When a 22-year-old Amanda started her e-commerce business, she never thought that she’d hire a creative freelance writer to help with her content writing needs.
“I thought I could handle it all by myself,” she told me. “I mean… writing isn’t such a big deal to me.”
Months passed by, and her client base was expanding. Amanda started working on clients’ projects late into the night. Updating her blog with fresh posts wasn’t one of her priorities, even though her guest posts were driving a ton of traffic to her company blog, allowing her to close profitable business deals.
Juggling these two things—business and blogging—is one of the biggest challenges not only for Amanda but also for many online businesses. Running a business is tough. It’s like running a government. Like the President, you have to be almost everywhere, working, delegating, managing, and leading.
As an e-commerce founder, you have to be committed to writing and publishing new articles on your blog. You can’t just invest all your energies in handling your clients’ work while neglecting your blog—blogging is the most-used content-marketing tactic today, according to a study by LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community.
“What if I’m busy?” you ask.
You can hire a freelance blog post writer to help promote your brand.
Exactly how do you hire a creative freelance writer in 2019? A talented article writer who can write emotional, engaging, and inspiring posts for your online startup? Let’s break this down step-by-step.
The goal is to help you handle your clients while your creative freelance writer serves as your content marketer to build your traffic, sales, revenue, and ROI—all with quality content that wows your readers.
Before you go deep, let’s first talk about the top qualities every professional creative freelance writer must possess.
The Four Top Qualities of Creative Freelance Writers
To hire a professional freelance writer, be mindful of the value she’ll bring to your business.
Remember, you’re not hiring her just because she’s a famous blogger or because you admire her humorous writing voice. You want to hire a writer who will tell your brand story better and more often than you can and who will constantly entice your prospects with great value.
“But how do I tell the difference between a professional, creative writer and an amateur one?”
Here are four qualities that differentiate them:
1. Creative freelance writers have in-depth knowledge in specific niche
As we have established, hiring a talented freelance blog post writer is all about hiring an exceptional content writer with exceptional qualities. The digital marketing guru Neil Patel offers us free advice on how to screen the best writers in the following video.
You don’t want to hire a writer who has little or no knowledge of your niche, no matter how good they are with words. I have made that mistake in the past.
When I was building Cademica, one of my earliest websites (the site is dead now), I hired a writer with an impeccable writing style.
I loved his writing prowess.
I admired his catchy headlines.
I was fond of his attention-grabbing intros, persuasive subheads, and impressive conclusions. So without further ado, I went straight to his Contact page and sent him an email. I hired him instantly.
Then something strange happened.
When I briefed him about my specific writing project, he told me, “I’ll give you exactly what you want.” He went ahead with the project, but when he submitted the final draft, I was furious. The guy had no subject-matter expertise in my niche.
He seemed to have no basic knowledge of content marketing at all, even though he specialized in finance. So I fired him, but I ended up losing my money and my time for garbage.
The moral of the story?
The next time you are about to hire a writer, take your time to scrutinize them. Ensure that they’re a good fit and comfortable writing in your niche.
Remember that you are not just buying their writing style. You are not just buying their impressive use of words. You are not just buying their sophisticated short sentences.
You are buying A-class information that’s beneficial for your readers. That’s what matters to you. That’s what you’re paying for.
2. Creative freelance writers are smart copywriters.
Masterful copywriters are not just great with words.
Every great writer has some copywriting genes in their DNA. Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, and Tony Morrison, to name a few… All of these great writers know how to weave great value into their work, mixing information with A-level advice, spicing their craft with punchy words, persuasive grammar, and cliffhangers to amuse and seduce their audiences.
In this way, they are not only educating their readers with great information. They are teasing and entertaining them with stories that move them to act. They know how to evoke emotion in stories.
How, then, do you notice a writer who is also a copywriter? Look for these two qualities:
- Their headline. Is it short, specific, useful, punchy, and catchy?
- Their opening paragraph. What do you feel when you read a writer’s first sentence in the introduction? Do you feel excited or bored? If you feel the former, then he is a skilled copywriter. That’s the freelance writer you’re looking for!
- Their article body. Is it meaty? Full of information, supported with data, stories, statistics, and examples? Or is it just lame with irrelevant anecdotes and fluffy, boring words?
Understand that skilled copywriters don’t write salesy content. They walk the reader through, answering their burning questions, resolving their pain points, and offering A-level advice and solutions…while slowly building their momentum up to a sale.
3. Creative freelance writers are everywhere.
The difference between professional content writers and amateur freelance writers is this:
Professional content writers are prolific writers, which mean that they write often (both on their blog and on other blogs in their industry). In short, they are everywhere. The guest posts on different media publications.
On the other hand, amateur freelance writers produce little content. They only write on their blog, and they’re not even consistent. In short, they’re not publishing their content anywhere.
The skilled freelance writers understand that in today’s content-driven online world, content is not just king. Quality content is.
That’s why you need to hire those quality blog post writers to create world-class blog posts for you. You want your blog content to be not only highly informative but also very attractive to your prospective customers.
Of course, getting this kind of writer is not easy. However, the best way to find them is by screening them from top media publications, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., The Next Web, etc.
As you probably know, professional freelance writers are the engines that power these top publications with engaging content. Day in and day out, they write the amazing content we all read on these authoritative websites.
My point is this:
You can tell if a writer knows what they are doing from their posts on top online magazines. Why? Because they will bring the same value to your business that they have brought to these popular websites.
4. Creative writers are professional marketers.
The Internet is like a fuel to e-commerce businesses.
It powers websites. It promotes digital brands. It makes online marketing possible.
A creative content creator should possess some Internet marketing skills if they are to growth hack your online business. Why? Because your blog posts shouldn’t just be published on the web.
Your blog posts must be optimized for SEO—and that’s the job of your freelance writer. They should know how to optimize it for you.
Having taken all these qualities into account, let’s talk about where to find and hire freelance writers online.
Where Do You Hire Freelance Writers Online?
The Internet is huge. And freelance marketplaces are enormous.
Where can you find creative freelance writers online that will help build your business?
There are many places to find, interview, and hire creative freelance writers online. Here are some credible ones:
Blogs and media publications
One of the best places to hire freelance writers is to reach out to them via their blogs.
Every professional writer I know of has a personal blog. This is where they teach their expertise, share their experience, and advertise their writing services. A simple search on Google will let you find dozens of freelance writers for hire.
Also, most of the professional writers are guest bloggers—they’re regular contributors on top online magazines, blogs, websites, and online publications, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., and Fast Company among others.
It makes sense to hunt for creative writers on their blogs or on popular blogs where they contribute their knowledge on subjects they mastered. You don’t need to compromise on hiring the best of the best writers to take your blog to the next level.
So, how do you find professional writers on top blogs? Well, follow these simple steps:
Step #1) Visit your popular media publication.
Step #2) Check the writer’s “Author Bio”
Check the writer’s author bio to see if they offer a writing service. To do that, either look for the short bio of the writer at the beginning of the article. Or scroll down the page to read their author bio at the end of the article.
On Entrepreneur where I’m a columnist, for example, you can check my author bio at the beginning of the article.
To know more about the writer, you can click the home icon below to visit the writer’s site, see the writing services they offer.
But to hire the best freelancers who will grow your business, you don’t just hunt for them on any top websites that have the highest traffic or social media following.
Here’s how to screen the best of the best freelance writers from these popular publications:
- Identify your niche. Are you a car blogger or an e-commerce vendor selling subscription services? If you’re a car blogger, you definitely need to visit automobile blogs to search for guest bloggers there. If you’re an e-commerce vendor, you should visit top business and content marketing blogs to find your blog post writer from those sites.
- Look for regular contributors. Some guest writers are not regular contributors. They’re contributors, yes, but just browse through their contributor profiles and you’ll see that they only have one or two articles published as far back as last year. Their articles may be great, but you’re looking for the ones who are consistently producing quality work. Remember, you want the same result when you hire them to grow your blog.
- Look for words that work. That’s all that matters. You may come across a freelance blog writer who is exceptional, a skilled wordsmith, but they lack the digital marketing skills necessary to weave those words into dollars. Look for a writer who has a mix of writing, copywriting, and digital marketing expertise, so their words can persuade your readers to click, accelerate your sales, and grow your revenue.
The idea is to sift through and pick the greatest blog writers who can help communicate your ideas, grow your audience, and take your brand to the next level.
In 2015, Odesk and Elance merged together and rebranded into Upwork.
Thus, Upwork becomes the largest freelance marketplace in the world, with 12 million registered freelancers and five million registered clients, as Network Asia reported. About 3 million jobs are posted on the platform every year, which totaled about $1 billion, according to Forbes’ Elaine Pofeldt.
You can find hundreds of talented writers and content creators on the marketplace from a different part of the world. From web content writers to article writers to blog writers to press release and essay writers, Upwork has diverse writers that can accomplish your writing needs.
In addition, Upwork writers are flexible.
You can collaborate with writers that have a diverse work schedule, different pay rates and specialties. That said, on the one hand, you’ll have tons of bad writers on Upwork. On the other, there are many creative writers on the platform. Just take your time to make the best out of the pool of creative writers on the site.
If you want to hire a blog writer on Upwork, for example, you need to open a Client account first, assuming you’re new to the platform. To do so, follow the steps below:
Step #1) Visit the Upwork site to sign up.
(It won’t take you up to ten minutes). Then write your job post, invite Upwork blog writers, and push “publish” to make your job post live to freelance writers.
Watch the video below—it will work you through on how to post your first job on Upwork as a client.
Step #2) Choose a client role by selecting “I want to hire a freelancer” option.
Step #3) Fill out your personal information and select “Get Started.”
That means you can go ahead and start posting jobs on the platform and take your time to hire top talents.
Guru is another great freelance marketplace that houses over 3 million gurus. Meanwhile, any business owner can join the platform, post a job, and hire a freelance writer of their choice—all for free.
Joining the platform is simple. If you don’t have an account already, just visit the site, and click “Join Now” at the top right-hand corner of the homepage to get started.
Next, choose how you’ll like to use Guru:
Do you want to work on the platform as a freelancer or you want to use it as a client, so you can hire freelancers? Of course, you’d select the later if you’re a startup manager.
Once you do that, you can go on to post your jobs, and begin the interview and the hiring process. It’s a fun and simple thing to do.
Peopleperhour is another great platform for businesses like yours to outsource freelance writers.
The UK-based freelance marketplace, which is the leading freelance platform in the UK, is a big competitor to other big platforms, such as Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer to mention a few.
The digital startup houses over a million freelancers of all kinds and thousands of freelance writers of different categories from across the globe. Peopleperhour writers offer their writing services on a per hour basis.
With a simple click, you can engage with a talented writer and hire them to help with your content writing needs.
Fiverr is one of the foremost freelance marketplaces where you can hire freelance writers.
Founded in 2010, the Tel Aviv-based company provides a market for creative writers and other freelance artists. According to The Next Web, the company lists over three million services. And Fiverr freelancers offer their services to clients worldwide.
One of the pros of Fiverr is that contractors offer services at a lower price. A Fiverr freelance blog post writer can craft a 500-word post for just $5. Of course, at that price, sometimes, you won’t get the quality you need.
Aside from the freelance marketplaces, you can find freelance writers on job boards as well. And one of the most popular and authoritative job boards for freelance writers is ProBlogger.
Its founder, Darren Rowse, built the blog from 0 to a 300,000 community of bloggers who read ProBlogger and spread the words. The ProBlogger job board is where companies meet freelance writers for hire. Here’s how the ProBlogger job board works:
- A company in need for creative freelance writers pays a sum of $70 to list their job post for 30 days.
- ProBlogger managers post the company’s job on their platform and make it public for its thousands of freelancers and bloggers.
- Freelancers bid for the job; the company hires the suitable candidates.
One of the major pros of hiring on this platform is that most of the writers bidding for jobs are professional bloggers, which means that clients get quality articles for their money.
So, these are just a few of the many places you can find creative freelance writers online. But here’s a critical question:
How do you retain a talented writer after all the rigorous process of finding, interviewing, and hiring them?
How to Retain Freelance Writers
Consider the following tips…
The path to working and retaining a freelance writer starts with clear communication.
Once you tap your top talent, the next thing to do, and this is the most crucial aspect, is to tell them what to do for you. In other words, explain—in clear terms—the type of writing you want and the purpose your content is set to achieve.
In short, you help your writer communicate your words. You tell them what you want in a simple, clear language. And when they directed a question at you for clarity, you answer their questions heads on, and in a timely manner.
Writers want this more than anything else. Without clear communication, without a thorough explanation of what you want, a writer can’t craft content that woos your prospect. You, the client, help them do that.
That’s why a project brief is a must!
One of the best ways to retain a freelance writer is to feed them with great information regarding your writing project. You do that in a project brief.
A brief is a piece of information sent in a document or via email which consists of specific details regarding a client’s project. Every company needs to send a detailed brief to its freelancer to ensure all the details about the project are clearly spelled out.
It’s like a blueprint for the final version of the project, so it should specify how the final version of the project will look.
There are some essential elements that you should include in your brief. For example, depending on your content needs, your brief should contain the following sections:
- Topic to be covered
- Your ideal audience/reader
- Specific keywords to be used
- The goal of the writing project (is it to inspire readers, motivate them, or encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter?)
These are but a few elements of a brief, but the list goes on…
Pay them on time
You may have a crystal clear communication with your freelance writer.
You may send them a well-detailed brief… but if you don’t pay them on time, none of that will work. They’ll leave you for another client.
Paying your writer as soon as you finished reviewing their work is crucial if you want to increase your retention rate. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have all their payment details before the start of a project, not after.
Writers want to work with a responsible client, one that respects their job pays them what they’re worth—on time.
I understand that clients are busy.
They want to get their content as soon as possible to update their company blog, engage with their audience on social, and promote their product to their subscribers. So they often set a very tight deadline for their writers.
The problem is, tight deadlines scare the hell out of freelance writers. It makes them deliver rush work. And we all know the deal: Rushed work is bad work.
If you want to retain content creators, whether, on Upwork or wherever you get them, you set a fair deadline. By fair deadline, I mean deadlines that will allow them to deliver quality work, one that will be a win-win for both of you.
The freelancer will feel happy because you give them time to craft super excellent work. You also feel happy because you get quality content that will grow your business. But that will not stop there.
The overall benefit is that the freelance writer will develop a personal connection with you. They know you’re fair and great to work with, so they’ll stay with you for as long as you need them.
Some clients are indifferent when it comes to feedback.
When they receive their writing project, they’ll just say, “thank you,” to a writer and move on. However, others are just too difficult to deal with. No matter how good and professional and patient a writer is, some clients always feel dissatisfied, and leave terrible feedback to the writer.
But freelance writers are humans.
They need assurances.
They need motivation.
They want to feel respected.
The way to offer all these goodwills to them is simple: offer them honest feedback.
I’m not saying you should always praise them just to make them feel good. No. you can criticize them, constructively. “Hey, your headline sucks!” you can say that, but end by telling them how to make it good. “Next time, make it more specific.”
Just show them some concern. Respect them. If you do, they’ll feel motivated. They will stay with you for a lot longer.
The bottom line:
At some point in your entrepreneurial journey, you’d want to hire a creative freelance writer to be part of your content marketing team, especially when your company is growing—just like Amanda’s.
But you’ve got to be strategic in your recruiting and hiring process.
Take your time to hire not only a freelance blog post writer but a digital marketer as well. Hire professional writers that understand how Internet marketing really works.
When you’ve finally hired the writer who masters your niche and matches your voice and style, your next big task is to retain them. You do these by keeping clear communication, fair deadline, paying the writers on time, and helping them with honest feedback.
Because in the end, it’s about a mutual, friendly connection… a working relationship that will be a win-win for you and your writer.