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5 Reasons You Hired the Wrong Freelance Writer

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If you’re reading this, you understand the plight of business ownership and the demands of organically growing your business. With so many moving parts to keep track of (often done on a shoestring budget), hopefully the time comes when business is booming and you no longer can juggle it all. Writing content worked fine when you were first starting out, but now you need help creating killer content for both you and your clients.

The good news: Your business is growing. The not-so-good news: You have no idea how to find a writer who’s a great fit. Maybe you hired a writer and it went badly. Or you’re worried about failure before even getting started.

Whether you hired a writer and it went south or you’re in need of one and not sure what to look for, here are 5 reasons you hired the wrong freelance writer:

Reason #1: Too little research, too little time. It’s amazing what we do when we’re in a hurry. Frenzied schedules and crunched deadlines can lead us business owners to grab the first person that applies to our job posting. Or we hire the friend of a friend without asking any pertinent questions. Just because the writer was a great fit for them doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be a great match for you. It takes a bit of focused effort to sort through the duds and find a writer who fits well with your company.

Reason #2: Not asking the right questions. It isn’t just about asking potential writers questions, it’s about asking the right questions. Instead of the typical request for a resume, ask writers if they have a portfolio to show you. Better yet, assign writers a specific sample to write for you. This is the best tried-and-true litmus test to determine if they are a good fit, i.e. work ethic, ability to nail your brand voice as well as following instructions.

Reason #3: Lack of communication.  Communication is key to getting to know your perfect writer.  If you only return one out of every three emails, you’re not communicating.  If you’ve only spoken to the writer via email, then there may be some gaps that can only be sorted out through verbal communication, i.e. Skype or phone. Consistency in returning emails or phone calls is important as well as making time to touch base with writers to answer any questions, flesh out creative ideas or suggestions and provide constructive feedback on previously submitted work.

Reason #4: Vague knowledge of what you’re looking for. There’s a saying that goes, “if you aim at nothing, that’s exactly what you’ll hit”.  This is especially true when hiring a freelance writer.  Even the best writers can totally miss the mark when you only present them with an “I’ll know when I see it” approach. The more you know about who you are, i.e. your brand voice, tone and target audience, the better the writer can deliver a good product.

Reason #5: Penny pinching. Face it—you’re cheap. That’s okay. Your marketing budget may be humble. Who wants to invest resources without good returns?  You thought the writer would whip up a few words and post them—no big deal. So why pay them more than pennies on the dollar? (After seeing the results, you know the answer). The key is to look for value instead of a “quick and dirty” product. Quality writers provide more than just words. They use words strategically to execute your brand voice as well as playing an integral role executing an SEO Marketing Strategy  to help grow your business.

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*Free Image courtesy of deathtothestockphoto.com

 

 

 

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