How To Spot A Good Writer In 15 Minutes Or Less

We’ve all been through the gauntlet of looking for a writer for our websites. Heck, I’m always looking for great writers myself, whether it’s for our blog, a personal project or for our clients. And I have to tell you, it really isn’t easy.

Despite all the tools we have online, spotting a good writer still requires a mix of personal experience and your own skill in writing. But what if you have no clue if the writer you like is really a good one? Here’s some of the things I do personally to check. Works quite well if you are in a rush with a ton of writers to review:

1. Check out his blog’s past articles (5 mins).
Compare his older articles to his newer ones. Does it show visible improvement in the style? If so, you have someone who is willing to learn and apply his learnings even if it’s not something they will make money out of.

2. Check the headline, first sentence and last sentence (1 min).
A good writer know that these are the top things reader look at in an article or blog post and so will spend time making them awesome. The headline is catchy, the first sentence reels you into the article and the last sentence closes with a call to action. He’s got his technicals down to a tee.

3. Chat with the writer (2 mins).
Good writers are actually good at expressing themselves, so conversing via FB chat, Skype, or any text chat will actually show you first hand how they communicate in writing. The bonus is you get to see the replies real-time, which is hard to fake.

4. He reads a lot (1 min).
My own guideline is that someone should read at least 2x the number of words he writes. Nothing is 100% efficient so reading that much ensures that your writing will have more fuel to keep you going. Check his liked books on Facebook, what he read via LinkedIn or best yet, ask about the last book he read and when via chat. Two birds with one stone!

Basically, the key thing is looking for someone who is a life-long learner (via his blog, what he reads and the sturcture of his work) and great at getting their point across (via your chat interview).

Do you have your own way on how to spot a good writer? Sound off below!

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