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Selecting a Great Freelance Blog Writer

freelance-blog-writerWith the explosion of content marketing, many in the construction industry are considering hiring a freelance blog writer to help them with content creation.  These contractors know the power behind online marketing and driving traffic to their website, and are wondering, “How much does hiring a blog writer cost?”

You should run from a $50/article blog writer. 

The truth is, if you are looking for a writer to churn out blog articles, you can find someone, and if your only criteria is cheap, you can still find someone. Cheap “writers” (aka those who throw words on paper) are everywhere and are willing to write articles for $50 or less. And if this is what you are looking for – cheap writers – I say good luck with that. That will never be me.

Writing for the web – including writing blog articles – is a specialty skill. It is no different than being an electrician, a home builder or painter. Anyone can try to do these things, but only people who have dedicated time to learning the trade, perfected their skill, and staying current with this ever-changing medium will produce successful results.

I will never be a  blog writer who churns out articles for bottom-basement prices. I value my skills, my talents and my expertise in the field of online marketing too much. Annually, I spend hundreds of hours furthering my knowledge of online marketing / SEO copywriting by reading books and articles, participating in online forum and webinars, and getting one-on-one coaching from SEO copywriting experts. I am committed to dedicating my resources and time  – all with the goal of bettering my skills and  staying current with this particular niche of marketing.

And for all of those  reasons, I only want to work with contractors who are serious about content marketing and aren’t afraid to pay a fair price to get results.

To quote Scott Burt, Content Director for Blogging Painters, “Blogging is a lot of work, especially when supported by an integrated social media campaign …” (Source: http://bloggingpainters.com/the-more-things-change/)

Blog writing isn’t a commodity.

What should you look for in a freelance blog writer? For starters, if you want success, you need to get out of the “blog articles are a commodity” mentality. You aren’t shopping for cantaloupes here.

If you want real results from online marketing, you must seek out a copywriter who will work with you to maximize your entire online presence. This means they will make suggestions for “more” than just blog articles – because they want your blog articles to fit into your entire online marketing strategy – not be a separate afterthought.

This would be the same as painting the shutters of the home without any thought to the existing exterior of the home and neighborhood, or building a highway without considering the traffic patterns. It all needs to be researched and connect.

You want a writer that  will be an active part of your team – becoming your copywriter and (virtual) online marketing consultant. And yes, the good ones do cost more – but they get results and honestly, isn’t that what you want?

Determining a Great Freelance Blog Writer

Here are six traits to consider in selecting a great freelance blog writer / online marketing consultant – one you’ll be happy with:

  1. Did she ask about keywords/keyphrases? One of the basics of writing a good blog article is knowing your keywords/keyphrases and weaving them into your copy in a natural way. If you don’t have keywords/phrases identified, a good copywriter will recommend that your keywords are research before starting the project.

  2. Did she study your website? Your website is your online hub so it needs to be great. Part of the job of any online marketing copywriter is to study your website content and make suggestions for improvement.

  3. Does she know your website pretty darn good? Another aspect of a great online copywriter is knowing your existing content  so she can drive traffic to those specific products and services you offer and suggest hyperlinks in the copy. Naturally, the more she works with you, the more she will get to know your content over time. But even before you hire her, you should get a sense of her willingness to continue to learn about your business as you work together.

  1. Can she offer suggestions? One of the biggest stumbling blocks to  writing blog articles is knowing what to write about. Your copywriter should not only be able to suggest topics, but also know your target audience well enough to know what they want to read about.

  2. Does she write for your target audience and naturally?  In order for online marketing to be successful, you must know your audience. People do business with people – not companies, so it is important that your blog articles sound like you are talking to someone specifically, as if you are having a conversation with them over coffee.

  3. Does she have a passion for your industry? This is a BIG ONE! Your copywriter / marketing consultant should know your industry. If you are a home builder, you probably will not be as happy with the results from a writer who specializes in the medical industry as you would from someone who works with contractors. While it isn’t critical that you select a writer who specializes in your industry, you must, at minimum, get the feeling that she is passionate about your industry.

If you use these traits in selecting your freelance blog writer – and move away from being price-focused – I can guarantee that you’ll be happier with the results from the get-go.

Recommended Resource: Marcus Sheridan wrote an excellent post on how much a content marketing consultant costs. If online marketing is one of your initiatives for moving your business forward, I recommend you read it.

 

Tess Wittler
 

Tess is a content marketing specialist for the construction Industry. She works with contractors, architects, engineers and others in the industry who want to increase business by implementing proven content marketing strategies.

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