Hiring a freelance writer is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to get content for your business. But how do you know you’ve chosen the right writer?
Truth be told, not all freelance writers will be able to write for your business. Yes, it’s their job to write well, but that doesn’t automatically make them a perfect fit. You’ve worked hard to cultivate a particular brand image, and things like tone, syntax, grammar, and word choice all have the power to either support or stifle that image.
Before you give the green light to a freelance writer, consider the following telltale factors that will prove you’ve found the right hands to speak your brand voice:
3 Ways to Know You’ve Found the Right Freelance Writer
Finding an exceptional freelance writer doesn’t always mean he or she will mesh with your business. Cultural fit is every bit as important as skill, and not all writers will fit the bill. Here’s how you can tell for sure BEFORE you invest in a writer:
#1 – They Ask the Right Questions
Good writers know that every business is unique. Before they write, they need to know what makes yours special. They will ask questions about your goals, your company, and other important facets to determine how to stylize their writing.
They should also ask deeper level questions, like what keywords you want to rank for, what you’re already ranking for, who your target audience is, and what your readers should take away from your content.
If your writer isn’t asking questions beyond the basics (ie What do you want me to write about?), you should probably keep looking.
#2 – They Have Experience in Your Industry
Not having experience in your industry isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, depending on your business. But in most cases, it helps to know things about the industry that only insiders would know.
If you’re creating content for a niche group, such as people who rebuild classic cars, your writer should have some in-depth knowledge and terminology of classic cars. Otherwise, you run the risk of the writer overgeneralizing information without substance or rehashing the obvious (although it might not be so obvious for the writer).
#3 – They’re Invested in Your Goals as Much as You Are
Whatever your content goal, be it SEO, social shares, or conversions, your writer should be able to craft content that will meet those goals.
Not all content is created equally. Each piece has a unique purpose, and the writer is responsible for tailoring their words to match that purpose. Some writers only know how to write for SEO purposes, while others are gifted in creating effective landing pages that will boost your conversions.
Before you pick a writer, pick a goal. Then, find a writer who is best able to help you achieve that goal.
One Final Test to Find the Right Freelance Writer
If you find a writer that meets the above criteria, consider offering them a test assignment to see what your working relationship might look like. You could offer to pay them for the test assignment if you decide to use it. Many writers are acclimated to producing samples or test assignments, kind of like an audition, so doing so should come as no surprise.
Aside from the actual content they produce during this test assignment, pay attention to other factors, like communications, turnaround time, and how well they followed directions. All of these things can tell you a lot about what you can expect moving forward.
There are plenty of great writers out there, but choosing the right freelance writer for your business isn’t a decision to take lightly. When you take the time to be picky, you’ll be set for content success.