Article Writer - Do You Need One?Content is king. Your web presence needs content that your audience will be interested in, period. People go to websites for the content they provide. They read web comics for amusement, visit consumer advocacy sites to inform themselves, visit political blogs to find causes to champion - in short, people visit websites to find things out. Whether it's for shopping or simple erudition, a large part of the web process involves reading, and the people doing the reading want to look through something of quality. You have a website, you have a product, and you have the motivation. Now you need to ask yourself - do you have the writer?
Who Needs a Professional Article Writer?
At the basic level, everyone seriously looking to make an impact on web audiences needs a dedicated article writer. Hobby writing for web content is fine for personal projects, but it doesn't drum up a great deal of interest in the long term. It has been demonstrated again and again, the most successful websites are those that regularly produce the content their audience wants, the more frequently the better. So the need for an article writer should actually be taken as a given. The more pressing question then becomes, "Who should that writer be?"
In some cases, the answer is obvious - you. You know your material, you're able to write confidently, and you've got inspiration in buckets. In this case, good, the problem is solved. Go and write that content, and perhaps pass it by a talented associate now and again for review.
However, this obviously isn't always the case. Some site owners are good promoters and businessmen, but lack the highly developed writing skill necessary to really dig into a piece and make it shine for the audiences even once, much less week after week or day upon day. Or perhaps the owner feels comfortable writing some articles, but wants another point of view in specialized or technical pieces. In this case, the owner needs to acquire a professional writer to provide these services. The trick here lies in recognizing your strengths and limitations, and identifying exactly what the needs of your site are.
The Writer You Need
As with any hiring process, selecting a good writer requires understanding the business in question. Each site has its own unique needs, and should seek to acquire writers who meet those needs. It certainly is true that many people can write effectively on many topics, but the impact will be greatest when the writer is chosen for abilities directly relating to the job at hand.
For example, a site focusing on producing highly technical how-to manuals for home chemistry will demand a very different writer than a site focusing on topical, biting political satire. Each demands a professional who cannot only write well, but understands the topic itself and can write believably. Someone with no experience in politics will quickly be identified in the latter case, and in the former someone who flunked basic chemistry won't be able to write more than superficial material at their best.
Obviously, the writer also must be good at writing itself - they must be able to construct effective sentences, use proper syntax, and command the language in a manner that keeps readers both interested and informed. Most importantly, they need to be able to write specifically at the level of the typical audience for the site. Masters' degree level academic writing can be marvelous and compelling in peer reviewed journals, but would be entirely out of place on the aforementioned satirical archive.
How to Find Them
The key to getting the best writer for a website is research. Once you understand your needs as far as the writer goes, it's time to begin looking for them. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do so despite the overwhelming anonymity and size of the web.
First, consider your own colleagues and acquaintances. Frequently we have many associates in our field of specialty, and many of them harbor hidden talents. Consult with your co-workers and others that you know, to see if they can meet the needs at hand.
Another source of information on professional writers is the plethora of freelance writing websites. There are dozens of sites employing short-term writers on a variety of projects with skill levels ranging from high school and college level writing to highly technical productions involving text and multimedia elements. Frequently, these sites employ a ratings and review system, allowing you to look into their reputation and perhaps their prior work history.
Additionally, there is always the interview. This need not be a physical sit-down session - it can consist of posting an advertisement seeking a talented writer along with a requirement that they submit writing samples (either previously published pieces or unique work based on the site's requirements). This will frequently result in a deluge of applicants, so owners are advised to be prepared to so some heavy reading in this case.
For good content on your website, the key is to identify the exact needs of your site, find the exact style and skill of writer you need, and then to strive to meet that need unfailingly. Have an open mind and be willing to adapt to new, good ideas, but stick with the goal and vision for your site and find the best person to fill the position you've created.