Corporate Shakespeare: 10 Tips for Hiring a Creative Content Writer

Anybody can hire a copywriter. With so many freelance networks and job boards around, you can hire a person to write for you in less than an hour. However, what is the chances that the writer is really good? Well, they must be, because the median time people spend on articles is 15 seconds, according to Buffer. So, your writer should be good enough to attract the attention of viewers in 15 seconds or less. Can they do it?

Clearly, not everyone can hire a really good content writer who can increase conversion rates and visitation on your website. While there is no universal formula for defining the best writers, you can use the following tips to ensure that the one you found cane meet your content needs.

Tip #1: Ask the Right Questions

When interviewing a content writer, you have to have a good understanding of his or her experience and skills. Avoid questions that require simple “yes” or “no.”

Examples:

What is the most popular piece you’ve created?

What different tones, styles, and voices you can write in?

Can you provide with an example you’ve received on a writing assignment?

What SEO do you do?

Tip #2: Ask to Perform a Paid Test Assignment

A test task is one of the most popular ways in which employees evaluate the skills of writers. Be sure to provide a challenging task performed by your writers every day and give all necessary requirements in print. Consider limiting the time for completing this task, too. This way, you can check whether the candidate can meet deadlines and follow directions.

For example, a test task is a mandatory part of the recruiting finance experts.

Tip #3: Know What a Content Writer is Not

Many people hiring content writers expect them to perform various duties in addition to writing, including logo design and creation of social media strategy. Remember: they are not an ad agency or brand marketers. While a great writer can propose some suggestions on marketing and design, he or she may not possess sufficient skills in these areas.

So, focus on writing and forget about other areas.

Tip #4: Ask How a Writer Begins a Project with a New Client

This simple question can reveal the writer’s style of working, which is very important. An unprofessional writer just begins writing without considering the needs of the clients, so this should be a red flag for you. A good writer, on the other hand, will answer that he or she will listen to the client and begin working only when their needs are considered.

Tip #5: Don’t Hire a Writer the Lowest Rate

This one is pretty simple: you get what you pay for. A writer with a low rate may not have the skills to earn higher pay for their work, so can you afford to take this chance? Often, businesses who hire such writers claim their work is riddled with grammar and punctuation efforts and they aim for word count.

Tip #6: Ask for References

Often, businesses need to hire creative content writers as soon as possible, but rushing your way through the hiring process without taking precautions is a bad idea. Many writers have references from their past work experiences, why not use them? Who knows, maybe you’ll discover something about a candidate that makes him or her not the best one for your team.

Tip #7: Have a Clear Payment System

Whatever payment method you select to reimburse your writer, ensure it is clear and acceptable to him or her (the most widely used choice is PayPal). It gives some piece of mind that you’re going to follow through with your promises. Also, make sure that your deal contains clear guidelines for revisions, and how many of them are free and paid.

Tip #8: Ask to Perform an Editing Test

A great content writer is capable of editing their own text as well as that written by others. This skill is especially useful for businesses that produce a lot of content, therefore need a lot of editing work to be done. So, you can ask your candidate to perform an editing test to test how he or she can grasp the overall shape and logic of written material.

Tip #9: Hire a Writer Who Will Play Nicely with Others

If you’re looking for an in-house writer, the best candidate should have adequate communication skills. Having the ability to deal with people is critical because the organization will need him or her to communicate a lot.

Tip #10: Always Ask for Writing Samples

The last but not least is asking for writing samples. If a candidate does not have them, it should be a clear signal for you that they do not have a calling card

Lucy Benton is a marketing specialist, business consultant and helps people to turn their dreams into the profitable business. Now she is writing for marketing and business resources. Also, Lucy has her own blog ProWriting where you can check her last publications. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on Twitter.

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