Discover how to hire a content writer that best suits your brand’s needs
Content Marketing is at the heart of all marketing strategies today, from social media captions and ad copy to blogs and articles. Many marketing channels communicate with the audience through writing. And while there are many who can write, being a GOOD content writer is an entirely different story.
Today, the market has become saturated with an influx of content writers; however, when it comes to finding someone really good at the job, it’s a difficult feat in itself. That’s because a writer has to organically attract and engage the audience in a way that ensures they’d want to come back for reading more.
A common reason for ending up with a subpar content writer is that people underestimate the art of writing. This is why so many companies seek to know how to hire a content writer for their business needs.
Keeping that in mind, this article will discuss the process of hiring professional content writing services who have the required skillset to address your business needs.
Types of Content Writers and The Different Jobs They Do
Content writing today covers a vast array of different writing jobs. From small, hard hitting social media captions, to web copies, blogs, and e-books. And with so many types of content produced for a business’s marketing plan, writers with different expertise are bought in to help create the type of content a brand needs.
The ones we will discuss today are the most popular content writing roles that we see in demand nowadays. Let’s take a look at what each of these roles pertain to.
Blogs typically have a casual tone, and are relatively shorter than articles. Bloggers and blog writing services have the advantage of being conversational in their writing style which gives them more space to be creative. However, writing lengthy articles with lots of facts and statistics can be a daunting task for a blog writer. And here lies the difference between an article writer and a blogger.
E-books are often long form content that is structured similar to an actual, physical book. And many people often hire an e-book writer to write, structure, and publish an e-book on their behalf. This is a job that requires a different set of writing skills compared to a blogger or an academic writer, and is often found as a separate skill among those providing content writing services.
Academic writers are a specific kind of content writers like no other. These service providers are often quite skilled in a specific subject, and use that expertise to create educating and informative content for students, such as answer guides or study notes. Websites like Sparknotes, Cliffnotes, and chegg.com are examples of projects that require the help of an academic writer.
Hiring a web copywriter means that you require professional help in order to create an engaging web copy for your website, and one that is able to convert its readers. A web copywriter knows exactly how to format a webpage in order to provide a smooth, informative browsing experience that leads the reader into performing the action you expect from them.
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A marketing copywriter is one who is skilled in creating compelling marketing copies required for sales and advertising purposes. That includes content such as social media copies, call-to-actions for banners, social media campaigns, and websites. The ability to understand your brand and the psyche of its consumers is a must-have for copywriting services providers.
As the name suggests, these writers are experts at creating content that engages its audience, and allows it to influence their emotions in a way that suits the orator. A speech writer is a master at exploiting and manipulating the readers’ emotions, and is often used by those who are looking for the right words to express their message to their audience, such as politicians, influencers, and more.
Technical content writer
A technical content writer is a professional who creates highly technical pieces of content, such as how-to guides, project documentations, user manuals, and the like. These experts are hired to create easy-to-understand pieces of content out of highly complex topics, in order to help a layperson, understand it easily.
Tips on what to look for when hiring a content writer?
According to research, 60% of content creators find it difficult to produce content consistently. Meanwhile, 65% of content marketers say that it is challenging to produce engaging content. This means that companies find it a struggle to find writers who can consistently create engaging content.
However, there are a few ways you can ensure that the resource you hire is not only a good fit within your company, but is highly productive too.
Some of the best tips to ensure that you’re able to hire the best resource possible include the ones listed below.
Tip#1 – No Compromise on Quality
When we talk about how to hire a content writer for our business, there are a few factors where we can afford to be flexible if the resource is worth it.
However, one factor whose presence is critical, is the quality of the content produced. No matter what your budget, quality is of the utmost importance. Producing content less frequently will hurt you less in the long term compared to producing high volumes of subpar content.
Tip#2 – Have a Somewhat Flexible Budget if Possible
It’s understandable that there are many businesses out there who are working with very tight budgets. However, there are times where a resource that is slightly out of your budget is exactly the one that your business would need to thrive.
That is why, when possible, try to have your hiring budget flexible, in order to ensure that no exceptional resource is lost due to budgetary constraints.
Tip#3 – Look for One Who Writes for the Readers
Content writers are often asked to create content that ranks well on search engines, in order to boost brand visibility. And while the piece of content they produce would succeed in doing so, it will often hold no interest for its prospective consumers.
In order to engage with and convert your readers, you need to hire a content writer who understand what your consumers are looking for, and addresses that in their content.
Tip#4 – Assess if They Can Do More Than Just Write
Content writing today, especially if we talk about copywriting or SEO content production, is more than just writing. For starters, it requires tasks such as exceptional research skills, a flair for understanding the psyche of the reader, and a knack for crafting content that keeps the reader hooked throughout.
That is why, when hiring a content writer, you need to make sure that they aren’t a one-trick pony, and can adapt to new developments as per the project’s needs.
What will a content writer cost me?
While there is no standard salary or base fee for a content writer, the cost may vary from area city to city, as well as the type of content writing or copywriting services they provide. Even the level of expertise and experience of your resources plays a part in deciding the salary or compensation for your hired content writing resource.
For example, if you hire an SEO content writer, they will be required to offer additional services such as on-page SEO besides writing. Therefore, they will often be paid more than your average writer. Similarly, a freelancer will only charge a per-hour or per-project rate from you, which mean you won’t have to pay for a consistent salary or benefits such as health insurance.
Some of the most popular sources who compare salaries for similar roles across the country say that the salary a content writer working for a marketing agency earns is usually between $34,000 and $77,000. For those confused by this massive difference between the upper and lower ends of this salary scale, you need to understand that this salary scale is often influenced by factors such as the industry, or the type of content they produce.
Freelance or independent contractors, on the other hand, often charge more, which can be counterproductive for the long-term. On average, an experienced freelance content or copywriter may even charge hundreds of dollars an hour, depending on the type of services they provide.
Where can I find content writers for hire?
Now that you know the different types of content writers, what they cost, and tips on hiring a well-suited content writer, you should know where to look for these talented individuals. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular platforms where you can find the resource you are looking for, easily.
Common Freelancing Platforms
One of the easiest places you can go to look for service providers are the popular freelancing websites common among writers nowadays. Upwork, Peopleperhour, Freelancer, and others are home to a large set of content writing profiles offering a wide array of writing services.
You can choose from among them according to the type of content you need, your budget, and other factors, by using the filter function on these sites. Moreover, the reviews left by previous customers of these freelancers are also available on the platform, making it easy to choose a reliable service provider.
Referrals and Word of Mouth
Another great way to find good content writing resources is through referrals and word of mouth. Look for people in your circle who have had the need to hire a content writer for their business. Ask them if they have someone who they would like to refer to you.
One of the benefits of this mode of finding the right resource is that it allows you find and hire content writers that have already been tried and tested by people among your contacts. That makes it a little less of a hassle to judge the quality of the work they provide, and allows for better communication.
Social Media and Professional Networking Platforms
Another great way to connect with professionals is to browse different social media platforms and professional networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Nowadays, a lot of independent contractors, including content writers, advertise their services on these platforms.
The best part about using this medium is that a large number of people already use these platforms for themselves. That means that no extra effort is needed to familiarize themselves with something new, making hiring a content writer easier.
Freelance Vs. in-house content writers Vs. Agency: How to choose the right one?
Knowing where to find content creators and writers is only a small part of the resource hiring process. First, you need to decide the type of service provider that you want to hire for the required writing services.
Now currently, there are three major types of content writers for hire.
- Freelance content writers
- In-house/On-site content writers
- Content writing agencies
Let’s take a look at each of these types before you can start hiring content writers for your company projects.
The Budget Friendly Freelance Content Writers
Freelance writers often are useful when you need content for a one-off project or task. In such cases, hiring an in-house resource can be a bad use of your budget, and will be more effort than its worth. However, hiring a professional service provider experienced in your niche can be not only be the perfect solution, it is also economical.
The Flexibility of an In-House Writer
An in-house or on-site resource, on the other hand, offers a freedom and flexibility to the process. That is because it allows businesses to tweak and fix their required content as many times as they want, without running the bill up due to additional revisions or last-minute brief changes. Moreover, with the resource on-hand, they can also make changes in real time without issue.
The One-Stop Solution That is the Hallmark of a Content Agency
While they may cost more than a freelance or in-house writer, content agencies offer far more flexibility in terms of the kind of content they can help you produce. Moreover, they often offer additional, value-added services that can help your content rank better as well as boost conversion rates. Plus, they offer a variety of packages based on the services you require.
Choosing the writer that best fits your company needs
Suppose you have found a few candidates who you believe are perfect to hire as content writers for your company. Yet, you do not know how they will fare within your existing team dynamic. Today, a person who fits well within your existing team is the one you want.
Logically, the larger the pool of candidates, the higher the chance that you will find the right candidate that fits your job description, and is the right fit for your team. Let’s talk about a few tips that can help you generate such a pool of skilled candidates.
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Using Multiple Platforms and Avenues to Look for the Required Talent
Obviously, the more places you look for to hire a content writer, the greater the chances that you’ll find a larger number of candidates that fit the profile. That is why, when hiring content writers for your company, expand your search radius and include many different professional platforms and networking avenues to find the right available talent.
Be Clear About What You Need from the Hired Resource
Another great way to ensure that you gather together a pool of relevant resources, is to be clear with what you expect from the hired resource. A clear and concise job description will help filter out the majority of those who do not fit your profile completely, leaving only a few to filter out when compiling a list of suitable content writing candidates.
Do Your Research
Researching what to look for when hiring a content writer, or any other resource, is highly necessary for a recruiter. Now, it doesn’t mean that you have to go for an in-depth analysis of your potential candidate. However, you still need a basic level of understanding of their role and duties, in order to vet them to check if they are a fit for your job profile.
Allow for Multiple Ways in Which a Candidate Can Apply
Not every candidate prefers using email or phone to apply for a job. Some prefer using the messaging systems on popular networking sites or social media platforms to apply for a job post they see. And some prefer using the company’s website to do so. Therefore, always allow multiple ways for a candidate to apply, in order to avoid missing out on a potentially perfect candidate.
Test Your Applicants Via a Paid Task or Two
Finally, with something as technical as content writing, you do need to test your shortlisted candidates as a last test in order to find the perfect candidate. Offering a paid trial or even a paid task or two can help you judge the quality of their content, while at the same time see how they work with your team.
Testing your content writers: What do you need to look for
Content writing is a highly technical job that often requires a test of the candidate’s skills before they can be hired for the job. But for those who do not know what it takes to be a good writer, how can they test their candidates.
While research can take you as far as explaining what you need to look for when hiring content writers, creating an all-encompassing test can still be a difficult task. You need to devise a way to check if they have various skills necessary to be a good content or copywriter. For example, do they know the difference between copywriting and content writing? Or are they aware of the differences between copyediting vs. proofreading?
We have compiled the list of factors to test for into two categories: important, and bonus skills. Let’s take a look at what they are.
The most important factors to consider:
The factors below are some of the most important that you need to test for when hiring content writers. Let’s find out what they are.
Critical Factor 1: Ask for their portfolio
A portfolio is a collection of your previous work, which is designed to show a potential recruiter the quality of work that you produce. Many service providers, when they start to learn how to become a copywriter or a content writer, start maintaining a portfolio of the content they create. And as a recruiter, it is a great idea to ask them for one.
Critical Factor 2: Assess their expertise
Search around and ask previous clients of the content writers you short list to figure out their level of expertise. While you may get a general idea of their level of skill by studying their content writing or copywriting portfolio, it doesn’t hurt to ask those who have dealt with those resources for their feedback.
Critical Factor 3: Check if they have skills that you need for your business
Checking to see if they have the right skills is highly necessary when hiring a content writer. For example, your brand needs a copywriter who knows how to write compelling marketing copy to boost your conversion rates. Now, unless your chosen candidate is skilled in the type of service you need, no matter their experience, they will not be a good fit for your company.
Critical Factor 4: Discuss your deadlines and publishing schedules
You also need to discuss with your shortlisted candidates the severity of your deadlines as well as your established publishing schedules. That is because you need to figure out if they will be able to deliver the work required of them within the timeframe you need, as failure to do so may have a negative impact on your content marketing strategy.
Critical Factor 5: Check if they can work within your budget
Finally, you need to figure out if they are able to work within your budget. There may be a few candidates who might seem like the ideal content writer profiles for your job description. However, they may end up asking for a higher compensation than what your budget affords.
Additional factors for a writer that fits your company better:
If you have more than one candidate that checks off every critical factor on your list, the following are some bonuses which might help you select and hire a content writer that offers the best value for your money.
Bonus Factor 1: How Excited Are They to Work with You
If the candidate is excited to join your company, that shows that there is a high chance that the content writer will go above and beyond what’s asked of them and deliver some truly remarkable pieces of content.
Bonus Factor 2: What Do Their Referrals and Past Client Reviews Say
A candidate with glowing reviews that portray them as an easygoing, courteous, and flexible person who doesn’t shy away from hard work, then hiring them is a no-brainer for the company. That is why, always check user reviews and client referrals.
Bonus Factor 3: Have They Worked Within Your Industry Before
If your shortlisted candidate has worked for the same industry as your company before, they will find it easier to adapt due to their familiarity with the niche. And between two candidates where one is more familiar with the needs of your industry, it is an obvious choice to hire them to give yourself an edge.
Bonus Factor 4: How Similar Are They to Your Prospective Consumers
Suppose your content is targeted to foodies who like to go out and explore new and intriguing cuisine, and you have a prospective writer who is a foodie themselves, then hiring them would give you a boost. As the writer would be able to understand your audience better, they will be able to write better.
Ready to hire your content writing resource?
Finding a good content writer can become easier if businesses and recruiters modify their hiring process that would allow them to better assess a candidate’s compatibility with the company. For example, hiring a creative content writer when you need a web copywriter can be counter-productive to your whole hiring process.
However, if you follow the tips and tricks given above, and check to see if your chosen candidates fit the factors described earlier, you will be able to hire a content writer quite easily.
What does a content writer Do?
Content writers work with advertising and marketing agencies to produce engaging articles and blogs to organically attract the target audiences of a business.
How to become a content writer?
To become a content writer, one has to have good communication and research skills, grammatically-sound writing, and creativity. Moreover, different types of content writing require different skills. For example, if you desire to write articles, learning how to write an article that grabs the attention of its readers is going to help you more than to learn how to write fiction.
From where to hire a content writer?
Content writers can be found on a number of platforms. For hiring freelancers, you can search Upwork and Fiver. Whereas LinkedIn is an excellent place to find full-time content writers.
Is content writing easy?
No, it’s a common misconception that content writing is an easy job. While the difficulty level actually depends on the market niche, one has to understand how to switch writing styles.