Any business owner knows that it is a matter of juggling many different responsibilities at a time and being consistent with all those responsibilities that can be the key to success. This is why more and more individuals are considering outsourcing their content writing to a freelance writer who can assist them with staying on schedule as well as publishing high-quality content. Welcome to the world of outsourcing (and hey, the rest of us master delegators are thrilled you’re here!)
How you choose to approach the process of hiring a content writer can significantly impact whether or not you are successful and can make things easier for a smooth transition as you begin to give this individual more responsibilities.
What follows are my tips from being a freelance writer for five years and having hired hundreds of content writers for my own projects as well as my clients.
Always Ask for Writing Samples
If a freelance writer doesn’t have writing samples, they are essentially saying they have no calling card. If a person doesn’t have samples that they have been paid for or they have been published in the past, they should be savvy enough to generate their own writing samples.
Simply put, you should never hire somebody without first taking a look at their samples directly to determine if they have the quality and tone you are looking for.
Request a Paid Test Project
While most freelance writers will not work for free, a paid test project gives you an idea of how someone is actually going to follow directions and the type of quality they are going to produce in return. Set up the test project with very clear parameters including your guidelines and instructions.
They should be advised to read some of your past blogs and materials to get a sense of your voice. You may even ask that they submit one blog as well as come up with topics for future blogs. This can give you an idea of how intuitive the writer is as well as how familiar they are with your industry.
A test project is also your chance to determine whether or not they can submit projects on a deadline. I love using test projects when hiring content writers because this will very quickly give you an idea of who is actually capable of standing up to the task. Unfortunately, writers have a reputation for being flaky and it always seems like hiring several writers to do a test project will lead to you eliminating several right away because they cannot follow directions.
Recognize the Role You Play in Giving Instructions
One of the most common communication breakdowns with content writers and their clients has to do with lack of instructions. You should initiate this conversation by showing your new freelance writer what you hope the content will look like and then perhaps even giving them an example of something you’re not looking for.
They should be clear about your parameters and guidelines from the outset so that they can craft a piece that requires minimal revisions. Having to go back and forth constantly when hiring content writers is a huge waste of your time and it can also lead to you as the client being extremely frustrated.
This is why it often makes sense to give clear parameters and examples at the beginning of your working relationship with new content writers.
Have a Clear System for Payment
No matter how you choose to handle it, having a clear invoicing and payment system gives the freelance writer some peace of mind that you’re going to follow through with your end of the bargain. It should also be clear how many rounds of revisions you are going to get, if any, and any specific guidelines about how the work is to be submitted.
If these details are unclear, the freelance writer could try to take advantage of you. It is far better to be organized on your end so that you can properly dictate how the relationship unfolds with your content writers. As an experienced freelancer myself, I’ve found that implementing these tips helps for a truly successful business relationship.
Are you ready to hire content writers to help you produce amazing material for your blog?