How to Hire Freelance Content Writers: Expert Strategies Revealed

We will give you some expert tips for hiring freelance content writers. Ensure quality and success in your content marketing efforts, read on for more.

February 21, 2024

How to hire a content writer
Author
Shashank Kothari
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Outsourcing content creation to freelance writers may be very important for your business. As per Siege Media, 54% of businesses will increase their marketing budgets this year, with more companies choosing freelance writers over traditional employees. When you outsource content creation to freelancers, you will save time and money, access a wider talent pool, and scale your production. 

Outsourcing allows you to focus on strategy and other business activities, be more adaptable to changing content and industry needs, and build your team faster. It also gives you a more flexible and scalable option, expands your range, and lets you focus on strategy. 

Moreover, it is a cost-effective way to produce content as it saves you money in your marketing budget and allows you to reach and work with seasoned experts without getting locked into long-term commitments. Therefore, it is best to hire freelance writers as they significantly benefit your business, helping you achieve your marketing goals more efficiently and affordably. Read on to see the best practices for hiring freelancers.

Why You Must Hire Freelance Content Writers

Hiring freelancers can be a game-changer for your business. Freelance offers a range of benefits, from cost savings to access to a wider talent pool and the ability to scale your production. Here are some of the importance of hiring freelance writers:

Cost Savings

Hiring a freelance writer is a cost-effective way to produce content as you won't have to pay for sick time or 401k. In fact, according to GIG Works 4U, you can save up to 20–30% on human resource costs when you hire freelancers instead of full-time employees. You can put that money into building your marketing campaigns and keep your business moving, all while building great content at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.

Access to Skills and Experience

Hiring a freelance writer gives you access to the skills and experience you need to produce a great blog that ranks high in search engines. Freelancers offer companies and marketing departments a fresh perspective, helping them find new ways to talk to their target audience and provide insights that employees may overlook.

Scalability

Hiring an outsourced creator is a great way to complete short-term and long-term projects with fewer resources quickly. Freelancers require fewer resources and oversight to produce the same great content as a traditional in-house writer.

Consistency

Consistency helps you build customer trust and loyalty while keeping you in good standing with search engines. Hiring freelance writers will help you create a consistent publishing schedule, ensuring that your posts and articles are published consistently and readers know what to expect.

Quality

Hiring freelances with specialized experience can improve the quality and increase the quantity of your blog. You will find freelancers who specialize in any type of writing and create better-quality content than you could create on your own.

Understand Your Content Needs

Different content needs.
Different content needs. Source: E2M Solutions

Before you hire remote teams of freelance writers, it's essential to understand your blogging needs. This involves identifying the types of content you need and defining your target audience and goals.

Identify the Types of Content You Need

First, you must know the blog type that resonates with your business or organization. Here are 10 different content types, along with the niche they are best for and the types of businesses that best suit each one:

  • Articles. These are informative pieces that delve deep into different topics. They're great for establishing expertise and credibility. Businesses in finance, healthcare, and technology benefit from articles.
  • Blog posts. Shorter than articles, blog posts are conversational and engaging. They're perfect for sharing insights, tips, and stories. Businesses in lifestyle, travel, and personal development thrive with blog posts.
  • Social media content. These are snappy and visually appealing blogs created for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X. According to Smart Insights, more than half of the world's population (62.3%) uses social media, with 5.04 billion actively engaged. So, social media content is one of the most popular and effective. They are essential for increasing brand visibility and engagement. E-commerce, fashion, and food businesses excel with social media content.
  • Email newsletters. Regular updates and promotions that are delivered directly to subscribers' inboxes. 
 ROI of email marketing.‍
ROI of email marketing. Source: Litmus

According to Litmus, for every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return is $36, which is more than any other channel.

ROI of email marketing by industry.
ROI of email marketing by industry. Source: Litmus

They're ideal for nurturing leads and maintaining customer relationships. SaaS, media, education, and non-profit organizations find success with email newsletters.

  • Infographics. This is a visual representation of data or information. They're highly shareable and digestible, making complex concepts easy to understand. Marketing, education, and real estate industries benefit from infographics.
  • Case studies. In-depth examinations of successful projects or experiences. They provide social proof and build trust with potential clients. B2B industries like software development, consulting, and finance make use of case studies.
  • Whitepapers. These are comprehensive reports or guides that dive deep into a specific topic. They're valuable for establishing authority and providing valuable insights. Healthcare, IT, and government sectors leverage whitepapers.
  • Product descriptions. Compelling descriptions that highlight the features and benefits of products or services. They're crucial for all businesses that offer specific products. But really benefits e-commerce businesses selling consumer goods.
  • Press releases. Official announcements or news about your company or products. They're essential for generating buzz and media coverage. Technology, finance, and hospitality industries use press releases effectively.

Define Your Target Audience and Content Goals

Once you've identified the types of content you need, the next thing is to define your target audience and goals. To do this, you must develop buyer personas or customer profiles that represent your ideal audience. This includes demographics, psychographics, and behavioral traits. Also, clearly outline your goals, whether to educate, climb search rankings, close a sale, or tell a story.

When you understand your needs, define your target audience, and set clear goals, you'll be better prepared to hire a freelance writer who can effectively create the right content for your business or organization. Also, by following these steps, you will ensure that you are well-prepared to hire writers who can effectively create the right blog for your business.

Write an Effective Content Writing Job Post

A content writing job post.‍
Example of a content writing job post. Source: Prathima Hospitals via Facebook

Job posts are among the most essential steps in hiring freelancers. Depending on how effectively it is being crafted, it will decide the type of writers that will apply for the job. To find top writers for your business, follow these steps when writing your job post:

  • Start with a clear title. Your title should clearly indicate that you're hiring a writer. Use keywords like "Content Writer Needed" to attract relevant candidates.
  • Introduce your company. Briefly introduce your company and its mission. This helps candidates understand your brand and whether it aligns with your values.
  • Describe the job role. Clearly outline the responsibilities and expectations of the writing role. Specify the type of content to be created (e.g., blog posts, articles, social media content) and any specific topics or industries the writer will cover.
  • Highlight required skills. List the skills and qualifications you're looking for in a writer. This may include proficiency in writing, research abilities, knowledge of SEO best practices, and familiarity with content management systems (CMS).
  • Emphasize desired qualities. Mention any additional qualities or traits you value in a writer, such as creativity, attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, and adaptability.
  • Provide details on compensation. According to Hiring Thing, lack of information about pay and benefits is the main reason job seekers stop applying. So, be transparent about your compensation for the writing position. This can include hourly rates, project-based fees, or salary range, depending on the nature of the role.
  • Include application instructions. Clearly outline how candidates should apply for the position. Provide details on what materials they should submit (e.g., resume, writing samples) and how to contact you.
  • Express your enthusiasm. Convey your enthusiasm for finding the right candidate for the role. Let applicants know you're excited to see their qualifications and work samples.
  • Closing statement. End the job post with a call to action, encouraging interested candidates to apply. Express gratitude for their interest in joining your team.

Where to Publish Your Job Posts and Find Content Writers

You must publish your writing job post on relevant platforms. This is crucial as it will attract qualified candidates. Consider posting on job boards, freelance websites, social media platforms, and industry-specific forums. Tailor your job post to each platform's audience and guidelines for maximum visibility. Below is where you can find freelance writers:

Freelance Websites

Top five freelancing websites to find content writers.
The best freelancing websites. Source: Freelancer Today

Freelance websites are online platforms where freelancers offer their services to clients. Examples include Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. You have to create a job posting outlining your requirements and budget to find content writers on these platforms. Review proposals from interested freelancers, and assess their profiles, portfolios, and reviews to find the best fit for your project.

Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, X, and Facebook are also great places to find freelance writers. You can search for relevant hashtags or keywords for writing and freelancing. Also, join groups or communities dedicated to writing or freelancing where you can connect with experienced writers and post job opportunities.

Industry-Specific Forums

Industry-specific forums and online communities are excellent places to find writers with expertise in your niche. Websites like Reddit, Quora, and specialized forums related to your industry can be valuable resources. Participate in discussions, ask for recommendations, and post job listings to attract talented writers who are knowledgeable about your industry.

Content Writing Agencies

Content writing agencies are companies that specialize in providing writing services to clients. These agencies typically have a team of writers with diverse skills and expertise. Some popular ones are ClearVoice, Brafton, Express Writers, etc. To find a writing agency that fits your niche, you can search online, ask for recommendations from colleagues or industry contacts, and review their portfolios and client testimonials. Contact the agency to discuss your project requirements and determine if they're the right fit for your needs.

Networking and Referrals

Networking and referrals are also an effective way to find writers. Contact your professional network, colleagues, and business contacts to ask for recommendations. Attend industry events, conferences, and networking meetups where you can meet potential freelance writers in person and discuss your project requirements. Personal recommendations from trusted sources will help you find experienced and reliable writers.

What to Look for in a Freelance Content Writer

When looking for the best freelance writers, consider several things. Here's what you should look for:

Quality of Writing

Look for writers that demonstrate strong writing skills, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Review their samples to assess their writing style, clarity, and ability to engage readers.

Relevant Experience

Seek out writers with experience in your industry or niche. They'll better understand your audience, topic, and industry-specific terminology, leading to more effective content.

Versatility

Choose writers who can adapt their writing style and tone to match your brand voice and target audience. Look for versatility in writing different types of content, such as blog posts, articles, social media content, and more.

Research Skills

Find writers who are skilled at conducting research and gathering relevant information for their writing. They should be able to thoroughly research topics, cite credible sources, and provide accurate and informative content.

SEO Knowledge

Look for writers who understand the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) and how to optimize content for search engines. They should know how to incorporate relevant keywords naturally into their writing and follow SEO best practices.

Reliability and Communication

Choose reliable writers who meet deadlines and communicate effectively. Clear and prompt communication is essential for a successful collaboration and ensuring that your project stays on track.

Portfolio and References

Review writers' portfolios and request references or testimonials from previous clients. This will give you insight into their past work, client satisfaction, and reliability.

Rates and Budget

Consider writers' rates and how they fit within your budget. While it's essential to find writers who offer competitive rates, prioritize quality over price to ensure you're getting value for your investment.

How to Evaluate a Content Writer's Portfolio

What a content writer’s portfolio looks like.‍
A content writer’s portfolio. Source: Writtenly Hub

After posting a job and receiving applications from freelance writers, the next step is to evaluate their portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of a writer's best work, and it provides insight into their writing style, skills, and experience. Here are some tips on how to evaluate their portfolio:

  • Relevance. Look for writing samples that are relevant to your industry or niche. This will help you assess the writer's ability to write about topics that are important to your business.
  • Quality. Evaluate the quality of the writing samples. Look for clear, concise, and engaging content that is free of errors and typos.
  • Diversity. Look for diverse writing samples that showcase the writer's ability to work in different styles and formats. This will help you assess their versatility and adaptability.
  • SEO knowledge. Look for writing samples that demonstrate the writer's understanding of SEO best practices. This will help you assess their ability to create content that is optimized for search engines.
  • Creativity. Look for writing samples that demonstrate the writer's creativity and ability to think outside the box. This will help you assess their ability to create unique and engaging content.

When you evaluate a freelance writer's portfolio, you will gain a better understanding of their skills, experience, and writing style. This will help you make the best possible decision when choosing a writer for your business. You can find a freelance writer's portfolio on their website, LinkedIn profile, or by asking them to provide writing samples.

Test Your Chosen Content Writer's Skills

After you have checked their portfolios and selected your preferred freelance writers, the next thing is to test their skills. Below is how you can do this:

Assign a Paid Trial

Offer a paid trial project to the writer to assess their skills in a real-world scenario. This could involve writing a specific piece of content, such as a blog post or article, based on your provided guidelines and topic.

Provide Detailed Instructions

Clearly outline the requirements, expectations, and any specific instructions for the trial project. Include information about the target audience, tone of voice, desired length, and key points to cover.

Set a Reasonable Deadline

Give the writer a realistic deadline to complete the trial project. This allows you to evaluate their ability to meet deadlines and deliver quality work within a specified timeframe.

Review the Content

Once the writer submits the trial project, carefully review the content to assess their writing skills. Look for grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity, coherence, and adherence to the guidelines.

Evaluate Originality

Use plagiarism detection tools like Turnitin, Copyscape, Grammarly Plagiarism Checker, etc., to ensure the content is original and not copied from other sources. Originality is crucial for maintaining credibility and avoiding copyright issues.

Assess Creativity and Engagement

Consider the writer's ability to craft engaging and creative content that captivates the audience's attention. Look for unique perspectives, compelling storytelling, and innovative ideas in their writing.

Check for SEO Optimization

If applicable, assess the writer's understanding of SEO principles and their ability to optimize content for search engines. Look for relevant keywords, meta tags, headers, and other SEO elements in the trial project.

Seek Feedback

Gather feedback from colleagues or stakeholders who are familiar with your needs and objectives. Their input will give you valuable insights into the quality and effectiveness of the writer's work.

Communicate Clearly

The importance of clear communication.
The importance of clear communication. Source: Geeks for Geeks

Provide constructive feedback to the writer based on their performance during the trial project. Clearly communicate any areas for improvement and offer guidance on how they can enhance their skills.

Make a Decision

Based on the writer's performance in the trial project, make a decision about whether to proceed with hiring them for ongoing projects. Consider factors such as quality, reliability, professionalism, and compatibility with your team.

How to Manage Your Content Writer

Ways to give feedback to your freelance writers.‍
Ways to give feedback to your freelance writers. Source: Mirro

After you have hired your freelance writer, the next is to look for the best ways to manage and retain them. Below is what you should do:

  1. Set clear expectations. Clearly communicate your expectations regarding quality, deadlines, communication frequency, and any other project requirements.
  2. Provide detailed briefs. Give your writer detailed briefs for each project, including topic ideas, target audience, keywords, tone of voice, and desired outcomes.
  3. Establish a communication channel. Set up a reliable communication channel for regular updates, feedback, and queries. This could be email, messaging apps like Telegram, or project management tools like Asana and Trello.
  4. Encourage feedback. Create an open and supportive environment where your writer feels comfortable providing feedback, sharing ideas, and asking questions.
  5. Review and provide feedback. Regularly review the content produced by your writer and provide constructive feedback to help them improve and align with your expectations.
  6. Set realistic deadlines. Set realistic deadlines for each project, taking into account the complexity of the task and the writer's workload. Avoid overloading them with too many tasks at once.
  7. Respect their expertise. Trust your writer's expertise and allow them creative freedom to express their ideas and suggestions. Collaboration fosters a positive working relationship.
  8. Offer training and resources. Provide training opportunities, access to resources, and support to help your writer enhance their skills and stay updated on industry trends.
  9. Acknowledge and appreciate. Recognize and appreciate your writer's hard work, dedication, and contributions to your marketing efforts.
  10. Address issues promptly. If any issues or concerns arise, address them promptly and professionally to maintain a positive working relationship and ensure project success.

When you implement these strategies, you will effectively collaborate with your freelance writer to create high-quality content that meets your business objectives and resonates with your target audience.

Stay Up-to-Date with Content Writing Trends

It is crucial to stay up-to-date with current writing trends as someone who hires freelance writers. By remaining informed about the latest writing styles, formats, and technologies, you can ensure that your content remains relevant and engaging. 

Remember to implement the best practices for hiring freelance writers, like defining your needs, evaluating portfolios, testing skills, and providing clear communication. Following these will ensure successful creation and drive results for your business. Keep learning, adapting, and refining your approach to stay ahead in the ever-evolving marketing world.

Author
Shashank Kothari
F4P Contributor

My goal is to empower readers with insightful blogs that explore future trends, provide practical guidance, and spark curiosity. Together, let's navigate the path to personal and professional growth in an ever-changing world.

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