The Cost of Creativity: Hiring a Freelance Writer

Cost of CreativityNavigating the waters to hire freelance writers can seem confusing and complicated if you have never done it before. But with a little information, and a clear idea of the content you want, you can successfully hire the right person for the job, at a price you can afford. To decide on the best solution for your company, you must first ask yourself some questions:

  • What kind of writing do I want done?
  • Is this a single project or an ongoing project?
  • How much money do I have budgeted for this?
  • What results do I want to see from this?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you have a jumping off point. Now you have to select the best payment method for the content you want written. According to About.com‘s freelance writing guide, Allena Tapia, there are five basic ways freelance writers charge.  The best option from the list will be based on the questions you answered at the beginning of the article, the budget you have available, and the current fair market value. When trying to determine fair market value, keep in mind that most freelance writers will not be experts on your particular business, and time will be spent researching your industry and carrying out revisions.

  1. Retainer – Hiring by retainer means that you hire the writer for a set number of hours per time period, such as a month. Pay is based on hours worked, and you pay them on a regular schedule, such as weekly or monthly.
  2. Pay per word – This works well for when you have a set length and set parameters for a job.
  3. Pay by the hour – When a project is not well defined, research is needed, or if a project is ongoing without a set deadline, this could be the best option.
  4. Pay per page – Similar to paying per word, this works well for longer projects, where the details are well defined, and a firm deadline is set. However, it is important to clarify the definition of a page before work starts.
  5. Pay per project – This is one of the most common ways of determining pay. A set fee is determined before work starts, and payment is made upon completion of the project.

The last perimeters that need to be set will not only help you get the results you are looking for, but will also help the freelance writer deliver those results. Those factors include deadlines, length of project, how many revisions allowed, keywords you would like to appear in the project, style you want the project done in, copyright ownership, how communication will be handled, and rejected content. Setting these terms and conditions in advance can help keep everyone on the same page.

Hiring freelance writers may seem complicated, but once you see the benefits from finding the best writer for the job, the effort will be worth it.

Kimberly F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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