How To Hire a Website Content Writer For Your Business

Suzanne Wentley
Published: Oct 10, 2023
Last Updated:
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Every business, regardless of size, needs to have an online presence — but more so, businesses need a strong online presence. When your company is ready for a better website, hiring a professional website content writer makes sense. 

While you're busy planning, researching, and marketing, the writer can be busy creating copy. You can outsource the work while making sure it's still top quality. 

Professional web content writers with seasoned writing skills know the process of sharing your unique sales proposition with your target audience. They should have experience with search engine optimization, or SEO. They know how to weave keywords seamlessly into the pages of your website. They’ll work to execute the content strategy, whether that includes simple online content, product descriptions, blogs, white papers, or other digital marketing needs. 

Why hire a writer? The answer is clear: You want your digital presence to stand out from the competition, and high-quality content is crucial to making that happen. But of course, the why is easier to answer than the how.

When you decide to hire a professional website content writer, you’ll want to be as thoughtful and diligent as you are when you hire a graphic designer or UX specialist for your company. Not only must this person be able to show their experience in crafting compelling content, but they also must be a good fit for your company. Your website writer must also convey your values, vision, and overall brand identity. This partnership goes beyond the written word to tone and style.  

As you begin the process, also think about your capacity to handle the original content once it’s complete. The work of writing may involve research and the actual tapping of the keys, but that won’t be enough for a complete website. You'll want someone on your team to review the work, and often a second person should serve as a copy editor to check once more for typos or errors. You’ll also need a designer to lay everything out in a template before the website can be published.

If you don’t have a team to work together, it’s even more important to hire a website content writer with extensive experience. The better the first draft, the easier and faster the rest of the work will be. You’ll save time at the end by putting in the effort to hire the right writer at the start. Here are the steps to ensure that happens.

4 Steps for Finding the Perfect-Fit Website Content Writer

Before you embark on the journey to find the perfect website content writing professional for your digital marketing project, spend time thinking out the work that needs to be accomplished. 

To help your writer succeed in producing work you’re happy with, be ready with a detailed explanation of:

  • Your target audience
  • How you envision your website to look and feel
  • Brand guidelines, such as the tone, point of view, structure, and other writing directions

Then, research your competition to see what you like and dislike about their websites. Be prepared to explain to a website writer how you’d like your website pages to be different. The more clearly you can describe what you want as deliverables from your website content writer, the more likely you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for.

1. Define Your Available Budget for the Position

As any marketing professional knows, you get what you pay for. Each content writer for website work will charge a different amount, and often the lowest quotes will produce the lowest-quality results. Know what you're willing to pay before you begin your search.

Together, you and the writer can decide to pay per project or milestone within a larger project, by the hour, or with a retainer. Hiring on retainer means you’ll pay them for the entire month and expect full-time work if that’s what is necessary. Offer your expectations, then discuss them with the writer as part of the initial negotiation process.

How much does a website content writer cost? A website content writer who is just starting may ask for as little as $20 an hour, while a seasoned professional with an extensive content writer portfolio website may ask for $100 an hour. Most writers earn something in between, averaging between $30 and $50 an hour.  

Discuss how long it'll take for the writer to complete your projects. Some writers, especially when they are just starting with website writing, may quote a low hourly rate — only to take twice as long as you expect. 

If they cannot give a reasonable estimate for how long the project will take, suggest paying directly for the deliverable, paying in portions for smaller milestones, or capping the total amount based on your budget. Sometimes writers are paid by the word — ranging from 10 cents a word to more than $1, depending on the complexity of the assignment and the research required — or even per page. A page is around 500 words and tends to range in cost from $50 to $500.

2. Write an On-Point Job Description with All Relevant Information

Once you know your budget and are prepared for negotiations, create a clear and comprehensive job description that you can post where writers look for work. We’ll discuss how to post in a moment, but first, let's get the job description right.

Map Out All the Writing Skills You Need Your Writer To Have

To create great content, the writer you hire should have the skills needed to complete the job. These include:

  • Ability to research and write expertly within your industry
  • Strong writing skills that don't rely on ChatGPT or other generative AI tools
  • Originality, because plagiarism cannot be tolerated
  • Excellent time management skills, especially if you plan to pay them by the hour
  • Willingness to communicate frequently with you, your designer, or another project manager
  • In-depth understanding of the key tenets of SEO
  • Knowledge regarding specific SEO writing tools you’d like them to use
  • Specific technical knowledge if your business requires it

The best writer for the job may not have previous experience in your exact industry, although many writers do specialize in certain topics. It's always best to work with a seasoned writer who can adapt their style to what works for you. Many writers have a background in journalism that helps them ask the right questions and learn quickly.

List Soft Skills Based on Your Company Culture

Next, add in soft skills, which are less technical but just as important to the success of your website project. These interpersonal skills will help the process of writing, editing, and designing your online presence. As you consider which soft skills are worth adding to the job description, think about how this new professional can integrate into your overall company culture.

Soft skills worth including in the job description could include:

  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Being self-directed and independent
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Good leadership capabilities — especially if you need the writer’s help to lay out the site
  • Being detail-oriented so that less editing is necessary
  • Willingness to complete difficult tasks within set deadlines

Remember, this professional won’t be working alone — even though website content writing services are often solo tasks at first. There will be a lot of back-and-forth between them and your team to make sure everything on your site is just as you imagined.

Define the Level of Experience and Seniority

Your job description should make clear how experienced you expect the writer to be and how this person will fit into your team. If you believe the work is straightforward enough for someone just starting as a writer, you can pay less and hire an entry-level professional. You or someone on your team will have to spend more time with them. But if that helps you complete the project, that’s a good plan.

Conversely, if you want to work with an expert SEO website content writer, make that clear in the job description. Add the title of the person on your team with whom your writer will work directly so the seniority level is understood at the onset of the partnership.

Mark the Expectations Your Writer Needs To Fulfill

You’ll need to include a full description of the expected deliverables in the job description. The greater the detail, the more likely the end product will satisfy your expectations. 

Provide deadlines for each milestone as well as the overall project completion date. Let your candidates know if you’d like progress reports along the way or other forms of communication. Some content managers are very hands-on, and others prefer the writer to work independently. Be clear about your method of work so the expectations can be agreed upon before any writing begins.

Add Information About the Types of Content Required

You may just need a writer for website pages, but most websites contain a wide range of content. You might want a writer for the following tasks, too:

  • Blog posts
  • Video scripts
  • Photo captions
  • Product descriptions
  • Employee bios
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Social media content

Share a comprehensive description of the work so you’ll know that the writer you hire is comfortable with all of it. This will save you from wasting time hiring and onboarding another writer in the future.

Include a Test To Assess SEO Writing Skills

If you’d like to work with a website content writer who doesn't have a strong portfolio of SEO content, you can have them take a test to prove their skills.

Tests should never take too long for the candidate to complete. If you expect it to take more than half an hour, it’s good form to offer to pay a stipend for their time.

If you want the writer to also perform keyword research, ask about the process and tools they use for researching SEO writing. Request specific examples of keyword research they’ve done for a previous client.

Then, you can test their ability to integrate keywords into content. To do this, provide both short- and long-tail keywords and a topic. Ask the writer to create a short block of content with sub-headings and a headline. 

The work should naturally weave in keywords and include them in all headings. If the writing reads poorly or like a machine wrote it, you may want to choose someone else for your valuable content.

3. Post Job Listings On As Many Places As You Can

Once the job description is polished, it’s time to share it where the right candidate can see it. Start by sending your listing to your personal and professional contacts. If they don’t know an expert in web content writing services, expand your search to internet job listing sites. The wider you cast your net, the better the chance you’ll find someone who will help you reach your goals.

You may also want to work with a content agency to find an SEO content writer since online job board announcements often bring in a large number of applicants who may not meet the requirements you seek. If this happens, it'll take longer than expected to narrow the list, so make time in your schedule to make a thoughtful decision.

4. Start the Interview Process

Once you’ve found at least three to five viable candidates for the position, the next step in the hiring process is scheduling and holding interviews. These can be done remotely using video chat apps like Zoom, so you can work with a writer skilled in content creation from anywhere in the world. 

Select the Most Promising Candidates Based on the Test

Using the test that you created to assess SEO content creation skills, you’ll know the level at which your writer can work. This is a good start for picking the candidates worth the time it'll take for one-on-one interviews.

You may want to pre-determine if your potential writers are also subject matter experts. A legal website content writer will have a different knowledge base than a dental website content writer. Before scheduling an interview, ask for clips — the industry term for previously published written work — that demonstrate their understanding of your business.

Prepare Screening Questions To Identify Skilled Writers

Direct communication with any website content writer is the best way to confirm their skills and professionalism. Be prepared with questions that can help you decide which one will be the best fit for the project. Some questions to ask are:

  • Which of your previous writing projects most resemble this one, and what was your responsibility with it?
  • How do you integrate SEO into website copy?
  • Share your general process for work. How do you get the job done?
  • What do you do if you run into problems with the work?
  • How do you integrate feedback into your writing?
  • What is your availability for work? Can you commit to completing the website by the planned launch date?
  • Do you have questions for me about the project?

If you prefer candidates who also work as blog content writers, ask to see previous blogs they’ve written that relate in some way to your business. Again, your best candidate may not have direct experience with the industry but should be able to demonstrate their ability to research and master a variety of complex topics.

Have As Many Interviews As Necessary To Find Your Writer

Take your time with the interviewing process, as each candidate has strengths and weaknesses for you to weigh. Human resource management professionals often organize the interview process in five rounds:

  1. Job application review
  2. Technical interview and testing to determine skills
  3. Behavioral interview to see if the candidate’s personality fits in well with the team
  4. Panel interview with a few key players in the project
  5. Final interview with any follow-up questions or concerns that present themselves

Alert all potential writers about your interview process when you first contact them and give them a date by which you’d like to make a final decision. This courtesy allows writers to confirm their availability for your big website project. 

Find the Perfect SEO Writer With's Contract Services

Hiring the right website content writer is perhaps the most important part of launching a new or redesigned website. This process demands your time and attention — and those are two things most busy marketers don't have to spare. makes it easy to hire website content writers by the project or for a set period of time. Connect with our team to see great website writers for your industry.


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