For content marketers, this is the best of times, it’s the worst of times.
They know that creating quality content will fuel their success, but finding talented writers seems to be getting harder.
With more people spending time online than ever due to lockdowns and work-from-home mandates, last year many organizations discovered that content marketing was an excellent opportunity to get and stay in front of their target audiences.
But about two-thirds of B2B marketers have been asked to do more with the same resources over the past year, according to research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
In small organizations, the content marketing team is usually just one person.
Even in medium to large sized companies, the content marketing team is often in the range of two to five employees.
This explains why 50% Content marketers say that their organizations outsource some content marketing activities even though their organizations value creativity and craftsmanship in content creation and production.
So, how do you find talented writers to support the creation of quality content?
I asked two content marketing pioneers and thought leaders to answer this question.
This dynamic duo has an extraordinary amount of Experience, Authority and Trustworthiness (EAT).
The first is Rebecca Lippwho wrote “Content Marketing (Que Publishing, 2011)”, one of the first books on this topic.
As a highly respected and highly respected analyst, educator, practitioner, strategist, consultant, author, and speaker, Rebecca She has been at the forefront of advertising and digital media since the beginning.
She has also published a large body of original research, including a large body of work on the topics of content marketing, content strategy, and affinity media.
was the second Robert RosePrincipal Strategic Advisor to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
Robert He is an in-demand consultant, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and one of the world’s most recognized digital marketing and content strategists.
He is the author of three bestselling books including “Killing Marketing (McGraw Hill, 2017)”, “Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing (CMI, 2015)” and “Managing Content Marketing (CMI, 2011)”.
These are my questions and their answers.
Who really needs to create quality content?
Rebecca LippIt’s hard to think of a brand, product or service that doesn’t need stellar content – and research is only the beginning.
Content can help clients decide that they need you, it can establish thought leadership and authority in your industry, or it can be so fun, interesting, and interesting that it makes clients and prospects like you more.
Maybe they’ll share it, amplifying your brand, reach, and message.”
Robert Rose: “In a word: everyone. It doesn’t matter how big your business is, every company striving to create customer value is as much a media company as it is any business they’ve started.
But it’s no secret of course, and as I said before, not every company will have a great content strategy – but every successful company will.
What should they look for in gifted writers?
lib: “The ability to write in the style and tone of a brand’s voice, as well as some knowledge and experience of the subject matter.
They don’t have to have a Ph.D. in your subject—a good writer is adaptable—but by the same token, you probably wouldn’t hire a science writer to sell soft drinks, for example. “
rose: “Answering this question with ‘gifted writers’ seems unhelpful and circular, so I’ll probably answer the question [of] What you should prioritize.
I am a firm believer in talent over subject matter expertise.
There is an old saying (don’t know if this is true) that UPS didn’t hire drivers and teach them how to provide customer service. They hired great customer service reps and taught them how to drive.
The same goes for writing.
In my work, I’ve always had much better success hiring talented creators and teaching them the business.”
How should they evaluate a writing portfolio?
libDo you like the style and tone? Is it clean and professional? Does it generally go with your theme, voice, and tone?
For example, if you were a tech company, did they have other tech clients? If they’re mainly doing CPG, it might not be a good fit.”
rose“For me, a great writing portfolio is when I care about reading, even when I don’t care about the subject matter. When I look at my writing portfolio, I want great stories, compelling world-building, and solid characters—not just a neatly curated presentation of ‘facts’.”
This is why I always recommend that someone don’t review a portfolio and then say, “Okay, now write me a sample for for me industry.” No.
If they are good at what they do, they will only be good once they can do the same level of research for your business. And for this, they must be paid.”
Do you have any tips for interviewing writers?
libAsk about their work: Was research required, how did they do it? How many rounds of editing were included in their price? Could they change the project on your deadline?
Ask deeper questions about samples of their work you’ve read. Do they look professional? do they ask You are Questions? (they must!).”
rose: “Yes, my favorite question is to ask writers to tell me their origin story. I find that great writers have thought about their story and can tell it well.”
Want to share some places to find the best writers?
lib: “To find freelance writers, start by asking: What are the sources of information written on your topic? Trade publications? Scholarly or academic journals? Blogs on the topic?”
Go where the experts are and connect with them. If they don’t write to you or they can’t write to you, they’ll probably make good recommendations.”
roseThere are a lot of great content marketing agencies out there – especially those formed within (or next to) the traditional publishers who have the best writers available.
CMI already has a directory for them here. Other than that, my favorite thing to do is locate writers in magazines, newspapers, or other publications that I really enjoy, make a list, and contact them directly.
Many of them offer self-employment services – or are self-employed. This is usually a more expensive investment – but it’s worth it.”
5 Must-Read Articles About Content Creation
In addition to the great advice above, you should also read five articles on content creation by my colleagues at Search Engine Journal, who also have a surprising amount of food to eat:
- 13 must-have items in an exceptional blog post by Kayle Larkin.
- 8 Essentials in Your Content Guidelines: What Your Writers Need to Know by Madi Osman.
- 7 Ways to Use AI Writing Tools to Generate Content Ideas by Marcelo Bellin.
- 4 SEO Copywriting Tips for Sharper, Effective Copy by Tony Wright.
- 7 Ways to Tweak Your Content for SEO by Lauren Baker.
10 specific places to find the best writers
What can I add to all these tips? Well, you can always check out freelance platforms and writer job boards like:
- Pfeiffer: a global platform that connects businesses with the on-demand freelancers in the simplest way possible.
- GuruA platform where professionals can connect, collaborate and get work done.
- LinkedIn ProviderFreelance recruitment platform to help people hire freelancers.
- ProBlogger job boardA leading marketplace for blogging related posts.
- Even workA job market that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways.
You can also check out content marketing platforms such as:
- decentSupports the content marketing programs of some of the world’s most valuable brands with their complete content marketing solution: expert content strategy, industry-leading content marketing platform, and one of the highest rated creative networks. They’ve received numerous honors, including G2’s #1 Enterprise Content Creation Solution and Gartner Peer Insights’ Choice.
- manuscript: a leading provider of original written content for thousands of clients – from small businesses to large organizations. Our curated user base of writers and editors collaborates with clients to produce a variety of engaging content, including original blogs, newsletters, web copies, video scripts, social media posts, and more.
- Sky WordSolution recognized by customers and analysts year after year, having been named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights “Customer’s Choice” award, named a Leader in the Gartner 2021 Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms, and consistently ranked as a Leader in Content Creation, Experience , and distributed by its customers across G2.
- textbroker: the best online platform for unique, custom-made written content. The online marketplace brings together clients looking for unique and exclusive textual content with over 100,000 freelance authors in the US who can write on almost any topic. The parent company was founded in Germany and provides services in 36 languages.
- WriterA talent marketplace with nearly 2,000 clients and more than 500 partner agencies. The platform provides streamlined workflow tools to enable marketers to easily move from the idea stage to publishing on their websites. Acquired in April 2022 by Rock Content, the global leader in content marketing solutions.
Whatever approach you take to finding talented or freelance writers, remember that they need to be creating quality content in order to deliver results.
why? There are three main reasons:
- You need to create valuable, relevant, and consistent content To attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, motivate customers to take profitable actions.
- Google has reduced the ratings for low-quality contentSince the first Panda update in February 2011.
- Millions of articles and blog posts are published dailySo putting out more mediocre content won’t help you stand out.
And when you move to Google Analytics 4, you’ll be able to measure distinct user interactions with articles and blog posts on your website using enhanced measurement events, including:
- scrolls: the first time the user reaches the bottom of each page (eg when 90% vertical depth becomes visible).
- Share the video: For embedded videos that have JS API support enabled, the following events are fired: when the video starts playing, when the video advances past 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% of the time duration, and when the video ends.
- File downloads: when a user clicks on a link leading to a file (with a common file extension) of the following types: document, text, executable file or program, presentation, zip file, video, audio.
You can mark any of these events as a conversion, add monetary value to the conversion events, and start measuring the economic value of your content marketing program.
This will enable you to decide which writers, topics, and posts generate the best bang for your dollars.
This will change the rules of the game
So far, finding talented writers to support high-quality content creation has been what Avinash Kaushik, a digital marketing evangelist at Google, calls a “faith-based initiative.”
Soon, it will become the normal cost of doing business.
Therefore, you’ll want to know how to do this before your competitors snatch the best from them.
- Managing Freelance Writers: How to Find, Train, and Retain Top Talent
- Does content marketing’s love for AI make writers sloppy?
- Content Marketing KPIs: Your Guide to Choosing the Right Content KPIs
Featured image: Khakimullin Aleksandr/Shutterstock