What to Look for before you hire a Freelance Writer
As customers grow increasingly imperceptive to many forms of traditional advertising and as search engines such as Google continue to place more and more importance on quality content, the value that talented freelance writers offer to businesses of all sizes is growing more significant as well.
In order to actually capitalize on this value, though, and ensure the content that you publish is at its most effective, you’ll need to make sure that you hire the right freelance writer. Outlined below are five crucial things to look for when choosing a freelance writer to help you with your content marketing strategy.
Experience in Your Industry
A freelance writer who is experienced with writing about the industry or niche that your business operates in will be able to produce much better content than one who is not. While adequate research can sometimes make up for a lack of industry experience, having a base of knowledge to fall back on will almost always help writers create content that is both more accurate and more persuasive.
Having experience in the industry they are writing about allows writers to understand and correctly use the right terminology, have insight into the needs and interests of the content’s audience, and produce content that is more original rather than content that is simply a rewording of a previously published piece.
Take a look at the work history and samples of any freelance writer that you are considering and see if they have written content in your industry or niche in the past. If you don’t see any such examples of past experience, ask them about their experience in your industry – many freelance writers may have extensive experience that is not fully outlined on their profiles.
At its most effective, freelance writing is a form of marketing, and working with a freelance writer who understands the nuances of content marketing rather than one that is just a good writer and nothing more will offer much more value to your business in the long run.
A great writer may be able to produce a piece of content that is beautifully written, however, if they have no understanding of marketing – specifically content marketing – there’s no guarantee that the content will have the desired effect. Freelance writers who are experienced with content marketing know how to analyze the content marketing strategy of a business and produce content that is designed to help them achieve their goals, whether those goals are selling a product, bringing in more traffic to a website, or anything in-between.
Try to gauge the level of importance that a writer places on marketing and hire a freelance writer that is just as much a marketer as they are a wordsmith.
An Easy-Going and Professional Attitude
Amidst the focus on technical qualifications such as a writer’s past experience or their writing samples, the importance of a writer’s personality and approach to clients is often overlooked. In the same way you wouldn’t want to hire a full-time employee who is difficult to work with, though, you want to avoid freelancers who are difficult to work with as well.
The best freelance writers are both professional and easy-going. They don’t display so much of an emotional attachment to their work that they ignore instructions or grow offended when you feel changes need to be made. They understand that, at the end of the day, it is the client’s content and it is their job to bring the client’s vision to life.
The freelance writer you hire should also display a high degree of professionalism, whether it’s their full-time job or they’re just freelancing on the side. It’s important to note here that the amount of time a freelance writer spends on their career is not necessarily an indicator of how professional they will be in their approach. Plenty of writers who freelance only a few hours a day still display utmost professionalism while some writers who freelance full-time may be lacking in this area.
When choosing which freelance writer to hire, try to gauge their attitude and approach to client communication. If you work with a freelance writer that is easy-going and professional, you’ll end up with much better results.
Exceptional Writing Abilities
Producing well-written content is an art form all its own, and like any art form it is a talent that some people excel at and some don’t. Regardless of the subject matter of the content you are publishing, a talented writer will be able to bring it to life, making it engaging and enjoyable to read through the use of language that leaps off the page.
Ideally, you’ll have an eye for what exceptional writing looks like and will be able to tell through the samples that a freelance writer provides how talented at crafting content they are. Excellent writing should flow naturally, should inform and entertain at the same time, and should set itself apart from the glut of amateur content that populates most websites. If you hire a writer capable of producing content such as this, you’ll automatically be a step ahead of most of the competition.
Opportunities for a Long-Term Partnership
Working with the same freelance writer over an extended period of time offers a degree of value that hiring a different writer for every new project is not able to provide. Over time, a talented freelance writer will learn more and more about your business, its target audience, its unique identity and voice, and the goals that you hope to accomplish through the content that you publish. They are then able to use this knowledge to produce content that becomes more effective and more unique to your brand as time goes on.
If you envision needing more content as your business grows, try to hire a writer who will be willing to work with you over the long-term rather than one that is only interested in completing a single project. If you do this, you can form a partnership with a talented writer that may end up benefiting your business for many years to come.