There are a lot of people who call themselves content writers. It seems to be the catch phrase in the freelance world. They reason, “If content marketing is in, then I need to call myself a content writer.”
This, understandably, creates confusion for those who hire content writers. After all, you can’t call yourself a doctor if you aren’t one, right? But this scenario often leads to frustration and disappointment and can throttle the openness a person has to working with content writers in the future.
Mind the Gap between aspiration and experience.
So how can someone bill themselves as a content writer if they aren’t one? It’s simple. There isn’t a degree, certification, or board to manage those who use the term content writer. But even if those things were in existence, I don’t think it would change much.
A good content writer is known by the results he or she has produced for clients. In the end, results are the only measuring stick that matters.
If you pick a good content writer, you will likely have a great experience. If you pick someone posing as a content writer, you may just overlook anyone else who uses that same title.
Here is what to look for:
Do they ask for a “buyer profile” or “buyer persona” first? This is Marketing 101.
Do they ask for the final form (or I like to say distribution channel) in which that content will appear? You write differently for the web than you do print.
Do they ask for a list of keywords that you’ve refined through research and testing? Some words are simply weighted more than others based on the industry or vertical in which you exist.
Do they ask about a call to action? Marketing is measurable and should be measured.
Do they offer ideas that might improve your response rate? Perspective matters.
Content writers must:
Think like a salesperson.
Appreciate the form and function of marketing technology.
Parse messages with an understanding of the unique characteristics of a variety of marketing channels.
Create content with search engine optimization and search engine marketing in mind.
Act on behalf of a client much like a consultant or coach.
Communicate like a human.
If you don’t see these qualities represented in the candidate you’re considering, then pass. You’ll be glad you did.
What do you look for when you hire a content writer?
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