How to Qualify a Content Writer

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You understand content’s crucial role in building and maintaining an online presence. Whether it’s engaging blog posts, persuasive sales copy, or informative landing pages, high-quality content is the backbone of successful online businesses. But here’s the dilemma: not everyone has the time, skill, or experience to create compelling content. That’s where content writers come into play. If you’re a website owner seeking to hire a content writer to boost your SEO, you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through qualifying a content writer and answer the big questions:
  • What should I look for in content writing?
  • What makes a good content writer?
  • How do I evaluate a content writer?
  • By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what to consider when selecting the perfect content writer to elevate your online presence. Or, if you’re tired of searching and are looking for immediate improvement, reach out to My Website Spot for expert content writing and SEO services.

    Defining Your Content Needs

    Before you embark on the journey of finding the ideal content writer, you need to start by defining your content needs. Understanding the type of content you require and your goals will help you narrow your search and ensure you hire the right candidate.

    Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

    • What is the purpose of the content
      • e.g., Inform, entertain, sell, educate (we will go into these types of content in this section).
    • Do you need content for blogs, landing pages, product descriptions, or something else?
    • What topics or subjects do you need content on?
    • How frequently do you need new content?
      • e.g., daily, weekly, monthly (we will go into posting frequency further down).

    Having a clear picture of your content needs will guide you in finding a content writer who specializes in the type of content that aligns with your goals.

    Man writing Creating Effective Content

    Informative Content

    The purpose of informative content is to educate your audience about a specific topic, industry trends, or important news. This type of content can help establish your authority in your niche, providing valuable insights to your readers and potential customers. Whether explaining complex concepts, sharing industry updates, or offering expert advice, informative content helps your audience stay informed and engaged.

    Entertaining Content

    Entertaining content serves the purpose of engaging and delighting your audience. It can be in the form of humorous articles, entertaining videos, or captivating stories. It can be a powerful tool to keep visitors on your site longer, reduce bounce rates, and create a memorable user experience. By infusing some fun and creativity into your content, you can connect with your audience on a more personal level, making your website more enjoyable to visit.

    Content that Sells

    Sales-oriented content is designed to persuade readers to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or requesting a quote. This content is essential for driving conversions and revenue. By showcasing the value of your products or services, addressing customer pain points, and using persuasive language, you can turn visitors into loyal customers and boost your bottom line.

    Educational Content

    Educational content goes beyond merely informing and aims to provide in-depth knowledge and expertise on a particular subject. It’s about teaching your audience valuable skills, guiding them through complex processes, or offering comprehensive tutorials. You can use educational content to position yourself as an industry expert, build trust with your audience, and foster long-term customer relationships. Whether it’s step-by-step guides, how-to articles, or online courses, educational content empowers your readers and adds significant value to your website.

    Identifying the Key Qualities of a Good Content Writer

    Now that you know what you’re looking for in terms of content, it’s time to understand the qualities that make a content writer exceptional.

    One of the most effective ways to assess a content writer’s abilities is by reviewing their portfolio. A portfolio provides a glimpse into their past work, showcasing their writing style, versatility, and the quality of their content.

    When reviewing a content writer’s portfolio, consider the following factors:

    If content is king consistency is queen. Written on a napkin, with a coffee and pen.

    Writing Skill and Style

    Impeccable grammar, spelling, and punctuation are non-negotiable. A content writer’s ability to craft error-free content reflects their professionalism and ensures that your audience perceives your brand as trustworthy and credible. Even minor grammatical mistakes can detract from the overall quality of your content and negatively impact your website’s reputation.

    While AI-generated content has made significant strides in recent years, exercise caution if you are tempted to rely solely on AI. AI may excel at generating grammatically correct text, but it often lacks the nuanced understanding of context, tone, and brand personality that a human content writer can provide. AI-generated content feels robotic, lacks authenticity, and fails to connect with your audience on a personal level, potentially harming your brand’s reputation.

    A proficient content writer excels in thinking beyond the obvious, offering unique perspectives, creative angles, and innovative storytelling techniques that resonate with your audience, even when tackling mundane topics, making your content informative and memorable.

    They should possess the versatility to adapt their writing style to precisely match your brand’s distinctive voice and tone, whether your brand leans towards a casual, conversational approach or a formal and professional demeanor. This adaptability ensures that the content aligns with your brand identity, connects with your target audience, and maintains a consistent and cohesive online presence.

    Research Skills and Adaptability

    Research skills are paramount in ensuring your content is well-informed and authoritative. A skilled content writer should be able to delve into diverse subjects, source information from credible and up-to-date references, and present the findings in a clear and engaging manner.

    This skill adds credibility to your content and ensures that your readers can trust the information you provide.

    The internet is a vast ecosystem with topics spanning numerous industries, and the ability to pivot and produce high-quality content across a spectrum of subjects is invaluable. Whether it’s delving into the intricacies of healthcare one day and dissecting the latest tech trends the next, an adaptable content writer can maintain relevance and appeal to a broader audience.

    This versatility allows your website to stay competitive, engage diverse readerships, and establish your brand as a knowledgeable authority in multiple domains.

    SEO Knowledge

    SEO (Search Engine Optimization) knowledge is an absolute must for a content writer. It’s not just a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity.

    You want a content writer who can seamlessly weave those all-important keywords into their writing, making it sound natural and engaging. They should know how to structure content in a way that search engines love, giving your website a better chance of ranking higher in search results.

    Meeting Deadlines

    Consistency and reliability are key. Ensure the content writer you choose can meet deadlines consistently, helping you maintain a steady content flow. Your deadlines should meet your industry needs, ranging from daily, weekly, or monthly.

    Daily

    The frequency of daily content is ideal for websites that provide fresh and up-to-the-minute information, such as news websites or blogs covering rapidly changing topics like technology or finance. It keeps your audience engaged with the latest updates and ensures your website remains a reliable source for breaking news and trends. Daily content can also improve search engine rankings and drive daily traffic spikes by targeting a highly active and engaged audience.

    A calendar, coffee, and phone.

    Weekly

    Weekly content is a popular choice for many website owners as it strikes a balance between consistency and manageability. It allows you to maintain a regular posting schedule while ensuring that each piece of content is well-researched, high-quality, and thoroughly optimized for SEO. This frequency suits businesses that want to provide valuable blog posts, in-depth articles, or product updates. It keeps your website fresh and relevant without overwhelming your content production efforts.

    Monthly

    Monthly content is a practical choice for website owners with limited resources or those in industries where topics evolve slowly. While it may not provide the same level of frequency as daily or weekly content, it allows you to focus on producing comprehensive and authoritative pieces. Monthly content can be particularly effective for long-form blog posts, case studies, or whitepapers, which require extensive research and attention to detail. This frequency also suits businesses that want to maintain an active blog without putting too much pressure on their content creation process.

    Conducting a Writing Test

    To further assess a content writer’s skills, consider giving them a writing test or assignment. This can be a small paid project or a sample task related to your industry. This test aims to evaluate how well the writer can follow instructions, conduct research, and deliver content that meets your expectations.

    Here are some tips for conducting a writing test:

    • Clearly outline the assignment’s requirements, including the topic, word count, and any specific guidelines.
    • Provide a deadline for the test assignment.
    • Pay attention to the writer’s communication throughout the process, as effective communication is crucial in a successful partnership.

    Example Assessment

    Hello [name], We are seeking a creative content writer to revitalize our dated landing pages and encourage visitors to engage with our services and brand. Currently, we need help updating our service pages, current and references, from rough summaries provided by our service team. The requirements are:
  • Turning our summary bullet points into 100-200 word renovation journey stories.
  • The content needs to highlight our services and its impact on the customer.
  • The content needs to be nicely written, feel organic, and lead to action.
  • Provide 2-3 variations to reduce the time needed to finalize the copy.
  • Small tasks are expected to be completed and turned in for review within 3 hours at most.
  • If you’re ready to make a significant impact on our online presence and have the skills and dedication we’re looking for, please send your resume, a cover letter, and a few relevant writing samples to [Your Contact Email]. Tell us your expected rate per word or project in your cover letter. We look forward to hearing from you and potentially welcoming you to our team!

    Checking References and Reviews

    Before finalizing your decision, it’s a good idea to check references and reviews from previous clients. This step lets you gain insights into the content writer’s work ethic, professionalism, and reliability. Don’t hesitate to ask for references or look for online reviews and testimonials.

    When contacting references, consider asking these questions:

    • How satisfied were you with the content provided by the writer?
    • Did they meet deadlines consistently?
    • Was their communication clear and responsive?
    • Would you recommend this writer for similar projects?

    Metrics for Evaluating Content

    To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your content writer, it’s essential to establish clear metrics for evaluating their performance. These metrics will help you track the effectiveness of your content and make data-driven decisions for future content strategies. Here are some key metrics to consider:

    Content Evaluation: [Article Name/Link]
    Engagement
    Pageviews Monitor the number of page views to determine which content is the most popular.
    Bounce Rate Assess how many visitors leave your site after viewing a single page.
    Time on Page Measure the average time users spend on a page to gauge content engagement.
    Conversion
    Conversion Rate Track the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
    Click-Through Rate (CTR) Evaluate the effectiveness of calls to action (CTAs) within your content.
    SEO Performance
    Keyword Rankings Monitor your website’s ranking for target keywords in search engine results pages (SERPs).
    Organic Traffic Measure the amount of traffic driven to your site through organic search results.
    Backlinks Track the number and quality of backlinks generated by your content.
    Content Quality
    Readability Assess the readability of your content using tools like the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test.
    Grammar and Spelling Use grammar and spelling checkers to ensure high-quality content.
    Originality Verify the uniqueness of your content to avoid plagiarism issues.
    Social Engagement
    Social Shares Measure the number of times your content is shared on social media platforms.
    Comments and Feedback Monitor user comments and feedback on your content to gauge audience interaction.

    You can view and use My Website Spot’s simplified content review checklist here.

    Unlock Your Website's Potential: Elevate Your Content Strategy

    Hiring a content writer is a significant step toward enhancing your online presence and reaching your digital marketing goals. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently evaluate and choose a content writer with the skills and qualities necessary to elevate your content strategy.

    Remember that hiring a content writer is an investment in the success of your website. When you find the right writer who aligns with your brand’s voice and understands your goals, you’ll reap the benefits of engaging, informative, and SEO-friendly content that drives traffic, conversions, and growth.

    If you’re looking for expert content writing and SEO services, look no further than My Website Spot. Our team of experienced writers is ready to help you take your online presence to the next level. Contact us today to discuss your content needs and start boosting your website’s performance. Don’t wait; take action and secure the success of your online venture now!

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