WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A CONTENT CREATOR?
For many small businesses and entrepreneurs, hiring a content creator or freelance writer will be your first experience of hiring someone to help you.
Naturally, it can be quite daunting at first. But it doesn’t have to be.
In today’s post I’ve put together some tips that can help you pick a great content creator. From asking the right questions to getting lots of information, this will help you feel confident when choosing a writer for your business’ specific needs.
Tips for choosing the best content creator for your needs
#1 | KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH
Your first thought might be, “I need copywriting for my website” or “I need someone to write posts for my blog.” But there’s actually a lot more to those requirements than you think.
If you want your business to make an impact online, you want to make a difference (and you want to be successful), you don’t just need blog posts. You need a content marketing strategy. This can include everything from content idea generation, editorial calendar planning, a marketing calendar and so on.
Want to attract more clients through your website copy, or create blog posts to attract more people in your target audience? Well you need a content creator, not just anyone who has their own blog.
Knowing this and being able to make this distinction is the first step in finding the right person for you.
Similarly, when you say “I need writing for my website”, you then need to go through a range of possibilities to help you know exactly what you want.
Do I want a full copywriting package?
When I talk about copywriting, I mean copy for each of the different pages on your website. For a designer, these could include:
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A copywriter writes the copy for these pages for you. And if you’re looking for copywriting for your website, your best bet is to go for all your pages. What you don’t want is for someone to just write copy for your homepage and then all your other pages to have a completely different tone of voice.
You can get copywriting done for your website at any time. It’s a great way of demonstrating who you are, who you target, what you have to offer people and most importantly - why they should stick around.
Do I want a blog post writer?
Lots of small business owners want to focus on creating products that are going to make money in their business. They don’t have time to write content for their own blog, so they hire someone else to do it for them. A lot of people worry about this, but if you find the right person, it’s the perfect solution.
You can come up with the posting schedule and content ideas or you can leave it all to the writer. Whatever your preference, this is a great way of getting consistent content up on your website to increase your visibility.
Do I want a ghostwriter?
Similarly to above, a ghostwriter is someone who can write content for you, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, courses, eBooks and so on. But the difference is, it looks like you’re writing it. The content creator doesn’t get a byline but they can still use the pieces in their portfolio. I do this for a lot of clients and it works really well.
Some content creators, like myself, offer ghostwriting services, but some don’t. So it’s always best to double check on their Work With Me page first.
Do I want someone to update all my old blog posts for me?
If you’re happy publishing your own content, but want your old posts updating, you can also hire someone to do this for you. Whether you’ve changed your style and need them reformatting, or you need to update them in terms of SEO, you can get someone to take this off your hands so you don’t have to worry about it yourself!
When I do this for clients, I always keep a spreadsheet so I can update them on which blog posts have been edited. They always appreciate being kept informed.
#2 | LOOK AT THEIR BLOG AND PORTFOLIO
You might find someone who’s got amazing testimonials - but it’s still SUPER important to see their blog and portfolio. Why? Because you find out a lot about a person from their writing (especially when they’re a professional content creator). Looking at their blog and portfolio will allow you to get a feel for their style of writing and personality, to see if it’s compatible with your business.
All writers have their own style and you can see this when you look through their blog and other websites they’ve written for. As you’re looking through, take note of the types of businesses they’ve worked with and how they write. Think about whether this would fit in with you and what you want.
If they don’t have a portfolio or blog, ask them to send you some samples of their previous work so you can see if you like their writing style.
#3 | READ THEIR TESTIMONIALS
Testimonials are a real biggie when it comes to hiring anyone. Find their testimonials page or browse through them on their website to see what people have said about them. Take note of things like what style the clients were going for, what they say about their worth ethic, time management skills and so on. It’s not just about writing, it’s about forming a business partnership!
If you’re really unsure or can’t find enough information, you can always reach out to their previous clients and ask them how they found their experience working with that writer.
#4 | GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THEM FROM THEIR SOCIAL CHANNELS AND ABOUT ME PAGE
You basically want to browse every possible place they are online. Working with someone who shares the same values as you is really important; especially with a writer is going to be aligning themselves with your brand and business goals.
Read their ‘About’ page to see what they’re like a person or take a look at their social media profiles to see what things they’ve been posting. Try to imagine meeting them in person and then working alongside with them - do you think you’d work well together? Do you think you’d be able to have a conversation if you’d just met? If yes, then go for it!
#5 | CHECK WHAT PLATFORMS THEY’RE COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH
This is important, especially if you plan on asking your content creator to format and schedule posts within your website platform. Most writers will have listed on their Hire Me page what platforms they’re comfortable working with, but you should double check how much experience they have, just in case.
If you have a WordPress website, make sure your writer knows all about how to use WordPress. And exactly the same for Squarespace. It’s always worth double checking. And if they don’t say anywhere on their website, then ask!
#6 | UNDERSTAND THEIR PROCESS
By reading through their packages page and looking at what their process entails, you can also see if you’re going to be happy working with this person.
If you want blog post writing, you may prefer seeing how many posts someone recommends within one month, how many edits the price includes and so on. For copywriting, you may want a step-by-step timeline of what the copy is going to look like, how it’s going to be written and when the final files will be delivered.
You may also want to see that a content creator offers a initial kick-off meeting like I do, where you can tell them all about your brand and what you want the project to look like moving forward. This is great from my perspective, because I can jot down what your brand is all about and the words you use, as I can use these in your content.
#7 | ALWAYS ASK ABOUT THEIR AVAILABILITY
If you’re redesigning your website and you want to launch in a month, you don’t want a writer that’s only available two months down the line. Be sure to ask them when they can get started before you get too attached to the idea of working with them.
Most content creators only take on a certain amount of projects at a time so be sure to plan in advance and start sooner than you think you need to.
Other frequently asked questions
What are their qualifications?
Lots of writers are self-taught, but I also believe that qualifications show a sense of professionalism. Since I won some blogging awards this year, that’s a big reason why people have hired me. That combined with the fact that they like me as a person and my style goes a really long way!
Do they have experience working with other businesses in my industry?
Personally, if you love a writer but they don’t have experience writing for your industry, I don’t think it matters. If they have the talent, experience and style that you’re after, they’ll definitely be able to do a good job. Plus, it’s also about making sure you have the same vision and values too.
Will they give me copyright and full ownership of the files?
Copyright and ownership is a big debate in any industry. In my contract, I state I am happy to hand over the copyright along with the final files after the final payment. But I also state that I have a right to display their project in my portfolio and use for marketing and promotional purposes, which is all I need!