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How to find the worst content writers

Posted on June 19, 2019

At Engage Web, we don’t just supply content for our own clients, we also supply a number of digital marketing agencies and web design agencies across the UK with copywriting services. Some of these agencies use Engage Web for overflow work, or for the odd piece, whereas some use us on a regular basis to produce hundreds of pages of content every month for their clients.

We have become their outsourced content department.

It’s something we’re particularly good at, as we have the writers to take on large volumes of content at very short notice. Unlike freelance copywriters, we don’t have the issue of a limited capacity when it comes to accepting new work, and we’re also not limited by subject matter, as we have a number of writers with varying experience and interests.

We’ve never missed a deadline, and we’ve produced web copy and blogs on subjects ranging from floor sanding to biochemical research.

Naturally there are a lot of people who also offer copywriting as a service, with some being much cheaper than Engage Web. I have always been suspicious of the quality of the content writers who charge tiny sums for their work, and advertise on platforms such as Fiverr. This week I decided to do a little research into the online writing community, to see if I could find any quality freelancers we may be able to use.

I used Facebook and joined a number of freelance copywriting groups. I should state now – this was a mistake.

The first thing I noticed was how many there are. There are hundreds. Many of them have thousands of members, all hoping to earn money producing content. The second thing I noticed is that most of them cannot string a sentence together, let alone craft content worthy of being paid for. This doesn’t stop them offering their services as writers, however. Nor does it stop people engaging with them, hoping to use them due to their cheap prices.

One such post offering content writing services was this gem:

“Hey everyone, I am a freelance writer with the power to deliver the content with 100% plagiarism free and SEO optimized”

That was by no means the worst of them.

“I am experienced content writer. I have 4 years experience in content writing. I can do SEO content writing, BLOG writing, website content and news article. My charge is $ 4 – 5 PER 500 words. I need payment every time once content gets approval. Thanks”

If their posts promoting their services are the worst type of drivel, just imagine what their work would be like! People are paying for content from these people too.

These Facebook groups aren’t just full of people who think they’re freelance copywriters looking for work, there are also people in the groups seeking copywriters. They post links to jobs, requests for copywriters and briefs they need fulfilling. Every post along these lines is jumped on by huge numbers of people who are ‘intrested’ [sic] or ask the poster to ‘Pls check inbox’.

When we recruit writers, we probably accept fewer than 1% of the people who apply. The reason for this is that everyone thinks they can write, yet most people can’t. The majority of people who apply don’t read the application properly and fail to submit a sample of their work. Those who do read the application and submit a sample, don’t follow the brief. The majority of those who do read the application, submit a sample and follow the brief can’t actually write well in the first place.

Most of these people, it seems, are in these freelance writing groups trying to get work as freelance writers.

What this has taught me is that Engage Web has some of the best writers producing content for our clients, and for our partners’ clients. We have selected the very best writers, after a rigid process, to ensure the very highest quality. Additionally, if you want awful content for your website, it’s easy to find a writing group on Facebook and make a post asking for a freelance copywriter. You’ll get dozens of responses – all of them terrible.

I have now muted the groups I have joined, and my sanity levels are all the better for it.

Posted by Darren Jamieson

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