Content marketing is part art and part science. It needs to touch hearts and minds.
Anyone can write, the real feat comes not from putting words on paper, but from producing artistically crafted and genuinely interesting pieces of content that evoke a desired emotion from your readers. In Internet marketing, that’s done by creating something informative that leads your customers to a desired action.
Just because anyone has the ability to put words on paper, doesn’t mean they can deliver your message in a concise and convincing manner. Everyone has the ability to write, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a good writer. Quite the contrary, actually. If you’re someone who isn’t confident in your writing ability, it’s time to look for outside help.
But what exactly are you looking for when it comes to hiring a content production specialist?
I get asked this question all the time, so I wanted to take a second to explain exactly what I’m looking for when I’m seeking writing help.
Deadlines are nearly as important as the actual content the writer produces. If you can’t be on time, then you’re just causing more work for me and I can’t have that. I don’t have time to chase you down looking for content that I assigned a week ago and I’m sure most business owners feel the same way.
A good writer has a definitive voice. In short, you can typically tell they wrote something by their style and delivery. I tend to avoid generic content writers as they are a dime a dozen. I’m looking for something distinctive in a writer’s delivery and ability to tell a story. This writer stands out from the pack by being creative, unique and a cut above the rest.
It’s a hard characteristic to describe, but you’ll know it when you see it.
Writing academic papers might require a more fact-driven and dry approach than producing blog content. A good writer knows how to differentiate the two. Good writers are able to adapt their voice and style based on where the content is being published. Bad writers carry the same style across all formats and this doesn’t really lend itself to producing content across multiple channels. They might be great at blogging, but you’ll need a second writer to produce whitepapers, e-books or research papers.
I typically like writers who are adaptable enough to create content across multiple channels as well as in different formats.
The best content uses statistics or facts to drive home the point the writer is trying to convey. Does your writer use numbers or facts in his writing? If it looks like the writer could open up Word and write the article without referencing anything, the content generally isn’t up to the standard we’re looking for. We want someone who can research any topic in order to produce a great piece of content.
Obviously they aren’t going to be experts at everything, but you won’t be able to tell based on their writing alone.
I don’t want a writer who is booked solid weeks in advance. I need someone that has the flexibility to deliver content when I need it. We’re not talking about placing unreasonable demands on time, but a 500-word blog post isn’t something I want to wait a week for. If the writer can’t turn around most short projects within 48 hours or so, I tend to move on to those who can. This is one of the most profound arguments for hiring professional, full-time writers rather than hobbyists and those that use content as a means to derive a second form of income.
Finding writers isn’t easy, and finding good writers is exponentially harder. It’s much easier to retain a good writer once you have him, than it is to find another one once he moves on to greener pastures. Find yourself a writer that produces above average content and do whatever it takes to keep him happy. In the age of content marketing, it’s a writer’s world; we’re just living in it.
Guest Author : Chris Warden, CEO of Spread Effect, a leading content marketing and publishing house company.
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