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How to Locate and Select a Freelance Writer (Part 1)
Well written copy is a must for your business. In this first of a two part series, I'll share how to begin your search for a freelance writer who can provide your local business with the effective copy it needs.
Succinct well written copy is vital for your local business’ marketing efforts. However, unless writing is one of your specialties, it is typically the best use of your organization’s time and resources to hire a writer. If this is your first time hiring this type of resource, you may feel a bit lost about where to start in locating potential freelance writers and ultimately selecting the right one for your business. In this first of a two part series, I’ll share three steps you should take in beginning your search for a writer. In Part II, I’ll elaborate on how to weed through your candidate pool, what skill sets to watch for, and ultimately, how to select the writer best suited for your local business.
Define the key content duties. It’s not enough to know you have some general copy needs. Your local business should be able to define with as much specificity as possible what type of content and how much of it you’re seeking. For example, you may know you want two blog posts a week. This is great information to be able to indicate to a writer, but you should also provide perimeters around the length of posts. In general, a range of 350-500 words is common. Additionally, it can be helpful to define what type of tone written materials for your local business should have. Often writers are adaptable, but some gravitate to one particular style over others.
Describe required and desired writer qualifications. If your local business is very technologically based, you may find a successful writer needs to have a particular knowledge base in order to write for your business. This is particularly true if you’re looking for white papers on a particular software program, medical findings, etc… In most cases, however, you’ll be well served to find a writer who has solid research skills and has written content for a variety of topic areas. You may even be pleasantly surprised to find a writer who has a unique way of re-energizing “old ideas” you’ve shared with clients for years.
Share your budget constraints. It is beneficial to go into the process of locating a freelance writer with an initial budget for your writing needs. This step can often help save you time and frustration. Adding this information to your ad or posting can help weed out those writers who are outside your budget. If you find, however, you’re not getting qualified individuals applying, you may need to reconsider what you’re willing to pay.
Finally, prior to posting an ad soliciting freelance writers for your local business, it’s important to define whether the writer has to be local. Unless you anticipate needing to physically meet with the writer, you’re likely fine considering writers from a wider geography. Defining this item will also help you determine where you should post an ad. Craigslist is a common posting location if you’re seeking a local writer while Guru.com and Elance.com are great places to advertise to potential writers from all over the world.
If you’d like more information on this topic, Bob Youce’s Elance article entitled 5 Job Post Writing Tips to Get the Right Contractor is a great place to start.
Learn more about the author, Chris Marentis.
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