For many small business owners, having an ‘online presence’ means investing in a website and nothing more. However, in today’s economy, digital marketing has quickly become a necessary cost for the long-term success of an enterprise. In 2016, the most successful small businesses invested $500-$2000 a month in digital marketing agencies alone, an expense that some entrepreneurs can’t justify. So what do small businesses do if they can’t afford an in-house writing team or a marketing agency? The most affordable solution is to hire out freelance writers.
Why Hiring Freelance Writers is the best alternative
Small businesses are hesitant to hire freelance writers because of the intrinsic risks of hiring someone you don’t know. Is the candidate dependable? Can they finish the job? Are they worth the pay? While these are valid concerns, hiring freelancers gets easier once you realize the benefits they bring to the table. Here are 3 reasons why you should hire freelance writers:
1) It’s Cost Efficient and Will Save You Time: Funding an in-house writing team is expensive (the average salary per hour for an in-house content writer is $26!), whereas freelance writers are hired out per assignment. The other incentive for hiring freelance writers is that it saves you time. Hire writers to take care of things like SEO research, email marketing, and content strategy so that you can focus on running your business.
2) Find Experts in Your Industry: No matter your industry, there will always be writers out there particularly suited for your needs. Finding these qualified niche writers will save you time, since they already possess the know-how and experience to write content that will appeal to your audience and increase your traffic.
3) Quality and Flexibility: Do you need a few blog posts? How about landing page copy to launch a new product? These one-off projects are ideal jobs for freelancers, especially when you have a tight deadline. Depending on the job and the amount you’re willing to pay, you can always find dependable writers who will deliver quality content.
How to Write a Job Post that Will Attract Top Freelancers
So you’ve arrived at the conclusion that you need to hire a freelance writer. This, however, can prove more difficult than it seems. Here are three tips to writing a job post that will attract the best freelance writers:
1) Provide Clear Job Specs: An effective job post will answer a freelancer’s immediate questions. Here are some things to include:
- Project duration (is it long-term or short-term?)
- Are you paying by word, hour, or project?
- Is pay negotiable upon hiring?
- What’s the deadline?
- What’s the word count?
- What industry are you in?
Another important aspect of writing website content is tone. Does your target market demand a journalistic approach, or are you looking for something more conversational? Be specific in your job post about what you want, as this will determine which writers apply.
Lastly, mention formatting expectations. Do you expect your ideal candidate to be well-versed in WordPress? Do they submit content on Microsoft Word or Google Docs? Clear up this minutiae, as it will save you time down the road.
2) Give Clear Requirements: You’re likely to receive a ton of applications. In order to sift through them quickly and pinpoint the best writer, it’s best to have a streamlined screening process. Ask for a resume, writing samples, or their portfolio. To see how they would handle your content, ask to see 3-5 outlined pitches. This will help you gauge what a writer is capable of and determine if they are the right fit.
3) Offer Future Work if Possible: Freelancers like consistency, so if you mention that a job could turn into a long-term gig, you’re more likely to find solid, dependable writers. Start by offering a short-term project and reward the writers you are most impressed with.
Hiring freelance writers can be a major cost cut if you know what you are doing. Be careful about who you hire, and reward those who are efficient and thorough; you will reap the benefits in time.