I have been into freelance writing for almost a year now and worked with quite a few startups. As I talked to a lot of prospects and freelancers, I found that there is a considerable gap between client expectations and freelancers’ capabilities. For example, I’ve dealt with a client who wanted a successful content marketing campaign with only four blog posts, because of the Budget constrain.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to achieve, but you need to have a proper system in place to kick this kind of content marketing campaign with bare minimum resources.
After working with some awesome startups, I understood that they are also new to hiring freelance writers. And It can be challenging for them to acquire the “right” freelancer for the “right” work.
So I’m writing this post to help guide them through the hiring process.
What You Should Know Before Hiring a Freelance Writer
First, let me clear the three terms you encounter the most when searching for a freelance writer. ‘Content Writing’, ‘content marketing’, and ‘copy writing’. These three are very different skill sets, and they bring different outcomes for your business.
A single person can have these three skill sets. Still, the writing style, writing goals, and the deliverable are entirely different for the three. Next time, when you are looking for a freelancer, figure out your requirements. It will help you identify the right person for the job.
The last thing you want to do is hiring a wrong person for the job, leaving you disappointed and with a false impression about us, the freelance community.
1. Content Writer
If you are looking for someone to create articles, blogs, stories for your website, you should hire a content writer.
Content writers are skilled in writing long-form and short-form, data-oriented, researched driven articles in a
concise and straightforward way. They are also familiar with SEO and keyword research.
A little disclaimer: Don’t instruct the writer to stuff keywords in the blog. Keywords stuffing is actually bad for SEO. More on that here.
Copywriters have a different skill set than a content writer. Their writings are more focused on getting people to take immediate action. If you are looking to write copy for your website, landing page, ads, emails, etc., then you should hire a copywriter.
They are more focused on getting conversions on their copy and getting people to buy your product.
3. Content Marketer
Content marketing is entirely different than copy writing and content writing. If you want someone to research the market, build a buyers persona, and develop an entire content strategy for your business, you should hire a content marketer. They will take care of the whole process, form generating content ideas to publishing the content.
A person who is only skilled at content writing or copy writing may not have the skill to build a full-fledged content strategy. There’s a lot goes into it.
Content marketer generates ideas for your content and suggests what type of content you should produce and the channel of distribution to increase traffic on your website and improve brand awareness and loyalty.
Requirement Before Hiring a Freelance Writer
You should have a proper marketing plan before hiring a Freelance Writer.
A writer can only write if you have everything set out for yourself. What is your target audience? From what demographic they belong? Who are your competitors? These pieces of information will be incredibly useful for the freelancer to understand your brand voice.
1. Writing Skill vs. Industry Knowledge
Decide what type of experience you required. Many business hire writers who have some industry experience. But that brings some limitation to your access to good writers. For example, a person may be highly knowledgeable at health and medication but may not be skilled in medical writing. But an experienced writer can always do extensive research about the industry and quickly catch the writing tone of the industry.
It’s easier for a writer to learn the nitty-gritty of industry and write comprehensive content around it than and industry expert to learn how to write.
2. High-Quality Writing Needs Patience.
Whatever industry you’re in, writing high-quality data-oriented content requires time and patience. For a new writer on-boarding with your business, it takes a bit of time to align their writing tone with your brand voice. In this transition phase, you need to have patience and might have to guide them in the direction of your content.
3. Last But Not Least, Budget.
One problem every freelance writer faces is Budget. I have been told many times, ”why should I hire you? Xxx is charging less for the same services”.
Now, if you are a startup or a business, and this is the questing you have, then my friend, you are hiring a writer for wrong reasons.
Think of your content as an asset, like gold. They will stay with your brand forever and will continue to work for you in the future. And writers are gold miners. And they must get the value they deserve.
Because content is a long game, it’s difficult to measure the ROI in a short time. But it’s something you should keep in mind when hiring a freelance writer.
If you still have any problem understanding the process, you can DM me on LinkedIn. I'll be more than happy to help you.