It’s been said that we can’t always get what we want–sometimes, just what we need. While this may have been true for Mick Jagger, it needn’t be true for those seeking custom content services. The key lies in fully understanding what is needed, and clearly expressing what is wanted.
Learn the Ropes
Getting to know the basics of optimization can go a long way to better-developing your content goals, and ensuring that they are met. For example; did you know that keyword stuffing, invisible text, and other “black hat” SEO tactics can cause your page to be banned? Or that you can increase your page ranking by linking to other posts both inside and outside of your site?
Using a reputable content management service will help you avoid pitfalls and hit the high notes–but knowledge is power. Being able to look over the copy that is delivered to you and identify areas that don’t technically work gives you the the assurance that you won’t end up with a lemon. It’s the equivalent of knowing what to look for under the hood at a used car dealership.
The Beginner’s Guide at SEOMoz is straightforward and easy to take in. Learning before you hire a blogger will help you know what you need to ask for; empowered clients benefit from being able to select the keywords and strategies that are most relevant to their audience, and request that they be incorporated.
Sharing is Caring
Working with copywriters has plenty of pros. Well-crafted content can increase your site’s visibility, help establish your credibility with visitors, and give you a competitive advantage–all with minimal investment. But, while they may give the impression of near-clairvoyance, even the best content writer depends on clear client communication and feedback to deliver their best work.
Let your writer know up-front about items like the following:
- Desired style and tone
- Required keywords
- Intended demographic
If you have a sample of what you would like to see, provide one. It is also helpful for writers to have enough background information to outline ‘value propositions’–the things that give credibility and added value to your products and services. A value prop can be developed using the following:
- Years in business
- Notable clients
- Positive testimonials
- Guarantees or warranties offered
- Anything that can be considered as ‘bragging rights’
Don’t Be Shy
Even expert writers can misinterpret requests or miss the mark. If you feel that what you’ve received isn’t what you had in mind, let them know. Many content writing services or freelancers offer revisions as part of their packages. Ask to see the sites’s policy (or examine the ghostwriter contract) to make sure that you’ll be able to request changes in the event that the work isn’t up to par–before you slip the ring on their finger.
Ultimately, you don’t have to settle for less than you set out to achieve. A little planning will ensure that you get both what you want and what you need.
Helena L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.