5 easy checks to make sure you hire a content writer who’s a good’un
When you hire a content writer you want to be able to hand over your brief and be confident that you get back what you asked for.
There are a few moving parts to make sure you achieve that goal, but it all starts with doing everything in your power to hire the best content writer for your upcoming project.
By finding the right copywriter or content marketer at the very start of your project you’ll avoid difficult situations such as having to spend time fixing copy your not happy with or hiring another writer — at an additional cost — to fix it for you. I know first-hand that neither of these options are fun for clients. It’s frustrating and time consuming.
Here are five qualities you should look for and check you can make to make sure you’re on course to hiring a good copywriter for you.
1. Check what they write
Not every writer writes all of the things. Some specialise in specific types of content writing and copywriting. For example, I specialise in website copy, blog articles and email. There’s no point coming to me asking for social media posts, a book or copy for a business proposal.
It’s just not what I’m good at. So I don’t offer to write that sort of copy.
Instead, I’ll happily refer you to a copywriter who offers these things. Even if you’re already my client and I’ve worked with you on another project. I’d much prefer putting you in the hands of an expert who regularly writes the thing you want.
You can find out what sort of copy the writer’s good at by checking their services page or portfolio. This is also a useful way to understand the quality of the work they produce.
2. Do your research
You can tell a lot about a writer from the content on their own website or business page. You can find out:
- Who they write for — there may be some industries they don’t touch
- Their style and tone
- Their process and how they work
- What past and present clients think about the way they work
- What they’ve worked on before by looking at their portfolio.
3. Ask about their briefing process
A crap brief returns crap copy.
It’s as simple as that. And I have very strong thoughts and feelings about the importance of a good copywriter brief and what needs to be in one.
Content writers and copywriters worth their weight in gold invest time and energy into their briefing process. It’s when they get to satisfy their curiosity and find out all they can about you, your business and the audience they’re writing for. If you’re a new client, a copywriter shouldn’t settle for only one or two lines about your audience to write all of your website copy, for example.
4. Checking costs
A writer’s rates offer some insight to their quality and experience. Put it this way, if a writer is offering to produce a 2,000 word article for under $100, it’s probably too good to be true.
This isn’t the going rates for quality writers. Writers who are worth your time and will have a positive effect on your business.
Here’s a great piece on getting what you pay for.
To get an idea of what experienced writers are priced at, I suggest checking out the following resources:
For Australia: The Clever Copywriting School Price Guide
For UK: Procopywriters Survey 2019
For America: Give the Copyhackers quote calculator a go
5. Good connection
Hiring the right writer is as much about finding an individual to have a positive working relationship with, as it is about checking their technical skills. So, you need to get along and have a good connection.
Pay attention to how you feel during and after any calls or email exchanges you have. Is there good back and forth when it comes to listening and sharing? Does your writer acknowledge your messages in a timely manner rather than leaving you hanging? Do you feel comfortable and confident offering feedback and ideas?
These are all little signs and signals you can look out for early on to work out if a writer is likely to be a good hire for your company.
Finding good writers for hire
Now you know what you need to keep an eye out for in terms of processes, characteristics and skills you then need to work out where to find your writer.
OK, so if I’m not an option because you’re thinking we’re not a good fit, where else can you find great copywriters?
I highly recommend taking a browse through the Clever Copywriting School directory. There are over 200 talented writers specialising in all kinds of industries and styles of writing.
Same deal with the Procopywriters UK Copywriters Directory and as the name suggests, this is great if you want a UK-based copywriter.
Are you on Twitter? Then you’ll find loads of excellent copywriters by using the hashtag #ContentClubUK. And I’ve rounded loads of them up in this post here.
Happy unicorn hunting! 🦄