There are thousands and thousands of writers looking for work, and you have very specific business goals that require you to stand out amongst the sea of content surrounding your topic. When you look at it this way, finding the perfect writer to create the content you want can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. To make the process less daunting, here’s a quick checklist of things to consider when hiring freelance writers.
Find Your Perfect Freelance Writer Using this Checklist
When searching for freelance writers to hire, it’s important to consider the following factors:
Let’s break down how to think about each of these.
Among the most important factors to determine when hiring a freelance writer is how much do they need to know about a given subject.
If you’re creating content around B2B marketing, do you need a freelance writer who has previously held a position as a B2B marketer before? Or do you just need a writer with experience creating content around the subject?
Obviously the more experience someone has in your industry from both a job history and writing standpoint, the better fit they will be. When it comes to a writer’s background though, you really need to decide what are the hard and fast requirements.
Many freelance writers, especially those with years of experience, will have a number of samples across a variety of industries.
Sometimes, however, they don’t have the rights to publicly share their previously-written work that would be most relevant to your business.
Keep this in mind when reviewing a writer’s portfolio. Unless they specialize in a certain industry, they are likely trying to show the broadest range of topics around which they can create high-quality content. Just because they don’t have a piece on your industry does not necessarily mean they have never written about it. Remember that you can always ask and find out.
The key to evaluating samples is deciding if you think the writer generally produces high-quality content. The voice and tone of a given sample will depend on the organization or person who published the final product.
The real question is:
Does this writer seem capable of creating the content I need?
Samples should help answer this question, and they can also be helpful to share with your stakeholders to get buy-in on content marketing initiatives.
As with anyone you’re hiring, you’ll want to see others willing to vouch for their quality of work and professionalism.
Freelance writers often have a list of previous and current clients, and some of them will have general testimonials or reviews from a client on a specific piece of content.
Ideally, the freelance writer you hire will have great reviews from previous clients who are also in your industry.
When determining a potential collaboration with a freelance writer, it’s important to set clear expectations on deadlines and schedules.
If you anticipate a project taking one month, but there is the potential for two additional months of work after that, have a discussion with the writer about their potential schedule for the next three months.
Make sure the timing will work for both parties by asking questions like:
- What timezone are you in?
- When do you tend to respond to email?
- Are you available for a phone call during the week?
Be sure to have your own answers for these questions readily available too. Setting clear expectations on your timing and schedule will help a writer to do the same.
All of the above factors should contribute to your agreeing on a rate with a freelance writer.
Every writer will have their own way of calculating a price, though many of them determine it by an hourly rate or a price per word.
The debate around a fair rate for a high-quality writer is an ever-changing one online, and there are generally too many variables involved to provide a one-size-fits-all number, but a good rule of thumb is that seasoned writers will charge at least 10 cents per word. The very best freelance writers you can hire will charge more around $1-2 per word.
If a freelance writer offers to do work for significantly lower than that (like 3-4 cents per word), your expectations for quality should be lowered accordingly.
The hourly rate of a freelance writer is generally determined by how many words they estimate they can write per hour, but of course some of that time may also be spent doing research on a particular piece.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure a writer feels they are being paid fairly for their work. Like all of us, when writers feel properly compensated, they do their jobs better.
Writers on Scripted have profiles that include all of the factors discussed above – experience, samples, reviews, availability, and price.
- Browse through some writers on Scripted and see if you can find three who could be a good fit for your content needs.
- Add these writer profiles to your favorites so you can connect with them later. To add a writer to your favorites, click on the star icon next to their name:
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Or, continue on to the next exercise on creating guidelines for your writer(s).