The first thing is a polished website. If the website is not appealing, think about the skills of the person who created it. In general a writer will have created their own website, or at least the copy within it. Is it visually appealing? Does it catch you and draw you in? Is it informative and persuasive?
If not...well, don't expect the work they do for you to be of any higher quality.
A writer's website is their calling card, and their marketing tool. It should be an example of their best work. If it doesn't look impressive to you, move on. Because your potential clients may react similarly to your materials/website if they are looking at work from that particular writer.
Another important thing to look for is breadth of knowledge. Can this writer only write articles? Can they only write marketing copy? Can they only write blogs? But why would you care, anyway, if all you want is a blog writer?
Well...a good writer can write for any medium and any audience. Specializing in something is great, being limited to one or two areas is not. Why?
Because writers need to be able to get into the minds of their intended audience. And to craft whatever type of writing is necessary in order to meet the client's objectives.
If the writer you are considering can only write in one area, will they really be able to effectively sell YOUR particular needs? And what if you find that your business grows, and you want to expand to other areas? Do you really want to have to go out and find another writer all over again, because your current one cannot deliver?
A final thing to look for is professionalism and confidentiality. Does the writer willingly give out client samples to anyone and everyone who asks for them? Are there links to proprietary information on their website? Or is the writer careful about maintaining disclosure agreements and guarding their clients' key business information?
You want a writer you can trust. If they don't portray trust and professionalism in their interactions and work samples, move on to the next one.
And always remember: you get what you pay for. A cheap writer is like immediate gratification - the low up front cost is nice, but the long-term effects on your business end up costing you more.
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