How to Hire a Freelance Writer and Where to Find Them

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In our increasingly digital world, the key to running a successful website is consistent and high-quality content creation. This process involves writing informative and interesting content such as blogs, articles, social media posts, and website copy. If written well, your website content can draw in more visitors and establish your site authority and credibility. This will up your number of leads and eventual sales.

At the same time, writing takes time and skill. If you're busy with other site and business operations, it can be easy to let it fall to the wayside. Even worse, you may experience burnout from trying to brainstorm fresh content ideas every day. That's where freelance writers come in. Freelance writers are well-versed in what makes good online content and know how to write engaging pieces that reflect your brand's voice.

If you're wondering how to hire a writer, the good news is that the process is easier than ever. Thanks to freelance job boards, marketplaces, and websites, you can find the ideal writer quickly and efficiently. Below is everything you need to know about how to hire a freelance writer and where to find them.

What To Consider Before Hiring Writers

Before looking into how to hire a freelance writer, you'll want to decide what content writing you require. Clearly outlining your goals will ensure you find a writer who is a good match. You can break it down into two steps: decide what kind of content you need, and the volume of content you'd like written.

Decide Your Content Needs

First, decide the purpose of your needed content. For instance, is it to educate your readers? If so, you'd benefit most from hiring blog writers.

Internet users often turn to blogs to learn something new, get answers to big questions, or receive information on current trends. Even better, businesses that blog see an enormous 126% growth in their monthly leads over those that don't.

There are many different types of blog posts, too, including:

  • Step-By-Step/How-To Guides
  • Listicles
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Checklists
  • Fast Facts

On the other hand, you may want to entertain or inspire readers. In these cases, you can hire a content writer to create social media posts or eye-catching visuals like infographics. If your goal is to attract more sales, many freelance writers can write up ad copy for your site or search engine ads.

The key here is to decide on your specific content goal. From there, you can select the type of written work that will best bring that goal to life.

Choose How Much Content You'd Like Written

Secondly, you'll need to decide how much content you'd like written. For example, you may want one new article every day, or perhaps you'd be fine with just one a week. Alternatively, you may want a certain amount of articles done every month that you can schedule to post yourself.

Either way, be sure to make a decision and stick with it. Your freelance writer will need to know how much content is expected from them and schedule their time accordingly.

What Questions Should You Ask When You Hire a Content Writer?

The next step in how to hire a freelance writer is undergoing interviews. While a candidate may look good on paper, they may not match the style you're looking for.

To make sure you're getting what you need out of your writer, you can ask the following questions:

  1. Do you have a portfolio?
  2. What content writing do you specialize in?
  3. Is there a specific industry you specialize in?
  4. How many words can you comfortably write a day?
  5. What SEO research have you performed before?
  6. Could you tell me about your content writing process?
  7. Do you use any outside tools while writing?
  8. What is your current freelance rate?
  9. What are your writing strengths and weaknesses?
  10. What are some content ideas you have for my business?

Not all of these questions are necessary. However, choosing a few of them can give you a better understanding of the writer's process, style, and expectations.

Top Tips For How to Hire a (Good) Freelance Writer

A finger pointing to google search bar
Taking the time to research potential writers leads to better-informed decision-making when it comes time to hire.

If you're wondering how to hire a freelance writer who's worth the investment, there are specific actions to take. These tips will help you separate the good freelance writers from the bad ones.

1. Perform a Google Search of the Writer

A Google search can take you to a potential writer's website, should they have one. Many professional freelancers use their site to host a portfolio of previously written articles. Some also list their resume or include a brief description of their writing history or style. If they don't have a website, you can search their name to find pieces they've written online.

2. Review Their Published Work

Once you have access to a writer's work, take some time to review it. You can first focus on factors like tone and style. Does it fit into what you are looking for? If a writer doesn't align with your brand's voice, it can lead to unsuccessful pieces. Moreover, consider if the work is well-researched and intriguing. If you felt engaged to read everything and learned something new, they're probably a writer worth pursuing.

Secondly, you can use tools like Grammarly to check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. If there's a consistent pattern of errors, you'll know you can eliminate the writing candidate from your list. Grammarly also allows you to check for plagiarism to ensure the work is 100% unique.

3. Ask for a Test Article

Another way to find the ultimate freelance writer match is to ask for a paid test article. You can either give the writer a prompt or ask them to come up with an original idea. This process will give you a notion of what future pieces will look like from the writer. Many freelancers also feel more comfortable doing a test project for payment. They're more likely to trust the company or individual hiring and see them as a reputable future partner.

The Best Places to Hire a Writer

Now that you know the key steps of how to hire a freelance writer, it's time to find one. Luckily, you have a wide variety of options.

The Compose.ly Platform

For rigorously vetted freelance writers who provide results-driven work, look no further than Compose.ly. On the Compose.ly platform, you can hire writers in every industry, including business, lifestyle, and everything in between. You can also receive multiple forms of content. These include:

All writers are well-versed in SEO practices, search intent, and writing for brands' voices. By working with Compose.ly, you can rest assured that your content will be valuable, thorough, and high-quality.

Job Boards

Alternatively, you can post on job boards if you'd prefer to hire for a one-time listing. Some job boards are centered on freelance writers, while others are open to all kinds of work. Keep in mind that you're more likely to find qualified writers on writing-focused job boards.

After you post a listing, writers can contact you about the opportunity. They may send you their resume, a sample of previous work, or a link to their portfolio. With the job board process, you'll have to do more work in finding the writer. However, if you just need a quick piece of content, this is a good option.

Freelancer Marketplaces

Freelancer marketplaces, like job boards, allow you to post job listings. They also let you seek out writer portfolios to find long-term writers. These portfolios often contain past works from previous jobs. Most of them also have feedback and ratings from clients they've worked for before. The availability of these portfolios saves you the time of tracking down a writer's personal website.

Marketplaces can be a great starting point for finding steady writers for your site but can take more time with vetting.

Your Favorite Websites

If you find yourself browsing certain websites related to your industry, you may have another hiring opportunity. Most pieces on these sites will include an author bio or link to their portfolio. If you come across content you really enjoy, you can reach out to the author about freelance opportunities. Many of these authors are freelancers and are willing to write guest posts for your site or blog.

Social Media

If you've been pondering how to hire a freelance writer, social media is a valuable tool. LinkedIn is the most popular choice, as it caters to business professionals. You can post direct writing opportunities in various LinkedIn Groups related to your industry. Facebook has similar group options, though the platform is often less focused on professional services.

An alternative is to find writers through Twitter. Twitter differs from LinkedIn and Facebook in that many individuals and companies alike connect through hashtags.

For instance, businesses looking for part-time freelance writers may create a tweet about a job with a relevant hashtag. The hashtags are usually related to the type of content needed, like "#copywriting." Freelance writers will look up these hashtags and reach out to these businesses to discuss job opportunities. Twitter is a great way to start a conversation with a writer.  

Your Network

Finally, you always have the traditional method of finding writers: Through your network. You can start by talking with family, friends, or colleagues. They may have worked with writers on either a personal or professional basis.

Another route is to speak with other businesses you know and ask for positive recommendations. You'll know that these writers have successfully completed projects, so they are reliable first choices.

Bonus Tip: Create an Onboarding Process

Once you've compiled a list of writers, it's time for the final step of how to hire a freelance writer. Before sending out any work, you want to refine your onboarding strategy. Writers have to know all of your expectations and policies to provide deliverable work. Moreover, doing so will lead to fewer back-and-forth communications and a lesser possibility of needed revisions.

Create content guidelines explaining your brand voice, tone, and style as part of your onboarding process. It helps to have sample work for your writers to get an exact idea of what you're looking for. If you don't already have written work, you can send them content from other sites you'd like the writer to emulate. Make sure to also shed insight on who your target audience is. Your audience will influence what tone your brand will strive for.

Lastly, share your brand's purpose and mission. Doing so will help your freelance writer understand the drive behind your brand. They can then incorporate this drive into their content and provide the most relevant and top-quality work.

Hire Freelance Writers and Elevate Your Website

The right freelance writer will do much more than provide you with exceptional work — they will impress your readers and keep them coming back for more. As a result, your website's online visibility will grow, and your site will become a go-to source for interesting, informative, and valuable content. And with content being king in today's world, this is something you won't want to pass up.

To begin hiring a freelance writer, take a moment to consider what content would most benefit your site. Perhaps you could use a range of long-form, how-to guides. Or, you could liven up your current site with entertaining listicles about your industry. If you're unsure where to start, check out competitors' sites. See what content they post and what kind of engagement they receive. You may even notice where they lack content and can hire a freelance writer to fill that gap.

Once you've gone through these steps, you're ready to start finding, interviewing, and hiring the perfect writers for your site. Get in touch with Compose.ly if you'd like even more help with how to hire a freelance writer.

Need help developing and executing your content strategy? Compose.ly has you covered.
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