How To Hire a Freelance Writer

Are you in need of advertising copy for a print marketing campaign or perhaps a customer brochure?  Are you launching a web site and need compelling copy to fill the pages?  Do you have a board meeting that's fast approaching and need a motivating speech?  You need a freelance writer.  How do you find a writer who is skilled at your particular type of writing?  Where do you look?  Consider the following:
 

  1. Determine Your Needs.  Before you go looking for a freelance writer, sit down for a minute and determine exactly what type of writing you are seeking.  Writers specializing in different forms of writing will be found using different sources.  Decide whether you are looking for marketing copy, web content or technical writing.  Does your writing job require someone with specialized knowledge, even a degree, in a certain field?  Again, this will determine where to look for your writer.

Also, set the basic parameters of your writing job.  How many pages of what length do you need?  How soon do you need them?  That information will help the writer bid accurately on your job and determine whether she has the time available to complete it. The more information you can give your writer, the smoother the transaction will be.

  • Search Online.  The advent of the Internet has made it very easy for writers to market their services.  No longer are you limited to writers in your home city or region; you can hire a writer in London, in California, or in Australia just as easily.

    Sources for those seeking freelance writers online include bidding sites, such as Elance.com and Guru.com.  Both of these web sites bring writers and project managers together.  You outline the project on the site and interested writers send you proposals.  Such sites also offer buyers (and writers) a degree of protection against fraud, since all payments are handled via the site.  On larger projects, you can even have the funds held in escrow until you approve the finished work.

    In addition to bidding sites, popular writers' web sites, such as AbsoluteWrite.com, FreelanceWriting.com, and WritersWrite.com feature classified listings for member writers.

  • Search Offline.  To find a writer locally, contact a local writers' group.  Most cities have social and professional groups for freelance writers.  Regional writing magazines are another source to find a local writer.  Plus, don't rule out asking your friends and acquaintances for a recommendation.  As with most services, a satisfied customer is the best advertisement.  If your project requires specialized knowledge, consider contacting a local college placement office for a recommendation.
  • Agree on Terms...in Writing.  Once you find and hire a writer, make sure that you both understand the terms.  Outline in an e-mail or memo the scope of the writing project, the deadline, payment details, and the number of revisions included in the price.  Having no surprises is best for both parties.
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