Thursday, 22 December 2011

Creative Article Writer - 5 Tips For Hiring A Good Creative Writer

This article contains 5 practical tips for hiring a good creative writer for print and online publications that require quality content on a regular basis. If you are an editor or publisher looking to hire a good creative writer, use these 5 handy tips to find the best article writer for your publication!
As an editor or publisher of a creative writing magazine, journal, website or blog, the requirement for a good creative writer who can contribute original, well-researched and evergreen articles is a constant.
However, if you want much more than content writing services or fresh SEO content to increase readership and traffic, then you need to re-examine your method of looking for creative article writers, especially if you haven't found a dedicated team of content writers so far.
Good writers are the kind who can assuredly stretch their muscles, are willing to step out of their comfort zones and are open to new writing challenges - the 3 main factors of publishing success.
While it is scary to try out new things and most creative writers are the shy kind, which is why they choose to put pen to paper (or use a typewriter or computer) to run their thoughts by a target audience, the only way to grow a business or a profession is to take risks.
So, do read through the following 5 tips for hiring a good creative writer - one who can deliver on the 5 essentials mentioned below that are prerequisites to creative writing success - the underlining factor to increasing your publication's sales!
5 Essential Qualities of A Good Creative Writer - Can Your Chosen Writer Deliver On These?
  1. Can the writer develop new article ideas if required during the initial consultation sessions? Is the writer is willing to try out writing articles on subjects he or she has never written on before? is the writer open to interviewing and additional research should the writing project require these? If yes, move on to determining the next 4 essential qualities since your aim is to hire a creative writer who is willing to take the initiative and responsibility in trying out new writing opportunities to help your publication grow!
  2. The best way to determine if that new supplement, magazine pull-out, new article series or current hot topic blog for your company you may be planning will generate more readers and subscribers, is to hire creative writers who have portfolio clips to support their ability to grab reader attention. Ask the writer for relevant clips with bylines you can verify for quality purposes prior to hiring the writer.
  3. Try the "Switch POV" strategy in giving your chosen creative article writer a trial writing assignment, like a "Pilot Project," to determine if the writer will be a good fit for boosting your publication value. In the test article, you can request your writer to 'switch POV' (Point of View) to judge the writing style that will best click with readers, which means writing an article in first person instead of third person and running it by a smaller, niche group of readers before applying the technique to a wider target audience. For example, run the new writing style by your Twitter, Facebook or Business Blog readers prior to changing this style in the print version of your publication. Hire that writer whose writing style the readers best connect with, checking their preferences by following reader comments, tweets, FB likes and other tools.
  4. Ask the creative writer to switch from the standard writing form to a different one for judging a flexible writing style. For example, if your publication has an in-house style guide and you want to modify some of these points, but need to determine whether your chosen writer can be creative about introducing shorter or longer write ups presented with fewer or more graphics, you can request a change of writing form. Namely, switching from visual prose to factual reporting style or introducing a palindrome in place of the traditional sidebar or fact-file in table form of presenting main points of an article!
  5. A good creative writer will be able to deliver great articles even on controversial, awkward or even embarrassing topics and maintain an authentic professional tone to the write-up. So give your creative writer a wide range of topics. Request him or her to write a sample article from each one of the broad topics that would be challenging to tackle, like caste based politics, reservations for government jobs, religion, incest, etc.
Conclusion: Even though writers are no different from other creative professionals when it comes to falling into a habit of playing it safe by accepting writing projects in their comfort zone (read area of expertise requiring a certain literary form, genre and theme) the best creative writer is one who is willing to grow along with your publication needs. So choose a professional who can deliver on the above 5 essentials for a good creative writer and watch your business grow!

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Guidelines For Choosing A Good Article Writer - 3 Practical Tips

If you are in the market for choosing a good article writer and still searching for the right professional, here are some practical tips for hiring the best wordsmith for your publication needs.
First of all remember what works for general shopping deals doesn't work so well when it comes to creative professionals like writers. This means, don't go looking for a one-size-fits all type of individual - there's no generic form for good article writers that can deliver original web copy as well as marketing content and magazine feature articles in addition to fiction, SEO articles and what have you!
Secondly, if you've come across a writer whose style you find appealing and have initiated an inquiry for services with but faced unreturned phone calls or emails, it is advisable to move on to searching for a true professional. Basic courtesy with either turning down or at least replying with a request for more time to revert in detail is the least a good writer will offer clients.
Thirdly, if you find that you are unable to communicate with your chosen writer and your vision or your time is not respected in subtle or obvious disinterest expressed by the writer, listen to your intuition and continue your search for a good writer.
Finally, if the writer quotes a price tag that has you considering a bank loan, think again about hiring him. Of course, really good writers won't work for a sandwich but that shouldn't mean that quality copy should cost you your first born either!
So, for choosing a good article writer who doesn't have the 'I hung the moon' attitude, here is what to do for ensuring you are working with a real professional.
Step 1 - Set up an introductory phone session and ask specific project related open-ended questions to your writer. Inquire about the writer's interest, knowledge and willingness to research the topic further for creating original, quality articles for you. Also, encourage the writer to tell you about his or her background and request the writer to repeat your goals so you can verify the writer has understood about your unique services or products and is the right person for targeting your message.
Step 2 - Request regular progress reports on your article-writing project. If your writer has a problem with offering regular updates on your project, he may not be the right one for you, especially if you are going to be left in the dark about when to expect deliverables. Or, for that matter, left wondering if you will have enough time to request amendments or tweaks, if required, prior to deadlines.
Step 3 - Hire a writer with 3 best qualities who leaves you feeling you wish you'd hired her sooner! The 3 best qualities of a good writer are quality, timeliness and affordability.
Once you find someone who can deliver on all 3 factors of a good article writer, arranging for a trial assignment or pilot project for writing a small set of original articles is a good way to test the waters. This way you will be able to determine the 3 most important qualities of a good writer and hopefully not have to look any further while getting your specific needs met in a speedy manner. Good writing impresses your target audience too! Yes, this does mean choosing the writer who leaves you feeling you'd hired her sooner!

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The Qualities of a Good Copywriter

Copywriters' qualities are as diverse as the universe of copywriters that are available to organisations. Different backgrounds and experiences mean that every copywriter offers a unique set of qualities and capabilities. But look closer and you'll see that several key qualities are found in all good professional copywriters:
• Writing ability - it's fundamental to being a good copywriter
• Curiosity and a wide range of interests
• Ability to relate to audience requirements
• Discernment -ability to make sense of a mass of information
• Integrity
Writing ability - of course it's the mark of a good copywriter
There are those who suggest that writing ability isn't one of the qualities of a good copywriter. I don't agree. More than 25 years as a marketing manager, tech writer, PR writer and copywriter has proven to me beyond doubt that a good copywriter must have good writing skills. Anything else is like trusting an airline pilot who isn't a good flyer; a website designer who can't design; or a doctor without good medical and patient relationship skills. Good copywriters have to be able to write well. That some good writers wouldn't make good copywriters is true. But in my experience, all good copywriters are also good with the pen or word processor.
Curiosity counts
While some copywriters specialise in a very narrow range of subject matter, others, including this writer, write for a wide range of sectors and business types. Today it's a Gloucestershire helicopter company; tomorrow, a global car manufacturer. Next week, SEO copy for beauty treatments; next month, technical copywriting for an engineering business. In each case, 'getting inside' a business, understanding what makes it different from its competitors and why it is the business it is takes curiosity, and lots of it. Good copywriters are ceaselessly fascinated by what people and businesses do, and how different types of writing can make communication more effective. Yes! Curiosity counts!
Empathy: the vital ability to relate to audience requirements
Good copywriters quickly understand what makes their audience tick, how certain words, voice and tone will engage a website or brochure reader - and how others won't. Without this ability to empathise and relate to what a reader is seeking, there's little point to copywriting.
The ability to choose between what's relevant and what's not
As copywriters, we're often faced by a mass of source material: marketing plans; interviews; marketing collateral; research results and so on. Our task is to make sense of this plethora of information, condense it into nuggets of communication gold that will strike a chord with anyone from a corporate CEO to a disaffected teenager, and use it appropriately. That's discernment as it applies to copywriting: good copywriters have it in spades.
Last, but most certainly not least, comes integrity. Good copywriters know instinctively how to treat clients and suppliers fairly; how to give best possible advice rather than just making a quick buck, and how to build long-term relationships based on such integrity.
Writing ability, curiosity, empathy, discernment and integrity: it's a powerful cocktail of qualities that, in this writer's opinion, combines to make a good (make that 'great') copywriter that businesses can count on for the long run. If you are starting out in copywriting, make sure you've got the mix right.

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The Qualities of a Good Writer - 7 Thinking Habits a Good Writer Needs

As important as emotion is to a writer, writing is a thinking game. You need to be able to think in order to succeed. You need to be able to plan, to organize and to create structure -- both in thought and action. After all, that's what your reader is looking for from you. You need to deliver or your reader will feel cheated.
A writer must be a good thinker. But what are the thinking habits that a good writer has to develop?
Here are 7 thinking habits that a good writer needs:
1. A writer must be able to start with the end in mind. I know you've heard that phrase before (probably too often). But with a writer it's definitely true. Writing a book needs you to be able to see the end product. To see what your book will be when you finish.
2. A good writer must be able to see both the overall pattern and the individual pieces. This sounds like the previous habit but it isn't. Quite. The previous habit talks about being able to see the desired end. This habit refers to being able to see each of the building blocks of the book, how they fit together and where the book is actually going. Without this ability, it is not possible to bring a book back on track.
3. A good writer must have the ability to provide full attention to detail. They need to be able to think at the lowest possible level. All the way down to the words and the letters that make them up. After all, another name for a writer is wordsmith!
4. A good writer needs the ability to conceptualize. Being able to create a concept and deal in ideas is a core requirement. It doesn't matter if the concept is a fantasy world of dragons and knights. Or a world without mental illness. Or increased sales. Or almost anything that a fiction or non-fiction writer might choose to write about. The core of all books is a single idea.
5. The ability to synthesize ideas is another key skill or habit. To bring different ideas together to form new and more powerful ideas. Just working in the world of ideas is not enough. A good writer needs the ability to create new ideas from others. To build up and change and grow.
6. A good writer needs an open mind. Especially to criticism. Thinking you have the only solution blocks you from growth. And growth is a necessary condition to being a good writer.
7. But most of all a writer needs to be positive. Realistic certainly, but positive most of all. There will always be times when writing fails. When even the great writer begins to doubt their ability. A positive mind set is the only thing that will carry the good writer through those times.

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7 Qualities of a Good Freelance Business Writer

Much of your business image depends on the quality of your written materials (brochures, sales letters, case studies, etc.). A freelance business writer can make your written materials look their best. The benefits to you? You can expect to enjoy increased visibility in your industry, and attract more customers to your business. But not all freelance writers are equal in quality. But how do you pick a good business writer? How can you be sure you're hiring someone who can make your business look its best?
Here are 7 qualities you should find in the business writer you hire:
Good SAMPLES. Any one in the business should have examples of the work they do. Look it over. If you like their past work, you'll probably like what they do for you--even if they don't have work exactly like what you are looking for. A strong body of work in one area often translates into other areas as well.
Good ATTITUDE. Does the copywriter you're dealing with have an upbeat, positive attitude? Does she seem excited about your work, and about her job in general? It's hard to overemphasize the importance of attitude when it comes to the people you hire. Someone with a positive outlook will be easier to partner with, and likely will boost your creativity. Negative people drain your energy and dull your creative spirit.
Good EARS. A business writer is there to put YOUR vision into words. She needs to listen and understand your business and your needs. If you're having trouble getting her to hear your ideas, it's a good bet she won't produce work you are happy with. Find a copywriter who will give you the chance to express your ideas without unnecessary interruption.
Good QUESTIONS. Although a good business writer needs to listen well, she also needs to know how to ask good questions. What's a good question? One that helps you both clarify your thoughts. One that helps you think more specifically, and less generally. One that makes sure you and the writer are still on the same page. Good questions up front usually mean better results later on.
Good IDEAS. Once a good business writer has listened to you, she likely will have ideas about improving your company's communication. Listen to what they have to say. Good writers learn something useful from every company they work with. You don't have to incorporate their ideas; the final decision is always yours. But, your writer can be a valuable ally as you take your business to the next level.
Good RESEARCH. A good business writer wants to learn about your industry, and your place in it. Solid research can help you gain an edge on your competition! Plus, it's easier than ever to do research on any topic imaginable. Any writer who doesn't do some research into your product or service is showing signs of a bad work ethic. That's certain to show up in his work at some point.
Good PRICING. "Good" in this case doesn't mean cheap. Business writers who charge low rates often produce low-quality work. Instead, think value. How much is it worth to your company to have materials that confirm that you are a first class outfit? How many more sales will be generated because you bought a professionally-produced sales letter? A good business writer may be expensive now, but she will pay for herself again and again in company image and sales.
There are few guarantees in the business world. You can never be completely sure you've hired the right person for the job you need. But if you look for a business writer with these 7 traits, you're well on your way to a successful partnership.

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The Qualities of a Good Writer - 3 Communications Habits a Good Writer Needs

In Ireland there is a block of bluestone called Cloch na Blarnan. Built into the battlements of a castle in County Cork, it is said to bestow the blessings of the fair folk on any who brave the climb and the bending over the parapet's edge. A kiss on this stolen piece of the Wailing Wall, or perhaps in truth a fragment of the Lia Fáil, is sure to grant the seeker the gift of a golden tongue.
Or at least turn him into a mildly good writer. If a mere kiss of the Blarney stone can cause a person to wax eloquent, a good writer must have swallowed a piece whole!
- For the first and foremost of the communications habits a good writer must have is a love of words. A writer must love the forming of them and the sounding of them and the use of them and the ideas that they convey. A writer must love their rhythm and their song. And the poetry they make as he's waxes lyrical. Whether silently whispered or shouted above the battle's din. A love of words for their own sake. A writer's first love must be words for they are the blocks and mortar of his castles.
But the gift of the gab is not enough to make a person a good writer.
- There must also be a need to communicate. A need to share ideas, and dreams and thoughts and imaginations. This need to communicate and share is the drive behind the hours spent staring at an empty computer screen. The heartache of the wrong word and the sentence that just won't come must be overcome. A good writer is driven to communicate and it is this drive that allows them to be more than a merely talented writer.
- And finally, a good writer must be driven to expound on their ideas. An actor, a singer, a bard -- all are driven by the same need to communicate. But none are faced with the sheer egotism of the writer. They all have an audience in front of them. Even a modern movie actor has a crew that reacts to Hamlet's cries or Juliet's tears. But a writer speaks their thoughts to a blank screen. One way. Never truly knowing the audience reaction. And to talk and talk and talk takes a drive, a need to expound.

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The Qualities of a Good Writer - The Most Important Habits a Good Writer Needs

In the previous articles of this series we've discussed many important habits and skills. Habits and skills which a good writer needs to develop and improve and constantly strive to achieve. We've covered technical habits that a writer needs to develop their craft. We've talked about personal work habits that a writer needs to work on in order to actually produce writing. We've talked about communications habits that a writer needs in order to be understood. Habits that form the basis of his or her craft. And we've discussed the thinking habits that a writer must seek to develop to allow them to put the pieces of a book together.
But of all those habits and skills which is the most important? The one skill or habit that makes a writer stand out? It's not technical, or communications or thinking. Even work habits aren't the most important. It's passion and a love of people. Why is that? And aren't those two separate issues? I'd argue that they are in fact two sides of the same coin. Two faces which drive all the other habits. Two ends of the chain that drags a writer towards constant improvement and constant output.
It starts with a passion for one's topic. Whether it's making the life of a cancer patient easier. Or saving peoples lives by improving their waistline. Or showing the disabled how to live their lives with dignity. The passion starts with the topic. The love of that topic and the overwhelming belief that your topic means something to people. That it can help people in someway. That it can truly make a difference.
It continues with a passion for writing. A desire to express oneself through writing. A hope, and fear and demand that forces one to get their name in writing on the cover of a book. Whether driven by fame or fortune or a true passion to help. But it expresses itself as a passion for writing.
And finally it meets with a passion for people. For helping the other guy. For making people's lives just that little bit better. These are the habits that make a good writer. That transforms a mediocre writer into a great writer.

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