These are the best of times and the worst of times for content marketers.
They know that creating high-quality content will drive their success, but finding talented writers seems to be getting harder and harder.
With people spending more time online than ever due to lockdowns and work-from-home requirements, many organizations discovered last year that content marketing offers an excellent opportunity to gain and stay in front of their target audience.
However, about two thirds Last year, some B2B marketers were asked to do more with the same resources, according to research by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
In small organizations, content marketers are often just one person.
Even in medium to large companies, content marketing teams typically have 2 to 5 employees.
This explains why 50% of content marketers say their organization outsources some content marketing activities, even though their organization values creativity and craftsmanship in content creation and production.
So how do you find talented writers to drive high-quality content creation?
I enlisted several content marketing pioneers and thought leaders to address this issue.
This dynamic duo has extraordinary expertise, authority and trustworthiness (EAT).
the first is Rebecca Liebwho wrote “Content Marketing (Que Publishing, 2011)”, one of the first books on the subject.
As a respected analyst, educator, practitioner, strategist, consultant, author and speaker, Rebecca Has been at the forefront of digital advertising and media since the beginning.
She has also published a wealth of original research, including extensive work on topics such as content marketing, content strategy, and convergent media.
The second is Robert RossChief Strategy Consultant at the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
robert A sought-after consultant, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and one of the world’s best-known experts in digital content strategy and marketing.
He is the author of three bestselling books including Killing Marketing (McGraw Hill, 2017), Experience: The 7th Age of Marketing (CMI, 2015), and Managing Content Marketing (CMI, 2011).
Here are my questions and their answers.
Who really needs high-quality content creation?
Rebecca Lieb: “It’s hard to imagine a brand, product or service that doesn’t need great content — and search is just the beginning.
Content can help clients decide they need you, it can build thought leadership and authority in your industry, or it can be fun, entertaining, and enjoyable and make clients and prospects like you more.
Maybe they will even share it, expanding your brand, reach and message. “
Robert Ross: “One word: everyone. No matter how big your business is, every business that seeks to create value for customers is a media company, just like any business they are in.
But it’s certainly no secret, as I said before, not every company will have a great content strategy – but every successful company will.
What should they be looking for in talented writers?
Lieb: “The ability to write in the style and tone of the brand, as well as some subject matter knowledge and experience.
They don’t have to be PhDs in your subject — a good writer is adaptable — but again, you probably wouldn’t hire a science writer to sell soft drinks. “
Rose: “It seems useless and circular to answer this question with “talented writers”, so maybe I’ll answer that [of] What should you prioritize.
I am a firm believer in talent over subject expertise.
There’s an old saying (I don’t know if it’s true) that UPS doesn’t hire drivers and teach them how to provide customer service. They hired great customer service reps and taught them how to drive.
The same goes for writing.
In my business, I’ve always had more success hiring talented content creators and teaching them the business. “
How should they evaluate writing portfolios?
Lieb: “Do you like the style and tone? Is it clean and professional? Does it generally align with your theme, voice and tone?
For example, if you are a tech company, do they have other tech customers? If they’re primarily in CPG work, that’s probably not appropriate. “
Rose: “For me, a great writing portfolio is when I’m interested in reading, even if I don’t care about the topic. When I look at a writing portfolio, I want great stories, engaging world-building, and solid characters — not just a neatly formatted view of “facts.”
That’s why I always advise against someone reviewing a portfolio and saying, “Okay, write me a sample now mine industry. ” No.
If they are good at what they do, they will only be good if they can do the same level of research for your business. For this, they should be paid. “
Do you have any tips for interviewing writers?
Lieb: “Ask them about their work: is there research required, how did they do it? How many rounds of editing are included in the price? Can they turn the project around by your deadline?
Ask more in-depth questions about the samples of their work you’ve read. Do they look professional?they are asking you question? (They should!). “
Rose: “Yes, my favorite question is asking writers to tell me their origin stories. I’ve found that great writers think about their own stories and tell them well.”
Can you share a few places to find top writers?
Lieb: “To find a freelance writer, start by asking: What is the source of written information on your topic? Trade publication? Academic or scholarly journal? Blog about the topic?
Go to where the experts are and get in touch with them. If they won’t or can’t write for you, chances are they’ll have good advice. “
Rose: “There are a lot of great content marketing agencies out there — especially those established within (or adjacent to) traditional publishers with top writers.
CMI actually has a directory here. Otherwise, my favorite thing to do is find out the authors of a magazine, newspaper, or other publication that I really like, make a list, and contact them directly.
Many of them offer freelance services – or they are freelancers themselves. It’s usually a more expensive investment – but well worth it. “
5 Must-Read Articles About Content Creation
In addition to the suggestions above, you should also read five articles on content creation written by my colleagues at Search Engine Journal, who also have plenty of EAT:
10 specific places to find top writers
What can I add to all these suggestions? Well, you can always check out freelance platforms and writer job boards such as:
- five blessings: A global platform that connects businesses with on-demand freelancers in the easiest way possible.
- Grandmaster: A platform where professionals can connect, collaborate and get work done.
- LinkedIn ProFinder: A freelance recruiting platform that helps people hire freelancers.
- ProBlogger Job Board: The leading marketplace for blogging-related jobs.
- work up: A job marketplace that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways.
And, you can also check out content marketing platforms such as:
- Satisfied: Powers the content marketing programs of some of the world’s most valuable brands with its complete content marketing solutions: expert content strategy, industry-leading content marketing platform and one of the highest rated creative networks. They have received numerous accolades, including G2’s #1 Enterprise Content Creation Solution and a Gartner Peer Insights Client’s Choice Award.
- scripted: The leading provider of original written content for thousands of clients, from small businesses to large corporations. Their curated user base of writers and editors work with clients to produce a variety of engaging content, including original blogs, newsletters, web copy, video scripts, social media posts, and more.
- Amagatarai: A solution recognized by customers and analysts year after year, named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights “Customer’s Choice”, named a Leader in Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms, and consistently ranked Rated as a leader in content creation, customers experience and distribute through G2.
- text broker: A top online platform for custom, unique written content. The online marketplace brings together clients seeking unique and exclusive text content with over 100,000 US freelance writers who can write on virtually any topic. Their parent company was established in Germany and offers services in 36 languages.
- writer visit: A talent marketplace with nearly 2,000 clients and more than 500 agency partners. The platform offers streamlined workflow tools that allow marketers to easily transition from the creative stage to publishing on their website. Acquired in April 2022 by Rock Content, a global leader in content marketing solutions.
No matter which method you take to find talented writers or freelancers, keep in mind that they need to create high-quality content to produce results.
Why? There are three key reasons:
- You need to create valuable, relevant and consistent content Attract and retain clearly defined audiences and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
- Google has been lowering the ranking of low-quality contentSince the first Panda update in February 2011.
- Publish millions of articles and blog posts every dayso making more average content won’t help you stand out.
And, when you migrate to Google Analytics 4, you’ll be able to measure different user interactions with articles and blog posts on your site by using enhanced measurement events, including:
- reel: The first time the user reaches the bottom of each page (ie, when 90% of the vertical depth becomes visible).
- Video participation: For embedded videos with JS API support enabled, the following events are fired: when the video starts playing, when the video progresses past 10%, 25%, 50%, and 75% of its duration, and when the video ends.
- file download: When the user clicks a link to a file of the following types (with common file extensions): document, text, executable or program, presentation, compressed file, video, audio.
And, you can tag any of these events as conversions, add monetary value to your conversion events, and start measuring the economic value of your content marketing program.
This will allow you to identify the authors, topics and posts that will bring you the most money.
This will be a game changer.
So far, finding talented writers to drive high-quality content creation has been what Google’s digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik calls a “faith-based initiative.”
Soon, this will become a normal cost of doing business.
So you’ll want to know how to do this before your competitors snap up the best.
Featured image: Khakimullin Aleksandr/Shutterstock