Of all the trends that are transforming the modern market, few have had a more profound effect than the rise of the Gig Economy. Companies are increasingly enlisting workers to complete specific jobs, rather than hiring them as permanent members of their staff. This arrangement saves firms money, lets workers spread their skills far and wide, and affords greater flexibility for both parties. Writers are particularly likely to be involved in the Gig Economy, as there is little need for them to work in a particular location or at specific times. If you want to hire freelance writers for your company, the following guide will help you do so without issue:
Step 1: Define Your Ideal Writer
Hiring freelance writers always begins with deciding what kinds of writers you want on your staff. Not only are some freelancers better at writing than others, but even writers with the same general skill level have different strengths in specific areas. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for in terms of:
- Topical Training– Decide ahead of time what topics you want your writers to cover, and then determine what expertise they’ll need to do so. Some topics require formal training to write about effectively, while with others, the writers need only have practical experience.
- Writing Expertise– In addition to training on specific topics, you must decide what kind of general writing expertise your writers need to have. If they’re writing journalistic content, for example, you may need them to have a degree in journalism or experience working in a newsroom. Likewise, if they’re writing content designed to boost your company’s search engine rank, you should look for writers with Google AdWords certification or some other SEO writing qualification.
- Length of Service– Sometimes, you’ll only need freelance writers for one or two jobs. But in many cases, you’ll want to establish a long-term relationship with your writers and return to them regularly for new content. You should know beforehand how long you want the relationship to last.
The better you define the types of freelancers you’re looking for, the more confident you can be that they’ll get the job done right. This leads to fewer mistakes and issues once they’re on your team.
Step 2: Set Precise Parameters
Once you know the general type of writers you want to hire, you need to set specific expectations for them with each assignment. These expectations include:
- Pricing Structure– How much are you willing to pay for each article, and how do you want that pay to be organized? Depending on how you hire writers, you may end up paying per word, per hour, or a flat rate for the overall job. Decide which payment model you want to use, and then set a maximum acceptable rate.
- Content Length– How long do you want each piece of content to be? You’ll likely want different lengths for different types of content; whitepapers and ebooks, for example, are much longer than articles and blog posts. But you should know how long each form of content needs to be.
- Completion Time– How long are you willing to give your writers to complete each assignment? As with these other parameters, set different expectations for assignments of different lengths and complexity levels.
It’s critical that you define these parameters before you select freelance writers. This way, you can be upfront with prospective writers about what you expect out of them. You can then narrow your search to freelancers who are sure they can meet these expectations.
Step 3: Find a Forum
Having defined your expectations and ideal writers, the final stage of writer exploration is to select a forum where you can hire freelancers. Make sure the forum you choose:
- Offers Broad Access– Look for a forum that offers access to large numbers of writers with myriad skill sets. This way, not only will you have plenty of options for finding the specific kinds of writers you’re looking for, but if you ever need to hire other types of writers, you can find them as well.
- Fuses General & Tailored Offers– Most forums let you post general job offers that all writers can see. But ideally, you should also be able to advertise to specific writers with particular skills. One way to do this is by posting casting calls, or applications that writers can fill out for you to see. Find a forum that gives you this option.
- Charges Fair Rates– All forums charge some sort of fee for you to use their services; often, this is calculated as a percentage of what you pay your writers. Make sure the fee on the forum you choose is reasonable, so that you don’t have to break the bank just to pay your writer what they deserve.
For more information on freelance writer selection and other tips to take advantage of the Gig Economy, contact WriterAccess today.
Andrew S is skilled in academic, journalistic, and promotional writing, as well as historical and political research, Search Engine Optimization, social media marketing, and Google AdWords advertising. He is proficient in Portuguese and Spanish, and literate in French.