freelance strategies

Using freelance writers makes more sense than ever these days.

More and more businesses have an online presence. That presence may be a website, or some sort of account in social media.Needless to say, that presence is increasingly critical.

For businesses trying to achieve a competitive advantage over their rivals,Being there simply isn’t good enough. Content is king.  You have to provide high quality, original material with your presence on the Internet.

Creating good content can be challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be. Freelance writers can provide the content and attention your online presence needs. They can deliver good work at a great price.

Here are some thoughts about using freelance writers to help your company.

The World of Freelance Writers

There are over 53 million Americans freelancing in the workforce today. Many of those people work as freelance writers.

There are freelance copywriters, who specialize in writing content to sell or promote things. There are also ghostwriters, who provide content for publication, but do not get credit for it. Most ghostwriters surrender all of their rights to their work upon purchase.

There are also named or “famous” writers who freelance, and whose writing and reputation can influence people’s ideas or activities.

Understanding the different types of writers can help you determine exactly what type you need to help your business.

A freelance copywriter, for instance, can write product descriptions for your  e-commerce website. A talented freelance ghostwriter, on the other hand, can help manage a company’s blog. Finally, hiring a popular freelance writer for a “one-off” post is expensive.  However it might help build interest and excitement about your company.

Finding Your Freelancer

The Internet has revolutionized freelance writing. It is easier than ever for clients to connect with writers.

Websites like Upwork and Textbroker created an enormous market for freelancers and the people that hire them. The Internet also lets companies work with writers remotely. The blog writer you hire might live in a different town, state, or even country.

If you choose an established website to find a freelancer, you can post your exact requirements and price. Freelancers will bid on your work, and you can provide pay (and feedback) upon completion. The system really works!

Closing the Deal

If you are looking for a recognized writer to provide content for your online presence, you have several options.Search in publications related to your business niche to find the type f writer you think you need.

Afterwards, a simple google search is often enough to find the writer. Alternatively you can approach the agencies that represent them with a proposal. Well-known freelance writers are often expensive, so take those additional costs into consideration.

Once you select a writer, you can provide and pay the writer for each assignment completed. You can set terms up front to pay your freelancer by the hour, for each assignment milestone completed, or even by the word. Prices vary on the experience and reputation of each freelancer, but the preponderance of freelance writers that operate on websites like Upwork are very affordable.

When working with freelancers, especially early in your relationship, it is a good idea to run draft content the freelancer provides through a program like Copyscape, to ensure that what they have provided you is original.

Working With Your Freelancer

The most critical element of your professional relationship with your freelancer is your communication plan. Upon hiring a freelancer, you should set clear guidelines for how you and the wrter are going to communicate, especially if you are not co-located and have to rely on electronic communications. You may even want to make your communication plan, and a freelancer’s willingness to adhere to it, a criteria for choosing a freelance writer to work for you in the first place.

You will have to determine the level of guidance you are going to provide your freelance writer; is that writer free to choose and publish blog posts at will on your website, for example, or are you going to assign and review each post? You may expect your freelancer to re-write content that you have reviewed and found unsatisfactory, and on a timeline required to ensure that your website has fresh content at all times.

You may also want to provide general feedback about your expectations with upcoming writing assignments as well.

An ongoing relationship with a freelance writer is almost certainly going to require responsive and iterative communication. The writer will likely forward topic proposals; you will approve some, modify another proposal and reject others outright.

Managing a relationship like this, especially over texts and emails, can be challenging for both of you.  In any case, ensure that your freelance writer and you work out the details of your communication plan at the earliest opportunity.

Parting Thoughts

For businesses that are trying to create consistent, effective online content, freelance writers are one of the best options out there. Freelancers are often responsive, effective and affordable; using them can ensure that your website and social media presence is effective, and leave you time and attention to focus on other critical aspects of your business.

Communicating with your freelance writer is also critical, especially if you are working together remotely, so ensure that you agree and adhere to a workable communications plan.

Once you meet these hurdles, however, your company will be set to use freelancers to create quality online content, and achieve a competitive advantage over your rivals.

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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