Content is king, they say; so the copywriter must be queen. And, like in chess, the royal lady here can make or break your game. Hiring a suitable content writer or copywriter in Singapore can be daunting, because a good one is a rare find. We’ve therefore made life easier for you in this post by showing you how to hire the best.
The term “content marketing” has been widely used for some time in the digital marketer’s world — and for good reason. Content on the Web can be delivered in many forms: videos, podcasts, and graphics, to name a few. However, plain old copy is often the foundation of effective content.
Therefore, we find marketing teams refining their overall strategy of late. They are focusing more on producing quality content to strike a chord with their target audience and reel them in. This effort naturally boosts the demand for a good copywriter. And in tiny Singapore, the search for such a person can be a painful (and costly) trial-and-error process.
To save you the hassle, we’ve listed here 5 crucial questions to ask before you hire a content writer or copywriter in Singapore. All of these apply, whether you’re looking to work with a freelancer or a copywriting agency, or hire full-time.
1. Has your content writer or copywriter lived in Singapore long?
No, this isn’t about national pride or preventing foreigners from “stealing” our jobs. It’s about finding a relatable voice: a common problem faced by many local marketing teams of global organisations. Content typically comes from global headquarters and is forced upon regional websites. But such content is usually ignored — simply because it’s irrelevant, offering solutions to issues that nobody here is facing.
You need someone who understands how your local audience thinks and behaves. A content writer or copywriter who lives in Singapore will know what Singaporeans want, and how to connect with them. Therefore, tying content to current or trending local events is an excellent way to connect and attract. And this would obviously be a challenge if your content writer or copywriter is based somewhere far away. (Of course, we’re assuming that you want to sell your product or service in Singapore, to a local audience. Otherwise, replace “Singapore” with “Asia”, for example; the same wisdom applies.)
2. Does your content writer or copywriter have Web writing experience?
Content writing or copywriting for the Web is very different from writing for an offline publication. Actually, one could even argue that Web content writing or copywriting is much tougher. That’s because, on the Internet, you’re dealing with an audience that’s constantly tempted by distractions on their screen. So it’s terribly easy for them to have their attention diverted by many options just a click away. Therefore, writing styles and strategy must be adapted to cope with this challenge.
Someone well versed with Web content writing or copywriting principles knows how to handle this situation. Such a person uses an optimum amount of “pull” to gain reader attention and sustain interest. Also, a content writer or copywriter experienced in writing for the Web knows how a search engine evaluates your content. Thus, he or she is able to strike a smart balance between human readability and search engine crawls. And that logically brings us to our next point.
3. How well acquainted is your content writer or copywriter with SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a wide field that’s constantly evolving. Broadly, it can be divided into two categories — technical and content — and we’re talking about the latter here. Knowing how a search engine “reads” (crawls) content is crucial nowadays for your content writer or copywriter. That knowledge will enable him or her to write an optimised piece.
Optimising a piece of content for search engines is a matter of balancing art and science. On the one hand, you want human beings to find your article a comfortable and compelling read. And on the other hand, you have to satisfy the scientific constraints of the medium. This means ensuring that things like content structure, keyword density, keyword positions, alt tags for images, and other important elements are penned in a search engine-friendly manner. Sure, a content writer or copywriter who isn’t trained in SEO could write a fantastic story. But Google may just pass, on “reading” it. And what good is a treasure that can’t be found?
4. Do you need a blogger or a writer for the job?
Many people often confuse the two. So we don’t blame you for raising an eyebrow at that question. While many bloggers produce good content, they aren’t necessarily good writers. Bloggers produce content primarily to entertain or inform, usually for a specific target audience. This tends to limit their range. For example, someone who mainly publishes property investment advice on a blog may not be the best person to write an article on plush toys.
In a nutshell, here’s the difference between the two. Experienced content writers or copywriters are generally more versatile, and can produce content on diverse topics. Bloggers tend to charge a premium for their content, but have the advantage of exposure to an engaged audience. So if that’s what you need, consider hiring a blogger instead of a content writer or copywriter.
5. Is your content writer or copywriter a subject matter expert?
Often enough, you’ll require someone who can research and write something a little more niche or technical in nature. Say you have to produce a white paper for rocket scientists. Then you’ll need a content writer or copywriter experienced in writing for rocket science publications or blogs. In a best-case scenario, you’ll be able to find a retired industry veteran-turned-content writer or copywriter.
Hiring a suitable content writer or copywriter is an investment that can pay rich dividends. So find the best one for your purpose by addressing these 5 important questions before making your hire. All the best with your search!