Increased use of the internet and social media have created a lot of changes in the small business marketing world today. Previously, generating business consisted of occasional advertisements in a local newspaper, posting business cards everywhere, and word of mouth. Today, it’s all about blogging, and maintaining a social media presence in front of your present and potential customers in order to grow and maintain interest in your company and your products. What does that mean for the small business owner? Writing. Lots and lots of writing. Not every entrepreneur has the time or the ability to write weekly or biweekly articles and blogs. If you’re someone who has noticed that your business could use a boost from some well placed and well written content on the internet, but you don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself, maybe it’s time to hire a content writer.
Once you’ve decided to hire a content writer, however, you may find yourself faced with a lot of questions. What’s next? How do you find a content writer? What traits should you look for? What is this going to cost you? In this article, I hope to answer these questions to make the process of hiring a content writer for your small business easier. A well planned approach is more likely to lead to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with your future content writer, as well as an investment you will be happy to have made.
Before starting your search for a content writer, you should evaluate
your needs and figure out what you actually need from a writer to help you with your business. Some businesses have a long list of topics already planned for a blog, a solid social media marketing plan already in place, and a long list of devoted followers; but no time to actually write and publish the articles. Others will have no content planned, no marketing plan, and a smattering of followers. Most businesses in need of content writers will find themselves somewhere in between.
Evaluate the needs of your company as honestly as possible, taking your budget and your goals into consideration. Be as specific as possible, both for yourself and the freelancers you will eventually interview. It isn’t any fun for anyone involved to get halfway through the interview process only to find out your needs and the freelancer’s skill set don’t match up.
Some things to determine are:
- How many original articles you would like to have written and published each month?
Maybe you just want to write one, longer article that you send out in a monthly newsletter. The skillset required for that is likely going to be different than what you would look for if you are looking for someone to write two to three short blog posts a week.
- Do you want your content writer to have experience with social media marketing? How much experience do they need?
If you don’t know the answer to the first question in this list, then you probably want to hire a writer who also has knowledge of marketing. If you already have a marketing plan in place, and just need content, then this isn’t as important.
- Do you want your content writer to be familiar with SEO (search engine optimization)? How much experience do they need?
SEO experience, or knowledge of other methods to help your company website move up in search engine rankings is probably something you want to make sure your writer has, especially if you are not already showing up where you want to be on search engines.
- Are you looking to develop a long term relationship with a writer, or do you just want someone to write a batch of blog articles that you can reserve to post when you’re running dry yourself?
Some writers may not have the availability to commit to a long term project, while others may prefer it. Knowing the answer to this question may also help you determine payment methods, described below.
- Do you have the resources assembled, or will your writer need to be able to do their own independent research?
If the writer needs to do independent research, you need to find someone who has experience with this and the budget to pay the higher fee for it.
Having a clear idea of what you need in a writer will assist you in finding the right person and help to ensure you are satisfied with the overall experience. Once you have determined these things, you can read on to learn How to Find a Content Writer.