Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Anyone can be an e-commerce content writer, right? All you do is put words into sentences and convince people to buy your products.
That’s about as true as the idea that e-commerce is just about listing products on your website and watching the sales roll in.
Just like the e-commerce industry, writing for an e-commerce website takes strategy, technique, and a deep understanding of niche audiences and buying cycles.
And when your reputation and potential revenue are on the line, not just any “content writer” can help you reap all the benefits of an e-commerce blog.
Before you outsource your blogging needs, consider these important criteria to ensure you hire a content writer that knows what he or she is doing:
#1 – What Do They Know About SEO?
SEO is king in the content world and can be the difference between a thriving blog and a failing one. Any e-commerce content writer should be knowledgeable beyond the basics of SEO to give you a competitive edge.
You don’t have to be a search engine expert yourself to gauge how well-versed someone else is in SEO writing. Ask the following questions before making hiring :
- How do you perform keyword research?
- How do you optimize URLs?
- What kind of competitive market research do you do?
- How do you choose the topics you write about?
- What does good usability and readability look like to you?
This is just a short list to help you get a feel for a writer’s background in SEO. Despite it being 2018, many writers are still hinged on the sole importance of keywords, rather than how other ranking signals affect a blog’s position in search engine results pages.
Bottom line: SEO knowledge is a must. If they have a pretty solid feel for optimization techniques, move on to the next criteria.
#2 – What Do They Know About Linking?
Linking is a major part of SEO, but is complex enough on its own to warrant a whole separate conversation.
Both internal and external links can be highly potent SEO juice. External links should be directed at informative, non-competitive websites. Internal links can point to specific products or other blog posts. Each type should add value to the content, rather than linking for linking’s sake.
There are right and wrong ways to link within a site, and the wrong ways could get you penalized. For example, linking to low-authority or shady websites doesn’t bode well for your reputation. Using the same anchor text over and over while linking to the same website doesn’t send Google a good message.
Don’t be afraid to quiz the writer on their linking techniques to ensure you won’t get dinged for it later.
#3 – What Do They Know About Your Audience?
The best content writers don’t just write. They form their ideas and content to appeal to a specific audience. They know the pain points and problems the readers are going through. They use emotion to persuade them. They know their triggers and what will make them want to learn more about a product or brand.
And that’s the kind of writer you need for a successful e-commerce blog.
Your writer should know about your target audience and how to develop content that’s just for them. They should recognize the questions your customers are most likely to ask or the things they expect from your brand.
Talk to your potential writers about your brand and see what kind of experience they have writing for customers like yours.
#4 – Does Their Writing Style Reflect Your Brand?
You can have the best-written content in the world, but if it doesn’t match your brand, your site won’t be able to connect with readers to its potential.
Consider your e-commerce content an extension of your brand. Things like tone, voice, word choice, flow, and syntax matter because your readers will connect your content to their experience with your company. No one wants to read legalese if they’re buying from an ultra-hip clothing company, just like law firms wouldn’t use socially acceptable acronyms like LOL or IDK.
Your content needs to mirror the image you want readers to associate with your company. Put your writers through a test to see if they can match their voices to yours.
#5 – Do They Understand the Full Potency of Blogging?
Content writers should know that blogging can be lucrative for e-commerce websites, but many still miss opportunities to strengthen their content to make it as powerful as possible.
There’s a lot you can do with blogging, and it goes far beyond text-only articles. The best content writers will help you recognize opportunities to take your blog to the next level, from adding product images and infographics to video reviews to user testimonials to behind-the-scenes tours and more. They know how to tailor their content so that social media audiences, current shoppers, and organic searchers can all benefit from it.
#6 – How Much Can You Afford to Pay for Content?
If you want to hire the best writers for your blog, you’ll need to be willing to pay them what they’re worth. For many e-commerce businesses, that cost simply isn’t feasible. A strong content writer usually knows what he or she is worth and charges accordingly, and prices can get quite high.
That said, it’s not impossible to find a less expensive writer that will also deliver high-quality. It’s like the difference between a Cadillac and a Honda: both will take you where you want to go, but one costs significantly more. You need to decide if your blogging destination is worth the extra bells and whistles, and if so, be prepared to pay for it.
Is a Content Writer for Your E-Commerce Blog a Good Business Decision?
Hiring a content writer that’s skilled in e-commerce blogging isn’t just a smart idea: it’s mandatory if you want to realize all the benefits that blogging can bring to your business. Content writers have the skills and training necessary to take your content to the next level, which gives you time to focus on what you do best.
For more ways to grow your e-commerce business, check out the Glendale Designs blog.