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How can you pick a good writer?

Once you have decided that you will outsource the content writing for a project, how can you select a good writer to help you? Yesterday, I sparked a discussion on writers being professional and skilled so I thought it best to help you recognise good writers!

Especially if you are outsourcing the writing because you don’t feel comfortable with grammar and sentence construction, it isn’t easy to pick a ‘good’ writer from a poor writer.

So how can you tell?Women reading and considering

Read some samples of their work, not just their marketing brochure/website, and preferably samples of the same type of writing – writing for websites, children, media and manuals all require different writing techniques.

As you read these samples, take note of the following:

  • do you notice a lot of spelling or other errors?
  • did you read the content easily (without really noticing the writing itself) or did you have to reread sections to understand them? (Assuming the content was ok, rereading complex ideas is a different thing altogether!)
  • look at the entire text – are paragraphs all the same or in different lengths? How many start with the same word?
  • was it a struggle (content matter aside!) to finish reading the work? Were you loosing interest during the first paragraph?
  • did you notice any jumps in tense (present/past/future) or style (casual, formal, personal, etc)?
  • did the language seem appropriate to the audience?

Look and ask for testimonials and referrals. Don’t just rely on those the writer provides in marketing materials – ask to speak to previous clients or talk to other business owners who may know of the writer. A writer with poor results or who is otherwise unprofessional will struggle to maintain a good name.

Research the actual writer. Read articles they have on their site, their newsletter, their blog and their articles on other sites. As well as judging their writing skills, such articles should give you an idea of their knowledge and expertise. A newsletter and blog may also give you an insight into the writer’s personality so you can determine if they are professional and trustworthy. You can also decide if you can work with that writer – an effective relationship will produce better content than one where you and the writer don’t ‘get’ each other.

You can also do some formal checks, such as checking if they have a registered business name and number.

Have you had any experiences with picking the wrong writer?

5 Responses to How can you pick a good writer?

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