January 31, 2019
At The Writer Finder, we talk a lot about how hiring a professional writer can take your business to the next level. Content is king is today's digital SEO world and hiring a freelancer can help you produce better content and increase website traffic.
Here, we'll cover what it's actually like to work with a freelancer. From handy tools to keep everyone on the same page to creating a contract, we'll show you what a working freelance relationship looks like.
Freelance work is essentially remote work and has evolved from the gig economy. Freelance workers are self-employed or independent contractors. Most freelance writers don't receive a W2 and instead file taxes using a 1099 form.
Freelancing offers the writer autonomy and flexibility while enabling business owners to choose from a larger pool of applicants. The arrangement can keep costs down for both parties. Freelance writers don't need to worry about commuting while business owners can save money on employee incentives such as health insurance and taxes in some cases.
Similar to virtual assistants, there isn't one standard freelance agreement. Some freelancers work full-time with one company while others have several part-time gigs with a host of employers. Full-time freelancers often receive benefits such as paid vacation and other employment incentives just like in-house employees. They typically work on long-term projects such as building a blog following and participate in creating a content strategy alongside the marketing team.
Part-time freelancers tend to help out on short-term projects or on long-term projects in a smaller capacity. They may write just one blog post per week or come on board when you need to create infographics, social media campaigns, or monthly newsletters.
Freelance writers possess a wide range of skills depending on their educational background and work experience. Most professional writers are well versed on website clients such as WordPress, Webflow, and Wix. Many also have a background as graphic designers and can use web design tools to create stunning images for Pinterest or infographics to educate consumers.
Professional writers may also be experienced with data entry and should be able to create content from social media posts to long-form informational blog posts. They are familiar with Excel and Google Drive where they can create posts and track the performance of content.
Many freelance writers are also familiar with content calendar tools such as Asana and Trello. They may know how to use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs and know how to track content performance using analytics tools such as Google Analytics.
Freelancer rates can vary dramatically depending on their skills and experience. Entry-level writers may charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per article while expert writers can charge upwards of $500 per article. Generally, a good expert writer will land somewhere between $150 and $300 per post.
Some writers charge by the hour instead of per piece. Hourly rates can range from $12 for an entry-level writer to more than $50 for an expert writer. Freelance writers generally require extra money if they have to perform keyword research or extensive analytical research for an article. They may also charge more if they are required to edit or publish their own works.
When hiring a freelance writer, it's important to discuss financials before signing the contract. Most writers offer negotiable rates and are willing to get paid less if there are employment incentives or long-term work opportunities. Try to strike a balance between the freelancer's needs and the company's bottom line. For a small business, offering incentives such as Fridays off or low-cost gym memberships can help bridge the gap between the writer's fee and the company's ability to afford a professional writer.
It's also important to discuss how the writer will be paid. If you have an in-house payroll system, you can add the freelancer without much hassle. You can also choose to simply pay the writer using PayPal or another online payment tool. Discuss the options with the writer and find a solution that works for both of you.
One of the easiest places to find a freelance writer is on traditional job sites. The pool of applicants is incredibly large though so you'll need to have a firm set of criteria to narrow down the applicants.
Business owners can post freelance opportunities on job service providers such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Betterteam. When posting a job ad, be clear on your expectations. Let job seekers know if you are looking for full or part-time workers. Make it clear if you need writers who are well-versed in web development or additional professional services such as graphic design for business cards and company brochures. The clearer you are upfront, the more likely you are to find the perfect writer.
Freelancers search for potential clients using freelance marketplaces—job sites dedicated solely to remote and freelance work. They can easily sort through thousands of freelance jobs. Posting a job ad for a freelance writer on one of these platforms is sure to result in dozens of potential applicants.
These marketplaces allow you to sift through job applicants from all corners of the globe—from New York and Canada to Australia and Europe. Freelance marketplaces also offer protection from scammers and payment tools to help streamline the process.
Freelancer is one of the most well-known freelance job sites. They boast more than a million business users and feature an extensive database of freelancers. They offer a payment guarantee where you only pay for services that are delivered and meet your 100 percent satisfaction. Freelancers can bid on your job post so you'll get a wide range of applicants with varied expertise and payment requirements. The site also features a time tracker so you can keep track of your freelancers hours.
Upwork is one of the most popular freelance sites. It allows business owners to easily find freelance writers, marketing experts, and designers while helping freelancer build their freelance career. You can use the marketplace to hire for short-term tasks, recurring projects, and full-time contract work. It's free to post a job ad and freelancers will bid on the project.
Quality isn't always reliable on Upwork. Make sure to read applicants writing samples and vet their experience to make sure they are a good fit for your business needs. The platform allows you to set up interviews so you can meet one-on-one with the applicants and get a better feel for their work.
If you're just looking for short-term work or long-term arrangements for simple graphics, Fiverr is a great choice. We use Fiverr to create eye-catching Pinterest images and infographics to help our customers find our website and learn how to use our products. It's a great way to find new clients and is ideal for businesses that don't have a large budget to spend on content production.
If you don't have the time to sift through thousands of job applicants, you can hire an agency to do the work for you.
At The Writer Finder, we help you find writers that are experts in your industry and niche. We'll send over at least three qualified writers along with writing samples and their typical rate so you can get started producing content.
Writer Access is another agency that can help you find writers for a variety of projects. You can easily view a writer's profile and see what types of content they produce. You'll also see their star rating and endorsements backing up their expertise.
Working with freelancers may seem intimidating if you've only hired in-house employees before. The reality is that the work environment is simply different. You'll need content management tools to keep the whole team up to date on new developments and communication will be essential.
If you're looking to hire a freelance writer, head over to one of the traditional job boards, freelance marketplaces, or reach out an agency to help you find the perfect writer. The key to hiring and working with freelancers is to be clear and concise with your expectations. Make sure to vet potential applicants strictly and don't settle for someone who doesn’t meet your criteria. Be patient and the right freelancer will come along.