So, you’ve finally decided to jump on board the blog train, realizing that it is the key to marketing your business online, and also that you need to hire the “right” writer. It is imperative to find a writer who knows SEO, content strategy, persona, and how to write high quality content.

Maybe you write your own articles, but have learned how much time it actually takes to craft good content and have decided you must find a writer to help.

So, where do you find a writer who will understand your needs and your business, and who will write with your goals in mind? It’s not easy to find that person, but here are some suggestions to help you learn how to hire the “right” writer for you:

Where Do I Start?

There are many places to look, but I suggest staying away from “content factories” or agencies who crank out low quality, keyword stuffed content that is not personalized to your needs. Try to find a freelance writer who works independently. Where should you look?

As a writer, I sometimes need assistance, and I have found Elance, ODesk, and Contently great places to start. These sites contain portfolios of writers’ work, and allow you to “shop” around for the writer with the experience in the area of expertise you need.

Sometimes, though, you may have to try out a few to make sure they really know how to provide top quality content. There are not an overwhelming amount of great writers out there, so you have to search.

Before you hire your writer, though, there are some things you can do to ensure the writer knows what he or she is doing. You must look for the right skills.

Have You Found the Right Writer?

Here are some qualities a writer must possess to help you be successful. Take it from me…There are not an overwhelming amount of great writers out in the world. You have to be careful, too, because your writer can make or break your website!

  • Make sure your writer is interested and asking questions about your business and your industry. I often have my clients write down the 10 biggest questions their customer have about their business. This way, I can target the audience more accurately and make sure my blog articles are aligned with my clients’ consumers’ needs.
  • Make sure your writer can deliver work on time. I sometimes have clients ask me for a writing test of some sort. Now, I never write entire articles for tests because, obviously, there are crooks out there who will steal the content and are dishonest. There is nothing wrong with asking a potential writing hire to write you an opening paragraph on a specific topic. Or, you may ask them what kind of topics they would write about that relate to your business. The writer should know that content they write should be educational and relevant. Topics should demonstrate this skill. One paragraph should also reveal the skill level of your writer as well.
  • Your writer must know how to get the mechanics right and content should be flawless when it is delivered. You are not paying a writer what they are worth only to receive content with grammatical and spelling errors. Writers should edit their own work over and over until they are sure it is perfect. That’s what you pay them for.

Which brings me to the last tip…

  • When you hire a writer, you get what you pay for. There is no way around it. You are investing in your marketing system, and if you want a great one, pay your writer what she is worth. A good writer spends an immense amount of time researching topics, keywords, and many other aspects of putting together an article that will get the attention of your target audience. If you pay $5 for an article, expect to spend your own time “fixing” it when you receive it.

Hopefully, these tips will put you on the right path on your search for a competent, amazing blog writer. If you need more help, just ask! This is what I specialize in, and what I do for a living. Of course, I would love to assist you, but I am also willing to help you determine if the writer you have hired knows what he or she is doing. Blog articles are the spokes on the wheels of your content marketing plan, so they need to be effective!