Specialized content creation drives everything from brand building to inbound marketing campaigns. Hiring a team of full-time, in-house writers can be cost prohibitive, however. And given content demand fluctuations, your agency may still be stuck scrambling to source a specialized writer last minute for a new client. That’s why agencies are increasingly turning to freelancer content writers to fill the demand for specialized content production. From ghostwriting thought leadership articles to crafting compelling case studies, freelancers are a valuable, on-demand resource for specialized content needs.
As any agency account manager that’s tried to source a niche content writer last-minute knows, wading through the massive talent pool can be a job in and of itself. There are approximately 53 million freelancers in the United States with varied backgrounds, skill sets and content creation skills. Your agency’s marketing content is only as good as the strength of your content writing team. Whether you’re outsourcing work for the first time or got burned in the past, sourcing a team of talent content writer is never easy. This is especially true if your agency need writers with niche industry experience. Inevitably, you’ll end up sorting through a fair amount of mediocrity before finding that perfect writer. Here’s how to connect with the right writers.
1. Identify your needs. Approach hiring a specialized content writer just as you would approach hiring any other employee. Be clear about your needs: do you need a specific area of technical industry expertise? What about in-depth SEO knowledge? Will you be paying a flat project fee or per word? If your budget is tight, can you guarantee the writer a certain amount of work in exchange for a bulk discount? For example, working with a young, unproven writer can be a gamble, but you may just end up snagging top-level talent for pennies on the dollar. Assess your needs and write a clear job description in advance to guide the search process.
2. Tap your network. Ask people in your professional network for expert content writer recommendations. Head to LinkedIn and conduct a quick keyword search for “freelancer writer” and/or “content writer” along with your specific niche industry needs, such as “B2B small business speech writing” or “content marketing specialist.” Many writers include links to their online portfolios or sample pieces directly from LinkedIn so you can evaluate their work prior to reaching out.
3. Head directly to the source. Online freelance writer marketplaces, like WriterAccess, are one option for connecting with specialized writers who are already vetted for specific industries. Depending on the marketplace’s rules, content cost may already be fixed, removing the need to negotiate price with the writer. Search the sites to find vetted writers in your industry, read reviews, and set up a custom job to one writer or build your own writing team.
4. Reach out to your favorite writers. The next time you read a great article on a blog or magazine that aligns with your industry, take note of the author. Many sites, including Entrepreneur.com, FastCompany.com, Business Week, and The Wall Street Journal, solicit contributions from freelancers. Connect with your favorites on LinkedIn and reach out as the right job develops.
Erin M can be found hiking with her chocolate lab, exploring the nearest aquarium or art museum, or perfecting her secret cheesecake recipe.