Hiring a writer (or any other remote) worker has been a challenging task at all times. Employers, who actively hired during a spike of the COVID-19 pandemic, admitted that educating and keeping a good writer is very confusing.
Most businesses need to close their projects immediately: they don’t want to waste time teaching newly hired employees. Unfortunately, that’s when you have to face an issue: it’s not that simple to hire an article writer if you’re not ready to spend time on their onboarding process (even when it’s happening in Zoom).
We’ve browsed the most popular companies hiring freelance writers and made a list of seven tips and factors for you to know before you decide to hire an article writer.
1. Tailor a job description
From the very first words, be clear about the type of writing you need. Try to distract from excessive technical terms or overuse big words. By doing so, you risk either finding a not-so-good writer or turning away all the good writers who could’ve contributed some excellent stories.
2. Give preferences to the native-speaking writers
Many freelance writers who engage themselves in new projects are not from the U.S. They mostly live in Europe, writing for local freelance gigs. So the problem here is not about racism but about job seekers’ quality of content. And yes, they will ask for a lower price, but don’t expect a strong text in this case.
The writing quality will improve if you choose a person whose native language is English. Moreover, you’ll expand your profit because of better search engine optimization and a bigger following.
3. Don’t cut off the price
Going cheap on words works only for hiring entry-level writers because they want to create a portfolio at any cost. Otherwise, you risk spending a commission on an applicant who writes mediocre articles. Certainly, not one of the experts you need.
It may sound embarrassing, but sometimes a price for a 2000-word project doesn’t go far from $5. And now, let’s ask ourselves a tricky question — will any good writer ever pay attention to this project? We doubt it, and so should you.
4. Set clear expectations before you hire an article writer
The more information you can provide now, the better the final piece will be. Sometimes, an idea in your head is enough to paint a picture, but sometimes, the writer will need more clarification.
Keep in mind to start from a budget: be honest about the salary you can offer per hour; then, move to the scope of work (negotiate the number of posts or articles, their volume, and major requirements) and deadlines (stay reasonable, without contacting a writer on Sunday and expecting paper on Monday).
5. Check out their portfolios
If you’re eager to find a good article writer on a freelance basis, nothing can stop you from checking their work. Even when you’re living in different states, you may still schedule a Zoom call to clear out the details.
Be aware that, in some cases, it’s not an option. For example, let’s say a journalist, who built an impressive career at the national newspaper, will not consider anything less important than the work they’ve done before.
6. Ghostwritten or byline?
Before you hire an article writer from a different state, consider if the content should be ghostwritten or bylined.
A ghostwritten piece gives you complete ownership and credibility; a byline can be a new piece for a writer’s portfolio. The last option is cheaper, but you still get good content (because if the writer’s name is on it, they will ensure to make it exceptional).
7. Provide a quality feedback
When you’re lucky to find a good writer producing well-written content, it may guarantee years of successful cooperation in the near future. Besides, by being in touch and communicating the company’s vision together, you can establish trustful relationships and help your business succeed.
Surely, there’s room for compromises, but one thing you have to set clear now is — you should never be late with the feedback. Ensure you provide constructive criticism, but also find a few minutes to say good things about the piece you’ve just read.
You may as well apply this principle to situations when you can’t match the provided content with your vision and you have to tell the writers their articles are not good.
The Bottom Line
As you may see, the main concern when hiring a freelance writer is staying on the same page. Don’t hesitate to provide the necessary details on a project, and set clear expectations; ask questions, and be ready to negotiate the price. You may search the whole world’s population, but if nobody can understand you, then you probably need to modify a job search.
When hiring freelancers, make sure to outline what you need done, what you’d like out of the outcome, and what deadlines you’d like to set. If possible, you should also ask for references and examine their portfolios. Once you’ve chosen a few freelancers, try to screen them with a small task to ensure their suitability for the project. If they complete the task successfully, you may want to consider hiring them for future projects.
Another important consideration when hiring a freelancer is their experience and knowledge of the industry. It’s also helpful to offer a small-paid project to get an idea of how they communicate and how their work is produced. If possible, offer the same project to several freelancers so you can compare how each one handles the project. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and be open with the freelancers about the details of the project. Remember that when hiring a freelancer, you’re hiring an individual with an entrepreneurial mindset and the skill set to help your business grow.
Find out if the writer is willing to take criticism, has enough qualifications, and can provide original ideas for quality content. A high school diploma may be enough sometimes, but don’t forget to check the portfolio and match it to your company’s vision. It will save a huge amount of time, connecting with the right person who understands the project’s strategy exactly as you do.