3 Questions to Ask a Freelance Content Writer
Hiring a freelance content writer isn’t an easy task. If you’ve never had cause to hire a writer before, chances are you head for Google and look up a few relevant search terms to see what pops up. You may even have found my site via one of those searches.
But how do you know where to go, who to ask, where to begin? There are thousands of writers out there today, each with their own specialities, skill sets, and experience. There are plenty of newbies just starting out too. You can visit one of the big bidding sites to try and find someone or send an email to a freelance content writer via their own website, just like this one.
Whichever approach you take, it’s worth asking a few questions to narrow the field. Find the answers to these and you should be able to figure out if you’ve just found the right freelance content writer for your needs.
“How much experience do you have?”
Everyone needs to start somewhere. My writing career started in 1990 when I had a letter to the editor published by a well-known (and now defunct) UK magazine. From those heady beginnings, I progressed to articles and even the occasional short story. When the internet came along, I switched to creating content for website owners, small businesses, even big businesses. I’ve worked for agencies producing branded content for Barclays, Debenhams, LV, and other big names. I’ve also worked for plumbers, online casino owners, affiliates, locksmiths, and website designers.
Saying I’ve got over 25 years’ experience creating content for all kinds of businesses makes me feel old. Yet it also gives me the opportunity to prove my worth to future customers.
“Do you specialise in my topic of interest?”
There are writers who generalise rather than specialising in one or two topics. They are the jack of all trades of writing – they can write basic content on all kinds of subjects. That’s great if you want surface content that doesn’t go into too much depth. However, if you want to hire a freelance content writer who can produce consistent, in-depth content on your chosen topic area for months to come, choosing a specialist writer will likely produce far better results.
I specialise in self-improvement and self-help topics, online business topics, and B2C blogging. I’ve written about many other things too, and the skills I’ve developed blogging for various small business clients have served me well. I love the challenge of writing blog posts aimed at various audiences. The challenge of imagining I’m chatting with someone playing online slot games, changing the locks on their house, or fixing a leaky tap… I love it all. My better half says I’ve got the word WRITER running through me like a stick of rock 🙂
So, yes, specialities are important. Consider whether you want a specialist writer or a generalist and go from there.
“How much do you charge?”
Money is important. You should have some idea of the scope of your budget before looking for a writer. You may pay less if you go to a bidding sites than if you hire a freelance content writer via their professional site. However – and this is an important point to note – those sites are often a race to the bottom. Lots of writers undercut each other to win jobs for unrealistic sums. Many tend to be from foreign countries, where the exchange rate makes it worthwhile to accept jobs for a few pounds or dollars a go. English is unlikely to be their first language, and it may not be their second either.
Moreover, you are unlikely to find many professional writers on there. It’s a good place to begin, but most people who want to make a career of writing move on quickly. I would hazard a guess all professional writers with a decade or two of experience will find work through their own website and through recommendations from other clients. That’s how it has worked for me for several years now.
My rates are competitive. They are also tailored to each individual project. Larger projects and bulk orders do receive a discount. Moreover, I don’t place any minimums on the amount you can order. If you want a single blog post to see how well we fit together in the client/writer relationship, go for it. I’m happy to oblige. Most clients start this way and I’ve found it works well.
So… there you have it. Three of the most important questions to ask a freelance content writer when you’re thinking of hiring one. You may have other things you’d like to know too, in which case, ask away. But those three questions should let you know whether you may have found the right person to handle your content writing requirements.