How to Hire a Freelance Writer

Photo on Flickr by Vitualis

You’ve got some writing jobs. They’ve been hanging round for a while  because you haven’t got round to them. Everytime you think about doing the jobs, you stare a blank piece of paper for a while then put it away and go and do something more productive. You need to hire a writer.

Where to begin? Writers are easy to find. Go on Elance or Guru and you will find a whole pile of writers ready and raring to go. How do you know which one to hire?

Perhaps you explore some blogs and find some people blogging about writing. You like their writing style and think it would be a good fit for your company. How do you approach them about writing for you? Some will make it easy for you to approach them, but others may not be so obvious. How do you know how much to offer to pay?

The first thing to do is decide your budget and plan out the job. It is best to know exactly what you want your freelance writer to do. Have an idea of how long the job will last too. Then decide on a rough idea of budget.

There are many different kinds of writers out there at varying levels and also from different countries. Consider what kind of English you will want your work written in. American English differs from UK English and Australian English. It depends on the audience you are trying to reach. Some writers will have English as a second language. Their writing may be better than that of native English speakers!

Decide how much the job is worth to you. Some company owners go for the cheapest option they can, but it is worth bearing in mind that you get what you pay for. If you offer a good wage then you can expect work to a certain standard.

Bidding Websites

Sites such as Elance and Guru are easy to set up and use. You will find varying standards of writing there and there are people always willing to offer under the odds, but ask yourself whether the hassle of dealing with rewrite after rewrite as the work is below standard is worth it. Some jobs attract a high number of bids. Discount the lowest. Check out the middle and higher ranges. Read their submissions carefully and check out their profiles. Does their writing flow easily and are they selling themselves well? If they can sell themselves then they can sell your product.

Awarding the job within Elance or Guru sets you up automatically with a contract and an Escrow account that protects both employer and freelance if you choose to use it. The money is only released when you are happy with what you have purchased.

What if you want to approach a writer direct?

Approaching a writer direct can be as simple as finding the contact form on the website. In some ways it is a much better way than using a bidding site

as you can set up a dialogue with the writer and see if you will get along. It is easier to work with someone who you feel comfortable dealing with. Ask about their rates and tell them as much about the project as you can to enable them to set a fair price. You are both free to negotiate if necessary.

Finding a freelance writer can seem daunting, but taking the time to find the right person can pay dividends. You might be at the start of a long working partnership which may prove to be beneficial to both.

And, yes, I am available to hire!!

Photo Link: Handshake


Why Hire a Writer?

Picture on Flickr by blupics

Writing comes easily to me and I enjoy it. I love the challenge of playing with words, getting the quick first draft down and letting my work flow. I enjoy reading through it afterwards, checking my work for errors and to ensure that it reads through easily and with meaning. I enjoy research and using it to write an informed article. Since I  began freelance writing, I have enjoyed ‘going to work’. (OK, OK. That should be switching on a laptop!)

I know that not everyone feels that way. Some people panic at the thought of writing a letter or an important email where they really want to get their point across. It is easy for your piece of writing to be misunderstood and even cause offence.

Bringing Your Business to the World Wide Web

These days, every small business wants to get on the Internet. It gives them a presence where customers can find them (I never use telephone directories now) and helps take their wares out to a wider audience. Often a website is enhanced by a blog.

There’s the problem. How do you find the subjects to blog about if you do not feel confident writing a letter? How do you find the time to blog when you barely have the time to do the other equally important activities your business requires?

Why Blog?

Blogging adds value to your site and gives information to your customers. It adds frequent useful information to your website which will encourage customers to visit your site and Google to lift it in the rankings.  Blogging is most effective when done regularly.

Blog about relevant subjects to your website. Encourage discussion. Visit other blogs and add relevant comments which can link back to your site. Brainstorm a lot of ideas and pick the best ones to use.

Hire a Writer

Hiring a writer to blog can be a cost-effective way of keeping a blog up-to-date. Writers are able to write easily and effectively and can post regular comments to your blog.

Finding the right writer to write for you will help you to create a great blog for your business, which will enhance your website content. A writer will create articles and blog posts which reflect your business. These in turn will help to inform your customers about your services and products.

Creating a Great Website

Using a writer to create content for your website also offers a professional finish. There should be no spelling errors, grammatical errors and the sentences should be constructed correctly. Clients read grammatically correct sentences without even noticing, but misplaced punctuation is soon noticed. Spell checkers do not pick up correctly spelled words in the wrong context, but writers do! (At least this one does!)

Finally, it is important to decide what kind of a price you put on offering a professionally run website. There are many kinds of writers out on the web who offer very cheap services, but they do not offer the professional touch that your business requires. Negotiating the right rate with the writer is very important. Expect to pay a good rate and you will receive an excellent service.

Hire a freelance writer as you would other employees, by contacting them, talking to them and asking to see samples of work. Ensure that they understand what is expected of them, communicating regularly with them and your business will benefit from the results.