It only takes a quick Google search to be confronted with a whole host of people offering freelance writing services – and I’m one of them. But determining who is going to get the job done properly can be something of a minefield.
In my research, I have noticed that there are a lot of freelance writers from non-English speaking parts of the world who are applying to work with people who need English written work.
Now, whilst I don’t have a problem with this, per se, I do think that if your English is anything short of fluent, you shouldn’t be charging people for you to write for them.
I speak French, I’ve been learning it on and off for around ten years and I’d say that I am pretty good and can certainly get by in France. However, I would NEVER offer my writing services to a client who wanted a solid piece of French writing because, whether I like to admit it or not, my French simply isn’t good enough for publication.
So, with this in mind, what are the things that you should look out for when hiring a freelance writer? Here are some tips…..
- Always ask for a sample of work. Any writer worth their salt will have some pre-written samples that demonstrate their voice, tone and style as well as their spelling and grammar abilities. As you will know from my previous posts, a lot of the work that I do for my clients is ghost writing and so I can’t show off the work I have done for them, for the most part. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have articles, stories and other written work that I write for myself to use as samples or for use right here. Good writers won’t be afraid to share their work with you, even if the topic isn’t relevant.
- Look at their pricing compared to their experience because sometimes, you may get a writer who is charging far more than they should be given how much experience they have had. Of course, we have to make a living but if you’ve got a total newbie charging £100 an hour, I’d question it.
- Are they asking for an upfront payment? You should never part with the full fee until you are 100% satisfied with the work. My policy is that I ask for a 25% non refundable deposit and the remainder of the fee when you are happy with my work. If you pay a writer 100% upfront, there is the chance that they could disappear with your money. This is something to be especially careful about when dealing with online writers. It’s unfortunate that some people are prepared to scam but it is the reality of it.
- Look at what areas of expertise the writer has. For me, I write on a wide range of topics but my main areas are finance, health and wellness, fashion and beauty and spirituality. A good writer will be prepared to write on all topics and will be able to demonstrate excellent research skills. This research should not be simply rewriting articles they find online but taking information and ideas from various articles and turning it into unique, engaging and fresh content.
- Don’t be afraid to ask how long it will take because after all, you need this work. As a writer, I wake up most mornings with at least 5 client orders in my inbox and it requires me to be organised because I pride myself on delivering content as quickly as possible without compromising on quality. My most loyal clients will tell you that I’m quick yet the work is still exceptional and this is important. You don’t want someone to knock out a 5000 word article in an hour that is full of mistakes and fluff but you also don’t want someone to take a week to do that same piece of work. If you have a time limit, let the writer know and they will be able to advise you if they can meet this target.
- When you write as a career, it is important to treat your job with professionalism and this is a trait you should look out for in a writer. Do they have a clear website? Is their communication professional? Are they able to work with you and be flexible?
- SEO is vital if you are producing online content and good writers will have, at the very least, a basic knowledge of this. Don’t be afraid to speak to your writer about how they incorporate SEO into their writing and what previous success they may have had in Google rankings both on their own content and what they have produced for clients.
- Finally, is there are natural bond with the writer? Some of my most successful professional relationships are with people that I get on with. Whilst we are working together, we are able to make small talk, have a little bit of fun and work together as two human beings. This bond is super important, especially if you are planning to create a long-term relationship. If your gut is telling you that something isn’t right – go with it.
Choosing the right writer for your needs is essential if you want content that will work for your business. But with so many writers vying for your attention, it is easy to become lost in a sea of wannabe Shakespeare’s. These helpful tips will allow you to select a writer more easily.
If you are looking to hire a reliable, friendly, professional and talented writer, please don’t hesitate to Contact me to discuss your needs, I would love to work with you.
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