You recognize the importance of a website in drawing people to your business, keeping visitors engaged and interested and ensuring that potential customers can find you. So you recognize the importance of a blog, which helps attract, educate and convert visitors into customers. But a blog takes time. Hiring a freelance blog writer makes sense if you take the following key steps:
1. Make sure the blog writer is a native writer and speaker of the primary language of your customers. If that primary language is English, then your blog writer should be a native English speaker and writer. Otherwise, you will be constantly editing the blog to correct errors in grammar, idiom and assumptions. For example, I was hired to write blogs for a high-end interior design company in the US when the previous off-shore blog writer submitted a post on breaking up old CDs to create a mosaic tabletop. The concept of “high-end” was simply different on different sides of the ocean.
2. Insist on seeing examples of the blog writer’s work. Some blog writers have a single style or viewpoint that might fit with your business or might not. Others are able to capture the exact tone of different businesses and write blogs that sound as if they came from the individual business owner. Some blog writers specialize in one industry; others write for several industries. By looking at examples, you can better decide if a particular writer is a fit.
3. Ask if the blog writer will perform related tasks. For example, for one of my clients, I enter the posts online, create tags and summaries, schedule the posts and then copy them for an industry newsletter that re-publishes the posts as articles. For another client, I research and suggest topics; interview staff and customers for information; and research and add photos to each post.
4. Discuss fees and schedules up front. If you cannot afford daily posts, you may be able to afford weekly or bi-weekly posts. One of my clients uses me to edit her posts, asking me to write posts myself only when she is overwhelmed with work or on vacation. She depends on my skills to put her thoughts in order, with keywords that make sense.
5. Contract for a trial run of posts. Usually, it takes a few posts before the writer becomes attuned to your goals and way of thinking. But it should quickly be evident if the writer is unable to meet deadlines; completely fails to grasp your business; or can’t achieve the quality you expected.
You will be able to build a strong relationships with a freelance blog writer if you select one who understands the language of your customers, has examples for you to review, is able to handle related tasks, partners with you to find a cost-effective solution and provides a trial run. The stronger the relationship, the more confidence you will have in the writer’s ability to represent you and your company.
Sharon Bailly founded TWP Marketing & Technical Communications in 1999 in Peterborough, NH, to help business owners reach their customers with clear, accurate and passionate writing. At TWP, our words mean business.