Last updated: 28th Jan, 2019
Are you constantly questioning “why bother hiring a writer?“.
If you answered yes to that question, it’s probably because you’re looking to scale-up your content marketing efforts–or you’re struggling to produce content on a consistent basis.
You’re not alone, my friend.
Producing engaging content is 54% of B2B marketers’ biggest challenge:
…But your website can quickly become stagnant—and drop to the unexplored depths of Google’s Page 50—if it’s not frequently updated with relevant, engaging and well-written content.
Why? Because search engines love fresh content.
In Google’s eyes, if you’re constantly adding high-quality content to your website and proving you’re keeping with the times, it’s more likely to be relevant to a searcher’s query.
That’s a search engines’ main aim, after all.
Fancy hearing something (not very) shocking?
That content isn’t magically generated.
Someone needs to put in the time, energy, and resources to produce your website’s content and keep your site fresh.
Sure, that someone can be you or another member of your marketing team, but that would mean taking attention away from other tasks.
You’ve got better things to do, right?
In this guide, you’ll discover the value a content writer can bring to your business—and how you can find an incredible writer that crafts content that really drives results.
What is a content writer, exactly?
I know what you’re thinking: “Elise—before you tell me why I need a content writer, can you explain exactly what one is?”
To put it simply: A content writer is a professional writer that specializes in writing content such as blog posts, articles, email newsletters, white papers, and other types of written work.
There are various types of content writers that work on specific types of copy, including:
- Bloggers: who focus on writing blog posts and articles to engage your audience and build brand awareness.
- Copywriters: who write advertising, marketing, and promotional material.
- Ghostwriters: who may write a wide array of content under another’s name (such as a CEO, or even as the brand or business itself).
- Journalists: who specialize in researching and writing about recent news and developments.
- Technical writers: who translate complex industry-specific knowledge into white papers, guides, manuals, and documentation.
Some content writers are generalists and focus more on writing a specific type of content than an array of content in a particular field.
An expert blogger, for instance, focuses on writing killer blog content that rocks the socks off of anyone who reads it. On the other hand, your niche or industry may require a writer who is well-versed and knowledgeable in a particular field—like a B2B writer, for example.
Although I’m running the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious over here, content writers are experts in content writing.
They know what it takes to harness your knowledge and expertise to grow your business with compelling copy, and have honed their skill over years to write content that engages your audience, builds your brand authority, and convert leads to sales.
8 reasons to hire a content writer
Convinced of the power a content writer can bring to your business, yet?
62% of organisations outsource some form of their content marketing–and you should, too.
1. Content writers are professionals
If a pipe breaks in your house, you might trying fixing it yourself.
..And hey, you might actually succeed. But the work you do might not be as long-lasting, good-looking, or high-quality as if you had just hired a plumber.
In fact, further down the line, you might have to do just that to bring the work you’ve done up to par.
Hiring a content writer is the same.You wouldn’t attempt to fix a broken pipe in your house—you’d call a plumber. Why attempt the same with content writing? Click To Tweet
Having a non-writer to craft the content on your website leads to a high chance of needing to have it re-done in the future—which means you’re essentially paying for the same job twice.
That’s $$$ you can’t afford to waste.
For example: Having your social media guy write your content might work well in the short-term, but does he truly grasp all the intricacies behind well-written long-form content? Can he help your site to rank in Google? And does he have what it takes to take someone from reader to customer?
But a (good) content writer does.
2. They know how to write web-friendly content
Writing SEO-friendly content can be tricky.
There’s a fine balance between writing for search engines and writing for actual people (the latter always overrules)—but good content writers know what it takes to win over readers and Google, at the same time.
Content writers will often work on the structure of an article before they start writing.
Not only does this help to make sure both you and they are on the same page pre-writing, but it allows them to weave in the keywords you’re ranking for, and offer the most value to a reader through dedicated sub-sections.
Professional writers also know that word count and content comprehensiveness is key in the search engines—especially if they specialize in blog content.
The average blog post ranking in position one has over 2,450 words, which means you’ll have to put some serious time and effort into your content marketing strategy if you’re looking to see SEO results:
This type of skyscraper content (also known as 10x content), can increase organic traffic by 470%:
…because it’s good content—the kinda stuff your audience is actively looking for.
Don’t strike it off your to-do list just because you can’t create it yourself.
You might not have the time, effort or motivation to create a piece of skyscraper content that thrills your audience, Google, and other site owners who’re looking to give out backlinks.
But professional content writers do.
3. They’ll help to maintain a consistent content calendar
Did you know that publishing content consistently can generate 3.5x more traffic to your business’ blog than publishing zero to four pieces per month?
That’s a change we’d all love to see.
But it’s almost impossible to plan consistent content if you don’t have a content calendar—which details the deadlines you’re working to, topics you plan on covering and people who will be writing it—to keep track of where you’re up to.
Enter: You guessed it, content writers.
Content writers thrive on deadlines. They work backwards and plan a schedule that allows them to hit the writing deadline on (or if not, before) it’s due.
That makes content calendar management a breeze.
And, guess what? This process is all accomplished without the need to micromanage.
Sure, you’ll have to provide a brief and information the writer needs (such as buyer personas, tone of voice and branding guidelines), but after that? You’re free to continue doing your job while the writer… well, writes.Reason #2674 why you should hire a content writer: They help your content calendar to stay on track—without needing to micromanage! Click To Tweet
Bonus: Managing a handful of freelancers? Use a project management tool to keep track of where they’re up to.
4. You’ll benefit from their eagerness to learn
Google is constantly refining its search algorithms to assign a higher rank to the most useful and relevant content—meaning algorithms are always changing.
(In 2017 alone, Moz recorded 13 changes to Google’s algorithm.)
…That’s not to mention the constant shifting done in your own niche or industry, too.
That’s where a content writer can help.
Since they’re eager to always create content that’s relevant, useful and impactful, you’ll be able to exploit their content writing knowledge—and use it to lead your content.
Plus, if you’re hiring a skilled content writer with expertise in one industry, they’ll keep their finger on the pulse and make sure you’re not falling behind your competitors, content-wise.
For example: A content writer you’ve hired might be a marketing expert.
They’re always on the lookout for new research papers or case studies, and suddenly come across an awesome bunch of data that could form the basis of a strong, data-lead blog post.
You wouldn’t have that opportunity if you didn’t have them (or their research) on your side.
5. Content writers can adapt to your audience
Writing for the internet is different than the traditional way of writing.
In fact, many content writers (myself included) scrap the writing techniques we were taught in English class—like these “rules”, for example:
- Starting sentences with “but” or “and”
- Writing sentence-long paragraphs
- Using internet slang to relate to readers
In a world where only 28% of a written piece is actually read online, content writers can adapt—and understand how to write content for time-strapped, impatient and downright fussy online readers.
That’s not to say they skip crucial information or skimp on detail. It’s actually the opposite.
Instead, content writers understand how to present information in the most digestible and engaging way.
A reader who scans through online content that’s formatted and structured well can easily find the points they’re interested in, rather than contributing to your high “I didn’t read this because it’s too overwhelming” rate.
(I know that’s not a phrase, but can I start a petition for it to be?)
6. …and relate to them, too
Content writers know how to choose the right words to persuade readers to act, and to appeal to a reader’s senses and emotions—something proven to play a huge role in any type of purchasing decision.
Just 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates, but hiring a content writer with the ability to play to emotion (through mentioning pain points–a dilemma your target audience is struggling with) is a fantastic way to boost yours.
But while it’s all well and good for me to sit here and harp on about their importance, let’s take a look at a real B2B company who’s seen success using this pain point tactic.
Kirk Drake, CEO of an IT solutions firm, used his customers’ pain points to generate more than 100 posts for his company blog. His team compiled a list of his customers’ most frequently asked questions, then asked his staff to answer them through targeted blog content.
The result? Over six months, the business’s website went from generating one or two leads per month to one a day.
…I’d say that’s a success.#1 rule of content writing: Speak to your audience’s pain point Click To Tweet
7. They see your business with a fresh perspective
You’re passionate about the success of your company, right?
That’s not groundbreaking news—but means you’re likely to be very close to the products or services your company is offering.
That can be both advantageous and a downright problem, because:
- You could be prone to overlooking a small flaw because you’re aware of future plans to improve it.
- It’s hard for you to write in layman’s terms because you’re so close to your product.
Freelance content writers serve as a third-party.
They’re not involved in the engineering of a bit of software, or of the sales metrics behind a product.
They’re more concerned with translating how your product or service solves your customers’ pain points—and why they should buy it.
Together with their skill in writing and industry knowledge, a content writer can write about a topic in easy-to-understand language that you might otherwise struggle with.
They’ll also identify industry terms and jargon and translate it into phrases that a reader can easily digest.
Let’s face it: Nobody really uses the words “utilize” or “telephone” in real life—just say ‘use’ or ‘call’, but working too closely to your product could cause you to automatically turn a blind eye to them.
Readers see buzzwords as jargon, and not words that really connect us to a business.
8. Outsourcing your content saves time in-house
As a CMO or CEO, your primary skill and duty is in managing an aspect of your company. That’s a full-time job—and sometimes involves a healthy smattering of overtime to boot.
How does content writing fit into your job description?
Writing content is time-consuming. The average blog post takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to write.
That’s 3 hours and 20 minutes you don’t have in your schedule.
…How much time do you have to conduct interview experts and develop sources?
…Can you squeeze in a few hours to research the topic you’re writing on?
…Do you have time to write, edit and review the content before hitting “publish”?
That is, of course, all on top of writing engaging, SEO-friendly content—multiple formats of which vary wildly (a blog post is not a whitepaper, a case study, or a video script, for example).
A professional content writer already has a streamlined process for taking content from a brief to an error-free, well-written submission ready for publication.
All you need to do is delegate and voila—you’ve got a powerful piece of content, my friend.
Ready to reap the rewards of a stellar content writer?
As you can see, the answer to “should I hire a content writer?” is a no-brainer.
Content writers are professionals; writing is their job and choice of trade—which makes them a fantastic asset to any business.
…And I’m one of them.
I’m a freelance B2B writer for SaaS and marketing companies like HubSpot, ConversionXL and Content Marketing Institute.
Let’s have a chat and see if we can add you to the list, while driving targeted traffic to your site, increasing conversions, and generating a return on your investment (in me).