If you want to build a relationship with your target audience, you’ve got to have a solid content marketing strategy. After all, your web content is the only chance you have to “talk” to your potential customers. If it’s not done perfectly, you’re going to make the wrong impression – and your bottom line is going to suffer.
That’s why so many people turn to content writing services. After all, when you consider all of your other responsibilities, who actually has the time to sit down and write great content? (Or, what if you hate to write, or simply aren’t all that good at writing? Your web content is way too important to try and force!) However, you’ll only get great results if you turn to a great content writing service.
So, how do you separate the good from the bad?
1. Read their website
This tip is blatantly obvious, but so many people forget to take advantage of it! A great content writing service will have a great website – and I’m not talking about looks. Instead, the various pages will give you some insight as to how YOUR content will look. After all, if a content writing company can’t engage readers, provide legitimate answers and solutions, and avoid silly spelling and grammar mistakes on its own website, do you really expect your finished product to be any better?!
2. Look at their background
Writing content is just as specialized as any other industry. Sure, you need a fair share of natural talent to do it, but you also need the proper education and training. Think of it like being a professional chef – you may have a natural ability to create yummy meals, but you need to hone your skills in cooking school. Without that training, you’ll never be able to offer your diners as much finesse as the other guys can.
You don’t necessarily need a copy of each writer’s resume, though. Instead, simply make sure that your potential writers have the proper background – like a college degree and professional writing experience. (You should be able to get all of the information you need right on their “About Us” page.) Simply “liking to write” isn’t good enough!
3. Ask questions
A good content writing service will be happy to answer your questions before you place an order. And, they’ll do it quickly! In fact, if your potential content writing service takes days or weeks to get back to you with some basic information, you can probably assume that they’ll process your order just as slowly. (That’s no good. Remember, time is money!)
4. Check out examples
If you want to see exactly what kind of finished product you can expect, ask for some samples of your potential writers’ work. Good content writing services won’t hand out work that they’ve done for other clients (If they do, that’s a bad sign. After all, their clients own the copyrights to it! Would you want content that you paid for being handed out to every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the web?!). However, they’ll be happy to point you towards stuff that they’ve written for themselves – like on their blog and in various guest posts.
5. Find out what kind of input they’ll need from you
Even the best content writer in the world is going to need some basic information from you before they can begin – whether it’s your target keywords or just a few special instructions. However, if your writer needs you to hold his hand through the entire process, you’re dealing with the wrong one. After all, outsourcing your writing is supposed to make your life easier – not more difficult! Why pay someone else if you’re going to be stuck doing all of the leg work?
6. See if they can match your style
If you want to succeed online, your content needs to have its own “voice” that people associate with your business. Having an inconsistent voice is a surefire way to have inconsistent profits!
For example, if your website’s sales copy is witty and informal – but your guest posts are formal and stuffy – your readers aren’t going to relate to you as well. To them, you’ll be the web version of Jekyll and Hyde. If people don’t relate to you, they’ll be far less likely to do business with you!
That’s why the good content writing services will ask to look at your website before they come up with a single word for you. Or, if you’re having them write all of your content from scratch, they’ll ask you for a few details to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
The bad content writing services, on the other hand, will inject their own style into your work – which may turn out to be a very bad thing!
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