What to Look for When Hiring a Freelance Writer?
Freelance Writers are in great demand, more so than full-time writers or content writing firms simply because freelance writers bring a treasure trove of fresh ideas and relevant experience with them.
Freelancers can be easily hired on a contractual basis as and when needed and they aren’t on any company’s regular payroll, bringing down overhead costs and offering a lot more flexibility.
When businesses choose to hire a freelance writer, they are able to focus on their core competencies, leaving the responsibilities of content creation to the experts.
Besides these obvious benefits, here are some other benefits of hiring a freelance writer.
PRACTICAL CHECKLIST FOR HIRING THE RIGHT WRITER
Once you have realized that you need help with your website content writing needs, it is time to hire the right freelance writer to take up the challenge.
Choosing the right person for your content writing requirements is an important step towards ensuring that your website or blog is updated with exceptional quality content on a regular basis.
Here’s what to remember when choosing a freelance content writer –
Every individual has his or her distinctive writing style. Before making a hiring decision, ask the writer to show you samples of their previous work. You may also ask them to provide previous samples of work they have completed for other businesses in your industry.
As you scan through their writing samples, you will understand their inherent writing style and judge whether or not their writing matches with your writing needs. Is their writing simple, focused and professional? Do they write convincingly? Does the sample content reflect their knowledge and understanding of a specific field?
Some of the writers may be unable to share industry-specific writing samples with you. In such a case, you can look through their other work samples and if you are satisfied with the quality, you can opt to proceed with a small portion of your project – say 1 article from your list of 10 topics.
If the quality they deliver meets your expectations, you’ve found your writer and should now think about taking your project further.
Grammar and Vocabulary
Once you have received their sample content, check and ensure that the content does not contain grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and careless typos. These should tell you a lot about the quality of work you can expect from them.
It will be unfair to deduce that a person who has handled 100’s of articles will produce a better article than one who has just completed 10. The quantity of work done in the past doesn’t necessarily guarantee high-quality in the future. Keep this in mind while hiring content writers.
The Ability and Willingness to Research
While some projects require in-depth subject matter research, others may involve the use of facts and figures. Find out if the writer is willing/comfortable with researching topics before producing website content or articles.
Specialization – Subject Matter Experts
Another important aspect to hiring freelance writers is their specialization. There are some freelance writers who specialize in writing content around specific industries such as IT, Travel or Self Motivation while there are others who are experienced across many different fields.
This is the right time to decide who is suitable for you – a professional writer who specializes in your field or a writer who has wide and varied experience?
The Writer’s Location
You might want to have a face-to-face interaction with your freelance writer. In such a case, you should hire someone in your city or specific area so that you can easily have regular meetings with them.
However, if you are comfortable with the concept of an online work environment and feel that can put your requirements across to the writer via email or phone calls, you can hire someone in another city or country.
Customised, Sample Write-up
Before making the decision to hire a freelance writer, you may want them to work on a sample write-up for you on any topic of your choice. By asking them to produce a short sample article, you can gauge their writing skills, provided that you are willing to pay them for it.
Commitment to Meeting Deadlines
Most freelancers work on multiple projects at a time. Hence, it is in your best interests to make sure that the freelance writer you choose is willing and able to devote enough time to your project. Give them a realistic timeframe and let them know a date by which you need the finished document. You should start the project only if the writer commits to your deadline.
Before making a final decision to hire a freelance writer, ask them for references from their previous clients so that you can check their credentials. Additionally, you may also want to visit their website’s Recommendations/Reviews page to read the testimonials they have received from past clients.
Revisions and Rework
Find out whether or not the writer is willing to revise the content they develop for you, based on your feedback. While some writers make revisions to the text unlimited number of times (till the time you are completely satisfied), others may agree to rework the content, free of charge, only once.
Costings and Charges
Last but not the least, it is imperative for you to understand how your writer is going to bill you the writing services they offer – per word / per project or on an hourly basis.
Freelancers who are relatively new to the industry charge lower rates for their writing as opposed to those who have many years of experience. It is up to you to decide how comfortable you are hiring someone with less experience.
It is usually considered wise to hire new / less experienced professionals for smaller projects. If you are satisfied with the results, you can work on bigger, more detailed projects.
At all times, make sure that you have clearly communicated to the writer complete details of your project and your overall expectations from the content. This will ensure that your content outsourcing experience is a fruitful one.
Hiring a Freelance Writer doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow the checklist above and find your business a talented and skilled writer.
All the best!