Because writers are not always industry experts when they take on a task for a client, its important to understand what their skills are and how they can make the content compelling with or without much direction. Some writers are naturally gifted; others learn it as they go along. Either way, you want the best, most interesting, most sharable and linkable content possible from your writers.
So here are four important things to watch for when hiring your next freelance content writer…
Content strategy is the “next big thing” phasing its way into online marketing. A writer should be aware that content strategy is going the way of social media marketing strategies. “Facebook for Content” is a matter of adding a new layer to topic research and SEO keyword use. It means “editorial infrastructure.”
Ads serve best when they don’t look or feel like ads. Before the advent of social media, many Internet users complained of the barrage of advertising coming at them from all directions. Pop-ups, pop-outs, flash, sites with more affiliate links than interesting things to read about, and more reciprocal linking (web portals and link farms) than you could shake a stick at.
The “look at me!” advertising has toned down, but content marketing strategy remains first and foremost in your mind and it should be first in the mind of the freelancer as well. Strategy is more than a style guide; it’s project management for King Content.
Content strategy is more than writing to form, mechanics, and structure; it is also about delivery in virtual impact 3- or 4D so that visitors don’t just visit, but pass your site to others via virtual word-of-mouth.
The most important thing about SEO for a client hiring a freelance content writer is to remember that some writers may miss the true point of search engine optimizing for your company.
As search engines become more sophisticated and fine-tuned, the job of SEOptimizing also becomes more refined and technologically sophisticated, so crafting compelling content is the engine under the hood of a spiffy new showroom car.
Forget keywords and link-building for a moment and look to your ultimate goals. Good content writing involves good old-fashioned knowledge about your vision and what your customers want to see and hear from you.
There are only two real goals with SEO content writing: Keeping current customers informed and generating new business.
A freelance content writer needs to know all about social sharing, the connection to large and relevant smaller online groups.
Link-swapping is good as long as it’s done right. It is the equivalent of attending a networking party and having plenty of business cards on hand.
Self-promotion is not just putting the content on the web and waiting for the spiders to crawl, it is about the use of social media tools, such as ShareThis, a place to create plug-ins (“wikis”) for allowing others to share content without having to copy-and-paste or do a lot of manual emailing.
“Share” buttons on web pages are a convenience for readers which aid in the cause of “push” marketing to those interested without being obnoxious or ‘spammy’ about it.
Signatures in emails and frequented forums, using small blurbs about the business, its location and its offerings, and plug-n-play sharing is a must for all freelance content writers.
Industry knowledge is two-fold: The freelance content writer should know your business and their business in relation to yours.
Most freelancers will not know the intricate workings of your business right from the start, but specialty writers who do know your industry are a plus.
If you can’t find an industry-knowledgeable writer, make certain that the freelancer is acclimated to your company before they settle down to write a single word.
The freelancer without industry experience should be able to understand the nuances of your company pretty rapidly.
Tired of using freelance writers that you have to vet first? Try Content Launch. With the 300 greatest content writers on earth and nine years or experience, we’d love to assist with your project.
This Content Launch blog post was written by S.R. Greene, a prolific content writer from Phoenix, Arizona.