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How to Locate and Select a Freelance Writer (Part 2)
In this second of a two part series, I'll discuss how to review freelance writer applicants you've received and make your final selection.
In Part 1, we discussed the initial planning and thought that needs to take place in order make the hiring of a freelance writer a success. In Part 2, I’ll discuss steps your local business should take in reviewing potential applicants and eventually hiring the best writer for the job. <?xml:namespace />
Once you’ve posted your position description, requirements, and pay information, you’ll begin to receive correspondence from interested freelance writers. The information you receive from the writers will largely be determined by
· What you requested. It’s often suggested the hirer request a resume, several writing samples, and a proposal providing the writer’s request pay rate and project turn-around time.
· The venue you posted the assignment. Many of the freelance project sites have a regular format freelancers’ use when responding to potential clients. Typically, this format will include providing writing samples, basic writing qualifications, and hourly rate.
With correspondence from writers in hand, it can be helpful to have a methodical way to review your applicants. This is especially true if your local business experiences the influx of applicants which can be common when posting for a freelance writer; be prepared to receive 50 or more applicants.
If you require some specialized knowledge in order to complete your writing projects, determining whether each applicant meets this criteria should be the first step you take in your review. This step alone may greatly winnow down your applicant pool.
As this individual is going to be the voice of your local business for many or all the communications projects of your local business, it’s important the writer’s style resonate with you. Therefore, the next step should be to review the writing samples you’ve received. Often by skimming several examples of an author’s writing, you’ll know if the style is a fit for your local business.
With the field of applicants narrowed down to those you feel have a writing style which is compatible with the needs of your business, you may want to review the background, experience, and education of the remaining applicants. Often writers will have completed many projects similar to yours. Although it is not always a true indicator of future success, having completed similar projects in the past increases the chance the writer will be able to deliver what you need. Finally, see if a review of requested compensation rules out any applicants.
When you’ve narrowed your freelance writer applicant pool down to no more than 5 to 7 writers, spend some time reviewing past client references and comments, if you’re using a site such as Elance.com or Guru.com. This review may allow you to remove a few more applicants from consideration. The final suggested step in this hiring process is to arrange a brief conversation with each writer. During the process of setting up the conversation and the actual conversation itself, observe the writer’s habits. Is the individual professional and courteous? Does the writer indicate he/she can meet the writing deadlines you have?
Ultimately, the decision of which writer to hire for your local business is going to be guided by whose writing style is best for your company and with whom you’re comfortable working. It can be a tough process, but well worth it to get great content for your organization.
If you’d like more information on this topic, consider reading What to Look for in a Freelance Writer on Elance.com.
Learn more about the author, Chris Marentis.
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