6 Key Things to Look For In A Professional Content Writer

6 Key Things to Look For In A Professional Content Writer

As a web developer, your forte is focused on the user experience and visually pleasing page elements. But, what about the information that the user comes there to get? What about the content? That’s where a professional content writer comes in, and here are 6 key things to look for when hiring a content writer.

  1. Punctuality

Punctuality should be a given when dealing with any professional. You wouldn’t continue working with a brand or individual that was perpetually late, would you?

For content writers, punctuality begins with responding to your initial contact and runs all the way through the final content delivery. A pro content writer should be prompt in each aspect of their business, otherwise, it makes for a late website launch. No one likes a late website launch.

  1. Portfolio

This is another huge DUH. If you were hiring a graphic designer, you wouldn’t give a second thought to a new designer without a portfolio. A content writer needs to present their best and most recent work in a portfolio, too.

Make sure each prospective content writer has a portfolio that is clearly and beautifully presented, and that their writing style meets your needs. Some content writers are adept at transforming their writing style to meet a customer’s unique style and need, which is a huge bonus.

  1. Communication

Basic communication should always reflect the quality of work, meaning that a good content writer will carry a solid caliber of writing through to emails and texts.

Pay attention to how a prospective writer communicates with you in short bursts. If they cut corners and use acronyms and slang, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.

  1. Grasp of Brand Voice

Because content writing is different than copywriting, a good content writer should have a solid grasp of how to recognize and use a brand voice.

Each brand should have a unique voice and tone that they use in all communications. A content writer should be able to interpret and weave your voice into their words for a cohesive message.

P.S. If you don’t have a brand voice defined for your business, we can help!

  1. Understanding of Analytics

A basic understanding of analytics and how content affects analytics is another very simple thing that every professional that works with the web should have. A content writer is no different.

A good content writer must know how to navigate analytics, and how to determine if their content is functioning the way it was intended to. For instance, new content should be evaluated after a time to determine what effect it has on bounce rate, new organic visitors, retention rates, and goal conversions.

  1. Keyword Savvy

Keywords are a huge part of every content writer’s job. Because proper keyword research makes a big difference in how web content performs, a pro content writer should have good keyword research skills.

Whether you’re looking to hire a freelancer or an entire agency, try to keep these 6 key elements in mind when hiring a professional content writer.

Learn How to Write Like A Pro Every Time With These 5 Links

Learn How to Write Like A Pro Every Time With These 5 Links

Writing well can get the best of even the most skilled writer. Especially when it comes to writing concise and relevant content for your website, blog or any other application. Here are our 5 favorite resources to help you learn how to write like a pro every time.

The Headline

The headline of any piece of writing is arguably the most important, and getting it right is a bit of a chore. Fortunately, CoSchedule has a pretty slick little tool to help you craft the perfect headline with balanced emotional and powerful language.

To be honest, receiving a score of 100 is pretty damn impossible, but landing an A+ isn’t too hard. This tool helps you maintain a solid balance of common, uncommon, emotional and power words. Here’s a blog article from CoSchedule that helps explain the different types of words.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Screenshot

Basic Grammar and Sentence Structure

So, basic grammar shouldn’t be a problem for most people. Shouldn’t being the keyword.

Fear not, for there’s an app for that! A couple, actually.

Grammarly

This is a web-based browser plugin that not only live-screens your text in most applications, it also has an available feature which allows you to either write directly in a Grammarly document, or copy/paste your text in.

Grammarly helps you edit basic grammar mistakes, including commas. It is a real jerk about the Oxford Comma though, so don’t be surprised if you see tons of red your first time using the app. While the basic web plugin is free, they do offer a premium paid feature that helps catch more advanced mistakes.

Pro Writing Aid

We’ve only just been introduced to this wonder of modern technology, and it’s pretty sweet. Albeit a little confusing at first, but pretty sweet nonetheless.

One warning: it catches just about everything, so don’t feel discouraged after the first round of edits.

Simply copy and paste your text into the editing window and click Analyze. After a few seconds, this craziness will pop up…

ProWritingAid Screenshot

If you click on the sections with a red number in the left-hand column, the app will show you exactly what the issue is and what sentence it was found in. Be aware that some slang and modern terms are not being considered. For example it hates the word “plugin”.

Ensuring Web Readability

Writing for web applications like websites and blogs requires a certain amount of readability.

(That’s just a nice way to say your writing should be simple and easy to scan.) In terms of web content and blogging, the best choice is to keep your copy between an 8th-grade and 12th-grade reading level. That allows anyone to be able to scan it quickly without losing any context.

Hemingway App Screenshot

The Hemingway App is great for determining how difficult to read your content is. Simply copy and paste your content right into the web-based app and let it automatically review it for you. The app highlights words and/or sentences in color-coded sections to let you know what is too complex.

Checking for Duplicate Content

Finally, you’re done with a new blog post. You’ve written it from the heart and run it through every single other resource found in this article. But, what if someone out there has already something very similar. Sometimes we subconsciously write from memory, and will unknowingly plagiarize another piece of content. That’s where Copyscape comes into play.

You can either compare your text with another piece of written content for similarities or input your URL and let Copyscape do the work in locating similar content out there.

There’s no doubt about it, there are tons of great resources to help anyone be a better writer, and these 5 resources are only the tip of the iceberg. Do you have a favorite writing resource? Share it with us in the comments below!

Give Us A Story, Love…

Facebook Insights - Engagement Stats

The art of storytelling has held a prominent place in our culture for thousands of years. In fact, the storyteller often held a place of high honor in many communities. So it’s no wonder that storytelling has maintained a strong foothold in modern life as we know it.

A story can take on many different forms. From a song on the radio or a painting to a blockbuster movie. No matter what form your story takes, you’ll be sure to have a captive audience as every individual may perceive the same story in a different way or view it in a different light. This is precisely why storytelling is a valuable asset to your branding and marketing strategy.

So, Give Us a Story, Love…

Tell a story. Show us that you’re real, that you have feelings. Show us that you’re human. Be a storyteller and engage your customers like the humans that they are. Being human tends to go over much better than being a cold robot.

Too many brands have traded their true humanity for a little airtime. While trading something valuable for something even more valuable tends to make a great story it doesn’t always make for great branding.

Whether you’re a small business with five employees or a large national corporation, the art of storytelling is a valuable addition to your brand.