Questions To Ask Your Content Writer Before Contracting Them
It’s no big secret that blogging for business is an important aspect of building a strong online presence for your brand. It’s a powerful tool for relationship building; for brand recognition and for positioning yourself as a company that knows what it is talking about, and goes above and beyond by providing insights and helping information for customers and prospects.
Despite all the positive benefits of blogging, it can still be tough trying to find the time to do it. As much as a blog written by yourself sharing your expertise would seem best, for many business owners and marketers, it’s just not feasible to fit this into their day. In this situation, hiring a freelance blogger or professional content writer to take care of things could be a great way to start reaping the benefits of a blog.
Finding The Right Blog Writer
Before hiring a content writer to work on your blog, you should make sure that you’ve found the right person for the job. The internet is flooded with companies and individuals claiming to be amazing at blog writing, so you can afford to be picky and ask a few questions. Here are 5 questions we think you should be asking your content writer before contracting them to provide your blog content.
- What is included in the cost?
While you might be tempted by the low, low prices on some of the freelancing websites, don’t be fooled into thinking all writers are the same. Lower prices than other writers can often mean less experience or a poor quality product. So beware the writer who promises a lot for a little investment. As well as picking a writer who prices fairly for their time, check that all the necessaries are going to be included too, such as:
- Words: Set expectations for the length of your blog from the start.
- Research: Will your writer perform background research as part of the cost?
- Revisions: What if you’re not happy? How many edits will the writer do to get it right?
- Links: Will your writer add in relevant links to sources of information or your own website?
A 700-word blog post takes a good couple of hours to research, write and edit, possibly longer for a more complex topic. Consider this when you’re looking at blog post costs and the hourly rate for the blog writer.
- What do you know about SEO?
While you don’t want your blog writer stuffing your beautifully crafted blog with keywords to the point that it spoils the reader value, they should at least have a basic working knowledge of current SEO practices. You probably don’t need them to perform in depth keyword research on every article they produce for you, or to work on an SEO strategy for your blog. However, they should be able to include one or two high volume search strings in the appropriate places so that your page is correctly indexed by Google.
- How do you prepare your blog posts?
If their answer to this is ‘I just sit down and write’, warning bells should sound! Even on the most straightforward of topics your content writer should be performing some cursory background research and most importantly understanding what your position is on a subject. Here at We Love 2 Blog 4 You, our on boarding process for regular clients involves really understanding where the they sit in the market, their industry, their brand, competitors and more. Then we get on to the detail for individual topics. With a one-off job I would at least expect the writer to come back with a list of questions to ensure they are sufficiently briefed.
- Who will own and be named on the work?
The majority of blog writers understand that a post on a company blog is a ghost writing service. They understand that they are filling in for the business owner / marketer and that therefore the blog will not be credited to the writer. However, do make this clear from the outset, as it is crucial that once paid for you own and can edit the copy yourself. You should also make it clear that the blogger is not to repost your blog anywhere else, and discuss whether or not they can use your blog as part of their portfolio in the future. A basic NDA is easy to set up and can protect you against issues in the future.
- Can I see some examples of your work?
A good content writer will have plenty of past examples of their work for you to look through, and it’s important that you do this to see if their style and tone fit well with your brand. Experienced writers should be able to tailor their style slightly to match your brand guidelines and tone, but their inner ‘voice’ of writing will usually shine through. If their style really grates with your vision for your brand, they probably aren’t the right person for you.
Hiring a professional blog writer to take care of your blogging needs could be the best investment you’ve made this year. Take some time to make sure you ask the right questions and pick the right person for your business, so you can maximise the effectiveness of your company blog.
Talk to us today about blog writing for your business, and let us help you find the perfect writer for your needs.