There’s an ocean of content out there, and people only read the most engaging material. Every piece of content, from a brief Instagram blurb to a lengthy blog post represents your company’s brand to the public. It must be stunning and project the image you want. Needless to say, you need a content writer who can deliver this for you. Here’s a checklist for you to execute your search!
Match the writing style with your brand
There are many types of writing styles. Some pieces are more informal, purely meant for entertainment while others are more serious. There are so many different directions you can go, but it’s imperative that you appeal to your target audience, which determines style and tone. Once you have determined the image you want to convey, you’re ready to look for the perfect writer. Luckily, you have plenty of options.
Consider a freelancer or an agency
Many small businesses can’t afford a content writer, so they decide to outsource to a freelancer or agency. Your company might go through a couple of rounds of trial and error as you test out multiple freelancers or agencies. This process can be streamlined by asking multiple candidates to send a piece of content on the same topic and then evaluate the submission results. Once you find a fit, your company and the writer can begin what’s hopefully a long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnership.
Test candidates on the spot
If you’re getting ready to hire an employee, you can’t just evaluate resumes and conduct interviews. You must test your top candidate. You can do this by providing a topic during the interview and asking for a writing sample on the spot. When you receive their piece, you evaluate the writer’s work for creativity, style and technical accuracy. You can’t rely solely on past writing samples. According to Resumes Centre, “A portfolio of past content writing can be misleading. There may have been editors involved prior to the final product. It is critical to test writing skill and creative talent on the spot during the interview.”
Evaluate research skills
Staying competitive means that your content writer must know how to find the trending topics in your industry, keep tabs on your competition and conduct research on your target audience. You can assess these skills with the assignment you provide your top candidates. In the assessment, you can supply your candidate with your audience’s demographics and see how that impacts the piece.
Ask about time management
Any content writer you hire needs to know how to manage their time. A calendar must be set and adhered to as there are often urgent needs deadlines. Your content writer must be able to crank out a ton of content according to your company’s workflow. So during the interview process, be sure to include questions about the candidate’s experience with editorial calendars and writing on deadline.
Test general knowledge
While this may not be directly related to your niche or writing needs, you want to gather information about how well informed a candidate is. Is the candidate up-to-date on the latest news events and issues? This speaks to a general desire to stay informed and can be an indicator of the kind of content the writer will produce.
Drill down on the writer’s experience
It’s not necessarily critical that your applicant has experience writing in your niche. The right person may be able to embrace your brand mission and can write in a style and tone you want. If the writer is a quick study, he or she will be a valuable asset to your company. Still, it helps to know how much prior knowledge the candidate will bring to the job.
A Final Note
Finding the right fit in a content writer is no easy task, nor should it be taken lightly. You need an individual who can embrace your brand, your mission, your culture and your target audience’s needs. You may not find the right person immediately, but stick with it (and use these tips) and eventually you’ll meet the perfect match!