Article writing, ghost writing, freelance writing and blogging are all very time consuming tasks. Some people have a natural talent when it comes to writing and others could not identify a verb if it smacked them in the face!
Good news: there is a solution that will give you back the time you deserve and need for those precious and enjoyable moments in life. Outsource your article writing and content blogging to a professional and experienced freelance writer.
How do you choose a writer and one that is perfect for your content needs? Read on for some helpful tips:
1. Prepare a set of interview questions.
Be prepared on your end as well. Have a particular and specific set of questions you’d like to ask your potential writer:
- Have you ever written xyz content?
- What is your turnaround time on articles or blog posts?
- What areas or topics are you experienced with?
- Do you have assistants or a team of writers, or do you work solo?
- What type of content do you produce…letters, articles, blog posts, web content, Ezine articles, auto responders, emails and memoirs?
- Do you have a web site?
- Do you use any sort of article software?
- How do you charge…by the word or page?
You will need as many details as possible to determine the perfect writer for you and your business.
2. Speak with your potential writer directly.
Arrange a meeting to discuss some of the details over the phone. Get a feel for their personality, demeanor, attitude and professionalism. You can tell a lot about someone by speaking on the phone. What is their phone etiquette like? Do they listen without interruption? Are the polite and courteous? Were they prompt for your phone meeting? It’s the little things like this that are very important and can give you some sort of feeling for your potential writer. Attention to details is very important.
3. Make sure the content produced is original and unique.
You want and need original information created just for you within your specific guidelines. Do not hire someone that cannot produce 100% original content. You want to be sure that your article is the only one like it and that there is no duplication whatsoever. This could hurt your search engine ranking if you do not have original and unique, written just for you information.
4. Do you know how to optimize articles?
Most businesses have a set of keywords based around their products or services. It is critical that your content be SEO optimized with your specific keywords in order to rank in the search engines. You’ll need to supply those keywords to your writer and then they need to know how to work those into that content seamlessly.
5. Ask for samples of their work.
You may choose to ask for samples of work they have previously written, or have them create a short 200 to 300 word article specifically for you. Keep in mind if you have them draft an article for you with your guidelines and you like and want to keep that particular article, be prepared to pay for it. Let them know that up front. Make sure they have used the keywords you specified. Did they follow instructions in detail?
6. Ask for references.
Get references from people they have written for in the past. These can be through email of a phone conversation, whatever works best for you and your time constraints. Here again are some guidelines when checking those references:
- Did they do a good job?
- Did they provide specifically what you asked for?
- Did they meet all deadlines?
- Would you rehire them?
- What sort of results did you obtain from using their writing services?
- Did they communicate with you often?
7. Find out their hours of operation, preferred method of communication and support response time.
This is very important so that you can reach them during those specific hours. It is important to keep an open line of communication and be able to reach your writer within a reasonable amount of time. If you were to email them a question, typically how long does it take them to respond? Some writers will have a 24 hour rule. Do they prefer Skype, IM, email or phone calls? If you can’t reach them immediately, how soon will you hear back from them? I’ve had clients specifically tell me that is one of the reasons they work with me is because of my response time.
8. What is their writing style?
If your brand requires that someone portray a hip, fresh, laid back style, then make sure your content matches that strategy. If your brand is more conservative or technical, then that will require a different voice as well. Find the voice that matches your branding strategy. You want a writer that can get to know you and what you care about, someone that can learn and understand your market and be able to bounce ideas off of.
9. Copyright or no Copyright?
Most writers will keep the rights of the content and you are then limited with where you can publish and the amount of times you can publish that content. If you are interested in keeping the copyright to your content, then find a writer willing to give you the rights. In these cases, I have seen where this might cost a bit more to do; however, it is worth it in the long run.
10. What are their rates?
There are many ways writers charge and you need to know which one will fit your business the best. Do they charge by the word? Do they charge by the page? Do they have set prices for a certain amount of word content? How many re-writes do you get?
While there are article writers that charge a very low price for their articles, be very careful of this. This could be content already previously written or content they have plagiarized. Remember, you want original and unique content and you have to be willing to pay for that as it is crucial for your content needs.
There you have some helpful tips in finding your perfect article writer. Look for someone with patience and a strong desire to understand your business, your brand and details of your product or service. Choose someone who will not give up easily when things don’t go well. Writing is hard work and it takes diligence, patience, understanding and communication to get the results you are seeking.
What are some of your guidelines in choosing a writer?