How to Hire a Writer

Want to grow your business? Would you like to work smarter and not just harder? One of the best ways to do this is by hiring a writer. Content on your website, writing blog posts, posting to social media is a fantastic way to show you are a knowledgeable resource in your industry, reach more than your current customer base and earn new customers. Having content helps direct customers to you, develop your brand and voice and is often the first time a potential customer will have contact with you.  It can be a daunting task and be overwhelming to start looking for a freelance writer. There are many writers that could potentially help your business. How do you find the right writer for your business?

Before you hire a writer, there are a few questions to ask yourself. Have you done a content audit and prepared a strategy for your content?  It’s not enough to have fantastic content. Your content will do a lot of work for you. It tells your company story, it speaks for you as you and will set you up for making money. Some of these things a writer can help you with or you need a consultation with a company that specializes in content audits and strategy. They can take a look at your web development, current content, SEO, lead generation and give you feedback. Whether you are just getting started or an established business, it’s good to take a long, hard look at where you are and where you are headed. It’s no longer enough to do what you have always done.

  1. Know what skills best fit your company and style. Are you looking to improve where people find you in the search engines (also known as search engine optimization or SEO), create weekly blog posts, or do you need someone to create a long-term content strategy that you can then do the writing yourself? It’s ok to be unsure about what you are looking for, so talk to several writers. Make sure you know and share what your budget for content creation will be so the suggestions are in line with what you are willing to invest. A good expectation is $150-$250 per article.
  2. Be prepared to work extensively with your writer. You are the expert in your industry so you will need to articulate the keywords, context and industry specifics to them. It’s essential that you have developed your customer personas for your business and your brand voice is the same in all your content. Are you going to include social media posts and graphics in your content request?
  3. Ask questions. All professional writers will be able to answer questions or help you understand your content needs, have a portfolio of their writing samples and past client posts.
  4. Pay for a sample article. Ask your potential writer to create an original, paid sample article for your business. Writers will understand this and have a price ready for a sample article. This will ensure they have the right tone for your company and you can work together successfully.
  5. Evaluate the article submitted to you. Start by running a check for grammar and spelling. If this isn’t your strength, Grammarly is a useful tool for this. Ask yourself “Does the writer clearly understand your customers and your business? Is this writer someone you can have a hard conversation with? Is this someone that will take direction from you? Will they push back on your ideas in a respectful way, to help you understand why they are correct?

Last but not least – Agree on the details of the contract. This includes pricing, revisions, graphics and word count, and the amount of hours you have with the writer each month. Find out if the cost will include an estimate of the time for meetings, or if those are extra. Be willing to pay for meetings so you can go over content topics, offer feedback and monitor progress towards your goals.  As long as it works for both of you, it may be ok to work on piece by piece contract.

Using a professional writer gives your content the purpose it needs to take your company to the next level, and finding the right writer may take some time. Invest that time into finding the right writer for you and your business. It’s better to have the writer that fits perfectly in your company than a cheap writer that’s only ok.

Guest Author Bio

Brandie McCallum works with companies to build business, 140 characters or more at a time. Over the past 10 years, she’s written content for startups, tech companies, and other small businesses to drive conversations with their customers and prospects. Brandie did this in one of two ways: by writing content for their blogs, email newsletters, white papers, and ebooks, by creating snack-sized content on their various social media accounts that drive traffic back to the company website.  When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling, being a foodie and going to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

You can find Brandie on LinkedIn.