13 Things You Should Consider Before Hiring a Content Writer

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It’s not enough to have a great website. The graphics and media can be exceptional. But if you don’t have the right words on the page, even the best designs fall flat.

Content has always been a key element of all website designs and online marketing, but as the internet and its various blogs, websites and marketplaces continue to mature, content must mature along with it.

If you haven’t thought about the type of content you’re putting out on your site lately, you’re already remiss. Are you still trying to write it all yourself? Are you struggling to remember to even update that blog? Is your content still bringing in the readers it once was?

Perhaps it is time for a refresh.

Unless you’re a skilled writer, well versed in modern content development, it may be in your best interest to turn the reigns over to someone else.

Hiring a content writer is much simpler than you might imagine. There are thousands of writers out there with millions of articles, websites and blog posts collectively under their belts.

But how do you know if the writer you’re considering is the best one for the job? Consider these points.

 

1. The Type of Content you Need

Type of Content

Type of Content

Not all writers write the same sort of content. One writer may be especially strong in copywriting skills. But if you don’t need a long form sales letter, that writer may not be the one you need.

Others are excellent at writing headlines and short advertising pieces, but may not be strong at more informative content. Before you hire a writer, spend some time thinking about what specifically you need and who the best writer would be for that job.

 

2. The Voice of your Website

The Voice of your Website

The Voice of your Website

Good writing has voice. When you read it, you should all but hear the author speaking to you. If the voice of a writer is too casual or too formal for your site, it’s not a good fit. Find someone who sounds like you’d like your website to sound. Otherwise, you may be accidentally sending the wrong tone and message to readers.

 

3. Your Project Goals

Project Goals

Project Goals

Are you in the building stages or simply improving an existing website? Is your budget allocation going to change over time? Before hiring a writer or even discussing the project in depth with content professionals, you need to know what your plan is and how the writer fits in. Build the plan first and then find the professionals you need.

 

4. Your Budget

Budget

Budget

Speaking of detailed plans, you need a detailed budget. It is poor form to tell a writer you’ll have new work every week and then not get back to them for three months due to your own budget concerns. Of course, new businesses and new websites need flexibility, but if you are going to need content on a regular basis, you’re going to need the budget to support it.

 

5. The Person Managing Content

If you’re a sole proprietor running a business or building a website, it stands to reason that you will be the person managing content. If, on the other hand, you have a team of people working with you in the company, it is a good idea to decide ahead of time who will be handing the requests and delivery of content.

 

6. Editing and Revisions

Delegating the management of content can save you time and headaches, especially if that same person serves as an editor for the content you’re creating.

Every writer needs an editor, and as the content is going on your website, it should be you or someone on your team checking over the written work. Serving as an editor and getting the content posted can be a time consuming task, and it might be best if it is delegated.

 

7. Your Timeline

Timeline

Timeline

What are your goals for this specific project? Are you looking for almost daily work or is this a one-off assignment? Writers have preferences on the types of assignments they take on, and if you are going to need a rapid daily turnaround, you need to be able to tell the writer this upfront. An honest writer will be very clear with you about what you can expect.

 

8. Your Keyword Selection

SEO may have changed, but it’s not dead. As you have content developed, you should be thinking about what keywords are relevant and doing a bit of keyword research ahead of time to maximize your investment. Just skip the keyword stuffed content as it can be potentially more harmful than helpful in terms of readability.

 

9. The Writer’s Preferred Content

If you have been working with a particular writer or would like to work with a writer, be sure you know their preferred content. Most writers can be flexible and write about roofing materials as easily as technology, but they might enjoy technology a great deal more (or roofing, for that matter).

If you can find match between what you need and what they enjoy writing about, you will be able to create killer content.

 

10. Experience Across the Industry

Experience

Experience

Your writer should have ample experience across the industry. You may be able to pay less for a new writer, but you will wind up doing a bit of training as well. On the other hand, you can pay a bit more for a true professional and skip the training grounds.

 

11. Freelance or in-house

Are you going to need a steady stream of a variety of styles of content? It might be worthwhile to hire a writer full-time to keep in house. A full-time writer will be dedicated to your projects and can almost guarantee a rapid turnaround and work on larger projects without nickel and diming you with hourly or word rates. A freelance writer, on the other hand, is an excellent investment if your writing requirements are more fluid or not as comprehensive.

 

12. Reliability

A writer who can’t meet deadlines isn’t a writer you want to hire. The content writer is creating the pieces you need to build a project and run a site. If you can’t count on that writer to create what you’re looking for and to deliver it in a timely manner, you are paying for a bad service.

 

13. References

Finally, check out the references you can for a writer. A writer who is recommended by a contact or friend is probably a good bet as business owners don’t typically recommend people they don’t like working with. You should also check out samples of previous work or a portfolio if they have one so that you know what to expect from their finished works.

If the design and format of your website is the skeleton of your online business, the content you have developed is the flesh that transforms your site into a true creation. It’s imperative to find a content writer who understands what you need, has the ability to create it, and is easy to work with.

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Oleg Kaluger

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20 Comments on “13 Things You Should Consider Before Hiring a Content Writer”

  1. Hi Oleg,

    You have made things easier for companies and individuals who are looking to hire competent content writers to complete their writing projects efficiently. Thanks for the informative post.

  2. Moss Clement says:

    Great points to consider, Oleg. I like tha that’s you mentioned the need to consider “the voice of your website,” that is where versatility comes to play. Is the writer versatile enough to easily adapt to you brand voice? You need to make sure your content writer understands your brand’s tone of voice. Can they write content that suits your style and speaks the language of your target audience?

    This step is necessary to give much consideration as it will help you maintain your brand’s consistency.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Moss,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Glad you liked it,

      Yeah, and to maintain that voice consistently is a tough job too. Sometimes a brand has multiple writers and if they are ghost writing then it becomes even more difficult for every single one to maintain the same voice throughout.

      Thanks,
      – Oleg

  3. Brad Lindsey says:

    Hi Oleg –

    You bring out some good questions here and I appreciate the article. As a content writer/marketer, I am still looking for avenues for convincing clients that quality relevant content is key for growing their audience and customer base.

    I think checking references and live content posts – is a great point! By doing this, the can read the style of writing, and get a look at the diversity or lack of, with the writer. They can also see the quality of the website/blog the writer has written for.

    Like your blog and will return!

    Thanks for sharing my friend.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Brad,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, totally agree with you – content marketing and the leads and sales that it bring, requires relevant and quality content to start with,

      Checking live content is always a good way to know if the writer can write, this includes guest posts on bigger sites where getting a post published is a real difficult thing …

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  4. Emma Ballet says:

    Great to know some best thing for a content writer 🙂

  5. Azure says:

    Hi oleg
    such a amazing post , its really helpful for blogger who are not able to write articles or dnt have time for writing
    Thank you for sharing

  6. Sajid Akhter says:

    Hi Oleg,
    I completely agree with you that content is one of the most important aspect of a website if not the most. The content should be able to answer the queries a visitors might have when they visit your site. It is very important to be able to connect to your visitors and help them.

    Thank you for this great post. Hope to be back soon on your new post. 🙂

  7. Hi Oleg,

    It’s important to keep your content fresh and flowing.

    Not everybody has the time, skill or inclination to handle this themselves.

    That’s when you need to hire a pro, and these tips will ensure that you’re doing it the right way.

    Nice job!

    -Donna

  8. Moss Clement says:

    You’re right, Oleg. However, that is why it is important to have a guideline that writer must follow. In fact, even at that, many will still deviant from the guidelines. For example, my blog’s ” write for us” strictly say “a guest post must be at least 1200 word article.” which means that it should no be anything less than that. But just yesterday, a guest contributor, after agreeing that he has read and understood the guidelines for guest posting on my site, he went ahead and submitted a 600 word blog post. Do you think such a writer will adhere to my brand voice? I really did enjoy your post.

  9. kankana saha says:

    i am working with content writers since 2.5 yrs… ive covered versatile niches..i would emphasize the ‘preferred content’ point.. as often because of quick cash, many writers get easily ready for writing under any niche. But be sure, the person seriously has some personal passion regarding the subject/concept.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Kankana,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Good to know that you have worked with writers and yes, you are right – people do write on topics where they aren’t experts. As a writer that might be a good idea and up to some extent – budget wise it might be a good idea to hire those writers but in the longer run if you need quality content that helps then hiring someone who has a background on the topic will be helpful,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  10. Navin Rao says:

    Hi Oleg,
    You have breaked the things down exceptionally well to opt for the best suitable content writer for the kind of content one needs.

    As said no wonder, everyone is good at some form of content and write it to the best. So it wise to think of choosing a writer according to the kind of content requirement you have.

    Seldom, the writing tone has to be changed if it’s not working for your website and readers are not engaging well. So, in such scenario freelancers could be the choice, who are doing well in the industry.

    Have a great day ahead!

    Navin

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Navin,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Glad you liked the article,

      Yeah, most writers are good in their field but someone having practical knowledge or specialized in some way for a particular topic is always a better choice for a writer,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  11. jaan says:

    Hi Oleg, This article is very useful and I think the most important point would be matching the voice of the content written to existing voice of the blog/website which would require the content writer to be versatile.
    Thanks for writing this post. 🙂

  12. Roy says:

    Thanks for sharing the tips to Before Hiring a Content Writer.

  13. Priya Singh says:

    Hi, Oleg, awesome article as usual.
    You are right, there are many things to consider before hiring a content writer such as:

    Skill Level writing
    Experience Level
    Enthusiasm
    Knowledge of Your Product
    Cost
    Turnaround Time
    Corrections Policy
    Portfolio

    Nice job!
    Keep up the amazing work.

    – Priya Singh

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