What should I consider when hiring a freelance content writer?
If you care about customers, creating informative content on your website and brand exposure, then you need the services of a professional content writer.
Professional web copywriters and content writers have the specific skills needed to create suitable content for your website. For content to be called great, it must be pleasing to the audience and search engines like Google.
You may be contemplating writing your own copy for your website. Writing web content is not like writing an informal text message.
Let me assure you that it is not as easy as it seems. The process of creating engaging content is overwhelming and it needs professional knowledge and skills.
In order to realize your need for a competent content writer and copywriter, just find out how many blogs have failed.
You now agree with me that it is important to hire a skilled writer. The content writer and copywriter will help in writing content for your business, promoting your business. Generating leads and presenting your brand to your target audience.
The choice of a writer can make or break your business. That is why you have to consider the following factors when selecting your content writer:
Writing proficiency is the skill level of your writer, i.e. the things the writer knows to do perfectly.
The best way of determining the skill level of a writer is by checking the samples of previous projects completed.
I am not saying that you just request for any samples.
You must get relevant samples which are at par with the current need.
Assuming you need a real estate blog content writer, you should be able to choose between a technical writer who explains about the real estate or a storyteller who brings beauty and lucre out of real estate business. The choice of your writer depends on the tone and type of writing you need.
A great storyteller may not know the technical details of your product and vice versa; choose wisely depending on your need.
Never ask for general samples, be specific.
How to evaluate the skills of a content writer:
Check the readability of the samples
You can use readability tools such as Readability score sites such as
Check the grammar of sentences
Grammatical mistakes can annoy your audience. Unfortunately, human beings are the best grammar-checkers on the planet. You need to read through the samples of your potential content writers to ensure that content is free from grammatical mistakes.
Check spelling mistakes and other content issues
As you read through the samples, be sure to rate your job applicants based on their skill level. This will help you choose the best writer who can deliver high-quality content.
Check the choice of words
While some writing may capture the attention of readers, other types of content may send them to sleep. By reading the samples, you can easily tell which writers are able to create content that rhymes well with your audience.
Also, make sure they will be able to capture the attention of your readers. After all, you want maximum dwell time on your website.
Do not confuse skills with experience. Skills are different from experience. Experience refers to other jobs the writer has completed which are similar to the one the writer is applying for.
For instance, a professional writer may be excellent in writing blog posts but ignorant of writing landing pages, sales copy or even press releases. Similarly, a content writer may have experience in writing about one industry and not the other.
When hiring your content writer, you should specify the type of experience needed. In fact, you should discourage candidates without the experience from applying by stating it in your advert or job description.
In so doing, you will get only fairly qualified applicants and a few morons who don’t follow instructions (you will realize that adherence to instructions is also a consideration). People who fail to follow application guidelines may find it difficult sticking to client’s needs since they feel that they have a right doing things their way.
So how do you know whether a job applicant is experienced or not?
You can ask the candidate the number of similar projects they have completed.
Pay attention to the kind of writing questions they ask you; experienced writers ask complex questions relating to productivity, others may ask about payment only or nothing at all.
The Writer’s Passion
You surely want to hire a passionate writer who has the highest enthusiasm writing about the topic.
Enthusiastic writers tend to write from their hearts without struggles while ordinary writers may fumble with words.
Any content written naturally will always flow like a river; otherwise, it may be an uphill task when the writer writes for the sake of it.
To gauge enthusiasm:
Find out if and how the writer loves your product or your brand
Check whether or not the writer is willing to promote your product
Find if the writer will be excited to work as an integral part of the in-house team
Check if the writer cares about the topic your brand is about
Set up a phone call, a video call or a face-to-face meeting and listen how they talk
Assess the kind of questions the writer asks, the kind of experience they have, their advice, tone, knowledge, and ability to deliver.
You’d rather choose a “not so experienced person” who loves your product than a dull expert who is impatient to get paid.
Always hire the writer who is passionate about what you are doing.
The Writer’s Knowledge of Your Product
It is impossible to write what you know nothing about. The content writer of your choice should demonstrate that they know your products and services.
You can know whether the writer knows your brand in the process of communicating or during the interview process.
You should not hire any writer who applied for a job without knowing what your business is all about.
At the same time, you should avoid anyone interested in signing a contract without even knowing the name of your company, various products and services, your competitors, the brand’s core values and their role in building the company.
Instead, hire somebody who knows the following:
The core values of your company
The company’s story
The company’s chief competitors
How to use content to beat the competitors
The target audience
How to attract the target audience and turn readers into customers
The Cost of Writing
The more experienced content writers will always, if not most of the times, charge more money compared to inexperienced writers.
This does not mean that experienced writers are better; it does not mean that they will serve you better. Before hiring a writer, know your budget.
While cheap writing services may appeal to the average clients, you should be careful not to exchange crappy content with your hard earned money.
It is always cost effective to hire an experienced writer at additional costs than hiring the cheapest writer at the lowest cost.
We all know cheaply is expensive in disguise. Spare yourself the nightmare and grow up.
Again, don’t get writers from content mills and bidding sites.
Good content costs real money and not peanuts!
Getting a 2000 word article at $20 from a bidding site may turn out to be the most expensive undertaking in your marketing life. It will cripple your business and scare customers away in the long run than hiring a reputable article writing agency like Cutewriters for at least $100 per 2000 word article.
Research never lies; the difference is in quality.
Furthermore, you get what you pay for. The writer will punish you for paying them peanuts.
It is advisable to pay more and get more out of it instead of paying less and getting nothing in return.
If I were you, I’d rather spend more money to get content that will attract thousands of visitors than pay less for some inconsequential flannel.
Never compromise quality at the mention of the cost of writing.
You need quality content written, edited and published fast. This means that you need reliable writing services. When hiring a content writer, you must find out the amount of time the writer takes from the start to the end of the writing process.
Do you have strict deadlines? Do not impose your deadlines on your writer so much, the writer may compromise on the quality of the product.
If you are late with the order, give the writer adequate time to prepare the write-up.
When hiring your writer, ask them how long they will take to complete specific projects. The answer should guide you in deciding whether to hire them or not.
The fastest writer is not always the best nor is the slowest one the worst. You must use other factors in determining the best writer.
Communicate the turnaround period in advance when looking for writers in order to attract only applicants who can cope up with your deadlines.
Friendliness of the Writer
You cannot calculate the friendliness of the writer.
The writer could be a friendly person but not necessarily to you.
In this case, you should consider whether the writer is pleasant enough to work with you.
My friend let me remind you something:
“It is very hard working with a hostile writer”. You may fight and take each other to jail over one comma or full stop in a sentence.
You are going to spend a lot of time communicating and working with the writer; ensure that you can work together in peace.
Let there be a jigsaw fit. The writer should fit into your organizational culture, personality and work style.
Ensure the writer knows what you value most, your modes of correspondence and his duties.
All shall be well.
Existing Workload of The Writer
When communicating with the potential content writer, ask questions on their existing workloads.
Do not just think that you are the first client they ever met.
Writers are busy professionals who could be having other demanding projects in progress.
Knowing this in advance can help you tell if the writer is experienced. Experienced writers have many clients and their services are always on demand.
It is up to you to decide whether you need to hire the writer or get somebody who is not too busy to do the housekeeping of your content. Writers diversify their incomes by working with many clients at the same time.
Never assume that you are the only client a writer is working with, find out if the writer is busy.
The Writer’s Week at a Glance
You need to know how busy your writer gets all week long. Ask the writer these questions:
How does your week look like?
Do you work during weekends?
How many hours days are you willing to spare for my project?
What if you are required to revise previously written content outside your working schedule?
The responses will help you know the writer’s availability to write for you.
You need to know how the writer handles revisions.
I am not saying that you change the topic or other specifications when the writer has already written the content. That is so sad and very frustrating. It actually shows your lack of organization.
What I am saying is this:
Will the writer agree to make corrections (if needed) to the content they have already written?
Will the writer charge an extra amount for corrections?
How long shall the writer take to correct written content?
Generally, many writers are flexible; they can revise your content. However, you have no right to ask for unwarranted revisions. Revisions strain the writer and portray you negatively. On the other side, it takes a really dumb writer not to get it right after a couple of revisions.
Knowing the writer’s revision policy and your requirements will spare you headaches and save time for both of you to enjoy your duties.
The Writer’s Portfolio
Many writers will readily showcase their achievements on their website or on portfolio websites.
When hiring your writer, request for their portfolio and have a look at the type of projects the writer has completed.
Read through and check whether the tone and style of writing whether fit your ideal.
Ask yourself if the writer has a specific writing style.
The flexibility of the writer is important in handling different topics in the same niche.
The portfolio will also show you the level of research the writer is able to carry out before writing.
Is the writing coupled with facts or plain statements?
The portfolio will show you a variety of projects completed by the writer. If the content is at par with or better than your existing content, go ahead and hire the writer. Otherwise, you can advise the writer.
Experienced writers have portfolios; have a look at the writer’s portfolio before making the final decision.
Your Payment Policy
Writers need money because writing is a professional job just like any other. They invest a lot of time researching, writing, editing, proofreading and revising your work.
The least they expect from you is prompt payment. Giving tips and giving them more work could be the best. Some unscrupulous businesses withhold writer’s salaries without reasons.
Be warned! Just as writers can build your business, they can also break it. They can write and fill the internet with negative reviews about your company which may end up destroying your otherwise good business.
Tell your writers upfront about your payment policy; tell them if their payment shall be delayed. Explain all facts before the project starts. Nothing will destroy your company like mistreating your workers.
Therefore, before hiring a content writer, freelance writer or copywriter, ask yourself whether you are ready to pay them for their efforts.
Is the writer freelance or part of a copywriting agency?
Beware of how to locate your content writer.
This will affect the total cost of the project and the integrity of the writing process.
Freelance writers and agency writers can do wonderful work.
Remember that some freelancers may also disappear without the trace.
Establishing a relationship with the writer or the writing agency can help in enhancing credibility and openness.
Always be diligent enough to use trusted writing services to avoid such instances.
One of the best ways of checking the credibility of a professional writer is by checking freelance writer reviews.
Writers don’t operate in a vacuum; they work for clients.
To get help in hiring a writer, you may wish to talk to the writer’s past clients.
All you need to request for is the contact details and you will be on your way to discovering his suitability for the job.
Be cautious, some referees may not wish to share writers with you especially if they are your competitors.
They would like to benefit from the writer alone. Some clients may also have personal issues with the writer, don’t be too rigid to notice this. Always be tactical; you also want your writer to be that way after all.
The best question to ask past clients is this “will you hire this writer again?”
Reading live content can help you get insights on the writer’s writing prowess.
If possible, hunt for online reviews and comments from content written by the writer to know what people think about them.
Mediocre reviews and comments may indicate that the writer is subpar while good reviews show that you have landed the best writer on that side of the sky.
Your findings should inform your final decision concerning the writer.
Hiring the best freelance or in-house writer is as important as hiring the company’s CEO.
The content writer’s product portrays the company’s image and enhances its visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Good quality content not only attracts the right audience, it also converts them into loyal customers.
Since you are busy and cannot write content for your business, you must know what to consider before hiring a writer. The factors listed in this article should help you avoid a headache when hiring content writers, freelance writers, and copywriters.
Wishing you success.
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Where Can I Get Professional Freelance Writers?
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