If you’ve made a serious commitment to content marketing, you may have built a team of writers to help you. Whether that team is based in your office or is a virtual one that’s spread around the globe, it’s important to manage your writers so you don’t stifle their creativity.

Creative people are often very passionate about their work, and some are sensitive. If they’re worried that you are going to criticize or nitpick what they’ve written, they may be hesitant to take the kind of risks that lead to innovative work.

That said, no business can afford to publish bad writing. If a writer hasn’t delivered material that is spot-on, you’ll need to tactfully find a way to get it into shape before publishing it.

So how do you nurture your writing team’s creativity while producing content that generates leads and sales? Here are some strategies to put to work.

Hire the best writers you can afford.

If you’ve never worked with a team of writers before and are on a tight budget, you may be tempted to hire the cheapest writers you can find. That can be a big mistake.

Why?  Because—as in every field—quality costs money. If one writer charges $20 a blog post and another charges $200, there is usually a reason. The person who charges $200 will generally produce better, cleaner copy and may need little to no editing, saving you time and editing costs. They will also have expertise in your niche and a strong, developed point-of-view. When you’re busy running a small business, the last thing you need to deal with is teaching an inexperienced writer the ropes of your industry. Hire people who already know how to do it and can show you published clips that are of similar quality to what you want to publish.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to go over the top when it comes to spending. In a very small business, hiring an ad agency to write your copy is probably overkill. Instead, look for an experienced freelancer who serves many ad agencies or has done work for companies or publications you know and respect. A freelancer will have less overhead than an agency and can afford to charge you a little less.

Make your expectations clear.

It is hard for writers to deliver what you need if you’re not clear on what that is. “I’ll know it when I see it” won’t get you very far.

Before you engage a single writer, find samples of writing you like that is similar to what you want to produce, so you can share it when them when planning projects. If you aim to create a white paper, for instance, look online for white papers that are written in the style and format you desire, to give your writers an idea of what you want.  

Be realistic. Asking your team to come up with a blog as funny as a Tina Fey skit will probably lead to disappointment. However, if you encourage your team to watch some comedy before they write your next blog, you may be pleasantly be surprised by the ways they work their sense of humor into your posts.

Tap their passions.

Most writers do their best work when writing on what interests them, so it helps to get to know them and what they care about. The writer who does a bang-up job about your new, green-office initiative may not be the right person to write a brochure about your profit-sharing plan. Even if your writers are located too far away to ever meet you in person, schedule an occasional phone call or Skype meeting to brainstorm. Building a rapport and getting to know them is a great investment in the future of your content strategy.

Find a crackerjack editor.

Every writer, no matter how good, needs an editor. No one can read their own writing with an outsider’s fresh eye. If you’re a confident editor, you may want to play this role yourself. But if your forte lies elsewhere—or you don’t have much time to edit—consider hiring a freelance editor on a site like Upwork or Remote.com. There’s no point in paying people to write copy for you if it never makes it out of your inbox because you’re too swamped to read it.

How can you tell if an editor is good? Look for someone with experience in contributing to publications you know and respect or editing for quality clients. Ideally, your editor will be able to mentor your team of writers and bring out their highest potential, so they keep getting better and better. Quality content that speaks to your ideal buyer drives leads and customers for your business. The more capable they are of pulling readers into your website, the more your investment in content marketing will pay off.