If you have ever tried to hire a writer, you’d know it’s not an easy task. We run a content writing agency that requires us to interview new writers every week. So we’re fairly familiar with how frustrating is the process of hiring a content writer.
But what is the real reason behind this struggle?
Are good writers truly a rare breed or is there a bigger problem with your approach?
We’re going on a limb here to tell you that in most cases it’s the latter.
Before you get defensive, be honest, have you ever found a writer with a fantastic portfolio and tons of experience delivering really bad content to you?
Well, you aren’t alone. People everywhere are struggling to understand how to find good writers.
So what’s wrong with your content writing approach?
If you even have one.
You’re looking for another you (but a writer version)
This is especially applicable for founders and CEOs who are well-versed in their business niche. You have years of experience behind your back that you want to convey through your content.
But have you considered that this experience is exclusive to you and not your writer?
Even if you aim to outsource content writing to industry experts, they’ll only have a general understanding of the industry. They won’t have the ideal knowledge of YOUR business and how you differentiate from your competitors.
But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for low-value content. The trick is to convey what you know to your writers…
…And stop doing the bare minimum while giving instructions.
People either ask the content writers to research the topic on their own or hand over a lousy content brief for an overview.
If you have been following any one of these two approaches, then you shouldn’t be surprised by the quality of content you have received.
When a writer is simply given a keyword for an article without any further instructions, they rely on the information that’s presented by Google. A good writer will mold the words to create a write-up engaging and SEO friendly, but at the same time, the information that they’ll present will not be original.
The originality can be added by including unique information about your product/service and describing how well you can solve your audience’s problems. Most companies care to share this information only with the salespeople and expect the writers to simply “get it” through their own research.
A writer especially a freelancer or an outside agency you’re using to outsource your content should be familiar with your products and offerings.
So instead of just telling the writer a keyword and what you’re selling, try to add helpful information regarding:
- What differentiates you from your competitors?
- Why should a reader care about your product or service?
- Did you conduct any kind of market research before launching your product? If yes, what was the objective and conclusion?
- How does your product work?
- How are you planning to position your brand in the market?
How you convey this information will depend on company to company. You can request a call or meeting with your writer or writing agency or ask a subject matter expert in your company to make a document answering these questions and share that with your writer as a part of the content brief.
Once you have a good brief in hand, the next step to ensure you get good quality content is managing your expectations and understanding your writer’s responsibilities.
How to understand a writer’s job responsibilities?
A content writer is not a content marketer or a content strategist. It might sound like an obvious distinction but we have seen so many companies assign the tasks of a content marketer to a writer. While in some cases, your writer might have the knowledge to perform those tasks but at the end of the day, it’s not their job.
To get a much clearer picture, here’s what a content writer offers:*
- Perform online research about the topics
- Produce relevant content as per the content brief
- Proofread and edit content before publication
- Write SEO-optimized content
What a content writer doesn’t offer:*
- Find and analyze your competitors messaging and strategy
- Find and survey the pain points or challenges faced by your target audience
- Create a content strategy
- Establish KPIs for measuring the success of your content
- Help determine your business goals
Make sure the scope of work stays within the constraints of your writer’s job requirements. Provide them with additional information about your target audience and competitors to make their job easier and get good results.
It might sound like a rant, but this article was meant to show a real struggle faced by both companies and writers.
We hope you gained some insight that’ll help you improve the way you approach content writing. But if you’re still struggling, get in touch with us and we’ll help you get the right content for your business.
We’ll assign you a dedicated account manager who’ll stay in touch with you to guide you through the entire process of submitting your content request. They’ll always encourage you to send us a thorough brief or simply fill in our pre-made content brief to get everything started.