There are writers, and then there are writers.
Or, let’s put the distinction this way: There are cheap writers, and there are pro writers.
What’s the difference?
Cheap writers are cheap. That’s all they bring to the table.
Professional blog writers have experience, talent, skill, and style. There’s more, though.
Writing is a field of expertise, just like any other industry, and these people know it inside-out. They read widely and absorb different writing techniques. They know how to conduct thorough research. They understand the basics of constructing a solid article, whether short or long. They’re creative and dedicated to their craft.
Should I keep going?
Proficient pro writers need to have all of these skills, plus more. (Via Learn How to Become)
And yet, despite the obvious benefits of hiring a professional writer for their content marketing, lots of brands and businesses still aren’t doing it. Instead, they think they can cut corners. Something’s gotta give somewhere, and, a lot of the time, that something is the writing.
You may be guilty of this, too.
If you are, I’m here to set you straight.
You have to understand exactly why professional writers are worth it. You need to know what cheap content mills are doing to your content marketing. You need to understand the value of good, professional writing.
Why Professional Blog Writers Are Worth Every Last Cent of Investment
Articles like these are all over the ‘net. They try to give you a lesson in skills which pro writers already have. (Via Quick Sprout)
Guess what? Professional writers have an entire arsenal of writing “secrets.” You’ll never learn them all, or understand them in the same way, because writing isn’t your bread-and-butter.
You haven’t been reading and writing for years upon years – for fun. You probably didn’t major in English, journalism, or communications in college. You most likely never attempted to write a hefty fantasy or detective novel when you were 12. (Seriously, ask any pro writer – they’ll tell you all about their ridiculous first novel, short story collection, etc., that they wrote when they were young and foolish.)
Of course, not every writer has professional training or education. However, every single pro writer has passion and experience.
Let’s get more basic. If you’re a marketer, marketing is what you do. If you’re a business owner, running your company is what you do, and all that it entails. If you’re a pro writer, writing is what you do.
If these still aren’t good enough arguments for you, here’s more about what good writers can do for your content marketing. These key factors set them apart.
1. Professional Blog Writers Treat Your Content with Care
Cheap writers are not concerned about quality – they only care about quantity. That’s because they sell their services for the cheapest price possible, then get as much volume as they can to make up the difference.
As such, the work they do has no craft behind it. They are focused on getting the words out as fast as possible to make a dime.
Pro writers, on the other hand, are concerned with quality and quantity in balance. They’re trying to make money, too, but they’re also worried about producing good work.
Because this balance is number one, that means…
2. They Spend the Necessary Time Getting the Writing Right
Any pro writer will tell you straight out: Good writing takes time.
You cannot dash out a page of text in 10 minutes and expect it to be worth anything, let alone readable.
Writing for content marketing requires even more diligence. It needs to mirror the brand’s voice, use the right keywords in the right places, address the target audience effectively, and be readable and useful.
If it’s really good, the content will also pull the reader into the text. It will encourage them to keep reading aaaaall the way down to the end of the page.
Interlude: Case Study Time
You want a good idea of what focusing on quantity over quality looks like (versus a focus on balancing quantity + quality)?
Let’s take a gander at the difference using a fantastic example from this real-life case study by Startup Grind.
They readily admit that they fell for the lure of cheap content. As such, they hired five writers offering ridiculously inexpensive rates to do a paid test assignment. What they got back made them balk, to say the least.
Here’s one example from the test. This piece was titled “Quantity Is the King in B2B Lead Generation”. (The phrasing of this headline alone is worth a long pause of concern. What follows is not all that surprising.)
If you can read this without wanting to bash your head against a wall, I sincerely applaud your effort.
What’s wrong with it? Everything, for starters.
It’s not engaging – it’s repetitive and wordy. The overuse of determiners also makes me suspect the writer’s first language isn’t English.
This is supposed to draw in leads? I don’t think so.
Naturally, Startup Grind abandoned this approach and tried a different tack. They did the research, came up with the blog title, and provided points to cover. They hired two test writers from cheap agencies who could fill in the blanks. Easy-peasy.
Neither writer could deliver. One handed in an article that had nothing to do with the outline. (After two more revisions, the resulting article was still incoherent and messy.) The other writer included points from the outline but loaded it with filler and meaningless sentences in the gaps.
Yep, it turns out the old saying is true. You get what you pay for.
To drive this point home, let’s compare the example of cheap writing, above, to this introduction from a pro-written blog:
Can you compare them? They’re not just in different leagues… they’re in different universes.
Part of the reason they’re so different is not just about the overall quality, it’s also about the attention to detail.
This leads us to the next differentiator for pro writers…
3. Pros Love Good Grammar and Are Shameless Punctuation Nerds
Details. Good writers delight in details.
In fact, though it may be counterproductive, a writer can spend quite a bit of time perfecting even one sentence. They may agonize over the placement of a comma or whether an em-dash is necessary.
This is because they know the details are everything. Paying attention to them is how the writing reaches its height.
The details include grammar, spelling, word usage, and punctuation.
If you want to know the truth, writers are punctuation nerds at heart. A well-constructed sentence sets our hearts aflutter (go ahead, judge us all you want).
(Via Bored Panda)
4. Professional Blog Writers Are Often Subject Specialists
Good, thorough research must be an essential part of content creation for lots of niche industries.
Your content needs facts and stats to back up claims. The writer also needs underlying basic knowledge about key concepts within that industry.
Will a cheap writer from a content mill have that expertise? Will they be able to write about your specialization or niche industry with authority and confidence? Can they teach your readers and provide value?
No, no, and no.
In fact, if you go with a cheap writer for your specialized blog topics, you’re playing with fire.
Because you risk confusing, misleading, or turning off your readers altogether. Goodbye, leads.
This is the precise reason why so many professional writers are subject specialists in multiple areas. It lets them swoop in and write with clout, gravitas, and confidence for lots of different industries.
If you’re in an industry that requires specialized knowledge, like SaaS, stocks and trading, contract law, or advanced B2B marketing, you need a writer with a corresponding specialization. Neil Patel even lists specialization as one of the key essential skills for content marketing copywriters.
Need training if you’re a professional writer seeking to upgrade your skills? The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course is an in-depth training from Julia McCoy, with A-Z teaching for online content creators. Take your skills to the next level. Get in today and save up to $130 on the all-access pass with coupon BLOG10.
Pro writers will have it. Cheap writers will not.
5. They Can Switch Between Tones and Styles
Another key factor that sets professional blog writers apart is they’re adaptable. Their writing skills can morph to fit the content need.
Part of the reason they can do this is they have immersed themselves in different styles of writing. This means they read. A lot. And, as any writer knows, reading is one of the best forms of training.
They are constantly reading, constantly writing, and continually work toward improving their game.
They can write in third-person, with an objective tone, for a blog in the medical industry. The next day, they can easily switch to writing in first-person for a beauty brand that requires a lighthearted, fun approach.
Pro writers are masters of flexibility. Can a cheap writer do that?
6. They’re Passionate about Writing
Here’s the main distinction between pro blog writers and content factory grunt writers: passion.
Professional writers become professionals because of their dedication to their craft. They have a passion to produce great work, get results for clients, and keep getting better.
After all, the writing profession is no joke. Like most creative career paths, it’s hard out there. Only the most dedicated scribes become true pros and make their living this way.
For writers offering cut-throat rates, the clients they take are no more than dollars and cents. They want to get hired, crank out some mediocre words, get paid, and move on to the next. There is no passion or craft involved here.
These people probably won’t be working as writers-for-hire for very long. They’re just trying to make a quick buck.
If You Need High-Quality Content, You Need High-Quality Professional Blog Writers
Good writing is essential for successful content marketing.
If you want content that’s engaging and grows your readership, you need a pro writer.
If your content needs to address specialized topics in your niche industry, you need a pro writer.
If you want your content marketing to succeed beyond your expectations, you need a pro writer.
If you want to grow your authority and your brand voice, you need a pro writer.
Still don’t think you need a professional writer? Consider this: Lots of marketers have expressed concern that we’re well on our way to reaching what they call “content shock.” It means that we will eventually produce so much mediocre, half-a** content, audiences won’t be able to keep up.
Not that they won’t want to – they just won’t be able to. There simply won’t be enough hours in the day. This means brands will be fighting over readership and paying people to look at their content. At least, this is the bleak future according to Mark Schaefer.
Here’s the thing. This is the future of crappy content. And who writes crappy content? Cheap, crappy writers!
Copyblogger sums this up nicely: “There is no glut of quality content.”
“…there is not a glut of content that is useful, passionate, individual, and interesting.”
Useful, passionate, individual, and interesting.
This is exactly what professional blog writers bring to the table. If you want to set yourself apart, if you want to improve your content marketing, if you want to differentiate yourself – you have to have the right talent backing you up.
You’re not a writer. You can’t do it alone. And that’s okay.
If you’re ready to hire a pro blog writer, we’re here, ready to step in and level-up your word game.