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what to look for when hiring content writers

What To Look For When Hiring Content Writers

How do you know what to look for when hiring content writers? 

You’re a small business owner, which means you must justify every cent of your budget. 

As a writer, it’s my job to delve into my creative superpowers. However, as a business owner, I also understand why it’s hard to know what to look for when hiring creative professionals. 

Writers tend to have resumes longer than a page and freelance work sprinkled into their experience. Because writers are part of the creative process, it’s also tough to put an exact number on a project’s progress (psst…I have a tip for this, too). But there’s more to finding a quality content writer than a lengthy resume. 

If you’re looking for a content writing professional, I suggest using these 7 qualities of a content writer before you make the big hire.

Don’t want to spend too much time and money sifting through what to look for when hiring content writers? FocusCopy is the jolt you need to get your copy going.

What Is A Content Writer? 

Content writers use a combination of creativity and optimization to ensure their writing hits the right goals and ranks higher on search engines. The first part is key to making your copy flow, while the second is crucial for your online presence. 

A content writer will work with you on your website to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), allowing more people to see your content. A quality content writer will usually work on creating consistent content rather than focusing on a one-and-done project.

Why Does Your Business Need To Hire A Content Writer? 

Copywriter, content writer, editor, and simply writer are all used interchangeably. But they don’t truly mean the same thing. A copywriter can tell a story or sell a product or service by engaging their audience and converting them with persuasive writing. A content writer focuses more on educational information and other technical aspects to get your content in front of your target audience faster.

Need a team of writers to take on your copywriting and content writing? FocusCopy is here to help.

7 Traits To Look For When Hiring A Content Writer 

There are many content writers out there, but here’s how you find the right one.

1. A Willingness To Learn

One of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein is,

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

Albert Einstein

Even after years of formal education and work experience, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new. Your content writer should be open and excited to learn about your business, operations, and anything else you can teach them as a professional in your field. Ongoing education creates room for better writing and a stronger connection between yourself and your content writer. A content writer who strives to quickly pick up your company’s purpose and turn those thoughts into words will be your winner.

2. Pride Is In Their Work, Not Their Voice

A good question to ask during your interview is, “How would you describe your personal writing style?”

Then ask, “How would you describe your writing style when it comes to your clients?”

It’s important to ask both because every writer has their own style, but their professional success depends on the work they produce – not typically their own voice. 

It helps to ask for a portfolio or samples of their writing before you decide who to hire. Their sample work will give you a good idea of what level of quality you can expect and insight into how they write across several industries. How you measure the quality of their work leads us to our next tip.

3. Substantial Documentation For Quality & SEO

Your content writer should track SEO content over time to ensure that it’s producing tangible results. A method to track quality content writing is done by measuring key performance indicators (KPIs). This can look like your:

  • Audience reach
  • Sales made
  • Amount of increased referrals
  • Number of calls to action made
  • Increased visits to your location or website

Don’t worry about using another business’s KPIs to determine your success. Find one appropriate for your company and use it to measure your success moving forward. 

As you see an increase or decline in results, have open conversations often with your content writer. Open communication while working together lets them adjust their methods when needed to reach your collective goals. 

4. Knowledge Of What Your Target Audience Needs & Wants

You wouldn’t consult with a dermatologist for heart surgery. You might talk to a general surgeon, but it’s ideal to speak to someone who specializes in what YOU need. 

Apply similar logic to find a content writer. If your audience expects a professional tone and industry-heavy jargon, find someone who understands this or has worked in your industry before. 

You can also find a content writer who can adapt their writing to the proper audience. Their writing should have the ability to connect with the reader and relate to them in a way that feels natural. Writers with various work backgrounds, agency work, public relations, and other marketing creation will most likely have the experience necessary to give you what you need. 

SEO is still important, but plugging in content that ranks higher on Google can feel robotic. A good writer will weave in optimized content while making the copy easy to digest.

5. Ability To Take Constructive Feedback Without Wilting

Have you ever heard that creatives can be sensitive?

While we all have our moments, we’re professionals like anyone else. Being able to take criticism and apply it with care is definitely one of the qualities of a content writer. This is important because then, you can talk to them freely and as an expert in your field about:

  • Making necessary changes
  • Rewording
  • Refreshing headlines and subheadings
  • Tweaking their style
  • Any glaring issues

Their process for feedback should be swift and responsive, so you can get back on track without missing a beat. If you need edits and revisions quickly, set this expectation beforehand so it’s clear moving forward.

6. Flawless Processes In Place

When searching for what to look for when hiring content writers, find one that is process-driven and organized. If you’re curious about this process, ask!

Processes will include things like:

  • Research and discovery
  • Outlining content
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Revisions

How they take on projects will give you a better idea of how they prefer to collaborate, communicate, and adhere to deadlines. This is a fantastic way to find out if they’re the right fit for the writing you need. 

7. Quality Proofreading

Yes, proofreading is mentioned above, but I’m repeating it because it’s THAT important.

The last thing you want is to hire a content writer who doesn’t check their work! No matter how many keywords appear or how relevant the content is, it doesn’t mean a thing if it has a ton of errors. Trust me. Your customers will notice if the writing itself looks sloppy. Your ideal content writer will check and double-check to ensure everything looks good before hitting ‘SEND’. 

Turn To FocusCopy For All Your Content Writing Needs

As a business owner, time isn’t usually on your side. Your decisions need to be intelligent and quick (but not too quick). 

If you’re looking for content writers with loads of experience, FocusCopy is the team assembled for you – ready when you are. Skip out on printing resumes and scheduling interviews, and fast forward to the part where your writing is taken care of for you. Why search for what to look for when hiring content writers when a team with all the qualities you need already exists?

Save yourself the search and schedule a call with the FocusCopy team today.

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