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4 Things I Do When Choosing A Content Writer

Content may be king but let’s face it, not all content is equal. I write a lot of my own content for my websites, but I also often make use of content writers to help me fill the gap when I get really busy. I also get a lot of guest posts submitted to be published on my websites, unfortunately a lot of the content that is submitted to me is rejected due to poor quality.

While your content writer does not have to be an SEO expert it is important that your writer has some knowledge of how to write for SEO, as well as how to write an engaging and useful article for your audience.

It has been a process for me to find content writers that are competent and can deliver the level of quality that I require. I have had many bad experiences with ordering a service from someone that claims to be English speaking but the article is clearly not written by someone that is English, or even close to competent in English.

I have also had many people submit guest posts to me and when I reject them they tell me they paid someone to write it for them and my heart sinks for them.

One thing that many people have asked me when I reject content is what tool did I use to check it. No there is no tool, I am English and I could not read it.

Running an article through Copyscape or another tool is simply not enough.

When I am looking for a content writer here are the steps I follow to make my choice:

***Disclosure -The links in this post contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.***

4 Things I Do When Choosing A Content Writer

Ask Questions

The first thing I do is contact the writer and ask some questions. It is not that I want a particular question answered, I want to see how the writer answers. Here are the things I am checking for:

  1. Does the writer answer my question?
  2. Does the writer understand my question?
  3. Does the writer use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation?
  4. Can the writer speak/write English properly?

I can’t tell you how many times I have messaged a “native English speaking quality writer” with 3 questions and this person does not reply to any of my questions, instead the writer just says “Yes sir order now”.

Any writer that is good at what they do and wants my business will answer every question clearly, concisely and with good English. They also won’t call me “Sir” since I am a woman.

Ask For Samples

My next step is to ask for a few samples of writing. I can then get a good idea of the quality of content that I should receive. I’m looking at the quality of the content, how engaging the content is and whether the style of writing is going to suit the blog that I need content written for.

I also want to know what topics the writer specializes in. Yes I have had a lot of writers tell me that they will write on any topic and honestly that answer is not satisfactory for me. I know that I can write good content on a wide variety of subjects but there are certain things that I won’t be good writing about – take politics, religion, history, cars and sport. I will fail to write anything great on those topics simply because those topics bore me to tears and I would rather do something else with my time. Give me blogging, parenting, addiction, mental health and self improvement topics and I can write an excellent article.

When I use content writers I hire different writers for each of my websites. I want the writers I use to be passionate about the topic and enjoy writing the articles. When this happens the articles are excellent content.

Paper pen and coffee

Check References and Reviews

I mostly use Seoclerks for my writers, plus I have some women that write for my parenting website that were regular readers of my website. I enjoy reading through the reviews on websites to see what other people have experienced, this can be tricky though since often the people purchasing and reviewing the seller is not English either!

For my parenting website I privately contacted a few moms that regularly engaged on my website with high quality comments and asked them to write for me.

Checking The Content

Once I have ordered and received content from a writer (or received a guest post), the first thing I do is read it out loud. The reason for this is that often mistakes that are not picked up when scanning the article come to light very quickly when reading it aloud.

The next thing I do is check all the facts and information given in the article. It may be written by someone else, but it is my website and my responsibility to ensure that all information provided is correct and relevant to the topic and my website.

Articles need to be engaging, full of great information, relevant to the topic and my website niche.

The last thing I do before approving content is put it through a plagiarism checker. You will be shocked the amount of times I have paid for and received an amazing article… that has been copied and pasted from someone else’s website, either partly or in full!

Any writer that sends me plagiarized content is immediately removed off my list of content writers.

I hope you have found this helpful, and if you are looking for some excellent writers, here are my 2 favorites:

Tommy from SeoClerks

EliteWriter from SeoClerks

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Lynne Huysamen

Mommy to a pigeon pair, blogger and online marketer. Lover of chocolate, good books and buckets of coffee.

8 Comments

  1. Hey Lynne- Great tips and recommendations. Love the idea of reading the content out loud. I agree we can mentally connect the dots…and fill in stuff in our head when scanning.

    Do you ever pay for a great article that ends up not be close to your own individual writing style?

    • I’ve made that mistake so many times, now I always read out loud! Yes I have accepted articles that are not own writing style, I don’t have an issue with this at all. On some of my websites I’ve created a new user to publish articles under that don’t fit in with my style.

  2. Great article Lynne! This is very important for people who are operating online and have their own business. For anyone who is just staring this will be priceless. In the beginning I made a lot of mistakes while I was searching for quality writers and spent a lot of money on them. Most writers simply don’t understand what I want from them and that is really embarrassing.

    • Daniel I have had the same problem as you. My biggest challenge is finding a writer that is actually English – most of them state that they are English when in fact it is clearly not their first language or even a language that they are slightly competent in! 

  3. Hi this is a very interesting article. I have read carefully the key points you have highlighted and I am pleased to say that if I had the time I would love to consider being a content writer through your site. You sound as though you have a good level of experience and you also come across as a professional. So important in this flooded online world of shams and scams. Thanks for creating and all the best. Kenny

    • You are so right, there are so many shams and scams Kenny – I find it quite daunting wading through them! 

  4. I’m in the process of looking for a content writer. Very pleased I came across this article.

    Thank you for all the good tips.

    Love the one about reading the content out loud. That makes so much sense! I always advise my singing students to read the poem they are singing out loud so they understand it better. Never occurred to me to do it with the blog post. I shall start doing this with my own articles. 

    Thanks again! 

    • It’s a pleasure Alenka – when reading it out loud you will pick up mistakes that you might otherwise have missed! It works so well. 

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