Category Archives: Business Development

How to find the best content writer for your business

So you have finally decided to hire a professional content writer who can help you create killer content and implement your content marketing strategy. Mind you, a strategist doesn’t necessarily mean a good writer, and vice versa, I’m just writing this from my point of view as I have experience in both.

Hiring a content writer for your business is going to be one of the most crucial decisions of your business life, and I’m not saying this because I am a content writer myself. Content marketing has the ability to take your business up many notches and drastically bring down your advertising and promotion costs, provided you know what sort of content you need and how it can satisfy your visitors.

You have two choices while trying to find the best content writer for your business: hiring a full-time professional, or outsourcing your work. Both the options are good depending upon your business model. Since I am a freelance content writer and I look for people who want to outsource their writing needs, I am writing this blog post from that perspective. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while trying to find the right writer for your business:

Ability to communicate

There is a reason why not everybody is a professional writer despite knowing how to write. Every educated person can write but still he or she works in a different profession. Writing just doesn’t appeal or he or she is unable to communicate through written word. Communicating through writing is a specialized art. Does your content writer possess that art? Can he or she communicate convincingly?


Your content writer must be dependable. Every serious content marketing strategy hinges upon a steady flow of quality content. Can your content writer provide quality content on a consistent basis, or, as and when you need it? Timeliness and relevance are of high importance. There is no use of writing content whose time has passed by. When you need to reach your content writer, he or she should be there. He or she should be able to deliver on the designated day without you having to pursue him or her all the time.

Ability to research

Verifiable data makes your content authoritative. There is lots of demand for data-packed content that people find hard to obtain. Your content writer should be able to use various data mining tools and methods to find reliable information for you. Also content curation these days is as important as creating original content. Finding timely, relevant and highly useful information from all over the Internet and compiling it into a single article or a blog post can be very valuable.

Having a unique voice

When you have a unique voice you are able to articulate more convincingly. Being successful as a writer is all about style. When you write in a certain manner, people are either going to like it, or dislike it. So look for a writer who has his or her own voice. Having said that, it will be important for him or her to adapt his or her style according to your industry, but whatever is your requirement, a unique writing style must always be there.

These are the core abilities you must find in a content writer for your business. Other attributes like affordability and the ability to write well are a given, of course.


What sort of content gets you good Google rankings?

You create content for your users and visitors, and not for search engines, and this is a good strategy. But it does you no harm, if Google likes your content too. This blog post on Copyblogger talks in detail how Google these days gives more importance to the quality of content rather than its quantity or the number of websites and blogs linking to it.

Despite scores of updates by the end of the day Google wants to present high-quality content to its users. What makes your content high-quality? If you are able to create and publish such content it not only pleases your visitors it also pleases search engines like Google.

The primary attributes of high-quality content are:

  • It is informative
  • It is topical
  • It is useful
  • It is relevant
  • It is well-written and well-formatted
  • It is engaging

How do you achieve these attributes? To be frank I never like to put content writing within various boxes, but according to tried and tested observations, the following types of content can get you good Google rankings aside from pleasing your audience.

Compilation of useful resources

There is a ton of useful information on the Internet but people either don’t have enough time to scour the web or don’t have the right tool to reach the right content. Why don’t you provide quality resources within one single blog post or article? Something like “50 Killer Tips On Content Writing From Best Writers On the Web”, or “15 SEO Resources You Cannot Live without”. These types of articles and blog posts rank well on Google because they pack lots of information at a single place and this information can actually help its users.

A list of things

The year 2012 was often called the year of lists in the circle of content writers because practically everybody was creating them and almost every list was going viral on social networking websites. This also fetched them higher search engine rankings. Lists still do great because, again, they provide lots of useful information at a single place. An example of a useful list would be “25 Ways to Lose Weight Without Eating Less”.

Product or service reviews

Well-balanced useful reviews help your reader decide what they should purchase and how they should spend their money. Therefore, this sort of content is highly useful and relevant. Often it is also vertically focused and hence easier for Google to rank.

Interviews with industry leaders

Interviewing industry leaders not only provides highly valuable insight to your readers, it also increases your search engine rankings naturally. Most of the industry leaders these days publish their own blogs. They already enjoy high rankings on Google. They have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook. When you publish an interview of one of them he or she will surely mention it on Twitter and Facebook and if you’re very lucky he or she might also create a small blog post linking back to your interview. This will give you an immediate boost over Google.

Content that goes viral on social media and social networking websites

All types of content, including the ones mentioned above, can go viral on social media and social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, and there is no set formula. Again, the key is, creating highly useful content that people would like to share. You can also create attractively presented infographics.


Industry-specific news is quickly picked up by Google because millions of people are constantly looking for such information.

This is just a broad representation of the sort of content you can create for your website or blog in order to improve your Google rankings that are immune to the various algorithmic updates the search engine keeps on introducing every few months.


Content marketing strategy for landscaping business

This year I have written content for more than four landscaping businesses so it will be safe to say that people in this particular industry realize the importance of targeted content writing and content marketing. So what should be your content marketing strategy if you want to promote your landscaping business?

In this business people are primarily influenced by the following:

  • Your experience/portfolio
  • The clients you have worked for
  • Personal recommendations
  • Visual collateral
  • Constant communication

If you don’t have a blog then you should definitely start a blog for your landscaping business website. A blog is not just a “trendy” thing to have: it is a top-notch communication channel. If this doesn’t motivate you, a regularly published blog can increase your search traffic easily by 100-200% within 3-4 months (it depends on the frequency and quality of your blog posts).

When we use the word “content marketing strategy” it means you are not simply going to publish content – you’re going to make sure that the content reaches the right audience and then it makes the right impact.

Not all your landscaping clients will be visiting your website. They will be on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on other blogs and websites or simply looking around for a similar service on various search engines. Your content marketing strategy involves using multiple channels as well as multiple content formats to reach your prospective clients. Since I provide textual content, this is my focus.

So in order to launch a content marketing strategy for your landscaping business you need to do the following if you haven’t already done so:

  • Start a blog under your own domain name (something like and start publishing content on it on a regular basis. Focus on quality but also be regular. In the beginning it will help you if you can post everyday or at least thrice a week. The growth of your blog should be gradual. It’s not a good strategy to hire a writer in the Philippines, for instance, make him create 50 blog posts and then publish them in one go. In a day, publish just a single blog post.
  • Create Facebook and Twitter profiles and start interacting with people over there. Although this might sound like social networking but your content plays a vital role in creating a solid presence for you or your brand. People will recognize you on the basis of the content you regularly post under your profiles.
  • Carry out a content analysis of your business website. Are all the necessary pages there? Do you think all the information the client needs in order to make a decision in your favor is present on your website? Does it have testimonials and the FAQs section? Does it properly explain what sort of landscaping services you provide and what sort of material you use?
  • Set up an account with an email marketing service such as mailchimp. Permission-based marketing, although as old as the contemporary Internet, still rules the roost when it comes to reaching out to your target audience in the most effective manner. You will need high-quality content for your email marketing campaigns.

You must be wondering once you have established these channels (and many more) what you’re going to talk about. For instance, your blog. Of course you will be talking about landscaping. You can start by explaining the various aspects of how you carry out individual projects and what parameters you take into consideration. You can talk about various forms of landscaping, materials, methods and architectural conventions. Once you have started, the ideas begin to come on their own.

Remember that link building must be an integral part of your overall content marketing strategy. Google looks for quality websites and blogs that link back to you. So continuously create content people would like to link to as this will significantly improve your search engine rankings for your targeted keywords – primary, secondary and longtail.

The same holds true for your social networking and social media profiles. Keep in mind that search engines these days list social media content also. So be careful of what you are posting.


My favorite content writing tool

Early in the day I was reading somebody’s blog post in which she had listed 50 of her favorite blogging and content writing tools. Right now I cannot access the post because I’m writing this from my galaxy tab and not my computer.

But if you ask me what are my favorite blogging and content writing tools these days, I’ll simply say Google Docs, and nothing else. And even the too I keep my editor window maximized (F11) and toolbar disabled so that I have just the editing screen with my text.

In order to improve my focus and eliminate distractions I’m rapidly moving towards minimalism and this also means using less and less tools. After all what do I have to do? I have to write. Whether I’m writing for one of my clients or for myself, all I need is an ability to type without much fuss.

So when I’m away from my computer I use my 7-inch Android tablet and google drive and when I’m in front of my computer I use Google Docs. Other than these, at least for writing, I don’t use anything else.

Of course for publishing I use WordPress but that’s not a tool but a platform. In fact, even for my main content writing website I use WordPress as backend.

Oh, and I forgot to mention GetPocket that was previously known as “Read it Later” or something. I use it not only to read useful blog posts and articles on my tab but also to compile content writing ideas.


Why sometimes I don’t turn down low-paying content writing assignments

I just accepted a content writing assignment where the client has dictated almost all the terms, including how much he wants to pay me. OK “dictated” is a bit of an exaggeration, as he had simply suggested how much content he requires, and how much he will be able to pay. My first instinct was to politely let him know that I won’t be able to do the work, but then something made me accept it.

Over all these years – I’m not saying I’m perfect – I have developed knack for understanding what my clients are trying to convey. There are some clients who simply don’t want to pay what I’m asking for because either they don’t see value in what I’m going to deliver them, or they don’t take their content seriously. Some don’t want to pay because they cannot and at the same time, would like me to write for them. Here in lies the big difference.

I don’t mind writing content for clients (not always because then it will not be financially sustainable for me) who cannot pay my rates but nonetheless would like me to write for them. They have a genuine problem, but what impresses me is that they understand the value of good content. But how do I know which client is serious and which one is just haggling?

A serious client lets me know up front that look, this is how much I can pay. He or she also provides me all the business details and lets me know why he or she wants the content and why I’m the right person. They even call me a couple of times.

I repeatedly claim on my website that I’m constantly trying to build relationships instead of increasing my clients’ list. Yes, it’s good to have more clients, it’s good to have well-paying clients and it’s also good to earn lots of money, but earning lots of money in bouts is not good, especially when you know that you can help someone in the real sense. My personal experience has been, whenever I have worked for people who can actually use my services and I have delivered what I have promised, they stick with me. For years. They may not be able to pay me lots of money for a single project, but since they always work with me, their small instalments add up to bigger amounts. Yes, again, money is important, but the satisfaction that I derive out of the fact that my content helped them grow their businesses is also a great bonus.

Am I doing a favor? Not at all. I work in a business environment and when businesses grow they also generate more business opportunities. As I mentioned above, almost all those people who approached me for low-paying content writing assignments and whose work I did in turn down, turned out to be my “permanent” clients. They keep on paying me and a big chunk of my income comes from these people. So they are my assets.

It’s not always possible though, and not everybody is looking for such a relationship. Most of my clients are fine with my rates, they want content, they pay for it, and we both get on with our lives.