But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.

So said Lord Byron, and so truly. Words are in the end more powerful than any arsenal of weapons could ever be. They have inspired revolutions, become rallying cries in freedom struggles. When it comes to your ideas, your aspirations, why should any other medium be called upon?

Content writers give voice to your ideas, stamp your presence on various platforms and give a heart and soul to your business. If you think just about anybody can do that, since pretty much everyone can read and write, then I must throw another quote at you, this time from the original madman himself- a certain David Ogilvy.

“Good writing is not a natural gift, you have to learn to write well”

Hiring content writers is one thing, hiring a good content writer is quite another. Any college graduate, with a slight flair for words can fancy writing copy. Most of the time, they would write good old mumbo-jumbo. It’s for nothing that hiring content writers is one of the trickiest tasks in business.

What makes a good content writer?

The million dollar question! A lot of people can write, but few can write copy and content with regards to business. And despite what one might think, more potential customers are influenced by the content than you think. Especially in digital marketing, which cannot function without good content writers.

Wondering what to look for then when hiring content writers? Let’s look at a few parameters.

1. Experience: If you are depending on your digital marketing team to get you the majority of your customers, please do not feel shy of spending on an experienced content and copy writer. Content writing isn’t, as emphatically stated by David Ogilvy, a natural gift. It’s acquired, over time and through countless mistakes and learnings from them. Someone with significant and versatile experience in content is absolute gold dust. So what if you have to pay a little extra for her/him. Over and above good content, thanks to the creative nature of the job, an experienced writer can become the de-facto creative engine of the company.

2. Creativity and flair: Whenever you are looking to hire a content writer creativity and a certain amount of flair is a must. Now unlike the first point, these attributes can only be found in individuals with natural talent for the language. Creativity and flair leads to a personal touch in the writing, making it more believable for the reader. A good way to judge whether someone has it in him/her or not would be to test them yourself and not judge them on their resume. You know best what sort of writing you are looking to represent your business. There are several tests online to help you in this regard.

3. Identify your priorities: Content writers come from a wide variety of industries. They are, arguably, the most versatile bunch going around- and not always by design. Hence its critical to identify what exactly your business needs.

a. Do you need content for websites? In that case do you need someone who can visualize and work on multiple platforms? Remember, content is not just written content but also audio-visual. If you are looking for someone to visualize and create a website that would wow any visitor, then probably someone with a background and training in multiple forms of media is required.

b. Do you need someone who will need to write a lot of SEO based content? (Some SEO is integral to any business). If you are depending on the traffic you generate on the website, and off course it will be a word press site in that case, for sales through third party blogs and content on the website pages with high keyword density, then you would need someone with proper training an experience in SEO content- your typical, battle hardened content guy. Trust me it’s easier said than found!

c. Are you running a news platform? Or a features or lifestyle based website? Then someone from a similar background might be preferable. Regardless of the person having previous content writing experience. Relevant experience need not always be in content. Someone with flair for writing, but experience in the relevant industry is again a very good catch.

Your content writer isn’t a machine

When you hire content writers, please remember that they depend on their talent to churn out- in fact you know what, that’s a poor choice of word. Content writers do not and cannot “churn out” content. They create content. And creating anything, however small or insignificant requires not just skill, but tremendous mental effort. The funny and often exasperating thing about creativity is, it’s temperamental and it never goes well with an assembly line mentality. Each piece of content is a little piece of the writers soul laid bare on a word document. So stress on quality, rather than quantity.

Author's Bio: 

John Tie is a professional writer, blogger who writes for a variety of online publications.