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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Why your business should invest in a writer

The written word is becoming more and more important in the world of marketing your business so choose the right writer

Second Manifesto of Surrealism, 1924-1929, by writer and poet Andre Breton. Passionate writers are becoming a must for any ambitious business. Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Second Manifesto of Surrealism, 1924-1929, by writer and poet Andre Breton. Passionate writers are becoming a must for any ambitious business. Benoit Tessier/Reuters

There is a strong debate out there whether the printed word will be dead in five years or not.

Some say e-books will replace printed books, while others, like in the case of a book publisher I met last week, argue that there will be an increase in the demand for printed books. Sharjah’s Publishing City, the world’s first publishing and print free-zone is an example of how there is still a growing demand for the printed word.

Print or e-books, the written word is more important than ever. The way marketing has changed, and now taking place on social media platforms, blogs and YouTube, means it is very important to hire a skilled writer who will not only produce catchy photo captions for your business’ Instagram page, or YouTube video descriptions, but one whose role is to drive potential customers to buy your product/services.

Yet, despite the availability of websites that help you set up professional-looking websites to publish your work, it still remains a challenge to find a good writer who not only writes well but who can establish a rapport with your customers, is creative and is able to write as concisely as many of the new forms of media require.

The good news for writers like me is that more and more people are appreciative of writers nowadays and realise the importance of their role is in business development. I was recently commissioned by a client who wanted me to help them to create a story around their retail store as well as to help develop their website and social media content. What I appreciated was the fact that they emphasised a huge importance on written content creation and development and they have set it as one of the priority tasks to work on in their project’s timeline.

More businesses should follow that road because you cannot escape the written word nowadays, and marketing demands regular written content whether it is in the form of blog posts, tweets, or Instagram photo captions.

Another reason is that although you may have a secretary who drafts excellent emails, writing is a skill that takes years and years to master, just like any other craft, and to garner great results you have to invest in quality, professional writers.

Here are some factors that will be of help when you consider hiring a writer:

A portfolio to back up their work resume

Ask a potential writer to share their portfolio, check out their website or blog as well as their social media channels, and examine their writing style. The more frequently they write, the more skilled they are.

If they write fiction or creative work that means that they are imaginative and could come up with great scenarios for what you require. I would also recommend to ask them to write about something specific, like a 500-word piece on a topic of your choice, to see if they are able to deliver on that.

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A passion for writing

I personally believe that writing is a form of art and if a writer is passionate about it they will produce beautiful pieces. I would suggest working with a writer who not only writes occasionally when they have to but is passionate about writing and content production. How could you tell if they are? They would either have a blog, contribute to various blogs or publications, publish their written work on social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram where many writers do nowadays, or perhaps they are old-fashioned and carry a notebook around all the time. They will also be sharing a lot of work, and have been doing it for a long while.

A perfect match

Last but not least, find your perfect match. There are many great writers out there but will they all work greatly with you? Not necessarily. If you own a women’s fashion label, then it would not be wise to hire someone who drafts business' annual reports and mainly works with financial institutions. Look for someone who has written columns for fashion magazines, or has a fashion blog, and one who is passionate about fashion as well.

Content marketing is very challenging nowadays. More and more companies are jumping the digital wagon, and are lost in the noise.

Invest in a writer who will not only help you stand out amid the clutter, but one who will also help boost your sales.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer who manages her branding and marketing consultancy in Abu Dhabi.