Believe it or not, branding is more than just your company name and logo. To push your customers in shaping a specific brand image in their minds, you would have to go beyond colors and work on words and interpretation. This is where you need to hire a freelance content writer.
Whether it’s a blog, article, guest post, or advertisement, the thing that most influences the audience is correct, engaging, and top-notch content that is also very essential to drive traffic on your site or build a positive brand image.
But while you decide to hand over the reins to a freelancer writer, you may also need to reflect on what that process demands. After all, your brand's reputation is your topmost priority, and you wish to make the right decision.
Important Questions to Ask
During the freelance writers' evaluation process, it is crucially important to know the nature of questions you need to ask. Try to ask open-ended questions such as the ones defined below to assess how qualified and appropriate a writer is for the job. Their responses will help you understand the kind of writer they are.
With that said, here are six important questions to ask that will help you land a great freelance content writer for your business.
1. What Types of Content Can You Create?
This is the first and most important question, which will help you proceed further. Sometimes, a writer who writes excellent whitepapers may not be able to pull off with writing an engaging and SEO-optimized blog. Similarly, a freelance writer who is an expert in creating eBooks may not be suited for business proposals.
However, freelance writers may have command over more than one content type, but make sure to ask their most preferred type to avoid problems. For instance, a former newsperson is more likely to make a great blogger than a technical writer would make.
2. Which Industries Do You Specialize in?
Freelance writers are typically knowledgeable about more than one industry, especially those who make their living by twenty-four-hour freelance writing. But, focus on asking the industry they mostly specialize in.
Competent freelance writers must know their particular areas of expertise. If you encounter a writer who has some know-how in multiple industries, ask him or her to produce a relevant sample.
For example, if you are looking for a freelance writer in the marketing industry, you should ask for writing samples about business and technology to evaluate their level of proficiency.
3. What Tone and Style Do You Enjoy Writing in?
One quality of skilled freelance writers is their ability to adapt to different tones based on the company they’re writing for. To evaluate a writer’s style, you must first know the exact tone of your business.
While you converse with the freelance writers, see if they use words that correspond to the nature of your business. If they succeed in doing so, they are undoubtedly competent enough to alter their tone on a client-by-client basis.
It may also mean they've already gone through your blog content and have a knack to shape tone and style accordingly. This is where you don’t need second thoughts to hire the writer because this skill would do wonders for your business.
4. Describe your Research Strategy?
No matter how skilled a freelance writer is, strong research must be their ultimate direction to work. Whether they are beginners or expert freelance writers, they must carry out basic research regarding the given topic to avoid errors and slip-ups.
The freelance writer you choose to work in the long run may have to pull off with new and challenging topics that might sound beyond his or her realm of knowledge.
Therefore, you need to ask questions like: How do you find new topics that customers ask you? How do you come to know if there are new features or innovations in your industry? What sources do you consider to verify your content?
By listening to their responses, it would be an open and shut case for you to choose the best freelance writer.
5. Are You Familiar with Writing SEO Optimized Content?
As a qualified freelance writer, it is expected to understand the basics of search engine optimization through content. But, this doesn’t really mean that they should have proficiency in defining your complete SEO strategy.
As freelance writers, they are only liable to write engaging content that will serve to optimize your blog, title, or headers. Furthermore, they can write captivating meta descriptions that will land readers on your blog and add internal links where necessary.
This is the basic knowledge of SEO a freelance content writer should have. So keep this in mind while ensuing to hire a freelance writer for yourself!
6. How do you get along with Revisions?
Last but not least, this is the most important concern you will be having while hiring a freelance writer. The way your interviewees define their revision cycle would clearly indicate which way the wind will blow.
Without any doubt, the freelance writer you choose for your brand should be happy to welcome feedback and revisions. This would help both the parties to build a positive relationship throughout and after the work contract.
Ask your preferred freelance writer to describe how they tackle revisions, and never forget to decide and set the revision frequency for your projects. This simplest of tactics will be indicative of something much more important.
When you are done interviewing, always ask for their published samples and references for endorsement. Now, go through the notes you have prepared during the interview and cross-check things with the provided samples.
If you find a freelance writer with a great work ethic, extraordinary samples, and excellent client reviews, then Kudos – you are all set to pass the baton onto your newly hired content writer!