Imagine posting a job opening for a freelance SEO content writer and getting tens of thousands of responses. That could potentially happen when you look for a writer to create search engine-friendly content for your brand. There are 43,500 writers and authors just in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and more wordsmiths are joining the ranks every day. Would you know how to weed through the masses to find that one perfect content writer?
Steps to Hiring the Best Freelance SEO Content Writer for Your Brand
Be specific about the type of writer you are looking for. Look for an SEO content writer rather than, for example, a poet or journalist. While it takes a great deal of skill to write sonnets and news, these skills do not necessarily translate well into SEO writing.
Look for writers who are enthusiastic about your industry. It is easy to find someone capable of churning out words about your product but it is much more difficult to find a writer who is as passionate about your brand as you are.
Strike up a conversation about SEO tactics to help you assess the applicant’s knowledge about best content marketing practices.
Make sure the candidate can actually write. A polished resume and impressive work history does not necessarily indicate true writing talent – some writers skip by on mediocre writing skills and lean heavily on talented copy editors who fix spelling, grammar and even facts within the copy.
Look for a writer who can create SEO content in a variety of formats, including:
- Product pages
- Blog posts
- Video text
- Infographic text
- Slideshow text
Give the candidate a short assignment to help you assess writing, editing and proofreading skills. Provide a job description that lays out specifics regarding keyword usage, headings and other SEO guidelines. Look for writers who match your brand’s voice and style. Take special interest in those contenders who demonstrate that they have researched your brand and have paid close attention to the details of the job description.
Ask for revisions on the first assignment to find out how amenable the writer is to rewriting the material. Embrace writers who seem enthusiastic about perfecting a piece and avoid applicants who groan. To learn even more about the candidate’s willingness to comply with changes, edit the original material before asking for revisions. Editing and revising are essential to achieve quality content – writers who resist edits and revisions can diminish the efficiency and quality of your brand’s campaign.
Choose a writer that meshes well with the rest of the employees at your firm, even if that writer will work remotely. Your writer will create content that serves as the voice of your brand, so make sure you hire a content writer that speaks for the entire organization.
Catching the perfect SEO content writer from the sea of candidates is easy once you know how.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for more than a decade.