So you’ve decided to hire an online content writer.
Congratulations; you’ll be so happy you did. Before you take the plunge, though, it’s wise to take a moment to think about the top traits of a content writer, and how you can ensure that the professional you hire has them.
Read on to learn more.
10 Traits Your Online Content Writer Must Have
To ensure you get the best possible content writer for your job, keep an eye out for these 10 characteristics:
1. An awareness of the best tools on the market
Online content writing comes down to the tools used, and professionals with access to the best tools will be better equipped to do the job than professionals using shoddy, cut-rate research methods.
While there are dozens of research tools available, a writer who uses powerful tools (we recommend KWFinder, SEMrush) will have access to the most advanced keyword lists, the most powerful metrics, and the most accurate data – all of which will help him or her make the best possible decision about which keywords to target for your content.
2. An ability to integrate keywords naturally
While good content writers must be able to find the best keywords for your content, they also need to be able to integrate them naturally in a way that keeps your text from feeling robotic or stiff.
In addition to the fact that readers are turned off by keyword stuffed content, Google hates it and will happily give you a penalty for using it.
In light of this, it’s critical to find a copywriter who knows how to take a list of keywords and weave them naturally into text.
In addition to helping keep your text more natural, appealing, and valuable, this also ensures that you’ll stay on Google’s good side.
3. A willingness to dig deeper for the best keywords
Sometimes, the best keywords aren’t immediately apparent, and a researcher will have to dig deep to find keywords that have a high level of promise or are relevant to a given brand, topic, or product.
Because of this, it’s critical for companies to find content writers who will go the extra mile. In addition to producing a better list of keywords, these writers are also more adept researchers, which translates to a more thorough research process and a more comprehensive list of keywords your brand can target over time.
4. An ability to get creative with content
Some keywords aren’t necessarily easy to integrate into content, and a content writer who uses them will need to understand how to get creative enough to do so. To be good at his or her job, a content writer needs to possess equal parts research skills, copywriting expertise and creativity. Without any of these three things, the entire train goes off the rails.
If you want to target a clunky, awkward, or strange keyword, your copywriter needs to be able to execute a “mysterious mental maneuver” that allows him or her to approach the content from a unique, engaging, exciting and accessible perspective. This ensures better content in the long run and keeps all of your online material from feeling stiff, stale, or forced.
5. A thorough understanding of modern Google standards
Years ago, keywords got a bad reputation after being unceremoniously stuffed into content. Google caught on and decided it didn’t love the practice, and since then the search engine has kept a much closer watch on how writers use keywords.
Because of this, a reputable copywriter needs to understand how to include keywords in content in a way that Google approves of. To do this, an extensive knowledge of Google’s current standards and benchmarks is helpful.
Knowing what keyword saturation is and how to include keywords in meta descriptions and titles will allow a copywriter to take your content from ho-hum to front-page rankings quickly and easily.
6. An understanding of on-page SEO
So you have your keyword list, and you understand that incorporating them creatively into text is critical, but did you know that where you decide to place them matters, too? To get the most value possible from a content writer, you’ll do well to choose one that understands on-page SEO and can help you place your keywords accordingly.
By scattering keywords through your headings, body content, subheadings and meta content, a good copywriter can help your content get all of the SEO boosts it needs while also keeping it from feeling spammy, cheap, or forced.
These skills alone are invaluable in a copywriter, and they’ll help you take your content to the next level right away.
7. An ability to stay organized and on-task
Let’s be honest: keyword research can be hard. And a good copywriter needs to be able to stay organized with lists of hundreds or thousands of keywords.
Because keyword research is foreign to most site owners, it’s essential that you hire a copywriter who knows how to organize and rank lists of keywords and deliver them to you in an accessible and transparent package.
This helps you decide which keywords to target and also allows you to keep a running record of the keywords you’ve researched, utilized and decided to pass by.
This, in turn, makes content creation as easy as possible and helps to ensure you’re not duplicating, neglecting, or forgetting any of the keywords on your hard-won list.
8. A willingness to create topics from your keyword list
A great content writer that goes the extra mile will take your keyword list, comb through it for the best possibilities, and then develop a comprehensive topic list that takes the keywords and plugs them into unique and exciting content.
In addition to adding a fresh perspective on the keyword, this approach also simplifies your life hugely.
When you work with a content writer like this, you no longer have to worry about how you’re going to create an interesting topic from a list of boring keywords. You simply hand it over to your copywriter and receive a fully-formed list of unique topics a few days later. How simple.
Ideal for busy companies that publish a lot of content, this is an essential service that can go a long way toward improving your content marketing as a whole.
9. The understanding and know-how to determine the best keywords on a list
Keyword research is 50 percent strategy and 50 percent perseverance. In any list of keywords, you’re going to see possibilities that are very strong and possibilities that are not as strong. To deliver the best possible value for you, your content writer needs to understand how to look at metrics like CPC, competition, and search volume to determine which keywords are the most ideal for you to optimize for.
In addition to making your keyword strategy much more worthwhile, this also gives you an at-a-glance idea of which keywords offer the highest potential for a good ROI.
10. A willingness to be flexible
The best online content writers are flexible. Keyword research applies to so many industries and so many different types of content and a great content writer must be able to roll with the punches and decide which voice, approach, and research method suit a specific company the best.
This is a hard skill to learn, yet it’s a critical one for good content writers to possess.
With this in mind, any brand looking for a copywriter to handle keyword optimization and inclusion should look for one with the flexibility and maneuverability needed to get the job done.
Content Writers: Your Secret Weapon in Online Marketing
When it comes to building a successful online marketing strategy, a good SEO content writer can make all the difference.
From taking a raw list of seed keywords and turning them into stellar content to crafting material that includes even the strangest keywords naturally and effortlessly, there are dozens of reasons to love a good keyword copywriter.
By hiring one for your company, you can put out content that surpasses the competitions’, provides real value for your readers, and earns you high SEO rankings for months or years to come.
Julia McCoy is a bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write, podcaster and an expert content marketer. She’s also the founder and CEO of Express Writers, a leading online content creation agency, with more than 60 content writers and strategists. Julia leads her team to serve hundreds of worldwide businesses with the highest-quality content for their online presence. Follow Julia’s blog.
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