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There’s a freelance writer crafting compelling content for a business as you read this – why not yours? Get started today!
4 Tips for Hiring a Freelance Writer
Here’s a few tips to help match you with the writer you’re looking for to accomplish your goals. Following the tips below will help you hire writers that will have the most positive impact for your site or business, and reduce the amount of time spent editing and revising.
1. Define your audience for your writer
When you hire a freelance writer, you need to give them the clearest picture of who your target audience or customer is. You might know what this target looks like inside out, but if you can’t communicate that clearly to your writer, you’re either going to get less relevant content, or stuff you have to spend a lot of time editing to bring up to par.
One of the best things you can provide a freelance writer with is a list of audience avatars (also known as ‘consumer profiles’) that represent the types of people you are speaking to in your niche or industry. For a great customer avatar creation worksheet, check out this post from Digital Marketer.
If you don’t already have customer or audience avatars for your blog/website/business, this is an extremely valuable exercise for you to do that will immediately raise the quality of content ideas you think up.
Tips on creating your avatars:
- Use Google Analytics and Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to see demographic data about the people who visit your web page or Facebook fanpage, as well as a cross-section of correlated data that includes other pages they like, their education level, broad income and housing data, and more. If you don’t have many fans or website visitors, look at similar webpages/fanpages and see what their audiences look like.
- Make more than one profile – Chances are you have several different types of people who visit your website or blog. People may differ by gender, location, employment level, parental or marital status, purchasing goals, and more. The goal of having these profiles is so you can create more targeted content to speak to them slightly differently, and better engage them with your site and products.
- Give your avatar a name as well as a picture or image, and write a short bio, including their education level, income level, marital status, job role, and any other relevant information. You want to try to look at your business or website through the eyes of this person, and think about their goals, aspirations, challenges, and pain points.
2. Be clear with your objectives
This goes hand-in-hand with defining your audience – once you have identified who you want to talk to, you want to lay out some goals for your writing. “I just need some content for my website” is a common statement we get from people looking to hire writers on freelancewriting.com, and that’s a good start…but you’ll achieve much better results with a little more specificity.
All good content writing has an objective behind it, and the more clear you can be with your instructions for your writers, the better.
Here are some examples of objectives you might have:
- Growing your email list
- Promoting awareness about your product, service, industry, or niche
- Drive new sales or leads
- Ranking for a keyword as part of your SEO strategy
- Getting a link on a complementary website or blog
Once you have your objectives in your sights, you can then move on to deciding the type of written content is going to help you achieve your objective.
Examples of types of writing you might hire a freelance writer to do include:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Sales pages
- Email campaigns
Each of these objectives and type of content requires a slightly different approach or combination of approaches, including research, structure, style, calls-to-action (CTAs) and more. Remember that clear objectives are ones that can be measured – so have a plan in place to measure the results you are trying to achieve.
3. Pick between skills, experience, and technical ability
For blogs, you can hire writers with little to no experience, as they can generally do the job adequately and will be less expensive than hiring a professionally-trained writer. For this type of writing, subject area knowledge, passion, and writing style are most important. You want someone who can pick the appropriate tone for your business or website, or match what is already existing.
If you’re looking to rank for a keyword as part of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, look for a freelancer who understands at least the fundamentals of SEO.
For sales letters, ad copy, or print advertisements, you may want to think about hiring a professionally trained copywriter, or someone with several years of experience. There is an art intertwined with the science of compelling and persuasive sales copy, and it’s not easily produced or replicated. A high-quality sales letter will convert at a much higher rate and for much longer than a low-quality one, and is well worth the investment.
4. Ask for a writing sample
It’s a good idea to request a writing sample or two from each writer you shortlist for your writing project. It’s possible, depending on your niche/industry, that you’ll find someone with experience writing about topics similar to your project; otherwise, you still want to see an example of their writing to get an idea of:
- Writing style & voice
- Spelling & grammar
- Structure & readability
Going back to your objectives, if you’re looking for a specific type of writing, like a blog or an ebook, see if your potential writer has written one in the past. It’s best to ask for at least 2 pieces of writing so you can spot consistency in their style and approach to jobs, as well as to see how they write differently in different pieces.
Hire Writers You Need Today
Now that you’ve got the basics under your belt, there ain’t nothin to it but to do it – post your job for free today and find the freelance writer that you’re looking for!