If you’re outsourcing your blog writing, chances are you have specific goals to for your blog. You may be trying to:
- Capturing sales leads
- Converting visitors to email subscribers
- Building brand awareness and engagement
It can be hard to find the right writer to help you achieve these goals. Not every good writer is good at blogging. Blogging is a unique form of communication, and writing content that will accomplish your objectives takes a very specific set of skills.
Thinking about outsourcing your blog to a professional blogger? Here are some skills you should make sure your professional blog content writer offers.
5 Services Your Blog Content Writer Should Provide
1. Research From Credible Sources
A professional blogger knows how to find reputable sources, and knows which sources to stay away from.
Quality blogs will never cite from publicly-edited websites like Wikipedia, or websites driven by content mills like Demand Media, Livestrong.com, eHow, or Associated Content. These websites pay writers very low rates, usually resulting in low-quality articles that aren’t fact-checked.
The best sources include:
- Original research
- Reputable news sources
- Professional organizations
- Expert interviews
Your professional blog content writer should be ready to cite their sources and explain why they’re credible.
2. Keyword Research & SEO
You have specific goals you’re trying to meet with your blog, but those goals will never be met if no one reads it. Keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) are a necessary part of your blogging strategy.
Keyword research can help you to hone in on exactly what your target audience is searching for. When they do search for those terms, your blog posts should be optimized to appear high in the search results.
SEO doesn’t have to mean stuffing a bland article full of awkward keywords, but optimization should be kept in mind while writing each blog post.
Professional blog content writers will know how to use keywords to optimize content to be discoverable by search engines without compromising quality.
3. Web-Optimized Formatting
Online readers don’t read each word. Instead, they scan content to find what’s interesting and relevant to them, and determine whether it’s worth the read.
A good blogger knows all the tricks to formatting content to entice readers and get them to read more. They break up content so it’s easy to scan, with:
- Short paragraphs
- Multiple sections with subheadings
- Bulleted lists (like this one)
- Bold text
4. Attention-Grabbing Headlines
The goal of the headline is to capture the short attention span of online browsers and get them to actually read your blog post—no small feat.
Writing blog post headlines and titles is an art unto itself.
Search the web and you’ll find thousands of articles, whitepapers, and ebooks on how to write engaging and magnetic headlines and blog post titles.
Headlines may consist of just a few short words, but crafting effective headlines is a skill that not many writers have mastered. Some companies have whole departments just working on coming up with the best headlines.
The master of headlines uses psychology, copywriting skills, and keeps up with the latest trends and research in crafting their words.
A professional blogger should be able to craft headlines that get you clicks and shares. Is your blog content writer providing this service?
5. Relevant & Licensed Images
Every blog post should have an image. Images are key to capturing reader interest, driving the point home in a memorable way, and promoting social sharing.
But a professional blogger knows you can’t just grab any image off the web, unless you want to get sued for copyright infringement.
Professional blog content writers need to be familiar with copyright laws and various licenses so they know how they can legally use each image. They should know exactly where the image came from and be able to explain the license attached and how they’re legally able to use the image.
Professional bloggers will have several sources they use for images, and be able to find a fitting image to use for any post.
Whether a blogger has the skills listed above will have a direct impact on the success of your business blog.
Does your freelance blogger offer these services? If not, you’re not getting the most out of your blogging budget.