Our quest for Hiring a great Content Writer

by | Oct 13, 2016

Tuesday morning, a rare whole day in the office, no appointments, no events, just me and my mountain of emails, and a walk around to chat with the team ahead…until Emma (my media manager) enters the office, seemingly in a panic… “Can I have 14 articles by Thursday please Sally for the newsletter? Oh and don’t forget that download needs finishing and if you get chance to look over the email sequence too, that would be awesome I want to get them sent tomorrow…” And with that, before I could say HOW, she was gone…

As I looked at my packed diary, which included driving to surrey to speak at an event tomorrow (Wednesday) and in a seminar running a training day on Thursday, the comment of BY THURSDAY, means TODAY… Crikey!

Not being one to let people down, I embarked upon the challenge and after 4 hours of typing, 7 of the articles were done, a walk with Ruby the office Doberman was in order, as my back was seizing up, and my fingers and forearms numb (must check my seating position) the on my return, another laborious 4 hours of typing, my phone off the book, staff that dared to enter the office, quickly batted away, and the emails ignored… At the end of that crazy Tuesday, it was done, well the content anyway, nothing else…

But it made me think… Running 5 company’s and 4 brands, speaking at events all around the country, my ARLA presidential role sapping up my time plus wanting to have a life sometime, could i really continue writing ALL of the content, the blogs, the downloads, the videos, the social media, the facebook posts, the email messages?

So i embarked on a journey of finding out HOW I would go about hiring a copywriter, that sounds like me… And that is the challenge… I write heavy, legislative, challenging articles, with a slant on government changes, issues in the property sector and for agents, how would someone KNOW all that stuff, that wasn’t in my trade, and also happen to be a great copywriter, but this must be a similar problem for all copywriters, because they are all writing about something right?

I started to wonder who writes for my competition, and on checking the blog pages, a lot of the blogs, claimed they are written by the business themselves, (clearly not the case) but many did have named contributors writing for their sites, copywriters, bloggers etc, that have an eye on the industry and write great content too, plus as an added bonus, they have their own following to bring to the table, so this seems a great place to start, looking for them on social media, I started to put out feelers, and open conversations.

Then I came across a site called Upwork, (formerly e-lance) where you can post jobs and hire people for a few pounds per hour, what a great idea! Researching it, I could see that it was important to have a clear and defined job descriptions detailing the content type and style and industry required for, and on reading a few blogs, it says it’s quite normal to use other job adverts posted as templates for your own and that when selecting a respondent, the key is to look for those with good test scores and reviews, so off I went.

One of my young media team then suggested we approach some of his former mates, that are currently penniless students, that had gone to university and college, that were always looking to make a few quid, and he told me how to find them searching the local area and the word “student” on linked in. So we started sending out messages there.

Being a huge Facebook fan myself, I also wondered if I knew anyone, that could write great content for us, and on just thinking about it, I came up with 10 names in just a few minutes, that would be suitable so yet again a few more contacts connected with there..

The story hasn’t ended yet, we are trialling a few from each of these groups, and I have to say so far, with clear instruction, their ability to research online and copywriting skills, the results have been pretty good, and I imagine, that we will actually end up with a few regular content contributors, each with different content types to supply us with each month

So I’m looking forward to an end of Tuesday morning panics, and therefore being able to focus on my own quality, intuitive and un-rushed content creation, that I have always enjoyed…

Watch this space for an update on our quest for a copywriter who sounds like me…

Sally Lawson