How Do I Hire a Content Writer for My Website?
July 20, 2021 •DJ Team
Hiring a content writer for your website means finding someone with excellent writing skills who can also achieve the voice, tone, and professionalism that define your brand presence online.
This can be more challenging than it initially seems, depending on how you plan to staff the writer. Working with a freelancer requires distinguishing professional content writers from amateurs who may not be able to deliver on your project.
Making an in-house hire requires the same vetting process, along with determining the personality and culture fit that will make a great addition to your team.
We’re going to summarize the writing skills and qualities you should look for, how to uncover these qualities during an interview, and the operational basics of hiring a content writer, whether a freelancer or a permanent new team member.
What is a Website Content Writer?
A website content writer is an individual who writes, proofreads, edits, and revises content to be published on your website. This can include pieces like blogs posts, landing pages, newsletters, press releases, and more.
Since your website is a direct reflection of your company, you want to make sure that you are hiring a content writer who can competently discuss the entire range of subjects you wish to write about. Additionally, you will want to make sure they can accurately depict your tone and voice. Beyond that, there are even more skills you should look for when considering hiring a content writer.
What Skills Should a Content Writer Have?
There are creative and practical skills every content writer you hire to work on your website should have. Here are seven that have been incredibly important in our experience.
A content writer must be able to take the information that is common in your industry or line of business and make it sound new again. This establishes your website as a trusted source of thought leadership even when your competition might be talking about similar subjects.
Another essential skill for a content writer is flexibility, especially in regards to their own work. Writers and those who hire them should always remember that no first draft is ever perfect.
A writer must be open to applying feedback that aligns the content with the standards and expectations of multiple stakeholders at your business. A second reason a website content writer must be flexible is that content needs and deadlines can change quickly.
For example, if a breaking news event requires a new blog or post to be created same day, they must be able to pivot and achieve that goal without compromising quality.
Website content writers must be organized on multiple levels. First is organizing their schedule to ensure no deadlines are missed if possible. The second level applies to each piece of unique content.
It is the content writer’s responsibility to make sure each web page, blog, video script, or other content flows naturally from beginning to end in a way that the reader or viewer can understand.
Accuracy in research is an essential skill for any content writer. This includes the ability to read and interpret the top sources in your industry, like government reports, studies, academic papers, technical documents, and other sources.
The writer must also be able to tell a high-quality source from a low-quality one and take steps to fact-check any statistics or findings that seem inaccurate.
Content writing for a website isn’t just reporting information. Prospective customers and current clients also want to be told a story about how working with your business will help them meet their needs.
A quality website writer will understand how to layer these elements of storytelling into a piece of content and keep your readers or viewers motivated to finish an entire piece (even if they are skimming).
On the practical side, you want a website content writer who can self-edit. This includes knowledge of grammar, spelling, and your preferred style, as well as more abstract concepts like voice and tone.
If you are having to rewrite everything that is delivered to you, or work through three or four versions every single time, the investment of time and money in website content writing is quickly going to stop delivering a return.
Lastly, you want a website content writer who is going to communicate versus trying to do everything themselves.
This covers everything from asking about extending a deadline, to working through revisions, to setting up conversations and interviews with subject matter experts to clarify industry findings.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Content Writer
As you get to know the candidates for your content writer position, here are some questions to ask that will clarify their strengths and areas that might need support:
- How do you approach a brand-new project?
- What do you do to get to know your audience?
- How do you manage and handle deadlines?
- How do you prefer to receive feedback on your content?
- How do you do research and integrate sources?
- What is your proofreading process like?
- What content formats and types have you written?
- How do you optimize content for search engines?
- What content management systems are you familiar with?
These answers will help you determine if the writer’s work style, experience level, and mastery of certain software platforms and tools will be in alignment with the needs of your business and website.
How Do I Hire a Content Writer?
There are several different hiring structures that can enable you to work with content writers.
Hire a Freelance Content Writer
You can hire a freelance content writer as a contractor and outsource work to them as needed. In this arrangement, you will need to closely evaluate their skill level and ability to work to a deadline. Asking for references and to see past work completed for other clients is also a great idea!
Hire a Content Writing Agency
Hiring a content writing agency is still a way to outsource your website content writing, but the good news here is you are working with a team of writers who have already been vetted to get their jobs at the agency. This structure can also introduce external quality controls so that the content you are receiving has already been reviewed and edited for alignment with the rules of grammar and structure, as well as your brand positioning.
Hire an Internal Content Writer
Hiring an internal content writer equips you to build a long-term relationship with an employee who knows your brand inside and out. While this hiring process can be a little lengthy, the investment can be worth it if you are constantly creating a high volume of content or highly technical content.
DemandJump Website Writing Content Services
DemandJump is a content marketing and attribution platform that gives brands real-time insight into the exact keywords and questions that will help them win search rankings and stand out against the competition. We also recognize that these insights only provide value for brands when they are leveraged to create excellent content. That is why our content team is dedicated to not only producing top quality content, but also educating others on how to execute with the tools on our platform.
If you already have internal writers, they can use our automated content outlines to guide their process and naturally create SEO-optimized website content. Or, if you’re looking for a turnkey solution to website content writing, we have the connections and partnerships to take this project off your plate. Contact us today to discuss how DemandJump can help you achieve website content writing goals.
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