Tips For Choosing A Freelance Writer

By Tedd Campbell

As your technology startup develops into a thriving enterprise, you might occasionally need freelance writers to produce sales and marketing content, technical manuals, and other documents.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best writer for each project:

Shop around for a specialist

Who would you hire to fix your car, a plumber or a mechanic? Of course, they’re both very skilled individuals but hiring the mechanic is probably less risky, right? To minimize your risk on a writing project, you should identify the kind of work you need done and seek out a professional writer with an appropriate skill set.

Keep it simple

To assess a writer’s suitability for your project, you only need to answer two questions:

  1. Has the writer produced high-quality content that’s similar to what you need?
  2. Does the writer get rave reviews from customers?

If you can answer “yes” to both questions, put the writer on your shortlist and set up a phone meeting to discuss the project. If the meeting goes well, ask for a quote. Simple.

Distinguish between writing and graphic design

Every finished document has two components: writing and graphic design. You can either farm out these components separately, or go the “one-stop shopping” route with a specialist who offers both services. Never assume that graphic design is included in a writing quote.

Compare value, not just price

Ask yourself, what would be the total cost—including salaries, benefits, taxes, and overhead—to do the writing in-house? What would be the opportunity cost? If you did produce the content in-house, how good would it be? Instead of looking only at price, compare the value of what you can produce in-house to the value offered by each professional writer on your shortlist.

Finally, if you have concerns about hiring a freelance writer you’ve just met, take it slow. For example, start with a short case study and see how it goes before moving on to a more complex project. Believe it or not, many writers prefer this approach because it minimizes their risk, as well.

Tedd is the founder and principal writer at C Worthy White Papers Inc. C Worthy develops world-class white papers for B2B technology companies and service firms that want to enhance their credibility, generate more sales leads, and serve their customers better.

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