How long have you been working as a content writer? Do you consider yourself a professional? These are only two of the most important questions every content writer has to ask himself/herself. Let’s see what are the other questions you have to answer before applying to some content writing job.
“Writing isn’t about using big words to impress. It’s about using simple words in an impressive way.” —Sierra Bailey
What does your portfolio look like?
Every employer will probably scan your resume before actually speaking to you. You should make sure that the writing samples you provide are your best ones and related to the subjects required by the potential employer, without any grammatical mistakes. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and try to be objective – does the title of the writing sample grab your attention? Are the headlines such that make you want to keep reading? Do you even have the headlines since most of the online content should have at least two or three headlines? Any subheadings and images optimized for SEO? Remember, if the employer sees that you have been instrumental in growing another business’s online reach, there’s a good chance he’ll hire you.
Do you have an experience writing the required type of content?
You don’t have to be an expert in the industry in question, but you have to have some experience in the field. On the other hand, being an expert at research and being good at following notes that experts give you is equally important, and as a matter of fact, crucial.
When looking through your portfolio, the employer will keep an eye out for variety, both in topics and form and thus decide on your researching abilities. Are you someone who can make even vacuum cleaners interesting to read about? Then you have to make your creativity visible at the first sight.
What about the ideas for the content?
Are you good at finding the inspiration for new titles or do you always need some guidance from your employer? Some business owners may already have a good idea of the topics you’d have to write for their site. In other cases, however, you may be asked to come up with fresh ideas. Most commonly, content writers are required to create ongoing posts, which means they need a stream of fresh ideas to write about. If this is the case, then make sure both sides agree on how much you will be paid for new ideas and how your rejected ideas for the posts will be handled.
Are you good at SEO?
Since simple content writing and SEO are not the same thing, your employer may want to check your SEO experience? Do you have any? He may ask you to say something general about the keywords and why they’re important for an online content. Your employer might even send you a sample of writing and ask you to define the following:
- Is it well-written according to your criteria?
- Does it provide value?
- Is there a proper formatting, with the right headlines, heading tags, and paragraph structure?
- Does it have the adequate keywords and the right frequency of keywords?
- Is there enough content on the page for SEO and is it properly formatted?
- What are the internal links and does it have any?
- Is there a meta description designed to rank well?
- Is it something others will want to share, i.e. is it a viral content?
Your employer’s goal here is to make sure that you can provide content that appeals to people and performs well in search engine crawlers. The best content satisfies both of these requirements incredibly well, so you should now all of the things mentioned above.
What about the editing process?
When hiring a blog or a website writer, an employer is entrusting his business—even if just a small part of it—to you. Before placing it in your hands, he has to make sure your quality control process is a rigorous one. You can be asked to write the content and after some time return to it for editing purposes. Are you able to see your own errors when reading the content you’ve written after some time frame?
Generally, the editing process can be handled through various forms. Some business owners give the content to even two editors to check. They believe that the more eyes there are on a piece of content, the more opportunities of catching an error. They are probably right.