With so many options, hiring a freelance writer can feel overwhelming. Or downright daunting. You know you want the benefits of on-demand custom content from an experienced pro, but you don’t know exactly where to begin.
Why not start with a content creation platform? The best content creation platforms feature tools to help you manage and enhance your content, along with freelancers to help you create it. But not all platforms are created equal, even when it comes to the available talent.
Some platforms may not have freelancers with the range or level of experience you need, while others may have a less-than-stringent screening process before they let the freelancers in. That’s why it’s a great idea to check into how the content solution you’re considering vets and supports its freelancers.
To help you get an idea of how we operate in WriterAccess, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the ways we make sure our writers are successful and our clients are satisfied – from the initial freelancer application all the way through to quality control.
The Initial Application
The first hoop involves the initial application. Freelancers must fill out an application to assess their skills, experience, and alignment with our talent pool. Here they must provide:
- Talent type, whether they’re a writer, editor, content strategist, graphic designer, or combination of any of the above.
- Profile/portfolio, which consists of at least two public web pages so we can review their professional work and experience. These can include a professional blog, portfolio page, LinkedIn profile, or other online content that provides details on their work.
- Resume that outlines even more details on their background.
- General experience, which includes:
- Level of education
- Number of years freelancing
- Number of freelance clients
- Number of freelance projects completed
- Industry experience, where they can select up to three options from our 91 industry categories
Writers applying to our site must be proficient in the English language and be able to verify their identity. They must also be based in one of the countries in which we have talent pools. These are the U.S. Australia, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand.
If freelancers pass the initial application process, they are assigned an initial star rating and expected to create a vibrant portfolio on our site.
All freelancers are assigned an initial star rating based on their experience and skill assessment, with the rating system running from two stars at the low end to six stars at the peak. The rating may go up or down, based on the freelancer’s performance on the platform and customer reviews of their work. All completed orders are scored by an algorithm, then supplemented by client feedback and blind editor ratings.
The higher the star rating, the higher the skill level.
Those striving to rise to the six star level are going to work hard to get there, while those already there work hard to maintain their place at the highest level.
Our star-rating system is helpful for both clients and freelancers.
For clients, the system lets them:
- Find freelancers that align with the skills they need and budget they have
- Send Crowd Orders to the right pool of talent
- Create Love Lists stocked with a team of skilled writers
- Remove guesswork and haggling with freelancers
For freelancers, star ratings allow them to:
- Confirm their skill and proficiency
- Establish a baseline pay rate for project consideration
- Have a starting point for selecting desired prices
- Remove guesswork and haggling with customers
For the record, star ratings apply to our writers as well as our editors, content strategists, designers, illustrators, and other freelancers on the platform.
A quick rundown on the description of writer star ratings is as follows:
2 Star: Two-star writers meet the minimum requirements on our screening test. They have a basic grasp of spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
3 Star: Most applicants fall into the three-star category, with basic yet informative work samples. They tend to understand style and tone as well as meet basic research and SEO experience requirements.
4 Star: Engaging samples and valuable experience are the hallmark of most of the four-star freelancers. They typically have an understanding of more complex editorial instructions and requirements.
5 Star: Five star freelancers are generally published content creators with proven abilities. You may find industry experts as well as writers who specialize in a certain type of writing, such as technical or copywriting.
6 Star: Freelancers with this top-tier rating exhibit top-tier skills. Six-star writing flows naturally, delivering delightful details and just the right touch of pizazz.
Assessment tests are another platform feature that help to ensure content creators are up to snuff. Once their initial application is approved, freelancers applying for writing-related gigs will be required to pass relevant assessment tests. These comprehensive tests are part of the vetting process, proving proficiency in a number of areas that can include:
- General writing
- And more
Writer Profiles and Portfolios
Once a writer has proven their mettle, WriterAccess helps them showcase it properly by building a strong profile on the WriterAccess platform. Writer profiles include:
- Professional headshot
- Summary of experience, specialties, interests, education, awards, honors, and certifications
- Industry experience, with a breakdown of work completed in in up to 91 different industry categories
- Content type experience, with a breakdown of work in up to 34 different types of content assets
- Elite status, which indicates specialized skills in certain areas
- Badges, which can be earned through advanced education on the platform
- Portfolio and writing samples
Writer portfolios are at the heart of the writer profiles, and writers do not appear in search results unless they’ve stocked their portfolios with captivating content and images.
Links to the actual published content are provided when available, as are tags to help customers quickly find writing samples and examples they may wish to review.
The team at WriterAccess works to ensure each person’s portfolio is complete and as up-to-date as possible. A strong portfolio is a must for writers and a big perk for clients. It allows customers to:
- Get a good feel for a writer’s abilities, writing style, and topics covered
- Find writers that match their industry and brand personality
- Review examples of work from writers of all levels and backgrounds, not just those with the greatest amount of content created on the platform
- Check out live examples of work on the sites where it was published, providing additional insights into the type of publications with which the writer is aligned
Easily-Accessed Ongoing Training
WriterAccess Academy offers advanced education so the people in our platform can continually develop their expertise. All of our content creators (and customers!) have access and are highly encouraged to attend. This member-only learning portal is available on-demand to earn a Content Strategy Certification, which comes with a badge writers can showcase on their profile page.
Earning your Content Strategy Certification involves:
- 55 hours of training
- Mastering the six pillars of content marketing: content planning, creation, optimization, distribution, performance, and comedy
- Resources that include downloads, guides, and the Content Strategy Masterclass book and workbook
- Passing six tests, one for each pillar module
In addition to the Certification, WriterAccess Academy serves up world-class training with hundreds of recordings from our annual Content Marketing Conference. More than 15,000 attendees tapped into the know-how of 200 speakers over the years, with sessions that range from using emojis and memes in brand marketing to engaging on social media.
In short, free access to WriterAccess Academy gives our pool of writers what they need to stay on top of their game. And the savviest tend to take advantage of this.
Podcasts and Webinars
Another way writers can stay on top of industry changes and new innovations is with WriterAccess podcasts and webinars. WriterAccess founder Byron White has been on the leading edge of the content marketing revolution since it began, and he remains at the forefront by consistently connecting with industry gurus.
Byron has hosted hundreds of podcasts and webinars, which are free to writers—and anyone else who wants learning to be an ongoing part of doing business. Both feature industry leaders that cover the hottest content marketing topics.
Ongoing Performance Summary
With a lineup of tools, training sessions, and support on the platform, our goal is to help every writer excel. Monitoring performance can help take that excellence to the next level, providing ongoing incentive and stepping in if they need extra help.
Our platform algorithm scores all completed assignments, delivering an ongoing performance summary for each creator. If a freelancer starts racking up too many violations for late deliveries, poor content or other infractions, penalties can ensue.
The performance summary looks at content quality, performance averages, customer reviews, and more to determine how they are performing and where they may need support.
These evaluations impact how writers are able to interact with the platform, and serve as a strong metric for quality control – and for writer support.
With a lineup of tools, training sessions, and support on the platform, our goal is to help every writer excel.
Writers can review their performance report any time they wish to make sure they’re on track and address any issues before they turn into problems.
Perhaps the backbone of success for writers on WriterAccess is having access to help and guidance when they need it. Customers receive project managers who can oversee and play as much of a role in the process as the customer desires. These managers can likewise work directly with writers to guide them in creating remarkable work.
A talent manager is also part of the WriterAccess staff, taking on the role of answering questions, providing guidance, and otherwise ensuring our freelance talent gets what it needs to succeed.
Additional freelance resources and tools are available to support writers and help them do their best. These include:
- A comprehensive help center, with FAQs and video tutorials
- Access to a range of platform tools designed to enhance the content creation process, such as Copyscape and language graders
- Talent Spotlight, a monthly feature highlighting and promoting select talent
Building Success on WriterAccess
Success is the name of the game for WriterAccess—and we strive to do all we can to ensure both our freelancers and our customers enjoy lots of it. That’s why our training and tools are available to everyone using the platform.
It’s also why we go above and beyond when it comes to vetting, guiding, and supporting our talent. Without our pool of professional freelancers, our content creation platform would not thrive. Heck, it would not even exist.
The stronger our talent base, the better our content services are going to be. We start with the strongest applicants and then give them what they can use to grow even bigger and better from there. Now that you have a snapshot behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a content creator at WriterAccess, it’s time to get a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a customer. Start now with a free trial; give our exceptional content creators a whirl for yourself.