The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Freelance Content Writers for Your Business

One of the powerful ways to market your business and establish your online presence is content. Does your business own a platform where you publish? And how consistent are you at pushing valuable content out there?


Do you have a quality writer yet or you are finding it difficult to find one?

There are many acclaimed writers out there and it could be difficult to find those who know their salt and understand the needs of your market.

But there are factors that could guide your selection process. For example, apart from having proven experience, a content writer must be zealous. It’s simple: How do you deliver on a job you don’t love?

However, let’s pause a bit and talk about understanding the need of your business before you hire a writer.

Before you hire a writer to help achieve your content marketing goal, you need to have clarity on the following first:

• Goal: What do I want to achieve through content?

• What is the informational need of my customers?

• How does the content fit into the overall marketing strategy of my business?

• How am I going to pay the writer(s) and what?

Having clarity about the above will help you during the hiring process and give you the ground to set the right requirements. Be clear and detailed as much as you can.

And it starts from the title given for the role.
For example: HIRING: B2B health content writer is better than content writer.

During the application, ask them short questions, ask for samples related to your niche, indicate a payment range, … these will save a lot of time.

By the way, make sure you run the hiring process with someone who knows about digital marketing or has experience hiring for content writers.

Once you put your job listing out there and you start receiving applications and even referrals, find tips below to help you find the right content writer.

Tips For Shortlisting The Right Freelance Content Writers

Narrow Down To Your Niche
You should save yourself from unnecessary stress by leaving the door open to content writers with experience in your niche. Or, at least, a content writer with interest in your business.

With that, you wouldn’t have to spend so much time training them to understand how the market runs.

Assess Portfolio
The kind of brand a content writer has worked with isn’t the main gun here. What matters is a portfolio that demonstrate their creativity with words, empathy, and relational skill.

Check Reviews
Quality writers will definitely have reviews to boast of. For example, if you are hiring on freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, among others, you will see ratings and feedbacks from previous client. While the feedback may not be totally revealing, you can still catch a glimpse of what it means to work with such writer.

Run PAID Test With SEO Intent
Did you notice the emphasis above? Never ask a prospective content writer to take a test you won’t pay for. This happens a lot on freelancing platforms and it’s very disrespectful to ask for unpaid test.
If you are not okay with a prospects sample and reviews, and you are planning to run a test, set aside a fee no matter how small. It’s their business too, remember.

SEO is at the centre of boosting your online business, so through the test, look out for a quality writer who understands SEO.

Set a deadline to test their time discipline. Of course, a test can never be a true testifier of anyone’s personality, but you will definitely see the signs.

AT THIS STAGE, you should have discovered the writer whose work and personality impress you. Pay every applicant for the test and gently let those you don’t want to work with that you won’t be able to move further with them.

Now, that’s half the battle. It’s time to discuss payment plan with the writer you want to work with.

Fee and Payment Plan for Content Writer

When it comes to hiring freelance content writers, you must be fair in your dealing. First, understand that if you don’t pay a content writer well, they might not be encouraged to give their best to your project.

This is not a call that you should offer or agree to a fee that you can’t keep up with. Far from it! What’s important is striking a balance between the deliverables and the fee.

Ultimately, a fair decision can only be agreed upon by you and the content writer you are hiring.

What are the payment plan available?

Per Word Rate: Most freelance writers make do with being paid per word. This is a good option if you:

• Don’t intend to hire for a long time.
• You trust the content writer to not waste words to unnecessarily make you pay more.
• You are not ready to commit consistently to content marketing.

Per Content Type: Some freelance writers charge based on the type of content they will be delivering at a particular time.

For example, there are different fee for blog content, website content, sales copy, newsletters, business reports, social media posts, among others.

Retainer/Flat Fee Payment: This is the freelance writer’s fixed income. It’s a contract in which your business pays a freelancer a monthly fee to deliver it content when needed.

Coming to this kind of agreement means:
• There’s an agreement on the types and numbers of content to be delivered in a month.
• The content writer, although a freelancer, has agreed to be your salaried employee.

For both parties – freelance content writer and the business, it’s a win-win situation. The freelance content writer can enjoy a fixed income while you can relax knowing that you have a writer working closely with you when needed.

It should be stated that irrespective of the payment plan adopted, a freelance writer will charge you based on their level of expertise and complexity of your niche.
And don’t forget that you get what you pay for most of the time.

Communication and Work Operations

Team having a brainstorming session

Effective communication is the bedrock of actively engaging a freelance content writer for your business. It shouldn’t stop after concluding the hiring process.

Remain clear and don’t miss the chance to reiterate what you expect.

If you have a Marketing and Communication team in your business, introduce the content writer to your team. Let them work closely.

Put in place a prompt communication channel. You don’t have to go by email. There are team-work communication tools like Asana, Slack, and Trello, among others that you leverage.

When deliverables are sent in, don’t hesitate to give constructive feedback. Know that it won’t be perfect from the start. It might take a few weeks of working together for a content writer to finally grasp your brand voice. The point is to keep them close, hold brainstorming sessions together, and suggest ways in which they can tone to your brand’s voice effectively.

So, what now?

Follow the guide above and you won’t have a problem hiring the quality writer your business needs. Before you put a job listing out there, make sure you have a content marketing goal.

Do you have further questions about hiring freelance content writer for your business? Feel free to contact us here.

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