Ah, the sample. Just a little taste of something bigger. Something that could be yours. Samples work incredibly well to sell pizza and cupcakes and even flooring. So, where is the disconnect with writing samples?
The problem is simple. It is not often that writing samples directly apply to what you need for your marketing program. You might see samples that are great, even phenomenal, but do not have the exact formula you need to succeed. At that point, you might be tempted to ask for test articles, but that is often a wasted endeavor. With writers typically spending their days producing content for their clients and nights writing samples for their profiles, there is just no time for on spec test pieces.
Thankfully, with the right approach, you can actually learn a lot about writers by reviewing the existing writing samples on their profiles. To get started, use these steps to review the available samples and build your preferred writer network.
Before You Set Out, Have a Few Goals in Mind
When you have concrete goals for your content marketing program, you can guide your writers to create highly-polished works that speak directly to your target audience. So, there are a few things you need to know before you set out to find your favorite writers:
- Who is your target audience?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What does their buyer’s journey look like – and where are they at in that process?
- Which keywords will work best to help your audience find your website and blog?
- What products or services can you offer as solutions to your audience’s problems?
- Which writing styles and tones will work best for your marketing plan?
With this information, your writers can create relevant content that truly delights your readers and builds loyalty to your brand. If you do not know the answers to the above questions, a content strategist can help you build the framework for your marketing plan.
Look for Writers with High-Quality Writing Samples
With your content marketing plan in hand, you can start searching for writers with high-quality writing samples. As you read through the writer profiles, and all their samples, watch for pieces that match the style and tone of the content you want. You can look at samples by industry, content type and other metrics to help you narrow down the options.
If you find a writing sample that speaks to you, but is outside your industry, do not fret. Many writers act as generalists by relying on their excellent research skills. Also, writers tend to beef up their profiles in their own time, which can prove problematic as they build up their client lists. For the most part, writers would rather spend time helping their clients reach their marketing goals than produce endless writing samples. They may have created tons of content for companies in your industry, but just have not had the time to update their profiles with relevant samples. If in doubt, reach out and ask.
Review the Available Writing Samples with a Few Key Questions
Assess the writing samples you find with your marketing goals and expectations in mind. Here are a few questions to ask as you review each piece:
- Does the content speak directly to the target audience?
- Is the content accurate, easy to understand and interesting to read?
- Do the samples clearly showcase the wordsmithing abilities of that professional?
- Are there varied samples across multiple industries, content types and writing styles?
If you can answer yes to these questions, then you just may have found a writer who can help you create webpages, newsletters, brochures, blog posts, whitepapers and more.
You can continue on in this manner to build your preferred writer network. You can add as many writers as you want to ensure you have the creative backing you need to reach your marketing goals. Send a quick note to each, welcoming them to your team, to give them a heads-up about assignments coming down the pipeline.
Send Out Orders to Your Team of Writers to See Their Wordsmithing Skills in Action
Once you build your preferred writer network, you can start sending out your orders to see each professional’s wordsmithing skills in action. With each order, make sure to provide your writers with info about your content strategy, including keywords, product or service specs and your ideal call to action. If you have your own sample piece with your ideal style and tone, send a link to that as well. For those without a brand voice, you can work closely with your content writer to establish one.
With this approach to reviewing available writing samples, you can build a strong network of writers to handle all your content creation needs. With each order sent, your writers will craft the content you seek and help position you as a thought leader in your industry. So get started today with a look at the available samples from the awesome freelance writers we have here at WriterAccess.
Marie A. regularly produces engaging web content and informative SEO articles for small and large enterprises worldwide. She utilizes her knowledge of the online landscape to create effective content marketing campaigns for her clients. She writes shareable copy with a clear call to action that does not sound salesy or pushy. Her content always reflects the company voice and mission while adhering to the preferred style guide. Through the production of optimized webpages, articles and other works, she helps business owners speak directly to their target audiences, convert site visits into sales and position themselves as leaders in their industries.