If you know even a little bit about marketing your business on the web, then you know that your content marketing strategy can either make you or break you.  As a result, you’ve probably turned to a professional content writer at some point, so that you don’t have to worry about researching, writing, and proofreading on top of all your other responsibilities.

But are you getting as much as you should most out of your content writer?

Unfortunately, most online marketers aren’t because they make these 5 mistakes during the hiring process:

1.  Looking solely at price

Would you buy a car just because it was cheap?  For all you know, it could come with all kinds of problems!  And if you’re always breaking down and constantly taking your car to the shop, you’ve wasted whatever money you spent to buy it.

Hiring your content writer works the same way.  If you’re always having to fix grammar mistakes or always having to request changes, it’s just like taking your car to the shop — and just as inconvenient, too!  After all, for every minute your content spends “in the shop”, that’s another minute it can’t generate any results for your business!

2.  Having low expectations

Sadly, lots of online marketers tend to think that content writers are all a dime a dozen.  No matter who you work with, you’re going to wind up making edits or even full-blown rewrites yourself, right?

Wrong!

The good content writers out there are true experts at their craft.  They’re professional, reliable, intelligent, and hard-working.  You CAN AND SHOULD expect great work from them.  You should place an order expecting to get something back that’s well-researched, compelling from start to finish, optimized properly for your target keywords, and genuinely helpful for your readers.  If you’re getting anything less than that, it’s time to look for a new writer.

Aim high.  Your business deserves it!

3.  Not looking for an expert

With so many wannabe writers out there, it can be easy to think that content writing is something that anyone can do — but make no mistake, content writing is a specialized industry.

You probably wouldn’t want to drive over a bridge unless you knew it had been designed by an engineering expert, right?  Well, you shouldn’t want people to read your content unless it has been crafted by a content expert!  After all, the dangers that bad content can bring to your business are just as serious as the dangers you face driving over that amateur bridge!  The last thing you want is for your business’ reputation to take a nosedive!

4.  Skipping the specifics

As talented as your content writer might be, he’s not a mind reader.  If you have any special instructions, it’s important to let your writer know about them right in the beginning.  That way, you’ll both be on the same page (pardon the pun!).  Remember, working with your content writer is just like any other relationship — meaning that communication is vital.

Just doesn’t confuse communication with babysitting.  It’s one thing to provide some specifics so that your writer knows exactly what kind of finished product you’re looking for.  It’s another thing to have to hold your writer’s hand through the entire process.  If your writer can’t get the job done without major and constant input from you, you’ve got the wrong one!

5.  Handcuffing your content writer

It’s your writer’s job to follow your instructions, but it’s your job to let your writer do the best possible work.  Remember, if you’ve hired the right content writer, you’ve got an expert.  That means it’s not in your best interest to tie his hands behind his back.

What do I mean?

Let’s say you tell your writer that your blog post needs to have five paragraphs, and each of those paragraphs needs to have six sentences in them.  Instructions like those are actually damaging to your finished product because you’re stripping your writer of his creative license.  What if the post’s topic lends itself better to bullet points than traditional paragraphs?  What if there simply isn’t enough information to write six sentences in each paragraph?  By handcuffing your writer like this, you’re going to wind up with a finished product that’s not as good as it could be.

It’s no different than going to a 5-star restaurant, walking into the kitchen, and telling the chef how much garlic to put in the sauce or limiting the number of vegetables he can put in the salads.  Since you’re not a professional chef, your dinner isn’t going to taste as good as it could have if you had just let him do his thing.  After all, he’s the expert!