How to find good content writers for your digital marketing agency?
Every digital marketing agency needs a content writer — sometimes even a few of them. Although there are many content writers in Sri Lanka, finding a good and reliable writer can be tough.
Over the years we’ve been hired as content writers by many companies. In the last few years, we have spent a lot of our time learning how to hire content writers to keep up with the demand of our clients.
So we have experienced it from both ends, and now we are here to share what we’ve learned through the years to help you find excellent content writers for your digital marketing agency.
We believe there are 4 steps to the process, which are as follows.
- Finding content writers
- Vetting them
- Hiring them
- Managing them
Let’s dig deep into each step.
1. Finding content writers
There are mainly two ways that you can use to find a good content writer in Sri Lanka; find online or get a recommendation.
A simple google search always works here as good content writers will know their SEO. You can also turn to social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Freelancing platforms are always a great place to find good freelance content writers in Sri Lanka.
Another good way to find good writers is to pay attention to the bylines of articles you find online. Look them up if the author’s bio says they’re a writer. They most likely have a web page or social media handles through which you can contact them.
The other way to go about this is to get recommendations. You might also ask around for suggestions, especially if you have friends who work in a similar sector to yours. They might be able to recommend someone good.
What makes a good content writer?
A good content writer is fluent in syntax, grammar, and punctuation. He or she should be creative in word combinations and sentence construction.
Also, they must be able to write a good story that will grab the reader’s attention. So make sure that your content writer has excellent writing skills.
Novelists, creative writers, and assignment writers, for example, are not always good content writers. There can be novelists who also have skills and talent in marketing. But this is rare.
Here people with a background in journalism can be a better option since they have experience with research and fact-checking. However, in certain circumstances, their writing may also be “too traditional” for modern content marketing.
Content writing is very different from the writing you are taught in school. So even if you have a background in writing, you might not make a good content writer. So make sure to check their resume for experience in content writing.
Ability to Understand Brands & Audiences
The content writer you hire will work on a variety of content for a variety of clients. So your writer should be able to adapt to different brands’ voices and tones and understand different audiences and their pain points.
This is important in generating content to satisfy your client’s and their clients’ needs.
When you are going through their samples, make sure they have different writing styles and tones so you can be confident that your writer has the ability to work with different brands.
If your client deals with highly technical subjects, you should have on hand a qualified writer that understands the complexities of the particular field. Their technical understanding will be useful for creating in-depth content as well as for breaking them down to create easy-to-understand content.
However, such writers can be very costly. So it is preferable to hire such sort of writer as a consultant on an on-demand basis.
No matter how good of a writer they are, if they are not professional and don’t have good work ethics, they won’t be easy to work with.
A content writer should have excellent communication skills and be easy to contact. On the other hand, they must be dependable and responsive to queries, issues, and concerns.
Also, they should be able to accomplish the general goals of your content strategy and meet deadlines effectively.
Knowledge in SEO
SEO knowledge is essential for a content writer. Good digital content writers do not need to be SEO specialists; rather, they should have a fundamental awareness of what SEO is and how to write with it in mind. They should also be able to employ SEO-friendly writing strategies.
2. Vetting Content writers
Apart from the rates, consider the following while selecting a content writer:
Every competent content writer has a portfolio with samples. If the writer is experienced, they will have an extensive portfolio written in a diversity of industries.
However, at Snappy Script, we often like to look at the 3 samples thoroughly, which we select randomly from the sample list shared.
What to look for when reviewing samples?
The Flow of The Content – Is the writing structured well? Is there an introduction, a body, and a conclusion? Is the point of the body properly explored?
Voice and Tone – Do the content sound like an essay? (which is not good) How attractive and engaging the writing style is? Is it fun and interesting yet professional enough for a B2B business?
A Clear Purpose – Is the content written for the intended purpose? For example, blog articles are written to showcase you as a thought leader. When it comes to web content, it’s often to market a service/ product. Also, check whether the CTAs are straightforward and powerful.
Engaging Writing Style – If you had to take breaks in between to read the article, the writer isn’t a really good storyteller. Nobody takes pauses when reading a 1000-word piece. Also, see how often you have to read the same sentence multiple times just to understand what it means.
SEO Components – Check to see whether the writer is following the best practices for on-page SEO. Does it have proper keywords? Is it keyword stuffed? How natural is the keyword usage throughout the content?
Spelling & Other Punctuation Errors – We all make errors. But if the best work of the writer has so many spelling mistakes, it’s a sign they don’t care much to double-check their work. You should expect the content to require only minimal editing. Having to spend an hour editing a piece is unacceptable.
What if the writer doesn’t have experience?
Everyone has to start somewhere. If they have the potential you can help them polish it up. And there is no better way to understand their potential than with a small custom sample done.
Give them guidelines on what your expectations are for the piece. Here more guidelines is, the better. Make sure to share reference links and samples to help the writer get an idea about the writing style needed.
What’s next in the vetting process?
Once you filter out the best writers, have a chat and understand how they work. This will help you learn more about how this individual thinks and operates and see whether they are a suitable fit for your company.
Also, keep in mind working with a writer that has experience in your specific field is quite beneficial.
From the beginning of the process, make sure to have templates for each email and response. So you don’t have to type the same thing over and over again.
What makes a great content writer?
When selecting a content writer, make sure they have the following characteristics. These will ensure a smooth writing process and quality outcomes every time.
- Never Plagiarism
- Highly specific and accurate
- Respect deadlines
- Pay attention to directions/guidelines/ outlines
- Minimal grammar mistakes/typo
3. Hiring Content Writers
Once you’ve chosen the perfect individual, it’s time to discuss the finer points, such as budget and timeline. So make sure you clearly express your requirements, project scope, budget, and timeframe.
Some content writers in Sri Lanka charge per word, while others charge per piece.
After discussing the scope of the project, you can negotiate a fixed project fee with your writer. Also, discuss the turnaround times and revisions offered.
At this stage, you need to be very clear on what you’ll receive, when you’ll receive it, and how much it will cost you.
The content writer you are hiring will also benefit from this as they get to understand your expectations and requirements for the project.
Keep in mind that your goal at this stage is to
- Make sure you are interviewing the same person who wrote those samples.
- See if they fit your work style and are easy to work with in the long run.
Communication is crucial at this stage. Good communication will help you set expectations and avoid unpleasant surprises along the way.
You can ask for a small custom sample at this stage to know for sure you are making the right choice with this hire.
It will take some experience to judge the quality of the samples. But if you know what makes good content, assessing the quality of your writer’s work won’t be hard.
Here are a few ways to assess the quality of a sample
- Reading the opening line is one technique to assess the quality of someone’s writing. They have good writing skills if you get drawn in and read the entire introduction.
- You can also check the flow of the article. See how the details are organized and how creatively they are presented. Does the layout of the article make sense? Do you have to go through the same sentence, again and again, to understand what it says?
- Also, check the content with on-page SEO writing aspects in mind.
- Excellent calls to action, catchy headlines, and good grammar, spelling, and word choice are often signs of quality content.
4. Managing content writers
There is much more to managing content writers than just the brief. If you give them a solid brief at the very beginning, you won’t have to spend a lot of time giving feedback and guiding them in the right direction.
However, you need more communication than just sending an email with the requirement or a brief to your content writer. Giving detailed feedback is crucial during the first few tasks as it will help them understand your client’s preferences and expectations.
Also, don’t get upset or disappointed if you or your client want a few revisions. If you make a good hire, the number of revisions will go down drastically after the first few pieces.
Be sure to motivate your writers and compliment them for their good work. This will cheer them up and let them know that you appreciate and value their work.
Also, keep in mind that creativity demands concentration, and frequent interruptions might hinder the writing process. So calling about the email sent a few seconds ago might not be necessary.
However, you need to set reasonable timelines and keep track of progress.
Good writing needs both writing time and regular breaks, the latter allowing a writer’s mind to recharge and edit with sharper concepts.
So don’t expect a writer to deliver a long piece of content within 12 hours unless it’s super urgent. Give them enough time to finish the project. You even can ask them about the time needed to create the content, which they would really appreciate.
Also, avoid micromanagement, and you’ll get greater respect and better quality work, and the writers will undoubtedly stay longer.
Important- Training your writers is also important. This will not only help you but will also establish a mutually beneficial connection with the writers. You can advise them and give them feedback to improve their writing — of course, if you have expertise in writing. But if not, good resources and courses would also do. But don’t overload them with so many materials at once.
Freelancer vs in-house writer vs Content writing agency
Hiring writers in-house is a terrific option as you will have your writer next to you at all times. But this can be very expensive unless you’re a major corporation.
If you are just a start-up and just started offering content marketing services, you might not be able to afford a full-time writer yet. Another disadvantage is that you are restricted to the capabilities of that one individual.
Hiring a freelance content writer in Sri Lanka is the most cost-effective option. You can hire them on a project basis and pay per piece or project. Freelancers know how to work with minimum supervision, which means you don’t have to worry about managing them much.
However, finding a reliable writer who has good experience can be a challenge. There is a bad reputation for freelancers out there in Sri Lanka, and this includes freelance writers as well. We have heard so many stories from our clients about freelance writers who they went to before us that do not even answer their calls after the advance payment is made.
Working with a content writing service or an agency is the easiest way to hire content writers for your digital marketing agency.
- You don’t have to go through the hassle of finding, vetting, and managing writers, as they have processes in place to find the best writers and train them well. This will save you a lot of time.
- You get access to a wide range of talent from one place. You might need a press release article this week and a white paper next month, and you won’t have to look for different writers when you have a content writing agency, as they have all types of writers.
- You can scale up easily as your business grows. Although you may only need 4 articles per month at the moment, this can easily become 20 per month if you land a few more clients. A content writing service will be right there, ready to scale as your business expands.
- You get access to content marketing experts, content editors, and SEO content specialists who will help you improve the quality of your content. They will make sure all the content is fact-checked and ready for publishing before you receive it.
- Often content writing services are more reliable than individual freelancers as they have multiple people involved in the process.
Keep in mind that all of these will cost you but will be worth your money. If you are interested in hiring a content writing service in Sri Lanka you might want to check our samples.
With us creating content is fast and easy. All you have to do is tell us your requirement and sit back and relax and our writers take care of everything from researching and writing to editing and proofreading. Contact us for more details.
Keep in mind that not everyone you select would make the cut, even if they sound perfect at first. Humans make mistakes, whether they be simple grammatical errors or more major concerns, such as plagiarism. Some can get tardy or sloppy in their work with time. Sometimes their work ethics might not work for you.
The sooner you identify a problematic freelance writer, the faster you can move on from them. For inexperienced writers, you can give them normal three strikes before making any harsh decisions.