How to Vet Freelance Content Creators

Writing is both an art and a science. It takes years of practice to develop the skill. It’s also highly subjective and malleable. The type of writing you need for one industry may not work well for another audience—and some writers are better than others when it comes to relating to specific audiences. Writing for a law firm, for example, is very different from writing a fashion piece.

To top it off, writing a book or news article is simply not the same as writing website content, a blog post, or a white paper. Every type of writing requires a slightly different voice and structure.

As a business owner, thought leader, or entrepreneur, you likely don’t have the time or energy to devote to developing your content writing skills. So you look to content creators who can do what you need, whether that is creating a blog post or a white paper. The same can be said about virtually any other creative—from designers and editors to illustrators and photographers.

If you get the wrong freelancer, outsourcing creative work can feel like more trouble than it’s worth. You have to devote significant time to editing, revising, and continuing to work with the freelancer. It’s so much simpler to use a content creator who just gets it.

How do you find this person? It might be easier than you think.

The Value of Vetting Freelancers

Having a freelancer who is in sync with what you need is extremely valuable. When you have the right person, they will get things done faster and more efficiently than you ever could have accomplished on your own or with your internal team.

The right person just—works. They don’t create headaches; they meet deadlines, and they consistently deliver as promised. Having someone like that on your team allows you to focus on other matters, knowing that your content creation is in the right hands.

Working with a content creator should never be harder than creating content on your own.  It should make your life easier.

If you’re struggling to find the right content creator for what you need, or the freelancers you have used in the past just aren’t cutting it, your vetting process might need a bit of work.

What to Review as Part of the Vetting Process

Just like hiring an employee, you need to know a freelancer’s background. You can start by collecting information.

  • Get an overview of their experience
  • Ask if they are comfortable with a specific topic or catering to a certain audience
  • Ask about their general writing or presentation style
  • Determine the process they use when working with clients

Understanding all of this upfront will set expectations about what you want and how you want it delivered.

Samples of similar work can be extremely helpful. You can ask the freelancer to point you to previously published work or provide unpublished samples. A writing sample that responds to a prompt, for example, can be a good way to ensure a writer provides authentic samples they created on their own. 

You can also have them start small—use a test piece to see if they are the right fit. While you will have to pay the freelancer for this work, it can be a great way to determine if this is the right person for a larger job.

But before you go that far…

The basics are important. If you’re hiring a writer, you want someone who knows how to write. If you’re hiring a designer, you want someone who has skills that go beyond Microsoft Paint. 

So how do you ensure the freelancers you are considering have the basics down pat? Take a look at how WriterAccess assesses our freelancers for some tips and ideas for direction..

Overview of WriterAccess’s Vetting Process

Application Process

At WriterAccess, every freelancer first goes through an application process. If their application is accepted, they are further tested and scrutinized to get a feel for their skills. For example, writers go through a series of tests to ensure they have basic skills  related to grammar, syntax, spelling, and more.

In short, WriterAccess creates barriers to entry that prevent content creators who aren’t up to snuff from  being included on the platform. This internal vetting process gives customers a head start for choosing skilled freelancers which might be a good fit.

When conducting your own vetting, you might similarly develop some questions and short aptitude tests to augment candidates’ resumes and allow them to display their skill levels. 

Rankings and Reviews

WriterAccess then rates writers and other content creators based on star levels. Each star represents a different level of skill and experience. Writers are assigned a star rating when they first join the WriterAccess, and their rating can be adjusted periodically to reflect client input and their ongoing development on the platform.

Clients can also provide reviews and endorsements so other customers can get an idea of how well a particular freelancer has performed in the past.

Keeping a detailed log of freelancer performance is a great way for a company to make sure they are using the perfect talent for the right assignment.

Some Bonus Benefits to Working with a Platform

If you don’t have time to manage your freelancers in-house, a content platform is a great way to get the legwork done for you, plus reap some additional rewards. Here are a couple of the benefits WriterAccess clients can capitalize on to make their lives easier:

Certifications and Continued Learning

WriterAccess encourages its freelancers to continue learning and developing their skills by enrolling in WriterAccess Academy. This online learning portal is available to WA freelancers and subscribers alike, and writers are encouraged to dive into its resources to take their skills to the next level.

In addition to hundreds of video sessions from content marketing pros, WA Academy also includes a Content Strategy MasterClass Certification Program. This training program includes 55 hours of training and a test after each of the six modules. Freelancers who pass the tests  get a badge to display on their profiles.

WriterAccess has additional badges writers can showcase to indicate experience levels and specializations. Industry elite badges are available in any of the 91 industry categories listed on the platform, such as legal, real estate, self help, finance, money, marketing, and home living making finding a creator who knows your industry like the back of their hand easy. 

Homing In on the Right Fit: Taking Vetting to the Next Level

WriterAccess also provides an AI-powered writer search that analyzes text to find a writer who writes in the style and tone you need. With access to millions of words of content, the search tool runs through all of the samples to find a writer who aligns with what you need. It’s traditional writer vetting on steroids.

Freelancer Vetting In A Nutshell

Vetting freelancers sometimes takes a few wrong moves to realize what you want and what you don’t want. Many clients have trouble conveying the type of writing or other services they need, making the vetting process much more challenging.

You should start your search with an internal analysis. Consider what elements are most important to you:

  • How much and what kind of experience should the freelancer have?
  • What style and tone do you want? 
  • What kind of research is appropriate? 
  • How much control do you want over the whole process?

Understanding these questions at the outset will make the process much easier—and WriterAccess can certainly help, too. With an internal vetting process, ongoing freelancer reviews, advanced searches, and a pool of more than 20,000 content creators, the WA platform puts experienced freelancers at your fingertips. Check it out now with a free trial.

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