hiring a content writer

7 Questions to Ask when Hiring a Content Writer

When hiring a content writer for your marketing agency, it is easy to choose the one that has the lowest rates or ranks at the top of the search results, but is that the best writer for your business? Maybe. Is it better to research a few writers and interview them as if you were hiring an employee? Yes! Just like I want to work with agencies that are aligned with my experience and goals, I expect you would too.

7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Content Writer

Think of the process as if you were hiring a content writer to be an employee and give them the opportunity to get to know you as well. If it isn’t a good fit, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the relationship. They may be able to refer your agency to another writer (I know I refer when possible) or you may be able to refer them to another agency. In this way, the relationship between you is kept open, even if it isn’t a good fit for a particular project or client.

  1. How long have you been a freelance writer? If you’re seeking a content writer that is familiar with SEO or has experience in a particular industry (more on that later), then a new-ish writer may not be the right fit. It’s great that your neighbor’s son has a blog but as a college student, he may not understand business blogging techniques. Finding the right writer takes time and we’re not all good writers from the start. As with anything, it takes experience.
  2. Do you write full-time? As a full-time writer, I schedule time not only for networking and client meetings but for my own research. I have the luxury because I am not balancing my time with other obligations. If your agency may need the writer on client calls or available during the day, then a part-time writer may not be the best choice.
  3. What kind of experience do you have writing for my industry? I had a web designer call me and ask if I knew anything about the roofing industry. While I hadn’t written for that industry, I have experience writing for other home services including pest control and landscaping. She took the chance on me, and I wrote 12 blog posts for her roofing client which they liked. The reason it worked is that I have a formula of sorts for writing these types of posts and was able to provide the designer ideas right off the top of my head that was aligned with her client’s vision.
  4. What is your SEO training and/or experience? As digital marketing continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to create content with search engine optimization, or SEO, in mind. Writing a beautifully poetic piece is great but if that’s not what your agency needs, then that writer isn’t a good fit, even if they have the experience in other areas. As an SEO Content Writer, I have mentored content writers and provided the writer with basic SEO tactics for blogging to them so that we can deliver better content to our clients.
  5. How do you get paid? Writers get paid based on the number of words, per blog post, or per project. As with anything, with more experience comes a higher cost to clients but that also should mean the writer is creating better content. I base my blogging on a per post flat-rate structure while website copywriting is per project pricing. I like to learn about the scope of the project and client expectations in order to provide a proposal.
  6. What is your process? This is such a commonly asked question, I wrote a blog post called What is My Process When Working with Agencies wherein I describe what happens from the first point of contact.
  7. What is your experience working with digital marketing agencies? This will give you insight into not only the specific experience of working with agencies, but also how the writer collaborates with any clients. My first client was a PR/Marketing agency, so I’ve had 11+ years of experience. In most cases, my straightforward process aligns with the agency, and we can work together easily.

I’d add that you would also want to share about the marketing agency culture and expectations. It works best if it is a good fit for your agency and for the writer. I’ll be honest and tell you that I do ask questions, but more often than not, I listen and go with my gut when making decisions.

Before hiring a content writer at the top of the search engine results, interview a few to see who has the best experience and fits with your marketing agency.

If you’re seeking to add a content writer to your marketing agency, contact me via email at [email protected] or schedule through this website. Look forward to connecting!


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