Things That You Should Know in Order to Hire a Quality Content Writer
2016 October 17
Hiring the right content writer and editor can have a huge impact on how your message gets presented before your prospects, clients, customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders in your business. They create, edit, correct, and make the blog posts, emails, website copy, Facebook, and other social media posts come alive. Hence, their roles are as important as traditional marketers.
Interestingly, most traditional marketers have to influence and convince retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and sometimes influencers like doctors (in case of medical representatives). But, in a B2C setting, they rarely reach out to the end-customer until and unless they are in direct sales marketing. Mass media promotions and communications are usually handled by a media or advertising agency or a special department of the company.
Content writers have to reach your final consumers directly. So, getting the right tone and tenor is very important. They have to convince the influencers as well as the end users and this makes the job challenging. Also, they need to have good knowledge about SEO and a clear idea about the target audience because depending on the audience, the tone of the same content may have to be tweaked. A quality content writer knows how to rephrase and repurpose good content depending on the interests and expectations of their readers.
Qualities you must look for when hiring a content writer
1. Writing prowess
Ability to write is obvious and should be the most important criteria that you should check when hiring a content writer. Start with the basics. Can they construct legitimate sentences? Do they have a basic understanding and knowledge of grammar? What is their basic aptitude and are they up-to-date with current affairs and concepts relevant to the field? Also, see if they can emote and express their views properly.
Many writers can write grammatically-correct and perfectly comprehensible sentences but they don’t appeal to the reader. Also, do they have a tendency to use bunkum or fluff to elongate the piece or do they have a tendency to be pompous to impress? These are qualities that shouldn’t be encouraged.
2. Ability to adapt to situations
A content writer will often have to write on short, sometimes ill-formed client briefs and without adequate information. They may also have to change the tone or information they have used at short notice. So, they have to be adaptive and ready to change quickly.
Content writing is a job that can’t always be monitored, especially if there is no separate editor. They will have to be motivated and should be willing to check and correct their own mistakes; they can’t expect to be spoon-fed. They should also have the ability to incorporate the recommendations that are made through feedbacks and critiques in their writing.
4. Team player
A good content writer will also have to be a good team player because he or she will have to work closely with members of the creative team like designers, editors, and also SEO executives.
Some questions that you should ask potential content writers:
1. What blogs do they regularly follow? What books have influenced them or their writing the most?
2. Do they know the difference between copy and content? Do they know the difference between writing for new age media and writing for traditional media?
3. Do they have knowledge of SEO as it relates to content and keyword research? How do they optimize their copy?
4. How do they proofread and edit their copies? Give each candidate a copy and ask them to edit it.
5. If there are disagreements over the creative process with management or a client, how will they handle these?
6. Are they punctual and do they have the ability to stick to deadlines?
7. Do they have knowledge about coding? If yes, what are the languages that they know and have used extensively in the past?
A good content marketer is a valuable asset for a company. They have to be properly nurtured and given the best possible working condition. However, you will need to have a strict selection process. Don’t give too much weight on their academic records and past achievements because a number of high achievers are not good writers or can’t express themselves properly. Rather, focus on their answers in the interview and their performance in the written tests.
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