Freelance writing is the best way to get content done for your business. It’s the most flexible option for any business. You can pay per article as you need content, set up a regular schedule for content production, or even hire someone on retainer to produce whatever content you for various business needs at different times.
Freelance writing is also the best way to ensure that you’re getting quality content all the time. Professional freelancers are serious about their work because they are business owners. They get gigs only when they have recent, quality samples to show to clients. They therefore have to maintain quality at all times to ensure continued income.
The best part about freelance writing is that you can outsource it overseas to get more bang for your buck. We know the horror stories about hiring freelancers from other countries. Don’t worry, these steps will show you how you can outsource freelance writing safely.
Outsource Freelance Writing in 5 Steps
The FreeeUp Marketplace was built out of the frustration that founders Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan experienced while outsourcing work for their first business. They developed a 5-step hiring process to help other business owners avoid these types of frustrations, and we’re sharing it with you today.
1. Determine Your Needs
What type of content do you need? Is it whitepapers, blog posts, listing copy? Sit down and really think about each type of content. Create separate descriptions for content writing and copywriting. Not every writer can do both.
Under each type, list out the types of text you need done. Add context where needed to explain exactly what you want. For example, if you need PR articles, describe what types of publications they are for, how long they should be, what voice the writer needs to use, etc.
Note that some writers niche down further into a specific area. This can be an area like blogging, or a certain business type such as Amazon. You can find just about any freelance writing skill on the global market, so think about which type of writers will fit your needs and give you the best value, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Be as specific as you can about each person that you want to hire. This goes beyond skill and experience level, so don’t forget to describe things that are important to you, like attitude, working times, and weekly availability.
2. Choose a Hiring Platform
Freelance writing is best hired for through an online marketplace. There are almost too many freelance websites out there today, though. It can be difficult to pick the right one if this is your first time hiring remote. This is why you need to focus on your needs and preferences.
Use marketplace comparisons and platform lists to help you find the top marketplaces. Go through their websites and identify their strong points. Pick the best fit based on your ideal arrangement. Don’t speed through this process, because it can come back to bite you if you pick the wrong one.
Once you’ve chosen your hiring partner, place your first request for freelance writing using the descriptions you’ve created. It’s important to hire just one person to start with. First, you need to get familiar with the hiring process and make sure you’ve chosen the right partner. Second, you need to get this first person set up before you spend more time hiring the next one.
Most hiring platforms leave all the hiring details up to you. This means that you will have to screen each applicant yourself and interview the best ones. A few freelance marketplaces provide top-level guidance throughout the process. If you prefer a smooth experience, you will have chosen a marketplace that pre-vets freelancers to reduce the amount of time and hassle it takes to hire the best fit. You should still interview candidates to verify that they are well-suited to your needs, but it’s a lot faster.
When you speak to applicants, make sure that you have gone over the details that they have provided. You want to use this time to get any gray areas cleared out. Prepare questions to ask them and listen for how they respond so you can get a feel for their character as they clarify each point.
Give candidates time to ask you about what they need clarification on, too. Hiring freelancers is more of a partnership and not an employment situation. Respect goes a long way, and this is your first chance to show them that you don’t look down on them and are ready to work together.
Throughout the interview, pay attention to any red flags that pop up so you can avoid making a bad hire. It’s easier to catch these clues if you do a video call since you can see their body language and facial expression as well as hear their words and tone. It’s easy enough, no matter where the freelancer is located, when you use apps like Skype or Zoom. Doing VoIP calls will also allow you to check their internet connection, which is vital for remote hiring.
When you find a freelancer you’re happy with, make the hire. Be sure that you are fully satisfied with every aspect from their skills and experience to their communication practices and how much they enjoy the task. If you’re not sure, you can keep looking or do a test project so you can make a final decision. The most important thing is that you find someone who matches up with your needs. Anything less can cause serious trouble down the line.
Before you start working with a freelancer, you need to take them through an onboarding process. Freelance writing is their area of expertise, but your business is not.
Talk about your business and your business goals to prepare them to work more efficiently with you on everything. Discuss your expectations and encourage them to give you feedback on each point. Make sure that they understand where you’re coming from and that you understand what they are prepared to deliver.
Done carefully, outsourcing freelance writing is a foolproof way to maximize your content budget while getting the quality text you need. It’s a lot more cost-effective to hire freelancers to give your business an infusion of talent and skill in all areas that are lacking. Freelancers, as business owners themselves, also have initiative and understand hard work. When you take time to find the perfect fits to cover each area, you are setting yourself up for success.