What I look for in a writer
When I hire a writer for my business, I always look for someone with an open mind. Versatility is essential, especially in this industry, so I like to look out for the ones who can easily adapt and give fresh perspectives. They need to be self-motivated and have the ability to work in fast-paced environments, after all, there is quite a bit of pressure and competition in this industry.
Why are writers important to our business?
In this day and age you can’t have content marketing without quality content. And in this competitive digital era, it’s more important than ever to have writers who can step up and produce fresh, shareable content.
Essentially, writers are important because it’s their responsibility to grab and hold reader’s attention. How are you going to get your message across when no one is listening?
Attributes of the ideal candidate aside, the most important thing to establish with both parties are expectations.
Nothing ruins any kind of relationship quite like false expectations.
Let’s consider the expectations for the writer:
- It’s good to let them know what you expect of them in terms of the type of work they need to do. Are they a copywriter? Creative? Basically give them the job description and make sure they understand it.
- Are they part-time or full time? And do they have the capacity to attain more work over time? There’s nothing worse than giving false expectations regarding work hours. Writers need to know exactly what they’re getting into.
Of course some expectations lie on me as well. I need to make myself available to proofread the first pass and give feedback and constructive criticism where it’s due. It’s all part of the learning process after all.
There’s a surprising number of people who receive the first pass and think it should be perfect the first time, but that’s never the case, especially with less experienced writers.
I think allowing time for feedback is one of the most important ways to make my writers into the best they can be.
There’s no such thing as “just a writer”
There’s a beautiful thing called ‘learning’ and professional development. To me, writers are never limited to just writing. There is a lot of capability for professional development in industry and there’s no such thing as having too many skills in content marketing.
Professional development is one of the things I like to encourage the most. It’s not only character building, but benefits everyone in a team environment.
As time progresses, it’s important for our writers to be well acquainted with all aspects of the industry. I’d like to think that from the time I hire a new writer to the day they move on to bigger things, they’re left with a sense of wanting to learn even more.