If, on the very first try, you land the perfect writer to develop your content, consider yourself either incredibly lucky, or incredibly flexible with regards to what you think makes content perfect.
Some flexibility is key, of course. If you commission a blog post that’s meant to be funny and the writer’s sense of humor is a little more dry and witty than silly and fun, you may find that that’s actually a better fit than what you’d envisioned. Certainly, a big part of why you hire a specific writer is because you trust their judgment. In fact, that’s a big part of hiring anyone. You might not know the most efficient way to code a piece of software, so you hire a programmer who does.
But, even when you weed out the writers who just aren’t that good, some good writers aren’t a great fit for every project. If you wind up with a writer who just isn’t cutting it, for any reason, here’s how you can apply what you’ve learned when you hire your next writer:
Hire the Right Way
If you’re not willing to pay more than a penny a word, you might be able to hire a talented writer who’s desperate to get their start in the field, but they’ll likely be inexperienced. Best-case scenario, they’ll use your project for practice and then move on. Hire through a freelance writer website or forums and agencies that are known for connecting good writers with good clients, and offer pay that is proportionate to the results that you’re expecting.
Take a Test Run
Before you task your new writer with pumping out thirty blog posts, pick out a handful of writers and have them write one or two pieces each. If they all impress you, great, you have a whole bunch of writers to create your content for you. More likely, you’ll find that you get one or two writers out of a dozen who have the perfect voice and sufficient ability to produce what you’re after.
Be Clear, But not Overwhelming, in Instructions
A technical manual demands of the writer that they study the subject and follow some fairly strict guidelines. An informal blog post or ad copy is a little more flexible. You need to give clear instructions on what you’re after, but when your instructions go on twice as long as the finished piece is going to be, you may find that nobody can produce precisely what you’re after and you may simply need to develop a more flexible approach to developing content.
Your best bet is simply going to be to start looking for writers well before you need to release the content. Wait until the deadline is right around the corner and you’ll wind up taking what you can get. Hook up with the right writers early in the process and you’ll have the time to go back and forth with them until they’re clear on what’s expected and how to deliver it.
Writer Bio: Gilbert S is a writer and artist who lives in rural New Mexico with his dog, Sir Kay, and his wife.