How to Hire a Content Writer in 2021 [Checklist]
So you’re in the market for a good content writer. Congratulations!
And while I’m sure you know all the benefits of attracting your audience with awesome content, finding the right writer for the job isn’t easy:
- Is the writer familiar with your niche?
- Do their rates fit your budget?
- How are you even going to manage them?
Fortunately, you’ve got a friend in me, and today, I’ll show you exactly how to hire a content writer; from using online marketplaces and vetting writers, to leveraging content services to get amazing content in just a few days.
We’ve got this!
1. Direct Outreach and Referrals: How to Hire, Vet, and Manage a Content Writer
you can go your own way. In this particular case, I mean finding a particular writer you like somewhere online or getting a recommendation.
How to Find a Great Writer on Your Own
First, pay attention to the bylines in articles you read online. If the bio states that the author is a writer, look them up. Chances are, they have a website.
Alternatively, you could ask around for recommendations – especially if you have friends who operate in a niche similar to yours. They might have someone good they can recommend.
Finally, content writers are very – very – familiar with SEO, so looking up a term such as: “B2B content writers” or “[your niche] content writer” will result in lots of websites of writers who’ve done their optimization right.
How to Vet a Content Writer
When vetting a content writer, pay attention to:
- Their skill level
- Their experience
- Their reviews
Every good content writer has samples, i.e. portfolio, so make sure you get some coffee and dive into it to see who you could be working with. Pay attention to the flow, technical information, readability, grammar, and spelling.
(If their paragraphs are so long that you can barely focus, your audience won’t want to focus either.)
It really helps to work with a writer who has experience in your particular niche. I’m not saying that someone who’s spent a lot of time writing for B2B audiences won’t know what to do with a B2C article, but industry experience matters a lot when it comes to technical, legal, medical, and similar content pieces.
Communicating with Your Content Writer
Once you’ve found the right person, it’s time to talk details, AKA: budget and schedule.
When it comes to content writing, you’ll see all kinds of rates. From squint-and-ask-is-this-even-possible rates, to rates that will make you sputter and ask: “Am I in the right industry?”
Realistically, you can expect quality blog content to be at least $0.50/word, with more complex pieces that require niche knowledge and research reaching up to as much as $2/word.
So make sure you communicate about your scope, budget, and schedule thoroughly. Turnaround depends on every writer. If they need a few days for a 1,000-word piece, then you need to factor that into your decision. Volume also counts (but you’ll rarely get a discount).
(If this sounds bewildering, skip straight to the second section – using a content service.)
Some freelance writers charge per hour or offer flat fees. I recommend working out a flat fee with your writer after determining the scope of the project.
Ultimately, you want to be clear on what you’ll get, when you’ll get it, and how much you’ll pay. Make sure you sign a contract so you’re both protected.
All of this matters and it needs to be in your contract.
How to Manage a Content Writer
However, you should also agree on milestones (especially for longer projects) so you can review their work and course-correct if necessary.
Make sure you announce new content requests in time so they can adjust their schedule. Otherwise, you may not get your content in time. If possible, create a content calendar.
If you want to work with a writer on a regular basis, it’s not uncommon for them to insist on a retainer – a flat free that guarantees they’ll be available.
Of course, this only applies if you’re working with a highly professional content writer. Still, something might pop up, and they might not be able to deliver their content in time, so it’s a bit of a risk.
Checklist: How to Hire a Content Writer on Your Own
- Find a content writer: online, referrals, publications
- Vet a content writer: skills, experience, reviews
- Communicate: scope, budget, turnaround
- Manage: discuss specifics, create a content calendar, stay in touch
2. The Easiest Way to Hire a Content Writer: Content Services
If you want to get content without spending weeks trying to find the right person, vetting them, and making sure you’re on the same page, you can get your content through content services.
Some content services make the process unnecessarily complicated – you still have to go through the vetting song and dance, but you pay for it extra.
- Submit a content request with all the details
- ContentFly assigns the right (pre-vetted) content writer
- You receive your content in a few days!
If you need the writer to edit something, you can submit a revision request for free.
All you have to do to request content is fill out our content brief. The brief replaces hours of communication, long email threads, and countless Slack messages.
- Article title/summary (e.g. 10 Ways to Promote Your Business on Social Media)
- Length (e.g. 1000 words)
- Intent (e.g. Inform/describe)
- Style/tone (e.g. Friendly)
- Audience (e.g. Small business owners)
- Narrative perspective (e.g. 1st person plural – “We”)
- Dialect (e.g. US English)
- Type (e.g. Blog post)
- Description (e.g. Please write a listicle on 10 ways to promote small businesses on social media with examples!)
- Examples (add links to articles that you’d like your writer to emulate)
- References (add links to other content like studies and reports)
- SEO keywords (e.g. Small business marketing)
- Comments (e.g. Please use statistics from Forbes)
This way, you’ll give your ContentFly writer everything they need to know to write an awesome piece!
Do I Need to Vet and Manage ContentFly Writers?
Nope! We do it for you.
For example, if you’re looking for content about web development, your request will go to writers who have a technical background and wrote similar pieces in the past. We have hundreds of writers with different areas of expertise, so you’ll get the right person for the job.
Our team also pre-vets all the writers so you’re getting the top 1% of content writers.