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8 Tips For Hiring Epic SaaS Bloggers & Content Writers

Chris Onyett

8 Tips For Hiring Epic SaaS Bloggers & Content Writers

Table of Contents

Hey. Psst.

Who writes your content?

Awkward question, huh?

Despite the fact that almost every SaaS company uses SaaS bloggers and content writers, it’s still not something we talk about openly.

It’s a universal truth that SaaS marketers outsource content creation, but it’s still weird to admit that maybe the CEO didn’t write that 3000-word article with his name in the byline.

We think it’s high time to cut the crap about content and openly discuss the importance of hiring good SaaS bloggers. We babble on about the value of quality content and powerful inbound marketing strategies, but we need to have a chat about the standard of writers we use.

So if you’re sick of spell-checking late articles and rewriting case studies on your lunch break, this one’s for you.

I’ll be walking you through the most important qualities to look for in a SaaS content writer that will plan and write content that will actually lead to more leads and sales for your software company.

Plus I’ll be breaking through a major fourth wall because, if you haven't caught on yet, I also happen to be a SaaS blogger.

1. Make Vertical Specialization A Requirement

Writers with vertical specialization

When evaluating a content writer for your software business, one of the most important considerations is how well they understand what you’re all about.

This means that they already have a deep understanding of your industry and where you fit in the current environment – far beyond reading your website and trying out your product as a pretend customer.

A SaaS blogger who has specialized in your industry vertical can appreciate and understand your position from several different angles.

Firstly, there’s an understanding of your industry:

  • Why there’s a market
  • How big it is
  • What’s been happening lately
  • Where your company sits

Then, there’s an understanding of your SaaS company:

  • Where you’re at in the market
  • How long you’ve been around for
  • What stage you’re at with marketing
  • What your competitors are up to
  • What the next steps might be

Finally, there’s an understanding of your product:

  • What your product does
  • Why it’s better than the others
  • Who the competitors are
  • How your product works
  • What it solves for customers
  • The barriers your customers encounter when trying to find a solution
  • The questions your customers ask when trying to find a solution
Pro Tip: A SaaS content writer with vertical specialization brings immense value to marketers in SaaS companies because they already speak your language.

They don’t have to be fluent in all the jargon, but they come with a decent understanding that makes your life much easier when it comes to briefing them on particular campaigns, goals, and strategies for content marketing.

Plus, you and your company could gain some serious benefits from working with someone who knows the ropes and has already spent time writing for similar companies. 

By tapping into that experience, you gain real insights into what inbound marketing strategies, blog topics, and content tricks have worked wonders for others. By building on your SaaS blogger’s pre-existing knowledge, you gain a powerful inbound marketing ally.

So why don’t SaaS companies invest in writers with vertical specialization?

It seems like a no-brainer to demand experience, yet so many companies settle for amateur content writers because:

  1. They’re cheap
  2. They’re desperate for work
  3. They’re cheap

Sure, sometimes there’s merit in working with SaaS bloggers who have less experience. It’s a noble story – finding a young writer to invest in so that they become a loyal part of the brand and grow with the company.

But at the same time, there are clearly plenty of companies who would rather pay someone a pittance per word on Upwork than invest in a rewarding content marketing partnership.

The thing is, SaaS marketers actually shoot themselves in the foot by focusing on the dollar per word and not on the time it takes them to bring an amateur up to speed and trust them with their precious SaaS content marketing plan. Not to mention the damage a poorly written article can do to a company’s reputation, or the money wasted writing articles on topics that nobody searches for.

Pro Tip: Investing in a SaaS blogger with vertical specialization demands less time from you in terms of writing lengthy briefs, running long-winded coaching sessions, and pouring over edits because your content writer doesn’t know your niche – or even the SaaS industry as a whole.

Next time you hire a SaaS content writer, consider adding a requirement for a portfolio in your industry or specific vertical. 

2. Got Experience? Back It Up

Do you ever get a draft from a new content writer and just...

SaaS Writer Samples

Infuriating, right? Despite reading a great CV and connecting well over email and Zoom, a self-diagnosed ‘experienced content writer’ turns into a blog that is totally unusable. 

This is what happens when you mistakenly assume someone is an experienced content writer, just because they said so on their CV and attached a few half-decent blogs. 

Marketers are busy people and often that urgency to find a writer who can plug and play leads to cutting corners – with depressing results on the article due date.

The crucial mistake? Not asking for results or testimonials.

Come on, man. We’ve ranted enough about how testimonials and case studies are an effective strategy for SaaS lead generation – people want social proof, right? 

The same principle applies to hiring an epic SaaS blogger, you need to ask for proof that they can walk the talk and that they’ve delivered for previous clients.

Here are a few of my favorite let-downs in bad content writing:

Rookie Mistake

Why It Sucks For Your Business

Chunky paragraphs

Walls of text with no breaks, bullet points, or images turn readers away from your content – especially if they’re on their smartphone.

Incorrect linking

Linking to competitors, attaching links to the wrong words, and putting links too close together, seriously hinders your SEO.

Keyword stuffing

Search engines will penalize content that uses too many keywords – plus, people can tell because keyword-stuffed content reads robotically.

Incorrect structure

Writing good content for the web requires an intuitive structure. Failing to use headers, bullet points, lists, tables, GIFs and links properly will make your business look unprofessional.

Fluff

If a sentence isn’t making a point, explaining it, or providing an example – it’s fluff. Fluff betrays a writer’s inexperience and brings down the quality of your content.

The ‘current situation’ or ‘the c-word’ has driven millions of people to freelancing, making it hard for SaaS marketers to find good writers in an oversaturated marketplace. 

Sure, it’s more likely that there are quality SaaS bloggers out there, but having the time to sift through countless applications to find them is going to be tough.

Recruiting SaaS Bloggers

So what’s the best way to make sure the content you get from SaaS bloggers is high quality?

Consider these:

  1. Chase-up references
  2. Search for LinkedIn testimonials
  3. Don’t leave it too late

Chase-up References

Many freelance content writers will provide links to the content they’ve written for other clients. Take the time to get in touch with the business and just ask them straight-up if the writer was any good. You’ll either feel more confident with your decision to work with them or dodge a major bullet.

Search For LinkedIn Recommendations

Social proof is a powerful thing in marketing, and the same principle applies to finding an awesome SaaS blogger. Next time you’re searching through applicants, check out their LinkedIn profile to see if SaaS marketers have enjoyed working with them and – more importantly – if their standard of work was as excellent as they say in their application.

Don’t Leave It Too Late

Too many SaaS marketers leave it far too late in the piece when they start hiring a SaaS writer. If you only start searching when you’ve got blog topics and deadlines on the go, you’ll become too desperate and find yourself glazing over important details. 

Give your inbound marketing the time and effort it deserves by searching for writers early. Better still, keep up the search for SaaS bloggers all year round so you have a list of qualified applicants to go to when you need more content.

3. Pay Attention To How They Communicate

Communication with SaaS Writers

Today, you can have a professional working relationship without ever meeting the other guy and shaking their hand. 

With our ability to work closely with anyone in the world, across time zones and cultures, our most important interactions become confined to emails, Slacks, and Zoom calls.

Although there are a bunch of advantages to hiring remote SaaS bloggers, it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to how they communicate with you between deadlines.

They could be an epic SaaS content writer, but if they can’t communicate or connect with your company, you’re inevitably going to run into trouble. 

Communication is especially important when handing over briefs for blog posts, SaaS landing pages or lead magnet materials– if something is misunderstood, thousands of words of content will need to be re-done.

Some communication red flags include:

  1. Taking too long to respond to emails
  2. Forgetting important details discussed in meetings and briefs
  3. Making the same mistakes you’ve already picked up on
  4. Writing in the wrong form of English
  5. Not asking meaningful questions
  6. Not bothering to connect on a personal level

When hiring a SaaS writer for a long term working relationship, it’s so important that you have an appreciation and respect for how they communicate.

Pro Tip: The best content writers put effort and flair into all their digital communications – not just the content they get paid for.

Here are some communication best practices from top SaaS bloggers:

What?

Why?

No BS

Getting straight to the point, calling a spade a spade, and putting honesty first are qualities that make an epic content writer. It’s a breath of fresh air for you and makes communication so much more effective.

Owning mistakes

Slip-ups are inevitable, especially in the first stages, so it’s important that your SaaS blogger can own these mistakes – and offer tangible solutions.

Clarity around pricing and deliverables

Being clear and open about what they’re doing, by when, and for what price makes it easier for everyone.

A genuine interest in you and your company

This is a kicker. If you don’t feel like your SaaS blogger gives a crap about your company, you lose the opportunity for meaningful discussion about your inbound marketing strategy.

Asking good questions

In both emails and Zoom calls, asking good questions is a satisfying signal that you’ve got a content writer who listens, understands, and cares. They should structure their questions clearly and demonstrate that they use their initiative as well as making sure they’ve got your approval.

Craving feedback and criticism

I can’t say this enough – every writer should crave feedback. No content writer worth their salt expects to not receive criticism or avoids criticism entirely. Good SaaS bloggers chase criticism because they want to improve. 

Keep you on your toes (in a good way)

By this, I mean that they keep up with industry news and tell you if they see something interesting that could be used for your inbound marketing. They’ll make suggestions and keep asking for more work (respectfully) to show they’re available and ready to commit more time to your SaaS company.

4. Test Their Marketing Knowledge

Without knowledge of marketing, a SaaS content writer is just... a writer.

Marketing Knowledge & Expertise

But SaaS marketing is your job, not theirs, they just follow your brief and write the blog – right?

Not really.

An effective SaaS blogger must have an in-depth knowledge of how to market software

Pro Tip: When a content writer understands inbound marketing for SaaS and appreciates their role within your wider strategy, their writing becomes more direct, intentional, and valuable to your audience.

Let’s say you work for a company selling appointment booking software for businesses. You’ve built a content marketing strategy spanning each stage of the marketing funnel, and you call in a SaaS content writer to create blogs and case studies to execute this strategy.

A quality content writer for SaaS will already understand the wider goals of blogs and case studies and where they sit on the marketing funnel as vehicles for action from customers.

They’ll know that blogs sit at the top, the Awareness stage, educating your audience about topics relating to your product, and gently guiding them towards the solution to their pain points. 

They’ll also know that a case study sits much later, at the Decision stage, convincing your audience with social proof to choose your product over a competitor.

With this awareness of where their work aligns with your overall inbound marketing strategy, a SaaS content writer brings immense value to your business because:

  1. It saves you time because you don’t have to explain everything (no eggs for you, Grandma)
  2. The tone of every piece of content aligns back to an overarching marketing goal
  3. Call to actions are more targeted and effective
  4. Content is consistent and results-driven
  5. Your audience is more likely to respond and engage with your content

Now it’s about finding a SaaS content writer with marketing expertise. You might specify in your ads that you need a knowledgeable writer, but how can you tell from their portfolio that they can really walk the talk?

Here are some key signs to look for when discerning the marketing knowledge of your future SaaS blogger:

What?

How?

Break down buzzwords

Self-awareness is a great sign that your content writer understands marketing. If they use buzzwords like ‘unprecedented’, and ‘low-hanging fruit’, keep them in the LinkedIn echo chamber where they belong.

Demonstrated awareness of what type of content works for different stages/goals

Being able to match their work to your content marketing strategy, thoughtfully and intentionally, is a great sign that your SaaS blogger knows what’s up.

Experience of what works and what doesn’t

This one is super valuable. Ask them to reflect on their previous work experience and whether what they’ve done before has been effective. If they’ve never paid much thought to the results of their past projects, it might be wise to stay away.

Understand your role and want to help make your life easier

Oh, the joy of meeting a SaaS content writer who gets it. Your writer should pay close attention to what you do so they can be as helpful as possible.

Thoughtful and effective CTA’s

The devil is in the details at the end of a blog post. Do they use super generic CTA’s, or do they pay close attention to your customer persona and say something meaningful?

Content appears more intentional and considered

Zero fluff. Every sentence is knowledgable, backed by research, and aligned to the overall strategy.

It’s not your job to teach a SaaS content writer about B2B SaaS marketing and lead generation. If they sell themselves as an experienced writer, they should know this already. Don’t be afraid to quiz your prospects about their marketing knowledge!

5. Are They Results-Driven? 

As a SaaS marketer, it’s obvious that you’ll be searching for results to back-up your inbound marketing investment. You want to know if your content is doing its job, so you’ll be keeping an eye on the metrics and watching for signals that what you’re doing is (or isn’t working).

But do you know who else should be results-driven? The person writing the damn article.

Blog Marketing & Results

How else can they know that they’re a decent content writer? If your SaaS blogger is worth your time, they’ll be asking you for results because they want to know that what they do works – or, how they can improve.

Too many writer wannabes are content to throw half-assed blogs at clients and never chase them up. This sucks. It sucks for you, it sucks for your audience, and it sucks for SaaS inbound marketing because the standard of content writing doesn’t improve.

Pro Tip: Only work with a SaaS blogger if they’re hungry for improvement, and want to see evidence that what they write makes an impact.

How can you tell that you’re hiring a content writer who is driven by results? Look out for these crucial signs:

  • They ask if they’re using the right CTA
  • They ask about your wider inbound marketing strategy and goals
  • They show interest in what else your company has been doing with marketing
  • They ask for key metrics around engagement in your content
  • They want proof that their work is aiding your strategy

You can be a results-driven marketer, but if your content writer isn’t bothered about results, the standard of your content will inevitably plateau – or drop.

6. Can They Connect With Your Audience?

This is perhaps the most essential quality of a content writer. You could hire a marketing expert, a SaaS writer with decades of experience, or even someone with a Ph.D. in your field. 

But, if they can’t use words that resonate with your audience and turn mindless clicks into purchases, it’s a useless exercise.

Content marketing works only when it connects with the people who read it. This is important for any type of marketing, whether you sell software, submarines, or soap. 

But it’s perhaps even more important for SaaS content marketing because the product you’re selling is intangible and complex, and people might not even know they had the particular pain point that it solves.

What tends to happen with SaaS content marketing is that companies do a great job of explaining how their product works, but they’re not so good at showing people why they should care.

This is where your SaaS content writer can be a real asset. I’m not saying that you should expect them to crack your target audience right off the bat, but they should be asking the right questions and trying new angles to boost response rates.

We’ve come up with a few tell-tale signs that your SaaS blogger can connect with your target audience:

  • You feel some type of way when reading their stuff
  • Your team also feels some type of way
  • The writer checks-in with you before trying new angles and tone of voice
  • The writer demands clear buyer personas and studies them vigorously
  • The writer shows interest in your sales process and asks for input from your sales team about their conversations with prospects
  • They use humour and relatable scenarios that your customers often mention in sales calls

But the most effective and powerful way for a SaaS marketer to know that their content is working is simply to ask your audience themselves

Consider sending out a survey or asking for feedback once you’ve published a couple of new blogs from your new content writer. Be authentic and transparent, tell them you’re trying something new, ask them what they think.

7. Cost-Effective

This is a tricky one. How much should you spend on a good content writer?

Because, honestly, it depends on all sorts of factors. The size of your company, how much you’re investing in overall inbound marketing, the technical level of your topics, the savviness of your audience, how much content writing you need each month, the list goes on.

It’s not just the price you have to think about, but the pricing model you’ll be using. Content writing is usually paid for using three types of pricing models:

  • Package with a confirmed set of deliverables
  • $ per word
  • Retainer model

Package Deal (With Confirmed Deliverables and Prices)

This is a safe and secure option for both the writer and your company. You agree on what’s being delivered – a certain number of blogs, case studies, or other forms of content – factor in time for meetings and research, and agree on a total figure to be paid at the end of each month.

This is great because everyone knows exactly what’s expected. Problems can arise, though, if your company needs some flex in your monthly deliverables. For example, you might need a few blogs written urgently, but your content writer can’t do it because they’d already planned their month’s schedule.

$ Per Word

This pricing model is rudimentary but it can work. You agree on a word limit for each blog, and the writer invoices you for however many words they’ve delivered each month.

However, $ per word models do get a bad rep for undermining the value of creativity and reducing content creation down to a basic transactional level.

$ per word pricing schedules can turn off experienced content writers who value their time and pour hours over a powerful blog post. It’s also a method used by notorious scammers on Upwork to charge amateur writers $5 for 500 words (which is criminal, really).

So be mindful before suggesting a $ per word agreement, especially if you’re looking at hiring a SaaS writer with a great deal of experience.

Retainer model

When up and coming content writers get their first retainer model, they feel like they’ve finally made it. In basic terms, a retainer model gives a SaaS company a certain amount of a writer's time each month, which they pay for in advance to secure that time for their content marketing requirements.

It gives a SaaS blogger a great deal of security, which in this economy is what everyone is dreaming of. Having a secure income from your company will encourage SaaS content writers to work hard and commit themselves to your marketing efforts.

When you’ve found your content writer, a SaaS blogger who truly gets your business and writes content that melts pain points and generates leads effortlessly, it’s time to break out the retainer model. 

Whatever pricing structure you decide to use, the most important thing to look for is transparency. 

The best SaaS copywriters practice what they preach in their SaaS blogs – Joel Klettke’s pricing page has really set the precedent for openness about cost (if you can afford a $15k content audit).

8. Freelancers vs. Inbound Marketing Agency

When it comes to finding SaaS content writers, you tend to have two options: hiring a SaaS writer who’s a freelancer or working with an inbound marketing agency.

SaaS Content Marketing Agency

Like every decision, there are a bunch of pros and cons to consider. Here are our two cents:

Freelance SaaS Content Writers

Pros

Cons

Flexible

Unreliable

Cheap

Unscalable

 

Un-cloneable 

 

No commitment to results



SaaS Inbound Marketing Agency

Pros

Cons

Scalable

Expensive

Experienced

Less flexible

Organized

 

Results-driven

 

Highly efficient / follows processes

 

You might find the dream SaaS blogger in a freelancer. They’re talented, they’re committed to your business, and they’re willing to adapt their schedule to fit your needs each month. It’s the perfect situation only until your content needs change – your business grows, you need more content, but your freelancer can only do so much this week. 

Pro Tip: For most SaaS companies, working with an inbound marketing agency offers far more experience, security, and the peace of mind that they have tried-and-tested processes that work for their other clients.

The right inbound marketing agency can plug and play just like any freelancer, but they have the muscle of an entire team of writers who can scale-up your content creation at a moment’s notice. Sure, the cost might be significantly more in the short-term, but you’ll gain immense value from an established expert in the SaaS community.

A SaaS inbound marketing agency takes care of the task of finding the best SaaS bloggers, so you don’t have to bother with reading portfolios of spell checking each blog. It’s all taken care of by their team, so you can trust that your company’s blogs, whitepapers, lead magnets, and landing pages are written by experienced SaaS content writers who have been specifically selected for the job.

If you really want to use inbound marketing for long-term growth, a SaaS marketing agency is the way to go.

Conclusion: With An Inbound Marketing Agency, You Get More Than Just SaaS Bloggers

The truth about hiring SaaS content writers is that it takes time, effort, and a ton of patience. 

There are only so many bad portfolios and shady examples you can read before you give up and start plotting ways to do all your content marketing in-house. 

By partnering with an inbound marketing agency, you gain the support and expertise of a team that understands SaaS companies. They’ll come with tried and tested processes, strategies that get results, and a dream team of SaaS bloggers who are ready to grow your business.

If you’re ready to take your content marketing to the next level, talk to us about our epic SaaS content writers.

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Chris Onyett

Chris Onyett

Chris is one of the managing partners at Roketto. His area of expertise is digital marketing and loves sharing and educating on topics like Google Ads, CPC bidding tactics, Google Analytics, and marketing automation. When Chris isn't in the office, he enjoys playing volleyball, mountain biking, and hiking with his American Eskimo.