Digging through writer profiles can be like sorting through a pile of a hundred resumes looking for the perfect candidate. When you’re wading through a huge pool of professional writers for hire trying to find the writerly soulmate for your next big project, it’s easy to get lost in minutia. But it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Don’t just throw your hands up in despair and take a gamble with someone who seems mostly adequate. Instead, follow these simple tips to make sense of the profile madness and find the right combination of personality and experience to work for you.
Beware of unsubstantiated claims to success.
For individuals who (supposedly) specialize in clear, concise communication, many writers become experts at beautifully vague generalizations when it comes to preparing their own profiles. This leads to glittering claims to experience and success. Unless those claims are substantiated by specific examples, writing samples, or references, you might want to take your project elsewhere–or at least ask for more detailed information.
Look for specific experience related to your needs, not just high rankings.
Just because a writer has logged 700+ blog posts doesn’t mean they’ll be able to effectively reach the readership of a military spouse blog, for instance. Look beyond industry specialties to find out where each writer’s life and writing experience lies and how versatile they can be. Sometimes a writer who hasn’t logged as many projects but who has real-life or writing experience related to your project will far outperform the writer with bigger numbers. Plus, choosing a writer who’s really passionate about your field–even if their profile isn’t decorated with high numbers and shiny badges–could result in a powerful partnership with a freelancer who’ll bring excitement to each article.
Don’t ignore personality clashes.
Your prospective writer might have all the right experience, but if their personality (and tone) doesn’t reflect your company’s vision, there’s a good possibility that what they write won’t, either. It’s incredibly difficult to gauge personality through a profile. But some issues are more obvious than others upon a profile read-through. If you’re looking for a crunchy, outdoors-loving writer who can get excited about whitewater rafting in Vermont, you might want to steer clear of writers who express little interest in that type of lifestyle and who use a more formal, careful writing style better suited to academic writing in their profiles. Carve out the candidates who look like the best choice, then test the waters (possibly with a small project or two) to see if their tone matches the personality you want to show your readers.
Taking the time to dig through your options and find writers who’ll really connect with your audience might seem like an impossible task–the holy grail of content marketing. But with some diligence and a little luck, you’ll find the perfect match–for both your company and your readers.
Writer Bio: Steffani J is a part-time freelance writer who runs on chai tea and loves playing with words to help clients optimize their content strategies.