With over 49,000 professional writers in the U.S., business owners have a huge talent pool to choose from.
Not all content writers are created equal, so having a game plan is a must. If not, you could end up hiring the wrong one for your project and wasting valuable time.
Luckily, that’s why we’re here. Here’s what to look for when hiring content writers.
Before hiring a copywriter or content writer, check their rate aligns with your budget. You don’t want to spend hours finding the perfect fit, only to discover their rates are through the roof. Instead, use your budget to filter options and you’ll hire talent that reflects that.
When hiring a freelance content writer, it’s important to ask for their referrals. This simple act validates the writer as it shows that clients are happy enough to refer them. Ideally, the list should date back six months, as it shows where their skill set is currently.
You should also look for a freelance writer who has a high number of repeat customers. In the worst-case scenario, writers can bluff references, but when they have repeat customers, it proves that they produce quality writing and are easy to work with.
You must only hire a content writer if they have an incredible portfolio. The goal is to find a professional who can pen a blog post that will attract and add value to your target audience. Excellent writers come at a price, but their abilities have the power to drive sales, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
If you’re not sold on their skills, offer a paid writing test to see whether their style aligns with your brand’s voice.
A good rule of thumb is to hire a freelance copywriter or content writer who has niche-related samples. It makes sense to hire a professional who understands your industry inside-out because it’ll prove that you’re an expert in your niche and care about adding educating your readers.
But if you fall in love with a writer’s style and they’re not in your industry, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire them. Just make sure that the writer is a great researcher and can easily retain new information.
Aside from relevant topics, consider the type of content the writer produces. Generally, you should hire a writer who creates short and long articles, social media content, and copy for your website. Or, you may need a writer who has experience writing eBooks and video scripts, depending on your goals.
Although you’ll save money by hiring an entry-level writer, you won’t get the same results.
Business owners should connect with content writers who have an established resume, as it shows that they have the right skills for the job. Also, research the publications they’ve written for to see how much of an impact they’ve made in their industry.
Find a content writer who is a whizz with the latest writing tools. Make sure that each candidate knows how to find trending keywords on BuzzSumo or use AI tools to generate topic ideas.
Hiring managers should ask whether the writer uses collaborative tools because it’ll save a huge amount of time. At the very least, content writers should have experience using Trello and Slack to keep you in the loop.
When hiring a copywriter or content writer, deep-dive into their work. Look out for sloppy sentences and poor grammar, as it proves that they have poor attention to detail.
Look at the structure of their content. A great writer builds up their piece before encouraging the audience to check out the business’s products or learn more about a specific topic.
Every professional freelancer knows how difficult it is to stay motivated and continuously land clients. But eventually, seasoned writers thrive when they’re on their own and will take your feedback on board. This means you should give a clear deadline for the first draft and share your concerns if necessary.
To save time, create a detailed brief about the content and what you want from it. For instance, if you’re breaking down your latest products, give them the down-low on your brand, so the writer knows what to include.
Sure, freelancers work for a specific amount of time, but you may want to hire them for multiple projects. This is especially important if you click with a content writer and find that their writing style works well for your brand. If that’s the case, ask about the writer’s plans and what their long-term goals are.
Although it’s not always a concern, be mindful of where the content writer lives. If you want to collaborate throughout the project, the writer should ideally be in a similar time zone, otherwise, you’ll both miss out on sleep. Also, a lack of communication is the biggest cause of delayed projects.
Now you’re set on hiring freelance content writers, it’s time to find one for your company.
There are many useful tips to take on board, such as choosing a writer with an extensive portfolio and experience writing in your industry. You should also find a candidate who pays great attention to detail and is in a similar time zone, so it’s easier to collaborate. Good luck with your search!
If you’re eager to find your dream content writer, browse FreeUp’s freelancer base to get started.
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