously fast turnaround times! Click To Tweet
4 Tips for Collaborating with a Professional Content Writer Seamlessly
You know what a professional content writer is worth, you know how to find one, and maybe you even hired one by now (good for you!).
Now it’s time to collaborate effectively to get the best content possible.
1. Don’t Leave Them Hanging
Whatever you do, when you hire content writers, remember to communicate with them.
Don’t just send over a brief and then go AWOL. Stay available to answer questions, clarify your outline, or provide additional directions.
Your content writers will also need a contact point in case the deadline needs to shift or they have any problems. The more you communicate, the better the outcome for your content.
2. Give Concrete Guidelines
Speaking of briefs, did you know you’ll get better content out of your writers if you provide topics, outlines, keywords, or a general idea of what you want?
Unless you’re paying your professional content writer for an additional topic and keyword research, for instance, you need to provide these details if you want properly optimized blogs. Otherwise, your writer will be forced to make it up as they go. (Yes, really.)
Additionally, if you have a brand style guide, audience personas, etc., share these with your writers – these resources are a HUGE help for developing and writing content in the optimal tone and style for your audience.
These brand style guide examples are worth studying so you can create similar references for your team (like the one below from Medium):
3. Provide Feedback
A writer working in a vacuum, with no idea how their writing is working (or whether it’s making an impact on the audience) is an unhappy writer.
Writers are communicators, first and foremost. They write to be read. If your content writers have no clue how their writing is performing, they will more than likely lose motivation to produce their best for you.
So, please do give your professional content writers feedback. Tell them when they hit the nail on the head with a piece. Inform them when that blog spurs great things for the brand or their article was well-received.
On the other hand, constructive feedback will help your writers, too. Tell them what they can tweak to produce better content for you next time – a good writer will do their darnedest to implement it.
4. Respect the Job
Finally, for best results and a great working relationship with your professional content writer (or writers), respect their job.
Writing isn’t easy. (Have you tried writing your content yourself? Then you know what I mean.) Even if you’re a professional writer, crafting a successful piece of content is a lot of work. It needs time, effort, skill, and focus.
When you find a great match with a content writer, don’t take it for granted. It’s harder to keep good writers around than it is to find them.
How do you effectively collaborate with a professional content writer to get the best content possible? ⏳ Don't leave them hanging -- communicate, 🗂️ give concrete guidelines, 🗣️ provide constructive feedback, and 😊 respect their job. Click To Tweet
Ready for a Professional Content Writer Match Made in Heaven?
Finding the best professional content writer for you or your client’s needs isn’t necessarily easy – but it can be easier than what you’re currently doing.
Think of it this way: Well-paying, steady content writer jobs online are hard to find. If you offer the right kind of partnership and work environment, skilled freelancers will be knocking down your door instead of the other way around.
Even better: Your content will take off and fly. 💸
Now, doesn’t that sound nice?