Three rules for hiring a content writer
By Fiona Clark
If you're considering writing content for your website, read this first…
Recently, a friend shared with me a list called ’10 Signs You are a Grammar Nerd’. And let me tell you…. I tick every box. Unashamedly so. Number four (“You feel compelled to correct poorly written public signs”) and number ten (“You mentally edit all the books and magazines you read”) are my absolute favourites. Like a mathematician obsesses over numbers, I obsess over words. As a professional content writer, every day at work is like my birthday.
But not everyone is bursting with excitement and abundant happiness over words. While my passion for precision in writing content dominates a high percentage of my thoughts each day, I realise that not everyone feels the same. Talking to some of my clients, it becomes clear that writing, can in fact, cause of a lot of stress and anxiety, especially when writing for critical elements of business. A good example of this, occurs during the web design process, when entrepreneurs set about writing the web copy for their business website. Many articulate, very intelligent and hard-working business owners attempt this feat of linguistic engineering time after time. After all – how hard can it be? The answer is, in fact, very. Sitting down in front of your computer to write copy, can pose a challenge for the smartest of people.
Step away from the pain
Just as you wouldn’t perform dental treatment on yourself, I don’t recommend you put yourself through the pain of trying to compose one of the very cornerstones of your company’s public image and one of your most valuable marketing tools. Potential new clients making their first visit to your website, are making value judgements based on what they see.
“Impressions matter, and as we all know, they are lasting. At the very least, you want your copy to embed your brand and communicate your main messages. But more than that, you want it to convey your business identity, its inherent personality and what you stand for, through the medium of writing.”
Thankfully, there are skilled wordsmiths out there to craft bespoke and personalised copy for your individual website. And if you’re unsure where to start with hiring a content writer to create your web copy, here are three important guidelines to help.
3 rules for hiring a content writer
Make sure your content writer gets to know the business and its background in as much detail as possible.
Producing web copy for a client requires a thorough understanding of the business and the team behind it. Don’t be shy of this. A good content writer becomes an extension of your team for the time they are working with you. Letting them get close enables the content writer to begin to find the correct tone; after all, they’re breathing life into your message and brand, via their own repertoire of words. One suggestion is for the content writer to attend one or two team meetings (depending on the size of your business and the project), as this usually gives them a good insight into the character of your business and how you like to interact with others.
Be prepared to liaise with your content writer.
Give your content writer an exact brief, that nails down exactly what you want written, what the message is and who the intended audience is. Give as much detail as you can. Be specific and talk it through until the writer is clear on the instructions. Are you adding extra services/pages? Are you revamping existing pages – with what purpose? Sometimes starting from scratch isn’t necessary. Be available to answer emails and further questions as you go. Writing content is a process and it will require you to read and approve what has been composed. A respectable content writer will allow for drafts with revisions in the quoted price.
Hire a content writer with a good reputation.
Your content writer needs to know their own craft, including how to employ a subtle, almost undetectable, sales technique through their expert use of the English language. Being a good content writer does not simply mean that you can structure paragraphs, spell and punctuate sentences accurately. A successful content writer knows how to have maximum impact with concision and has a wide repertoire of literary and scholarly devices, knowing when and where to use them in the copy. Many people are good writers, but a skilled content writer can launch your business to the next level with engaging, influential and distinctive copy.
Let the experts take the strain
Our lives today are filled with words, more than our predecessors’ lives ever were. Texting, tweeting, blogging, posting, to name but a few. With the explosion over the last decade of the monsters that are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn it’s impossible to escape words. And I for one LOVE IT. My job as a content writer is all about using words to market your products or services; and it’s true what they say, when you find a job that you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. So, hire your very own grammar nerd today, to take the worry out of words. You (and they) will be very glad you did.
About Fiona Clark
Fiona Clark is a content writer and bid writer and is Head of Spiral Glass Professional Writing Services, based near Newcastle, in the North East of England.
Fiona works alongside businesses and organisations to find the right words to improve their competitiveness in today’s market. She steers companies through the ever-growing maze that is content marketing.
As an English Language expert, Fiona is most happy when surrounded by books and words. She has an excellent track record of writing, editing and preparing distinctive, original and winning content.
Find out more on Fiona’s website www.spiral-glass.com