When you are first starting out, the word of digital marketing can be incredibly overwhelming. Between website design, social media accounts, email campaigns, SEO, analytics, and content creation, a lot of company’s decide to outsource components of their digital strategy. And one of the first things to go is writing (specifically blog writing).
While there are a lot of talented freelance writers out there, hiring one can be a waste of time, money, and energy if you don’t ensure a few things during the hiring process. If you want to get the most out of your new employee, ask these five questions.
1. Do you have experience with Inbound Marketing?
A freelance writer may have experience with writing; they may have experience with content writing, they may even have experience with professional content writing. But none of these things mean that they have experience with Inbound Marketing.
A freelancer may be a fantastic writer who does thorough research, but that only goes so far when it comes to your digital strategy. If you want to reach your potential buyers, you need a writer who is familiar with SEO, buyer personas, call-to-actions, and Inbound Marketing in general.
2. What types of content are you most familiar with?
The word “content” covers a broad array of things; email campaigns, product descriptions, white pages, e-books, social media posts, landing pages, blog posts— the list goes on and on. That means you may hire an experienced freelance writer who has never worked on the type of content you are asking for. You may hire an experienced blogger to write website copy and end up with a disastrous page.
So ask your potential hire what they are familiar with. What types of content do they usually write? It isn’t just about finding a talented writer but finding a writer that fits the job.
3. What industries do you have experience writing for?
Just as with types of content, you want to make sure your freelance writer has at least some experience writing for your industry or industries similar to yours. Writing for a college whose audience is primarily 18-24 year olds is a lot different than writing for a retirement home whose audience is 70-100 year olds. A writer who has experience in your industry has the potential to be:
- Knowledeable about industry topics
- Informed on successful and unsuccessful content strategies for your industry
- Familiar with your audience
- Familiar with an acceptable and effective tone and voice
4. What is your writing process like?
When you hire a freelance writer, you often pay an hourly rate or an overall price for the project. When you ask a writer about their process, you will be able to get some idea of how they spend their time and thus how your money will be spent. You will also be able to see if they take all of the steps necessary to writing a good blog post. For example, if the breakdown of their process looks something likes this:
- 3 hours writing
- 1 hour editing
- 1 formatting
At least one red flag should be raised. Why is their no research included in this breakdown? Are writing prep and strategy included in their “writing” section? What about keyword research?
Getting a layout of how your writer works is critical to managing expectations for both yourself and the writer.
5. What is your workload like?
There is a big difference in the amount of attention you’ll receive from your freelance writer if they are working on fifteen projects instead of one. Before hiring, you should always ask how many clients your interviewee is working with and how many projects they currently have under their belt. What does their regular work week look like? If they have too much on their plate, you may end up receiving subpar work—or worse—you may not receive the agreed upon work at all.
When you are first starting out in the digital marketing world, a freelancer might be right for you, but there are other options out there as well. If you don’t have the time or resources to take care of digital marketing on your own, consider hiring a digital marketing agency. When you work with an agency like Mindscape, you have a digital strategist, designer, developer, writer, photographer, and videographer all on your team!
If you’re interested in working with a digital markteing agency, click below and get into contact with us. We would love to answer any questions you have!