Blogging took off around two decades ago. In the early 2000s, it was a fun way to share one’s thoughts with the world.
Nowadays, it has also become an efficient way of generating leads.
No matter what industry you work in, you can use blogging to attract potential clients. In the long run, if you keep on publishing truly valuable and interesting content, it might even become your main customer acquisition strategy.
Moreover, a consistent and well-developed content strategy will improve your overall online presence, increasing the quality of your social media posts and more.
However, to be able to get to that point, you will need to hire a skilled content writer.
To achieve that goal, you have to know who exactly you are looking for, and our article will help you figure out just that.
Below, you will find a list of things you need to be on the lookout for when hiring a content specialist.
Experience in Writing for a Specific Niche
Ideally, you should be looking for a person who has already written the kind of content you need.
For instance, if you were to hire a content marketer to write interesting copy for faxburner.com, you would probably want a person who has already written about things like technology in business, office management, business growth, and so on.
The best way to go about it is to ask each candidate for their writing portfolio. That way, you will be able to clearly see what they have already written about. On top of that, it will give you an excellent opportunity to check out each candidate’s writing style and language proficiency.
Ability to Produce Grammatically Correct and Interesting Copy
Next, make finding people who have solid writing skills a priority. If the person you hire pays no attention to proper grammar and spelling, it might hurt your brand’s image.
After all, a bunch of spelling mistakes on your company website and its marketing materials can effectively deter people from purchasing your products and services. Additionally, if someone’s writing is devoid of emotion, it will not make for an exciting and memorable read.
So, how do you evaluate a content marketer’s writing skills? The simplest way to do it is to scan their application and resume, as well as previously published work. If you can see obvious spelling and grammar mistakes, such as incorrect usage of there and their, they are probably not worth hiring.
Obviously, you should not be too strict, either. Take things like ending sentences with a preposition and split infinitives. Both can be used by writers to set a rhythm, maintain flow, and make a piece of writing sound more conversational, all of which are good things.
Great Proofreading and Editing Skills
Once an article has been written, it needs to be proofread and edited. Firstly, it helps to avoid embarrassing errors. Secondly, it allows you to refine your message, framing your content in such a way that it conveys what you had in mind. Therefore, proofreading and editing skills are among the key things you should look for when hiring a content writer.
In addition, editing skills can really come in handy if you ever decide to build an entire team of content writers. That way, the people you hire will be able to proofread and edit each other’s work, which can also help both the editor and the writer whose work is being reviewed better their writing skills.
Journalistic-Level Research Skills
In general, long-form content has the greatest potential to attract potential clients. The longer an article is, the more informative it can be. However, you do not want it to be repetitive and based on false claims. To prevent that from happening, you will need to find enough information on the topic and verify each claim that you make for authenticity.
If you want a content marketing specialist to be able to do that, you will need to look for a person with journalistic-level research skills. With excellent research skills, one can write a long article on basically any topic, as long as it is not obscure and overly complicated.
Knowing How to Have Fun With Data
While content marketers are not expected to be mathematicians, crunching numbers is essential for creating valuable content.
For starters, data-driven posts make people trust you and garner likes and shares on social media platforms. They also earn backlinks, which saves you time and money on planning and executing link-building campaigns.
Aside from that, a content writer who is not afraid of parsing through large amounts of data will be able to analyze the published content’s performance against key performance indicators, such as web traffic, sales lead quality and quantity and search engine rankings.
Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization
While looking for a content specialist, you should pay close attention to your candidates’ level of knowledge about SEO. Why? If a candidate is not familiar with keyword research and does not know how search engines work, they will not be able to determine what type of content people are searching for online, which is crucial for building a strong online presence.
So, if possible, hire someone who has already had a chance to work with keyword research tools, such as Ahrefs. Apart from that, be on the lookout for candidates who have finished online courses related to search engine optimization.
To sum up, hiring a content writer is definitely not an easy task. Working in such a role requires a specific set of skills, such as the ability to produce grammatically correct and interesting content. You should also find someone who won’t plagiarize content. To make sure content is unique, use some of the top online plagiarism tools to detect any copied content.
In addition, a content marketer should have at least basic knowledge of how search engine optimization works and possess excellent proofreading and editing skills.
Other important qualities that you should be looking for include journalistic-level research skills and experience in writing for a specific niche. If you keep an eye out for all the things listed above, you should be able to hire the right person for the job in no time!