So, you need web content that enthralls, educates and entices your target market. It has to be error free, utilize SEO strategies, and be delivered on time. Superficial sub-par filler just won’t do. You need content that truly speaks to and converts audiences. You don’t have the time or writerly finesse to pull it off yourself leaving you with one alternative: you must hire a content writer. But from the vast sea of potential candidates, how do you select the one that will not just get the job done but will exceed your expectations? Here are some criteria to look for when separating the superb from the merely so-so.
Any writer worth hiring will have pragmatic systems in place and a competent demeanor. For instance, he or she should answer emails in a timely fashion, deliver quotes quickly, ask intelligent questions and be well groomed. They should also be able to provide you with a portfolio that has recent samples of their work.
Not every qualified writer has a university degree, but all have some level of training. Online certificates, writer’s workshops and mentorship programs can all offer practical insights into the craft of writing. However, a university degree in creative writing, journalism, English literature or communications, does indicate an above average dedication to the way of the wordsmith.
The person you hire to craft your web content should have writing experience that’s specific to the digital sphere. You want to hire a writer who understands the stylistic and SEO components required to effectively reach a web audience. Even if their online writing experience is limited only to their own blog, it’s still an indicator that they have a degree of web literacy that not every writer possesses.
It’s also useful if the writer in question has written in a professional capacity before. So while your friend Jane might write fanfiction on the weekends and may also be quite bright, she’s not likely to be the best choice for scribing your web content. It’s kind of like the difference between hiring the auto enthusiast with the hot rod that lives next door or hiring a professional mechanic. One’s a hobbyist, the other is a highly trained and skilled expert.
It may seem like a skill better suited to shrinks and bartenders, but empathy is a necessary component in writing for the web. It’s crucial that the writer can put themselves in the mindset of your target audience, thereby making the content that’s produced relatable to that audience. It’s also great to have someone working for you who understands where you’re coming from and what you’re trying to achieve.
More than any other quality, passion is a marker of future excellence. It’s that intangible force that pushes individuals to go above and beyond, not for any external reward, but because of an inherent desire for brilliance in the work they craft. Passion in a content writer will lead to web writing that exceeds all expectations. It’s a tangible thing and you’ll recognize it when you see it. More importantly, your audience will respond to that passion, compelling them to take actions that help your business to thrive.
Putting it all together
When you find a writer with experience and training who also demonstrates professionalism, empathy and passion, you know you’ve found a winner.