How to Find and Screen Reliable Content Writers Using Social Media
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How do you find talented and reliable content writers? The answer may be right in front of you. The social media sites that you visit every day can be a great way to find writers, determine whether or not you want to work with them, and to work with them in developing or continuing your website strategy. If you are interested in finding, vetting, and using content writing talent in your enterprise, keep reading.
Finding Content Writers through Social Media
One of the best ways to discover potential writing talent is to read. Do you have a friend who is consistently sharing or re-blogging the type of content that will amuse or interest your audience? Take a look at the people who are originating that content. If you can’t determine who that is, ask! Nobody is going to be offended if you tell them that you enjoy the content that they post, and that you would like to know where it comes from. Once you know who is creating the content, send an inquiry message. You may end up developing a business relationship with an experienced writer, or you may find some untapped writing talent. If you cannot find potential writers in your circle, maybe it is time to make your circle bigger. Look around for bloggers who write in your niche, and add their blogs to your following list. You may find a few bloggers interested in doing some guest posting.
If you prefer a more structured approach to finding content writing talent using social media, your best bet is probably LinkedIn. You can use LinkedIn to post ads looking for talent, or to simply search for talent. Of course, as you look for talent, you should probably have a list of criteria. Then, obviously, you should ask for samples or access to their portfolio. You will want to consider things such as experience, talent, availability, reputation and ability when you begin screening these features in potential content writers.
Developing a Professional Relationship with Potential Content Writers
Once you have narrowed down your pool of content writers, it’s time to do a little more detailed screening, and possibly to work with a few writers to see if you can form a good working relationship. This will mean giving content writers assignments, and paying them. If you want to form a good relationship with your potential content writer(s), the key is to maintain a level of professional respect. It may pay to view your content writer in the same way that you view your mechanic. You certainly check your mechanic out, but if you want to develop a good relationship with your mechanic, you don’t micro-manage them or imply that they cannot be trusted. In fact, there are many information about what is or is not appropriate to ask professional writers – beware of asking them this. However, levity aside, there are many good points maid in these links. Don’t assume that a passion for writing means 100 percent availability or a guarantee of free content. Then, work with your writers! They want your feedback. The average writer wants to make you happy in order to develop a relationship with you and to build a working relationship.
Working with Your Writer on your Content
If you only need a writer to stand in and write a few pieces, then it is likely that strategy doesn’t matter. However, the truth is that in most cases content is ongoing, and that you need writers who can work with you on developing your content strategy. After all, you wouldn’t hire an expert carpenter to work without discussing your overall design, you would not hire a writer without having him to think about content strategy. You and your writer can discuss where your target audience is on the internet, and the ways in which you can reach them where they are.
When you work with your writer on your content strategy, their writing background is the first thing to consider. Where can they best use their talents to help your company publish content that goes viral? Here are a few things to discuss with your potential content writer regarding strategy:
- The writing style and ‘tone’ that your target audience will relate to
- The frequency of posting
- Where content should be published
- SEO strategy including the use of keywords
- The type of content (blog posts, tweets, Facebook postings, articles)
Once strategy has been nailed down, and your writer knows the direction in which you would like them to go, you can begin by giving them content assignments. This is really the final test, as this will let you know if they are capable of keeping up with your workflow, and if they can adapt their writing style to the needs of your company.
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