Hiring a Content Writer? Read This First!

by Susan Walsh, President and CEO, Sales-Link Inc.

Writing is an art. Journalism is a degree. Passion is a gift. Any one of these qualities in a candidate may impress you enough to end in a hire, but for corporate writing, it’s not enough to be an artful writer, or to hold the correct degree, or to be passionate, but not well-spoken. The ideal copy writer for your business MUST posses all three traits.

Being the mother of a writer, I see first-hand, the importance of being passionate about your subject matter. I’ve observed how much joy it brings a dedicated, gifted writer to see the fruits of his labor make a difference in the success of the company he works for. There is a clear sense of accomplishment as my son watches the number of viewers increase, as they log on to the website to read his articles. Reader responses are testaments to the value his followers have placed, not only on his writing ability, but on his expertise as an authority on sports…and the followers keep growing in numbers.

A passion for understanding the subject matter, and a strong desire to share that knowledge are important components of good writing, whether for a sports column, or for your CRO website. These traits MUST be considered when hiring a writer.

If you are lucky, you’ve found writers who are educated and experienced in the art of writing (i.e, using proper wording, punctuation, expression and sentence formation). But if you’ve employed a writer who has these credentials, in addition to a strong knowledge of your business, and the passion to help connect you to your readers, you’ve hit the jackpot! If not, your messaging will have holes that will leave many behind.

There is a shift occurring in the marketing world. Some say videos are important, and shorter messaging is better. But people are, in fact, reading. Just check out some statistics I’ve linked here: American Reading Habits. -A little fact herein, is that most readers still like paper books!

Along with books and papers, you cannot disregard social media, where most of our population is getting their information from. According to Jaron Lanier, writer, musician, computer scientist, mathematician, and author of his most recent book, “Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now,” if we had to pay for our social media accounts, we would see better content being written, and better exchanges being made. He compares his observation to that of the Netflix phenomenon:

C-SPAN Talk in Brooklyn, NY- C-SPAN does a moment of promo so be patient to hear his short point.  https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4771095/motivation-incentives

C-SPAN Talk in Brooklyn, NY- C-SPAN does a moment of promo so be patient to hear his short point. https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4771095/motivation-incentives

Many agree that we are headed toward paid social media in the future, but whatever the future brings, we have to be ready to be a part of it. Good writing and passionate content will be more important than ever.

As businesses and corporations, let’s start using writers who understand our business. By having good, organized content on our websites, contributing to related subject matter forums, and adding compelling posts to social media platforms, we create an opportunity for like-minded people to connect and engage with us, forming constructive, lasting, new business relationships. This is how the foundation for growth is established. This is how successful enterprise happens.