Episode 15 - Why You Need to Work With a Content Writer

Why You Need to Work With a Content Writer

Creating content is a critical element to any marketing plan. Today we are speaking with Jessica Olma of ScribeSyndicate about how to make it easier to create content by working with a content writer.

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Why You Need to Work With a Content Writer


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Creating content is a critical element of any successful marketing plan. Today I have a special guest with me and we're going to talk about how to make that easier by working with a content writer. I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. Thank you so much for tuning in. I am super excited to have with me, Jessica Olma with Scribe Syndicate. Jessica, welcome, and thank you for taking the time.


Jessica Olma:

Hi, thank you for inviting me. I've been a content writer for about seven years now with my business and I help people to get their websites looking more visible, more pleasing to the eye. We do blog articles and white papers and downloadable materials, all designed to make you look your best.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. Well, Hey, that is the critical element of it, right? I think a lot of people don't understand how essential and important good content and good copywriting is to the success of their marketing. I'm super excited to talk to you today and to get into how we can work with content writers, because I think some people also have worked with content writers in the past, and it hasn't been a good experience. And so they immediately write it off, which really isn't, that's not the case. There's plenty of great content writers out there. We just need to know how to work with them and make them successful. Let's get into the first thing, what are some of the common signs that my business might benefit from working with a content writer?


Jessica Olma:

Well, if your visitors or readers aren't engaging with your material, you're not seeing likes, comments, sharing, they're not taking any kind of action, then they're probably not seeing it or engaging with the material itself. Your content isn't showing up in searches and your marketing consultant might be telling you the copy needs to be reworked before they can rank you. And also writing might be taking up a lot of your time and now your business has begun to suffer for it. Those are pretty major reasons that you might want to look into a content writer.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. I don't have the time or I'm spending the time, but it's not the highest and best use of my time as a business owner and lack of conversions. I think a lack of conversions is a really big one, right? You're putting these things out there and nothing's happening, a lot of times it has to do with your copy. It's not clear, it's not engaging. Yeah, I love that. And those are two really strong signs that you may need to look at working with the content writer. But once I decide, I want to work with the content writer, what are some of the benefits that you think I'm going to see working with the content writer?


Jessica Olma:

Well, you should get some really creative material and the messaging should always be very clear. The topics are researched when necessary and sources are cited to back up any statistics or claims that you're making. Content is properly formatted, the topic flows, points are made concisely, and there should be at least one pleasing image in there. On-page SEO is a benefit. Your writer should know things about keywords, phrases, and tags to make it easier for people to find your content and be directed to your website to learn about you.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. Got it. Well, I'm assuming so, they're going to be saving time because they're not going to be spending that time writing that content. All of the things that you described there, the finished product is going to be better in most cases, right?


Jessica Olma:

Absolutely. They need to see a difference and believe me, there's a difference between just doing it yourself and having a professional do it. But one big thing that people forget about too, is objectivity. By having someone else write the material, they can take your ideas and things that you really need to be in there. They can make sure that your voice and tone is there. But they're also making sure that the points you're trying to make are clear and that the grammar and punctuation issue, if you're reading anything online and you see some poor grammar, you notice it and it takes away from expertise. So yeah, I think these are things that hiring a writer can really help you out with.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. I think in most cases they're going to get better results by working with somebody that actually writes content and copywriting for a living. One of the things that we found with website design when we're doing website design for clients, is there are a lot of web designers out there that can put together a great looking, pretty site, but they ask and expect the client to provide the content. And that just in most cases does not work because it's no-fault or no knock on the client. But in most cases, the client is not the best person to write copy. They can be a great person to gather the information, right? What makes you different? What are the problems that your clients are having? What are the benefits of working with you? They can communicate that, but since they don't write copy, they don't know how to write it so that it's effective.


Jessica Olma:

Right. All they know how to do is convey it conversationally. And they don't know how to trim it down so it's concise and fits the website platform and they don't know how to organize their thoughts sometimes. They may have a run-on of ideas that could be turned into several blog articles instead of just this one blob of information that people don't want to read because it's too lengthy. And they forget that they're using their industry terminology and they lose people because they don't understand. I know that the clients sometimes are surprised when they're told, that they need to provide the content. It can take them months to find the time or work themselves to do it, which holds up the whole web design process and marketing process in the end. So they're not doing themselves any favors.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. No, I totally agree. I mean, that's one of the reasons why with website design we provide content because it provides a better-finished product and it keeps the project going. The bottom line is as a small business owner, if I'm working with a content writer, I should be getting better results. It's a better-finished product. It's more effective and I'm saving my time so that I can focus my efforts on other things that I do better. I love that.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

What about working with a content writer? There are varying levels of content writers too. There are content writers where you may work with them and you get the finished product back and you have to tweak it. There are others where they're getting much more involved, much higher quality, but what types of things do I need to keep in mind as a business owner to ensure that I'm going to be happy with the finished product? How can I work with the content writer as effectively as possible to get the best results?


Jessica Olma:

Well, like most things, you don't want to just pick the first writer you meet. Consult with a few different ones and maybe on different levels. I know some people really like to go to those freelance platforms and find someone who's inexpensive. If you try that a few times and you realize it's not getting you where you want to be, then you want me to step it up a notch and pay a little bit more and find someone who is actually a copywriter and has been maybe for a few years. So we have some idea of their expertise level. Ask to see a portfolio or examples of their work. If they've been doing it for a while, they'll have live website links to their clients and they can just send you and say, "This is a site that I worked on. This is what my writing looks like." You can send them a link to a live blog and tell them which articles you've written. Because often there's not a byline, because we do ghostwrite mostly. But you can always verify too with the client that that is in fact their work.


Jessica Olma:

Start with a small one-page project and see if you're happy with the results and then decide if you want to continue because writers are contracted per project. Once that project's over, you're under no obligation to continue with them. And if you need to look for someone else that you think would be a better fit, then that's all you need to say. Which brings me to also there should be some back and forth to get the voice and tone. If you're not comfortable talking with them, you won't understand whether or not you've got a good personality fit.


Jessica Olma:

Depending on how important it is that they get that voice and tone right, there's going to be between the first couple of articles or projects, there's going to be some discussion about what you're doing and what they want you to do. This is funny too, that I talked to some people and they almost feel bad to come back to me and say, "Well, I really kind of wanted it like this." I need to hear that. I need feedback. And I welcome it because the first thing I'm going to do is make the adjustments so that they're happy.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. Yeah. I think part of this too is.


Jessica Olma:

That's not going to work.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. If I go into this expecting it to be perfect, I'm going to be disappointed because it's never going to be perfect. Do you feel like the clearer and the better direction and the more information I give my content writer, typically the end result is going to be much better as well. Is it not?


Jessica Olma:

Yes. The first thing I do when I consult with the client is asking them, do they have any thoughts that are written down, and draft information, an old website that I can look at that has material on it that they need, but they don't like the way it's worded, but I know what the basis of the content is going to be. I look at their social media profiles. I look at Facebook content, I look at anything they've got out there to see how they describe their business and services and then tweak it to what they're telling me they truly need. The more they can give me the better. I'll even ask them for examples of websites or blog articles that they've read that they really liked for that content and also for how it's arranged. So formatting can be important too.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

I want to pull out a couple of things that you said because I think they're super important. One of the things you talked about was copywriting and content. They're two different things. Sometimes you can work with the same person to get that done, but typical content like a blog post or a social media post, something like that, is different than copywriting, which copywriting is content, but it's meant to sell. And so I think when you're looking at choosing a content writer to work with, you do have to have a really clear understanding of is this copywriting, or is it content writing? I may be able to work with the same person, but I need to make sure because there are plenty of people out there that write content that are not copywriters.


Jessica Olma:

Right. And you do need to ask the person because they'll either be calling themselves a copywriter or in the case that I do, a digital content writer. The difference is that I am not focused on advertising material. I am more focused on getting the about, home, and surface pages of your business done correctly in more of a storytelling narrative language, and then the educational or informational pieces in the blog articles and researching it and citing it properly. But then there are people that call themselves copywriters. They do both, but some of them will angle more towards advertising. So you really do need to ask kind of what their writing niche is, what do they usually work on? I always explain to people that my big points are webpages and blog articles. I do so much more, but that's where I'm angled.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Yeah. Yeah. And that's what you like doing, that's what you're good at. Right?


Jessica Olma:

Yeah.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

I think it's really important and it's totally okay. I mean, there are businesses out there that work with multiple copywriters and content writers and that's a totally okay thing to do. You just have to come into this knowing what your goals are, asking the right questions. And like you said, I love your tip about start on a small project, have them write a blog article. I mean, there's very little risk involved in doing a small project.


Jessica Olma:

Exactly.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

And you can figure out, "Hey, do I like working with this person? Is this going to be a good fit?" If it is, great. If it's not, then you can move on and there's no love lost.


Jessica Olma:

Right. And they should offer though too, a free initial consultation where you can sit down and talk about what you have in mind and see if that's what the writer does. If they want to move forward on your project, you just need to determine that right upfront.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Absolutely. Totally agree. This has been awesome. These are great tips. I really do appreciate you taking the time, Jessica. Where can people learn more about you?


Jessica Olma:

Well, they can go to my website at scribesyndicate.com or they can simply search the internet for Scribe Syndicate. A page would pop up and they can choose to look at my LinkedIn profile, Facebook, a magazine article that was done on my business, Alignable even. There'll be lots to choose from for them to get to know me and find out more about what I do.


Tim Fitzpatrick:

Cool. That's awesome. If you need some help writing content, please check out Scribe Syndicate. Jessica knows what she's doing. She can get you taken care of. I really do appreciate you taking the time. Thank you so much for tuning in. I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. If you need clarity on where to focus your marketing efforts based on where you are at right now, go to our website, rialtomarketing.com and schedule a free consultation with us. I guarantee you will get a ton of value from it. And remember, marketing your business shouldn't be a challenge. All you need is a plan. Until next time. Take care.


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About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help small businesses & entrepreneurs eliminate the confusion of marketing by focusing on the fundamentals. As a marketing partner, we help clients put in place and manage a simple marketing plan so they can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a challenge. All you need is a plan.

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