Before You Begin: Planning and Preparing to Hire a Professional Writer
Outline Your Exact Needs
Make a general outline of what you need written. It can be as simple as a rough title or keyword or as detailed as writing what each heading and subheading should cover.
Each detail you’re willing to explain increases a writer’s chance of creating a great end product.
Post Your Job on a Good Website
There are hundreds of freelance websites that allow you to post your job so that copywriters can begin applying immediately. How can you decide which website to choose?
Try checking out websites as if you were the writer instead. When you try to join as a writer, does the website ask for and verify references? Is there an application process before being listed, or can anyone with a word processor advertise their services?
Websites where writers must submit samples or invest money can mean a more professional pool of talented applicants to choose from. These sites act like bouncers at a club – they keep the riffraff out.
If you do choose to look for talent at a site that allows anyone to join, make sure you request and review a sample directly from the writer before hiring.
Making Contact: What to Ask Writers Before You Hire Them
Request to see their portfolio or a sample of their writing. Writers might also link to published work currently on the web. No matter how they show you, make sure you read the sample and verify that they string words and spaces together in a way that pleases you.
Do they charge per page? Per word? Per complete project? Are changes or corrections free, or will you be billed for those?
Even if you don’t have a specific deadline for getting your copy written, you should always find out that writer’s turnaround time (how long it will take to return the completed document to you). Turnaround time can be anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks, so ask beforehand to eliminate any surprises.
Share your availability with writers and ask for them to do the same – ask what hours they generally keep so that you’ll know when to expect updates. This is a good way to find out if a writer is a full-time or part-time (which can influence your hiring decision greatly).
Red Flags: Things to Consider Carefully Before Hiring a Copywriter
When considering a part-time writer, keep this in mind: If writing isn’t their first priority, your needs as a buyer are not their first priority. This translates to longer waiting times for responses and updates.
If you have strict deadlines, choose a writer that has full-time availability as they will generally have less competing for their attention.
Writers with No Reviews
New and unreviewed writers can look terribly attractive as they’re usually willing to work for pennies on the dollar.
New writers, as a whole, are not confident and must be micromanaged. There is a chance that midway through your project they will realize copywriting is not what they thought it was and quit. It’s also impossible to accurately gauge your turnaround time if you’ve never completed a job.
Let someone else absorb the risk. Go for a seasoned and reviewed writer to reduce the chance of a headache later.
After the Job is Complete: Your Responsibilities as a Buyer
Be Great to Attract Greatness
Most sites that let you rate and review freelancers also allow freelancers to rate and review you.
To ensure your chances of a great review, pay on time and leave great feedback for a job well done.
Getting a good review from your copywriter pays off when the time comes to hire more freelancers. To attract a higher quality of writers for your next project, you’ll need to develop your reputation as a professional and trustworthy buyer.