What should I be looking for in a writer?

You’ve finally decided to hire a writer to create engaging, attention-grabbing content for you. But where do you start? More importantly, what should you be looking for in a writer?

This article seeks to provide clients with a comprehensive understanding of the selection process and the key things they should be looking out for in a writer.

I have a preferred tone and writing style in mind. How do I find a writer to cater to my needs?

The content creation and copywriting market is flooded with capable, articulate and professional writers. However, each writer has their own tone and style. Nonetheless, there are extremely versatile writers who’ve been in the industry and have garnered enough experience to be able to cater to your specific requirements.

The best method of searching for a trusted, professional writer is, in our opinion, through word-of-mouth. If your peers have received results that they’re satisfied with, this may be a good indication that you could also work with the same writer. Otherwise, you can browse subreddits such as r/HireaWriter or r/ForHire in order to find your ideal writer. Alternatively, you can create your own hiring post on such subreddits conveying precisely what it is you’re looking for. You’re guaranteed to receive a multitude of expressions of interest, but ensure you view their portfolio or run a paid trial sample in order to filter out the unsuitable writers.

It’s also important to keep an open mind when it comes to tone, writing style and content. For content creators and copywriters who have been doing what we do for years, we are sometimes in a better position to know what works and what doesn’t. A good copywriter will conduct at least some degree of research. For example, if you’re seeking marketing material, the copywriter should ideally conduct extensive research into your target market, competitors, as well as external and internal factors that may affect the effectiveness of the content.

What’s this SEO thing all about anyway?

SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) utilises keywords, terms and phrases that generate traffic to your website or blog. Ultimately, the purpose of incorporating SEO-friendly articles is to make your website or blog search engine friendly. It also helps to build links and conveys the unique value of your website or blog.

SEO is complex and changes quite often. However, it’s easy to understand the basics and even a writer with a small amount of basic SEO knowledge can help make a significant difference.

Refer to Figure 1 below dubbed “Mozlow’s hierarchy of SEO needs”, based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; a theory of psychology that places the fundamental human needs and advanced needs into a pyramid model of prioritization.

With that in mind, it is our firm belief that SEO is not the end-all of content creation. There are way too many brands, companies and individuals who hire writers to churn out garbage content stuffed full of “keywords” and phrases — even when it doesn’t make sense to do so.

In our opinion, what’s important is the quality of the content. That’s not to say that SEO-friendly content lacks quality. However, there’s an important difference between being SEO-friendly and asking your writers to meet ineffectual targets such as Yoast and/or Hemmingway ratings or Grammarly-based targets. While these tools can be of assistance to a certain extent, clients should not be holding writers strictly to the standards set by these SEO tools. In fact, the more you demand that the writer crams in “keywords” or change their content to pass any Yoast, Hemmingway and Grammarly “test”, the reality is that you’re probably sacrificing the actual quality of the content for… what exactly?

As aforementioned, SEO is always changing. Likewise, Google’s search result algorithms are constantly changing. What may work today may not work tomorrow. So you get your SEO-stuffed article to the front page one day. What’s there to prevent your ranking from dropping down in the future? You don’t want your content to look like it’s been written by AI. Human beings, consumers and users relate to other human beings.

What’s the typical rate for hiring a copywriter?

This is tricky as those with different levels of experience, areas of expertise and other factors will quote significantly differently from writer to writer. For writers who are specifically dedicated to a certain niche and who have had many years of experience under their belt, you can expect to be charged from $0.4 to $1 per word.

For research-intensive material (depending on the topic and the writer’s familiarity with the topic), you can expect to be charged approximately $0.3 to $1 per word. However, some writers may charge less while others may charge substantially more. Again, it depends on their reputation, experience and the intensity of research.

For material that requires minimal to no research, professional writers will typically charge upwards of $0.15 to $0.3 per word.

Keep in mind that hiring a well-reputed, results-oriented writer is an investment. Save yourself the headache of finding an ill-fitted writer to partner with. If their pricing seems too good to be true, there’s a reason for that. Of course, some will argue that pricing has no correlation to quality.

We firmly argue that this is a complete myth.

Experienced professional writers who know their worth will understandably charge more than somebody who’s just starting out. We want to highlight that a writer’s portfolio is everything. By perusing content that they’ve written before and gaining an understanding of their writing style, tone and previous results, you’ll save yourself the regret of “taking a chance” — and your wallet will thank you for it in the long run.

Of course, there’s always going to be exceptions. New freelancers will undoubtedly charge less in order to create content for their portfolios. Make no mistake, the market is remarkably competitive and with so many professional, quality-oriented writers out there, there will definitely be fantastic writers offering below-market rates in order to keep up with the competition.

Concluding remarks

Finding a writer who you can trust to provide you with quality content and help you or your business achieve results doesn’t always have to be a difficult process. However, some degree of trial-and-error is not uncommon — individual content writers have their own ways of working, whether it pertains to deliverables, content, tone and/or style.

Bear in mind that with content writing, you get what you pay for. If their rates look too good to be true, do your research. Peruse their portfolio. Inquire about the past results they’ve helped other clients accomplish. Ask them to undergo a paid trial before making any commitments to larger projects.

If you’d like any further information, feel free to contact us via any of our socials or fill out our inquiry form here. We’re here to ensure that you stay well-informed and have the necessary information in order to achieve the best results for yourself, your brand or your company.

Published by Steff

Professional copywriter.

2 thoughts on “What should I be looking for in a writer?

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