Criteria Checklist for Selecting a Content Writer

Throughout the past week, I’ve been sharing my own list of criteria that I recommend businesses use when selecting a writer to develop content for their brand or company. If you’re not sure exactly what you want for your content, that’s okay. You’re not alone. But at the very least, know how to pick the right source to be the voice for you or your products and together, you will determine the direction of your content.

Does your writer have to excel in all areas? While it would be nice, it may not be the the most realistic expectations, but there should be a commitment to all seven of these different aspects of the working relationship even if writing experience may not be as extensive as another or there may not be as solid a specialty niche or formal education.

So recapping what I’ve suggested so far…

#7-Specialty Knowledge.
Does the writer appear on other sites as an expert for any topics? Know the full scope of the writer’s previous work to assess his or her ability to cross industries. 

#6-Compatible Schedules & Sufficient Availability.
Share your expectations for how you want the review/update process to flow and how often. Can the writer offer you the level of flexibility and adaptability your project requires?

#5-Writing Experience.
Can the writer send you clips of previous work? Have they published both attributed and non-attributed works? The more diverse their writing background, the more adaptable he or she will be to address your brand’s unique needs as they arise.

 #4-Solid grasp of the English language.
Yes, writing is like breathing – we all know how to do it, but that doesn’t mean we all do it well. Do you know the extent of the writer’s educational background? What steps have they taken to refine their writing skills?

#3-Testimonials.
It may be an exhausted expression but the proof is in the pudding. Can the writer provide solid references willing to speak on behalf of the work? How positive is feedback referencing the experience of working with the writer?

#2-Accuracy.
What processes are in place for fact-checking and ensuring assertions within the copy are correct? Check out examples of his or her work. How clean and accurate is the copy – spelling, names, location references? Validity of statements?

And that brings us to…

#1-Commitment to the Client.
What guiding principles regarding QUALITY, EXCELLENCE and INTEGRITY does the writer work by and are these articulated within their promotional materials or better yet, contractual agreement? Does the writer have guidelines for the review process, protection of intellectual property and client confidentiality? All other elements pale in comparison to this key area. You have to be able to trust the writer with whom you work. It’s as simple as that.

Have questions about hiring a freelance writer? Feel free to send them my way at ckuhntampabay@gmail.com. I’m happy to offer whatever assistance I can and if I don’t have the answer for you, I’ll find the appropriate professional who may.

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