Did you know that companies that use content marketing have 6 times higher website conversion rates than those that don’t?
But for content to work, you need to regularly engage your audience with high-quality writing tailored to your business goals.
That’s why hiring an experienced content writer is crucial. Our 6-step framework will help you find the perfect one for your business, from sourcing to vetting.
How to hire a content writer?
To hire the right content writer, first, know who’d be your ideal candidate.
Primarily, you’d need to decide what type of content you are hiring for and who would consume this content.
Determine the content type for your business needs
Identify your target audience
Who will consume your content?
What is their age range, gender, location and interests?
What do you intend to achieve with your audience through your content? What are the pain points you’ll be addressing through your content and the solutions you intend to give?
Understanding your target audience and content goals is crucial to filter content writers who have relevant experience.
Create a compelling job description
Poor job descriptions attract mediocre candidates. Hence, it is imperative to draft a comprehensive job description for posting your job listing on various platforms.
But, before we learn how to create a job description, it’s important to understand how not to create one. There are three common mistakes while creating a job description are:
Copy-pasting a job description
Stop copy-pasting job descriptions! Each role is unique and requires specific skills. You’ll attract the wrong candidates and miss out on the right ones.
Expecting too much from the candidate
Businesses make a common mistake: expecting candidates to know everything. They want a content writer who’s also a Facebook Ads guru. But hiring generalists hurts in the long run. Be smart, hire specialists, not jacks-of-all-trades.
Hiring for the sake of hiring
Don’t blindly follow what others do. Hiring a content writer might not be right for your business. You need a unique strategy for growth.
Before hiring, ask if a content writer is necessary for your business to go from A to B. Don’t waste time and resources on unnecessary hires.
Avoiding the mistakes we’ve mentioned is crucial to finding the right candidate. Tailor job descriptions to fit your business needs and goals. Avoid generic descriptions and attract the right talent. Be intentional and be specific.
Let’s have a look at what your ideal content writer job description should look like:
1. Job Title
Mention the job title for your profile.
Talk about your company – what it does, what it’s achieved, and where it’s headed. And don’t forget to mention your company’s work culture.
Provide a clear and detailed overview of the job responsibilities. Avoid vagueness and aim for specificity. These pointers can help you begin and you can adjust them to your specific needs:
– Conduct thorough research on relevant topics
– Write clear and concise content
– Proofread and edit content prior to publishing
– Collaborate with design and marketing teams
– Optimize content for SEO
– Identify customer needs and gaps in content
– Measure KPIs to analyze performance
List the skills and qualifications you’re looking for in candidates. This should include both hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (personal attributes). Here are some common requirements for a content writer position:
– [X] years of experience as a content writer
– Excellent writing and editing skills
– Good understanding of SEO
– Portfolio of published articles
– Familiarity with content management systems like WordPress
– Excellent verbal and written communications skills
– Ability to meet deadlines
Share details about the offered compensation, benefits, and any other perks your business provides.
6. Cover Letter (optional)
Consider asking potential applicants to write a cover letter explaining why they would be a good fit for the position and your business. This step is optional but can provide valuable insights into the candidate’s qualifications and motivation.
Set aside a budget
After creating the job description, it’s important to allocate a budget for your content writer.
So, how much does it cost to hire a content writer?
Well, this completely depends on whether you plan to hire a freelance content writer or an in-house content writer.
The average salary of an in-house content writer in the USA according to Glassdoor is $49,514. Similarly, the median hourly rate for hiring a freelance content writer can range between $30-$50 according to Upwork.
The salary/hourly rate for a content writer varies based on their specialization and experience. For example, an SEO content writer will cost more than a content writer with the same years of experience.
It’s important not to hire the cheapest content writer available, especially for long-term projects. Doing so can lead to sub-par content and wasted time.
Instead, offering competitive rates can attract the best content writers for your business. An experienced content writer with relevant expertise can produce content tailored to your business needs, creating a win-win situation for both the content writer and your business.
Find potential content writers
After creating your job description and setting a budget, the next step is to find platforms to advertise your content writer job opening and attract potential applicants.
Here are some places where you can find and hire content writers:
One effective way to find the best candidates is through referrals. Reach out to your current employees, friends, and fellow entrepreneurs to ask if they know anyone who would be a good fit for the position.
Personal referrals often yield high-quality candidates who are a good cultural fit for your business.
In addition to personal referrals, you can also look to business-friendly online communities like Reddit for recommendations on potential candidates. Keep in mind that while referrals can be a great way to find talent, they may not always result in the perfect match for your business needs.
LinkedIn and Social Media
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for connecting with professionals and finding potential job candidates. Posting your job listing on LinkedIn can help you attract experienced content writers who are looking for job opportunities.
In addition to LinkedIn, you can also use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to connect with potential applicants.
However, it’s important to note that using social media to find candidates can be time-consuming. Sorting through a large number of applications and messages can be overwhelming, and it may take some effort to find the right candidate for your business.
Hiring a content writing agency
Outsourcing your content writing job to a content writing agency can be a great option for short-term projects. You can easily find, evaluate and shortlist agencies on Google based on their reviews and testimonials.
But keep in mind that hiring a content writing agency can be costly, especially if you want to work with top-notch content writers. So, be prepared to invest in quality content if you choose this route.
If you’re considering hiring freelancers or part-time writers for your content writing needs, platforms like Upwork and Fiverr can be helpful. These platforms offer access to a pool of remote content writers from different parts of the world.
However, it’s important to note that while some freelancers on these platforms have excellent communication skills, others may struggle in this area. It might also be difficult to ascertain the authenticity of their portfolio.
Hire remote talent from InCommon
InCommon is an India-based headhunter agency that can help you build a fully remote content writing team while saving you up to 40% in salary costs.
You’ll benefit from:
- InCommon’s existing pool of pre-vetted content writers so you don’t have to waste time searching for talent
- 3 candidate recommendations made in 3 days as per your needs, accelerating your hiring cycle
- Smooth delivery of your work with talents that are well-versed in English
- End-to-end compliance (EOR) and payroll management taken care of by InCommon
- Talent replacement guarantee
Evaluate your candidates
To achieve this, you need to analyze the job applications based on three essential criteria:
Consider only those candidates who have submitted a cover letter (if you have requested one in the job description) and shortlist those who you think would be a good fit for your business. This will help you filter out the serious candidates from the rest.
To swim through a sea of applications, prioritize candidates with a writing portfolio. Analyze their tone and style to ensure it aligns with your business goals.
Look for crisp content without any flowery language. Can you connect with their work? Answer these questions to shortlist the right candidates.
Ensure to look for relevant work experience in the candidate’s resume/CV. If your business is in the e-commerce niche, pick a content writer with experience in this industry over someone in the food and beverage industry.
This helps you find the perfect fit for your business.
Interview the shortlisted candidates
In the first round, ask questions based on their resume and portfolio.
Start by having them give a brief introduction about themselves, then move on to questions about their hard and soft skills. This interview should take 30-45 minutes per candidate. Take note of their responses and qualify a few candidates for the next round.
In the second round, you can dive deeper into their experience, work process, and approach to content writing. This can be an opportunity to understand how they think and how they can fit into your business.
Keep the questions relevant and concise, and don’t forget to give them a chance to ask questions as well.
Round 1: Interview questions for a content writer
Get to know the candidates better by asking them questions that showcase their hard skills.
Consider these interview questions:
- How do you research a topic from scratch?
- What does your writing process look like?
- Which online tools do you use for writing?
- How do you optimize your content for SEO?
- How do you stay updated with content writing trends?
Following are some interview questions you may ask based on their soft skills:
- How do you prioritize and manage your workload when dealing with multiple projects?
- Can you tell us about a time when you had to adapt to changes in a project?
- How do you handle constructive feedback and incorporate it into your work?
- Can you describe a situation where you had to work under pressure and how you dealt with it?
- How do you communicate and collaborate with other team members or clients?
Round 2: Written test
For the next round, ask your qualified candidates to write a piece of content based on your industry. Provide them with a content brief that includes your target audience, tonality, intent, perspective, and word limit.
This exercise will help you assess the candidate’s ability to understand and meet the content needs of your business. It will also give you a clear idea of their writing style, attention to detail, and overall content creation skills.
With this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which candidate is the best fit for your content writing team.
Choose the best candidate based on their writing sample.
Finalize your hire
Based on the writing samples you receive, make a final decision on whom you want to hire.
Once you have selected the content writer you want to hire, send them an offer letter. Congratulate them on their selection and share details such as their job title, salary, probation and notice periods, working days, reporting time, and joining date.
Ask for a response to the offer letter by a specific date to confirm their hiring.
Draft a detailed employment contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the job, including duties, compensation, leave policy, confidentiality, and more. Once finalized, have the candidate sign the contract to officially confirm their hiring.
Onboarding the content writer
To onboard your content writer, first provide them with access to relevant tools and resources used by your business. This includes platforms like Google Sheets, Docs, and Slack for effective communication.
You can also grant them access to specific tools for content writing and SEO, such as Grammarly and Ahrefs.
During your first meeting, set clear expectations on how your business operates and introduce them to their team members. Explain your work culture and what you expect from them.
With that done, you can start working with your new content writer.
Hiring a content writer can feel overwhelming, but breaking down the process into small steps can make it easier to manage. By following our six-step framework, you can streamline the process and find the perfect writer for your business.
However, if you want to save time and money while focusing on your business growth, consider hiring us as your headhunter agency.
We specialize in building fully remote content writing teams at a 40% reduced salary cost. Let us take care of finding and hiring the best writers for your business while you concentrate on scaling it.