4 Things to Know Before You Hire a Freelance Writer

4 Things to Know Before You Hire a Freelance Writer

According to Payscale, the annual income for a freelance writer ranges between $24,000 and $115,000. Whether you need a ghostwriter for your next novel, a blogger for your business website or something else, you understandably want to keep your overhead to a minimum.

At the same time, quality (usually) matters. Poor grammar, typos and generally “bad” English will reflect poorly on your business.

How can you find a freelance writer who will produce quality content at a fair rate?

1. You Get What You Pay For

I don’t know the exact number of people who proclaim themselves to be freelance writers, but I know it’s a LOT. The reality is that anyone can apply to work for a content mill. Anyone can create an account on Medium.com and start getting money for views.

Some of these people are highly skilled. They may have studied English in college and have many years of full-time experience in the field (like me.)

Others are throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it will stick.

Are people without a college education in English and years of experience good writers? I’m sure there are many. Writing samples will tell you want you need to know.

Be aware, however, that writers MUST earn a living wage. Experienced writers know how long it will take them to complete a project when you provide them with the parameters. Rather than assigning an arbitrary dollar amount to your project, consider requesting quotes from qualified writers.

2. The Best Writers Are Busy Writing

I started writing on content mills many years ago, and I obtained great clients through them. I continue to write for a few of these clients through one of these mills on a regular basis. However, I rarely go out and actually hunt down work. I just don’t have the time or the need to do so.

The writers who are bidding on projects on bid sites are those who are not yet established or who do not have regular clients. New writers are not necessarily a bad choice, and they often will be willing to write (initially) for a lower rate to get some experience. This could be a cost-effective way to find a great writer. If you decide to engage them for ongoing services, however, consider paying them what their skills are worth.

3. How Content Mills Work

Content mills are a great place to connect with freelance writers, but do so with caution. Some content mills have an extensive screening process, such as the need to pass a timed grammar test, submit a professional resume, complete a writing test AND show samples of your published work online. Others may only ask you to write a few hundred words when you apply.

A good content mill will frequently screen writers’ work to ensure quality. You will generally pay more for a skilled, experienced writer on these platforms.

Bid sites are commonly associated with content mills. On bid sites, you will post a project, and writers will bid on it. Some of the more popular websites allow writers from all over the world to bid. Clearly, an American writer cannot live on the same wages that a writer in India can live on. Because of this, many qualified writers in this country shy away from bid sites. They simply cannot compete with foreigners’ bids.

4. How to Find a Qualified Writer Independently

Beyond bid sites and content mills, you can always find a freelance writer independently. By doing so, you eliminate the fees that you would pay to the middleman. You may save some money, and the writer may earn a bit more.

You can always ask for referrals or search for writers like me who have developed their own website.

Medium.com has so many writers covering an extensive range of topics. I’m suggesting that you use Medium because you can search for topics and read numerous writing samples up-front before you reach out to anyone. Some writers on Medium are just kicking the tires, but others have their professional contact information listed in their bio.

If you know what you want to say, consider using editing and proofreading services as an alternative.

Do you need professional writing services? Let me know how I can help. I’m happy to recommend writers to you if your project is outside of my areas of expertise.

(This post contains affiliate links.)


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