Here are several strategies for finding top writers, ranging from recruiting platforms and content tools to professional guidance from content marketing specialists. It’s the best of times and the worst of times for content marketers right now. They are aware that producing high-quality material would support their success, but it appears to be increasingly tougher to locate creative authors. Due to lockdowns and mandatory work-from-home policies, more individuals than ever are spending time online. Last year, many businesses realized that content marketing was a great way to reach and engage their target audiences. However, data from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs indicates that over the past year, roughly two-thirds of B2B marketers have been expected to perform additional tasks with the same amount of resources. The content marketing team in small businesses often consists of just one person. Even in medium- and large-sized businesses, the content marketing team typically has between two and five members. This explains why, even though their employees value innovation and craftsmanship in content development and execution, 50% of content marketers claim that certain content marketing activities are outsourced by their organizations.
So, How Do You Find Talented Writers to Fuel Top-Quality Content Creation?
I posted this topic to a few pioneers and thought leaders in content marketing. This powerful combination possesses a remarkable level of knowledge, authority, and reliability (E-A-T). The first is Rebecca Lieb, who wrote one of the earliest books on the subject, “Content Marketing” (Que Publishing, 2011). Rebecca has been at the vanguard of digital advertising and media from the start and is a well-known and highly recognized analyst, educator, practitioner, strategist, advisor, author, and speaker. She has also written extensively on a variety of original research subjects, including content marketing, content strategy, and converging media. The second was Robert Rose, the Content Marketing Institute’s Chief Strategy Advisor (CMI). One of the most well-known specialists in digital content strategy and marketing in the world, Robert is in high demand as a consultant, best-selling book, keynote speaker, and keynoter. Three of his best-selling books are “Managing Content Marketing” (CMI, 2011), “Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing,” and “Killing Marketing” (McGraw Hill, 2017). I’ve listed my queries and their responses below.
Who needs top-quality content creation?
It’s difficult to imagine a brand, product, or service that doesn’t require outstanding content, and search is only the beginning, according to Rebecca Lieb. Content may build thought leadership and authority in your business, convince customers that they need you, or just be so entertaining, hilarious, and wonderful that it increases your brand’s favorability with clients and potential clients. They could even spread it, expanding your message’s reach and brand recognition.
“Everyone,” said Robert Rose. No matter how big your company is, if you want to provide value to your clients, you are just as much a media company as you were when you first started. Of course, this is no secret, and as I’ve previously stated, not every business will have a strong content strategy, but every successful business will.
What should they look for in talented writers?
Lieb: “The ability to write in the brand’s voice and style, as well as some expertise and familiarity in the topic area. A good writer is versatile, so they don’t need to have a Ph.D. in your field, but you wouldn’t hire a science writer to promote soft drinks, for instance. Rose: “I’ll probably respond to the issue of what you should prioritize rather than answering this with ‘writers that are brilliant.'” I place a strong emphasis on skill above subject matter knowledge. There is an old myth, which I’m not sure is accurate, that claims UPS didn’t recruit drivers and train them on customer care. They trained the excellent customer service agents they employed on how to drive. With writing, the same is true. I’ve always had far more success in my business when I hire exceptional content writers and train them in business practices.
How should they evaluate a writing portfolio?
Lieb: “Do you enjoy the tone and mannerisms? Is it tidy and professional-looking? Is it generally consistent with your tone, voice, and topic matter? Have they worked with other tech companies, for instance, if you’re a tech company? It might not be a good fit if their primary employment is in the CPG industry. Rose: “To me, a great writing portfolio makes me want to read it even when I have no interest in the subject. I want outstanding stories, engrossing world-building, and strong characters in a literary portfolio—not simply a tidy presentation of the “facts.” Because of this, I never advise someone to go over a portfolio before asking, “Okay, now create me a sample for my industry.” Nope. If they’re good at what they do, then your company will benefit if they can do the same degree of research. And they ought to be compensated for that.
Do you have any tips for interviewing writers?
Lieb: “Ask about their job; find out whether the research was necessary and how it was handled. How many revision cycles are covered by their price? Can they complete the job by the deadline you’ve set? Inquire further about the writing examples that you’ve read. Do they appear to be competent? Are you being questioned by them? (They ought to!) Yes, asking writers to describe their genesis is one of my favorite questions, according to Rose. Great authors, in my opinion, have considered and are skilled at telling their own stories.
Would you share a few places to find top writers?
Lieb: “Ask: What are the sources of written content in your field to discover freelance writers. Trade magazines? Academic journals? Blogs on the subject? Contact the professionals by going to where they are located. They might be able to provide you with solid recommendations if they won’t or can’t write for you. There are many excellent content marketing companies out there, especially ones that have developed within (or close to) conventional publishers that have access to outstanding writers. CMI has a list of them here. Otherwise, my preferred method is to compile a list of the authors in magazines, newspapers, or other media that I truly adore, then get in touch with them. Many of them provide freelance services or work as independent contractors. Typically, this is a more expensive expenditure, but it is well worthwhile.