Top 5 Things to Look For in a Content Writer

Posted on October 30, 2014 by Eli K

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Content writing is a booming trade, as just about every website needs content of some kind, and more and more need content that is entertaining, engaging and just generally sticky, to use a marketing term. In other words, if you’re building a website for your business and plan on having a social element for it — Facebook, a blog, Twitter — you’ll want to also invest in a content writer. There are a lot of them out there, too, so you will have plenty of eager writers to choose from. However, this presents a new problem: how do you choose the correct content writer for your company website, marketing voice, and overall brand? The Top 5 things to look for in a content writer are listed below.

Sample Quality

First and foremost, you should look at the content writer’s samples. See how much writing they have done in the past, observe it’s quality and it’s structure, and decide if they accomplished what the piece set out to do in the first place. Grammar and spelling are obviously important, but readability and engagement are the most important these days, as the goal is to connect with your readership and keep them on your website. In essence, you want a content writer with a strong voice who also seamlessly delivers the information for each piece in an entertaining way.

Variety of Work

A varied portfolio of samples is always better than a writer who has only done content, so look for those content writers who have also written some journalism, press releases, or even narrative fiction. This shows the content writer is dynamic in their writing skills and can understand and write about anything thrown at them, theoretically allowing the social aspect of your business to have the same dynamic qualities. The more varied their samples, the better the writer seems, as this means they consistently work and are published.

A Good Attitude

A lot of content writing is not very artistic or fun to write…which is why you want to work with a content writer who has a good attitude, gets what you are trying to do with the social aspect of your company, and can add a little something of their own to your grand vision. Ask them to pitch you a few ideas for where they see the social side of the company going before you bring them on.

Hits Deadlines

Deadlines are important for any writer, but especially content writers. Assign them one project as a test that you will pay them for and see if they can hit a tight deadline. If the quality is still good, you’ll know they can handle long and short deadlines moving forward.

The Ability to Be Prolific

In some cases, content writers will need to write a lot on a regular basis. This should be disclosed at the beginning, of course, but it’s important to see if a content writer can do a number of articles on a regular basis for an extended period of time. This will be evident in their samples and in their response to your interview questions.

Eli K has been writing content among many other things for nearly two decades. He prides himself on being able to write just about anything.


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