Your website needs more content. You don't have the resources in house to get it all done quickly and efficiently. You've decided to outsource.
It's time to hire a website writer.
You've made a good decision. Hiring a website writer has many benefits.
you can decide what you want, make a short phone call, and have it done without another thought.
you'll be hiring expertise. You don't have time in your business to be an expert on everything, so it can be worthwhile to bring in a website writer who understands how to write for search engines as well as for your website visitors, to get traffic, and to monetize it, too.
you're bringing a fresh perspective to the table. A good website writer can work with you to discover what your visitors are really interested in, and write to those interests. This can bring a unique value to your website, and make it a site visitors want to regularly visit and spend time on.
Though hiring a website writer is not without its downsides either.
The goal of this article is to help you navigate around the potential pitfalls of hiring a website writer, and give you the best possible result from your decision to outsource this critical task.
About Hiring Website Writers
Finding and hiring a good website writer can be of tremendous benefit to your business.
The ease of creating new content, the expertise, and the fresh perspective can bring a lot of value to your website, quick.
A good website writer can help you with a lot of tasks, too:
• Home Pages
• Sales Pages
• Landing Pages
• SEO for Web Pages and Content
• Email Newsletters
• Standalone Marketing Emails
• Autoresponder Email Series
• Blog/Forum Posts
• Product Descriptions
• PPC Ads
• E-books and Special Reports
A good website writer should be able to easily adapt to any of these tasks, and help you grow your business as a result.
How To Find Website Writers
Your first inclination when hiring a website writer may be to go cheap — as in, "Where can I get the best price on getting articles written for my website?" That may be dangerous to your business because often the best value won't be the lowest price.
So, while sites like Elance, oDesk, or Guru.com provide you with a way to dole out your projects to the lowest bidder, you're often going to end up with someone who has to rely on volume to make up for their low prices. And, when your website writer is more concerned about quantity than quality, your results may suffer.
Alternatives include searching the Internet for website writers who have proven their skills through good websites, looking for writers who have articles published in places like EzineArticles.com and WealthyWebWriter.com, and posting to job boards to find a good website writer.
How To Evaluate Website Writers
Okay, so now you have a short list of website writers you're considering hiring for your project. How do you choose? This list is the single-most important way to avoid falling into the low-price trap — because it gives you alternative ways to judge which website writer will be the best value for you.
1. Examples of past work — The most important thing you'll want to look for as you browse samples of a writer's past work is evidence they spoke directly to their target audience. How much do they know about visitors to the web page they wrote? How well do they communicate with those specific visitors, rather than communicating generally and with empty platitudes? Beyond this, you may want to ask for project-specific samples, such as examples from within the same industry or of the same type of project you need to complete.
2. Results of past work — Beyond the content of the samples a website writer provides you, you'll want to ask about results their clients have achieved. Did their website writing increase traffic to the client's website? Did traffic levels remain constant while visitor value and conversion rates increased? Ask for evidence of positive ROI as a result of the website writers' projects.
3. Client testimonials and references — Beyond ROI, you can learn a lot about what it's like to work with a website writer by turning to past clients. Look for any indications the website writer is easy to work with, brings fresh ideas to the table, or will make your life easier in any way. And, if you really want to know what they'll be like, ask for a reference or two so you can get your news directly from the source.
4. Demonstrated expertise — This criteria is a little vague, because there are so many ways for a website writer to demonstrate their expertise. Perhaps their own website is on the first page of Google for an important keyword. Or, maybe they've written a book on effective website writing. Or, they have a number of articles published online, on a number of different websites. Ask your potential website writers how you can be confident in their abilities — and the best will be quick to give you an answer through demonstrated expertise.
5. Industry recognition — Being well-known among peers shouldn't be your first criteria for picking your website writers. Though it can be telling of a writer's general understanding of promotion and marketing, which can pay off as they apply the same understanding in your business. Look for writers that have received industry rewards, are regularly published in industry publications, and who speak at industry events. This can be helpful in making your final decision.
Once you've measured your potential website writers against these criteria, you can then weigh price as an additional factor to help you understand how they all stack up. Using this more complex approach to evaluating website writers can help you make the best final decision about which website writer to work with to add the most value to your business.
What You Should Expect From Website Writers
When you're hiring a website writer, you should expect a partner for the length of your projects. You should expect someone who will get involved with what it is you're doing. Someone who wants to know what your goals are for the project, and how they can help you meet them. And, someone who's interested as much in the results their work gets for you, as they are in getting the work done and getting paid.
As such, most website writers will expect to have a conversation with you about each project, especially if the project is more complex, and especially when they’re new to working with your business.
They should be asking questions like:
• What visitors are currently coming to your website?
• How do you expect to send visitors to see this writing?
• What expectations will visitors have when they see this?
• What do you want the visitor to do as a result of reading this?
• What is your ultimate goal from your website?
When you have a website writer who is taking the time to ask these important questions, you know you have someone who's partnering with you for your success rather than just trying to earn a paycheck. And, that's how you're going to get the best value and the best results.
What Website Writers Expect From You
It's important to remember that when you hire a website writer, you're creating a relationship — meaning both people's ideas and priorities are important. You'll find you get the best results when you focus on "working with" your website writer, rather than "using them" for a project. It's an important distinction.
A website writer wants to know that their opinion and the work they do is valued. They want to be excited about the project with you — and they especially want to be excited when their work has helped you accomplish your goals.
And, here's something important about any feedback you have for your web writer. Remember that you're hiring an expert. You chose them because they bring critical knowledge to the table — as well as the ability to get the project done. So, when you approach your website writer with feedback about their work, do it with respect to their expertise.
This doesn't mean to take everything they do or say as gospel — even great writers can screw up sometimes. Though, if there are parts of the website writing they've done for you that raise questions, that don't compute, or that somehow don't work for you, ask about them. See what their thought process was in doing it that way. Sometimes they'll realize you found a spot to improve their writing. And, sometimes you'll realize they had a good reason for doing what they did.
Either way, you'll have a better relationship and get better results by using this collaborative approach.
The Final Word
Hiring a website writer to help you with your projects can be a smart decision. Like I mentioned before, you're getting someone who can ensure your project gets done with little fuss, you're adding an expert to your team, and you're bringing in a fresh perspective that can help you find big ideas that will help your business succeed.
If you use the advice provided in this article, you'll avoid the potential pitfalls many clients experience when trying to hire and work with website writers. And, you may just find that bringing in a website writer to help you with your project contributes tremendous value and can be an important key to maximizing success with your website!