The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Freelance Blog Writers
This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you purchase through links I provide. Read the full disclosure.
When it comes to marketing, a blog can be a powerful tool. And, hiring freelance blog writers is one sure-fire way to develop your blog and make your online presence grow. To run a successful blog, all you need is some basic design knowledge and your own quality writer.
Don’t know how to find a quality writer? You’re not alone; it can be hard to sort through all the low-quality to average writers to find a truly great writer. Fortunately, there are some indicators to look out for.
For example, a good writer should have enthusiasm, experience, creativity, and plenty of work ethic as well! You may think that enthusiasm doesn’t really matter. The truth is that when a writer loves their work, the work is just plain better. This kind of writer will have the motivation to do their research and a curious mind that can absorb detail.
Your writer should always show consideration when it comes to due dates, revisions, and whatever else you may agree upon or ask for. And, ideally, they should also have some SEO know-how. SEO will ensure that your articles appear at the top of a web search, aka rank. Learn more traits that a truly great freelance blog writer should have, and some tips on hiring freelance blog writers in general, below!
1. Set Your Vision and Goals
Solidify Your Marketing Strategy
Before you start hiring, it’s worth spending some time considering your marketing strategy from every angle. For instance, what are you hoping to achieve with your blog? With your company? What is the foundation that it is built upon?
Decide How Hiring Freelance Blog Writers Will Help
When you started your blog, you were most likely the only writer. You might still be even today. As you gain more followers and begin to grow, you will probably want to up your content production. For just one person, managing an active blog can be a huge task. This is where hiring freelance blog writers is a real lifesaver. You can save lots of time and effort by delegating some of your work.
Promising new writers can also introduce unique and creative ideas. They will bring fresh life to your company and can be incredibly supportive. So once you’ve decided you want to hire a freelance blog writer, it’s time to consider which aspects you want that writer to help with. Are you looking for more sales? Or is increasing website traffic your focus? These are things you will want to share when it comes to finding the right person for the job!
Think About the Whole Marketing Team
It’s also important to think about how the writer you hire will fit in with the rest of the team. At first, you probably only need to hire one writer. You can have them take over your blog posts, and they might even be able to manage social media, emails, and the content calendar too. But you may also want to hire a web designer. They can totally transform your website and presentation for the better.
Start by hiring one freelance blog writer and focus on building a long-term relationship with that writer. Later, once your company and content production have grown a bit, you can consider adding to your team, starting with an editor.
2. Create a Freelance Job Listing That Will Actually Work
When looking for freelance bloggers for hire, you will want to make a job listing that will actually work. This should let them know what you need, your budget, and the experience level you are looking for. There are a few rules that you will want to follow to make a professional freelance job listing. These will increase your chances of finding the dream writer.
- Keep it short and sweet. If an applicant catches your eye, you can contact them personally to go into more detail. The listing itself should be brief. Make it easily digestible for your reader. Tell them why they will want to work for you, and what makes your company special. Also express how you’d like them to help you be successful (SEO writing to help you rank higher on web searches, for example).
- Include a ‘codeword.’ A codeword is a word you can ask applicants to include in their proposals, to show they read your listing through to the end. Try something unexpected, like ‘purple cow’ or ‘I love the sun.’
- Don’t leave out important information. Some freelance job listings fail to state the field, word count, or other requirements they have.
- State the expertise you are looking for. If you would like someone to have finished their schooling, feel free to let them know. Or, perhaps you want to be hiring freelance blog writers that are more entry-level. However, you will want to keep in mind that the more experience the writer has, the higher the rate will be!
- Give an idea of compensation. Potential freelance blog writers for hire will want to know your pay rate. They often already have a pretty good idea what they are looking for. There are also some that will be willing to negotiate the cost in return for perks such as long-term, reliable work!
3. Try Hiring Freelance Blog Writers in a Variety of Places
Once you have a really effective job listing, you can cast the net far and wide to start attracting candidates:
Hire Freelance Blog Writers Online
Nowadays, you can find writers online on freelancing platforms and by posting to job boards. Stand out by showing personality and by welcoming your potential writer. Many writers on job sites will consider long-term work to be an incentive. But others will prefer to work on and off (short-term and part-time).
Some places to find freelance writers online:
Hire a Top-Quality Independent Writer
If you are in the market for top-of-the-line work, cut out the middleman and opt for an independent writer. What does this mean? While online job boards can certainly be useful, many writers write part-time, alongside other work. In general, writers on job boards may not have the level of dedication that you can expect from a full-time, independent professional. This is because writing is not a hobby, but a career.
The search will take a bit more work, but by finding someone with their own website and writing services, you can get expert writing help much faster. They also tend to be more timely, more considerate, and more respectful in their behavior.
Hire from Within Your Company
The answer may lie closer than you think: you might consider asking a current worker with writing skills to be your writer. Who better than a long-time employee to understand your company goal and the needs of the customer?
4. Select Your Freelance Blog Writers
Your job listing is out there and interest is coming in. The following pointers will help you shortlist and decide which freelance blog writer to hire.
Check They Share Your Vision
Communicate your vision to candidate freelance blog writers to find out if they can get behind your goal. Your company will progress more quickly when you get everyone pointing in the same direction. Talk about the aim of your company and the sort of improvement and growth you are looking for. Along with increased revenue, what do you hope to achieve? These are the sort of things that your freelance blog writers should know and feel inspired by!
Find Out If They Know Their SEO
Are you looking for more followers or more clicks? A well-versed freelance writer should be a master of SEO. These are the magic letters for companies looking to increase their visibility and growth.
These days, it is more important than ever that SEO is done well. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization covers a variety of tactics designed to help your blog show up ahead of the competition in search results. After all, there is so much content out there now.
The heart of SEO is providing content that is better, unique, or new. With SEO, your valuable blog posts will stand out among all of those that are full of fluff (worthless text used to fill space or hold keywords).
Keywords are phrases that people use the most when searching online. The best SEO freelance blog writers know how to find keywords and how to incorporate them into content in a way that is natural. Another aspect of SEO that freelance blog writers should know about is how to best use a link. Links can be internal or external. Your freelance blog writer will use external links to direct readers to credible sources. They should link to authority sites that are unbiased, and informed, with clear credentials and expertise in their respective field. By including sources that present verifiable, quantifiable, and clear facts and advice, they will set you up as a credible source.
Linking to a past blog post, on the other hand, is called an internal link. If you’ve spoken about a topic before, a freelance blog writer can help promote you by sharing the link. This keeps visitors on your blog, and makes it more likely they will give your blog a follow!
Traits to Look for When Hiring Freelance Blog Writers
Sometimes, it can be hard to find a writer (or any worker) who is completely trustworthy and reliable. You’re probably going to come across a slacker or two. The effort they put in can be minimal. When you are looking for well-researched, top-quality content, this is far from ideal.
Be sure to find someone who will give plenty of consideration to you and their work. A truly great writer consistently delivers timely and top-quality articles because they take pride in their work and are ultimately running a business themselves.
Next, you will want an enthusiastic individual. Try to find a writer with well-earned confidence in their ability, who is doing what they love!
Finally, when hiring a blog writer, look for someone who is receptive to feedback. They must be happy to learn and pay attention to detail. Your writer will also be willing to do a free revision (or two), to make sure you get what you pay for.
Take a Look at Others’ Feedback
On some sites, you can see a freelance writer’s feedback. This is a section where past clients have left a rating and review. Give the greatest consideration to the most recent feedback. When hiring freelance blog writers, ask them about particular feedback if you have concerns. They may have made a major mistake (a red flag). Or, perhaps they missed a deadline because they became sick (and the client was not lenient).
Ask for Samples or Do a Trial
If you want to get a feel for a writer, you should definitely ask to see past samples of their work. Well-established writers will always have some samples to show. Feel free to ask to take a look. If you like what you see, you can offer them a paid trial. This removes any obligation to commit to future work – unless you really like the work!
So, what should you consider when it comes to samples and trial writing? Quality and flow. If an article is mostly very well-written, it does not immediately have to be without flaw. Maybe the tone is just right, but you’ve noticed a few errors. Perhaps you did not love the placement of a link. Be sure to mention things like this as you offer your writer feedback.
If the first trial goes well, but you’re still not quite sold, continue the trial. This should illustrate whether the writer was able to learn and improve from the feedback.
Don’t Ask for Free Work
It’s not good practice to ask for a free trial. Payment for work done is only fair. Along with this, writers offering free samples do not typically have the best work. As a matter of fact, this is one way you can tell a seasoned writer from a newbie.
Writers who know the quality and value of their writing will almost always ask for payment for their work. Should you find someone willing to do a free sample, chances are their writing will not exactly wow!
For a trial article, many writers will not mind if you pay them a little less than normal. The rate should still be good and fair – no less than 70 percent of your final rate is ideal.
What to Pay Your Writer
When it comes to payment, a balance is important. Pay a writer poorly and they may not do their best work. Of course, you won’t want to break the bank. When hiring freelance blog writers, try to meet somewhere in the middle; where that is, is something only you can decide together with the writer you have chosen.
There are some key things that will decide what a blog post is worth. The word count is one. Many choose to pay their writer by the word, and this is anywhere between 0.03-00.10 USD, in general.
For example, a simple article about indoor plants will cost less than a topic that requires more research, like health insurance. So, depending on the word count and how in-depth they are, you can expect blog posts to cost anywhere from $25-$300.
5. Make Communication Key to a Healthy Long-Term Business Relationship
When it comes to hiring a blog writer, communication is everything. And it doesn’t stop once you’ve found the writer you want to work with. This means continually being clear about your own requirements, and open to questions and input as well.
When it comes to feedback, be tactful, but be real. Let your writer know what they’ve done well, but also inform them what needs to be tweaked. Encourage them to improve! If you aren’t getting the results you’d hoped for, do not fear! It is also a bit of trial and error. Talk to your writer and brainstorm a solution together. Perhaps a better balance of keywords or changing the tone will do the trick!
Be Mutually Respectful
In a business relationship, respect can be rather meaningless, if it is not mutual.
Employees are people first, and if you treat them this way, they will be grateful. They are more likely to extend the same consideration as well. So, how can you be respectful? Be understanding, for one. If your writer is normally on time, but can’t make a deadline, reassure them that it is OK. When you notice that their work has improved, let them know.
Accept nothing less than respect for yourself, either. They should show consideration toward both you and your work. They should not miss deadlines, in general. If they do need an extension, they should let you know no less than 24 hours in advance. They should be willing to revise as well. You should be able to enjoy a positive business relationship overall.
Be understanding – to a point. But don’t fall prey to the every-excuse-in-the-book freelancer, either. If you’ve given a new writer a chance and they miss a deadline or deliver less-than-stellar content, you might give them the benefit of the doubt – once. If they do it again, it’s time to rethink. You’re only going to waste time and money if you keep going back and forth with them without any progress on your project.
Pro Tip: If you haven’t heard from your writer in a couple of days, feel free to check-in. You are entitled to updates and they should be happy to give you one when you ask!
Apps like Slack Can Be Super Useful
Sometimes communication just doesn’t happen fast enough by email. You can streamline the process with instant messaging apps that were specially made for work. For example, there are private chat rooms and topic-based chat rooms on Slack. You can also share files and more!
With Asana, you can easily create and assign a goal or task. In fact, when it comes to managing your marketing team, Asana can be ideal.
Stay Up-to-Date on Your Inbox
When you can, though, do stay up-to-date on your inbox. Your writer may have asked a question, might be missing important info, might be having trouble logging into your WordPress, etc. A quick reply will be appreciated, and it will speed up the whole process.
Of course, you should expect the same from your writer! A prompt response is one of the most basic expectations you should have. Look for them to reply within 24 hours. The faster their response, the more seriously they take their work in general.
So, what do you think? Follow these guidelines and you are virtually guaranteed to find at least one writer who is a keeper. Connect with a writer who is truly great at what they do, who is within your budget range, and who is trustworthy, respectful, and professional. This is the recipe for a healthy and positive business relationship – and how you can both help your blog ultimately become successful.
Start with utilizing a reputable writing platform to access a large pool of professional writers who have impressive portfolios and resumes. Review their writing samples to find someone who can capture your voice and has experience writing copy for your specific industry.