Happy Halloween! A Truly Terrifying Content Recruiting Tale

Aimee Beck
3 min readOct 29, 2018

Once upon a not so very long time ago, I hired a writer — a seemingly well-qualified writer. He had it all:great writing samples, a super attitude, prompt actions, pleasant to speak with, very well educated, and talked a great game about having “strong SEO experience and knowledge.” He was extremely eager to work, so I put him to work!

In came the first assignment and I thought: “Whoa…” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing:

  • He had zero SEO knowledge. If it were possible to have less than zero knowledge, this guy would have managed it!
  • He didn’t use our SEO cheat sheet, which clearly tells you precisely how to write a Title tag!
  • His idea of writing copy for the homepage was to write a shotty H1 tag and call it a day. I kid you not — there wasn’t one word on the page.

And that was just the beginning. As I read through various parts of the copy for the other pages, it was clear that it had been written quickly, was filled with typos, and hadn’t been given a second glance before being submitted, as evidenced by the glaring grammatical errors.

I figured one of two things happened here. Either: a) the person I hired to write copy outsourced it to someone offshore, or b) the person I hired to write copy took the “fake it ’til you make it” motto much too literally.

But wait! Those are only a few of the problems you can run into when you’re trying to find a qualified writer. Here are a few other — a-hem — challenges, let’s call them:

  • It’s Right There in Black & White: Your new writer signs a contract agreeing to X dollars per piece, only to seem shocked and dismayed when you offer said dollar figure. “But that’s ¼ of my usual rate!”
  • Missing in Action: They’re all geared up and ready to rock! You assign the work and the due date comes … and goes. They’ve dropped off the face of the earth without a trace, never to be seen or heard from again.
  • The Dog Ate My Homework: The due date is tomorrow at noon — you check your email at 10 p.m. one last time before bed and see the dreaded, “Sorry, I can’t finish this on time, insert lame excuse here.”

Ringing any bells? These are just a few of the many fires you may need to put out when trying to find legit talent.

You Can Have a Happy Ending

Aimee Beck

Independent Content Marketing Manager | SEO/UX Copywriter | Editor. Let me breathe new life into your web pages, blog posts and email campaigns. Email me today!