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Finding suitable authors for content projects is not always an easy task. Of course, in an ideal world, your words would just flow through the keys and you would be able to write high-quality content yourself, including SEO-compliant content. But you probably have neither the time nor the skills required for the job. In fact, you probably have more than enough on your plate already, and would much prefer to outsource your copywriting.

So this detailed guide is designed to help you search for independent authors and offers some invaluable advice on how to collaborate successfully with a freelance writer.

An ability to write in a style that informs or entertains, interprets complex issues or triggers an interest in a compelling offer, is a talent in itself. Not many writers can do that. So, from literally thousands of freelance copywriters, editors, proofreaders, and copy editors, how do you find that one person who understands your sector, can follow your instructions to the letter, and writes great content?

What’s on this page:

 

  • The advantages of working with freelance writers
  • An overview of the different kinds of content
  • Where to look for a freelance content writer
  • The characteristic features of a good author
  • How to set up your briefing
  • An illustration of authors’ and editors’ fees

 
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How could professional writers help you?


One of the most important reasons for hiring professional copywriters is the time-saving for you and your business. Let’s say you run a fashion blog and regularly jet around the world from one fashion show to another. You have some great images, a wealth of experience and fantastic ideas for a host of articles. But your job barely leaves you time to gather all those impressions into meaningful posts that will captivate your audience.

So that could then become the responsibility of freelance copywriters you can brief and supply with your material, who can then provide a constant stream of new content for your pages. When looking for writers, you should, of course, make sure your chosen copywriters are reasonably familiar with the subject matter they are to write about. However, current sector knowledge is not needed in every instance, because a good freelance writer for hire can quickly become familiar with many new topics. In addition, the writing style employed should not only meet your approval; above all, it should appeal to your website visitors and match the language and lifestyle of your target audience.

You will gain a lot of time, because motivated and experienced writers for hire can also help you with the planning and organisation of your offer. And where you’re happy to allow it, an external freelance copywriter can bring a touch of fresh air to your project. Anyone constantly engaged with the same business can sometimes no longer see the wood for the trees and may become blind to new innovations. So if your freelancer has a good idea, don’t be too proud to give it a try.

A professional writer will provide you with expert content which is perfectly tailored. Once you’ve found the perfect partner, all you have to do is plan your projects and properly brief your freelance copywriter – all the hassle of content writing, and possibly even generating aspects of content, will be off your shoulders. The finer details of how to hire freelance writers and how to brief a freelance content writer are discussed further down this page.

An overview of the different kinds of content


Here are some of the most common types of content which are often delegated to professional writers for hire.
 

Copywriting – the classic advertising content

The writing of classic advertising content is traditionally referred to as copywriting. A “copy” can be a headline, a slogan or a complete text. And since modern content marketing (inbound-marketing) has already moved far beyond conventional advertising principles, we would define all active advertising content as copywriting.

Copywriting

Direct mail is usually about vigorously promoting salient features of products or special offers and discounts. These all have to be sold. Persuasive content is often designed to evoke lifestyle aspirations or arouse a reader’s desire to belong to a particular group. This kind of content may imply, for example, that the purchase of a certain product can solve a personal problem or significantly improve one’s standard of living.

However, this form of advertising copy usually falls short of addressing the consumer’s actual needs. And the volume of pushy advertising content available also means that users perceive direct mail to be relatively untrustworthy; thus, such content is often ignored. Classic copywriting is therefore increasingly being replaced by inbound marketing, with customer benefits to the fore and advertising taking a back seat. However, direct advertising copies are still much in demand, especially in the print sector, for example, in brochures and catalogues.

Website and blog content

The Internet is the most important medium of our time. The way web page or blog content is written differs significantly from traditional print content. In addition to readability, originality and a high level of information content, a freelance writer on the web must also consider other factors.

Blog Content

On the one hand, the visible content conceals a data structure of HTML, CSS, Javascript and other coding languages, which is read by browsers to display content on computers, tablets or mobile phone displays. This is the text formatting. A freelance copywriter working on your website content should at least have an understanding of basic HTML to set tags and hyperlinks. HTML tags, for instance, indicate the size of headlines, define bold or italic text, and separate paragraphs.

On the other hand, web content must also be optimised for search engines so that your users can find them among millions of other web posts. A capable freelance writer for hire will use relevant keywords which search engines like Google are looking for and integrate them within the content. To achieve a high search engine ranking, your content should provide the reader with real value and in-depth information. Search engines can now recognise whether content is written informatively or just randomly stuffed with keywords. Not all professional writers for hire are SEO experts. That’s why you should do your keyword- and audience analysis in advance.

Content marketing

Content marketing texts are also web content. But here the emphasis is on high-quality content explicitly written to create interest and increase brand reach. This form of content marketing, which is also known as inbound marketing, is all about the art of winning new customers without having to resort to direct mail.

Inbound Marketing

Instead, the content created is grounded in the everyday lives of users and directly addresses their current problems. This could be articles or blog posts which inform, guide or entertain your audience. If a reader finds items on your website which are useful, he will be much more willing to look at your other offers and maybe even become a customer. As already mentioned above, search engines also determine the information content of a text and evaluate other activities on your site, such as clicks and length of stay.

Landing pages are Internet pages set up for a very specific purpose. They often contain marketing or other kinds of detailed information. Such web pages usually contain a lot of text – perhaps three to four thousand words or more. Any freelance writer creating a landing page must be able to break down complex issues to make them understandable, useful and entertaining for your readers.

E-book content

E-book content is usually quite substantial and can run to several hundred pages depending on the topic and the purpose. Professional writers who specialise in this form of writing can help you with selected passages or even write a whole book in accordance with your instructions.

E-books

Ghostwriting for talks and speeches

Delivering a formal speech which inspires your colleagues, business partners or customers is everyone’s dream. But writing the script for such speeches can be a real nightmare, even for many gifted speakers. So it’s hardly a coincidence that professional speech-writers are in high demand. And here, there must be close collaboration concerning the details of the arrangement, because speeches are usually associated with a specific event, and such absolute deadlines make the task more difficult.

Speech Writing

Proofreading


Impeccable spelling is the primary requirement for professional proofreading. But it concerns much more than just finding writing or typing errors. A good editor also checks a text for accuracy, readability and any potential for improvement. Proofreaders are usually skilled authors who can rewrite or polish up individual passages or complete texts of any length, to meet your requirements. And many modest writers have made real progress by working with such professional writers. You can learn a lot and improve your writing skills by having your texts externally edited. However, using an independent proofreader only makes sense if you have to process a large volume of text – for example, if you want to self-publish a book.

 
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Where can you find Freelance Writers?


Word of mouth recommendation is one good way to find an author. But if no one in your network knows a proven freelance writer for hire with the right skills for your project, then you’ll need to find a copywriter yourself. There are various online and offline sources you can use.

If you need industry-specific content, which relatively few people would be familiar with, you could try approaching a specialist technical editor. Trade journals will often employ a freelance content writer with a good knowledge of the industry, but whose editorial skills may be under-used. Many of these authors would welcome the opportunity to earn a little extra on other projects.

A variety of professional writers for hire – both amateur and professional – publish guides and other texts on Amazon or other self-publishing portals. Here, you will find numerous specialist authors on various topics, and some may be happy to accept commissions from you.

Bloggers love to write – many earn their living by doing so, and even become prominent influencers. While obtaining the services of a celebrity blogger would be very expensive, many “lesser” bloggers may well be willing to put their expertise to work. And it costs nothing to ask.

Social networks are like a rich buffet menu – you’ll find professionals as well as talented amateurs there. Some expressly offer their services through their Facebook business profile, and you may discover some hidden talent here. Another significant advantage of these networks is that you make numerous contacts, and will get to know other entrepreneurs who may be able to recommend some good writers for hire.
 
Find Freelance Writers
 
Numerous advertising agencies ranging from one-person businesses to international agencies, offer content services. The bigger the agency, the more you should expect to pay. So if you have a substantial advertising budget available for content creation, it may be worth hiring a professional content agency. Note that the agency’s generalised references won’t mention anything about the abilities of specific copywriters. Thus you have fewer prior opportunities to choose who you contact than when searching for a freelance writer for hire.

Some online platforms offer both amateurs and professionals the opportunity to register as a freelance copywriter and to write commissions for clients from a variety of industries. Freelance writers for hire are evaluated according to a regulated system and receive appropriate payment for their work. The concept has been well-proven in recent years, and these portals handle tens of thousands of text jobs annually. Textbroker is currently the largest platform for brokering and processing content services in the UK.

How do you recognise a good freelance content writer?


Even if recommendations from reliable partners in your network may help you to hire a writer for your content writing, you should still know what constitutes a good author. You can check for some important initial clues during your search to find an author.

Online presence

During the first stage of your quest to hire a writer, you will often discover their Internet presence. Perhaps the copywriter’s good reputation will lead you there, or you may have discovered their homepage via Google Search. Those who earn money through their content writing should also display sample texts and information on their website.

Freelancer Website

How does the freelance writer describe himself, his aims and his achievements? Are there any testimonials and work samples available?
These will give you some initial insight into whether the author’s style is well received. To gather more opinions, you could read the sample texts aloud to get an objective opinion from those around you.

A freelance copywriter’s testimonials will also help you judge his abilities. A volume of good references indicates that an author’s content captures the attention of his audience. And the more influential the listed clients, the higher the price a freelance content writer will ask.

When looking to hire a writer, remember to also check the sector knowledge that the author claims to have. Does this include the area of expertise you require? If there is no information, this should be one of the first points to be clarified when you make contact.

In fact, busy professional writers for hire may be working with a relatively old website. Some self-employed people who are in great demand have to deal with so many orders they may have to neglect their own website maintenance. So don’t base your decision on this factor alone.
 

The communication

Once you find a copywriter and get in touch, the quality of that communication will give you further clues as to whether the chemistry is right. Being mutually sympathetic can be very helpful, but in a professional relationship, it’s not essential. Above all, it’s important that your content writing service provider listens to you and can quickly gather all the relevant information required to complete the order. Even if the first contact takes place via e-mail or contact form, a personal conversation should mark the start of any business relationship.

Communication with Freelancers

When a copy editor, advertising copywriter or journalist sends you a quote, make sure you understand all the agreed terms and conditions. If a freelance writer for hire obviously makes little effort to explain his pricing and way of working, it’s usually better to spend a little more time on looking for writers to find the right partner.

So ask yourself if your author has been helpful. Is he or she advising you in your best interests, or just trying to push for the highest possible price? High-quality content writers who care about their clients show initiative, point out possible snags in good time, and often have some valuable ideas which could benefit your whole company.
 

Working together

Once the collaboration has got underway, look closely at the author’s first words. You may even read them aloud to get a better sense of readability and fluency. Pay attention to the quality of the research and whether the content offers the reader any added value. Once again, it can help to involve those around you and get a neutral person to read a sample.

Cooperation

Evaluate the work in terms of the chosen topic and medium. Informative content is intended to empower the reader and impart knowledge, whereas advertising copy emphasises the actual advantages of a product. And while product descriptions can often be quite dry and technical, a more relaxed style of speech can be employed in web content for online communities. In other words, your content writing must be appropriate for your target audience. So check the user feedback as well as monitoring statistics such as the number of views and length of stay, or how often articles have been shared on social media. Good content leads to conversions, more traffic on your website and an improved search engine ranking.

 
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The briefing: How it works with a freelance copywriter


The briefing should specify exactly how your freelancer should write the content. So you must provide clear and comprehensive instructions to ensure your freelance content writer understands what is required. It’s important to explain all the factual detail with precision – and where there’s any doubt, you should explain in layman’s terms. Misunderstandings can develop quickly if you’re trapped in your own bubble and perhaps forget the other person lacks vital information required to understand some technical terms or implied instructions. Remember your expertise, which you have accumulated over the years, must first be understood by your service provider.

Planning Guide: How much does it cost to hire a freelance copywriter?


The pricing of creative services, such as professional writing, is very specific. But to get a better idea of what professional writers for hire may cost, we will assume for the sake of simplicity that you want to hire a writer exclusively for the task of writing content. In many cases, creative service providers will also include images and graphics, as well as some administrative tasks.

So the first question is what exactly is expected of your freelance writer. The scope and quantity of the texts you want written is also important. For instance, do you want to use a freelance content writer for projects or on a longer-term basis?

How good must your content be? If you just want some flyers for discos or flea markets within a specific region, then you may be able to accept a few spelling mistakes. However, if you require high-quality content for your business, you really should hire a writer who is a professional with an extensive vocabulary and excellent spelling.

So, when looking for writers, it depends on how and where a text is to be employed. If you are a small business owner who wants website content, it will initially reach fewer people than, for example, a guest article published on a large media portal. While elaborately researched technical articles with a broad coverage invariably push up the price, simple tasks which don’t demand any prior knowledge can be produced at a relatively fixed price. Creating article descriptions for an online shop does not necessarily have to be done by a highly qualified (and thus expensive) freelance copywriter.

This brings us to the question of how common are the skills required to complete your assignment. For example, if you are dealing with difficult, scientific texts, only a recognised subject authority could be entrusted with the writing. And the price for the services of such experts will usually increase according to how sought-after they are. Most good copywriters can get used to less complex topics quite quickly, and professional writers for hire with a journalistic background are especially good at this. The more research effort involved, the greater the impact this will have on the price.

Will the content appear online or in a print medium? Online content is often quite durable because articles can remain on the web virtually indefinitely. So, if you had written the ultimate guide to removing wine stains from upholstery ten years ago, that post could still generate visits to your site today. By contrast, social media posts on sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter usually have only a brief half-life, but when used correctly, they can result in many enquiries.

Print media may be less important today than it was a few years ago, yet millions still read newspapers, magazines and books. Print copies can be brochures, flyers or books (including foreword and cover texts). Freelance journalists also write editorial articles for everything from daily newspapers to glossy magazines, and the value of print-media content also depends on its circulation. For instance, the mass-market sports magazine “kicker” is read by far more people than the exclusive hunting journal “Jagd & Hund”. On the other hand, there are certainly more freelancers able to write football texts than authors with genuine hunting knowledge.

Finally, you should decide how much money you want to spend on getting your content written by freelance writers. You will have to negotiate the exact price with your freelance content writer, taking into account the factors mentioned above. Certain rates have become established among professional writers for hire which you can use as a guide in negotiating a price for your content writing.

Possible guidelines for freelance writers’ fees

 
Freelance Writer Payment
 
Professional copywriters and journalists generally accept the following billing options:
 

  • Billing per word:
    especially recommended for individual orders. The word count is a constant value you can use to measure the work done, even when there are different font sizes. While text work online can be offered at a rate of one cent per word or less, the rates for competent writers tend to start off in the eight to twelve cents range.

  • Billing per line:
    also favoured by many writers and freelance journalists, the price per line usually runs from one to two euros upwards. Once again, the type of order and the competence of the freelance copywriter will influence the price calculation. Setting a fair price per line means adhering to a fixed standard. So, for example, you could specify that all texts in DIN A4 format be written in an Arial font with a font size of 10 points. But do let the freelance content writer have a say in this too.

  • Billing per individual text:
    Sometimes, it is easier for all involved just to agree on a fixed price for every article. For example, when content of about the same length with predictable input is required regularly. Those writers with whom you have already established a good working relationship will usually be happy with such arrangements.

  • Billing by the hour:
    Many copywriters and larger agencies charge for their services by the hour, with the rate varying between 50 to 200 euros or more dependent upon the project and the provider. However, time tracking can sometimes be difficult with solo freelancers. As an external client, when you hire a content writer you have virtually no idea how that service provider spends his time. So it may be necessary to arrange a few trial orders at a fixed price as a means of getting to know a new writer.

  • A fixed price for completed projects:
    Where there is an extensive task, but the effort involved is easy to estimate, you could offer a fixed price for the entire project. You could then negotiate the exact figure with your freelance writer, taking into account the above points.

 

While extensive trial contracts are paid at a proportion of the going rate, many authors also offer smaller sample copies free of charge. To preserve a good working relationship, it’s never advisable to exploit the goodwill of freelance authors in trial contracts.

Many professional writers can be flexible in their pricing and thus willing to make separate arrangements for individual clients. Anyone who creates high-quality content for you will, of course, also want to be well paid. Thus, the price must be acceptable to both sides, so your collaboration has a firm footing.

You should also consider your internal costs – which, and how many, staff will work together with your freelance writers or deal with in-house content creation? Of course, if you are a trader, then it is simply your own time spent hiring and briefing a freelance writer. But once you have managed to find a copywriter, this task should become lighter as the collaboration develops.

Should you use a contract? You should perhaps decide whether it is necessary to draw up a contract with writers for hire rather than relying on verbal agreements on a case by case basis, and according to the importance of the project. But where this involves significant budgets and sensitive topics, it might make sense to set out the mutual responsibilities in writing beforehand.

The cost of proofreading


Costs for Proofreading
 
This kind of editing is a special form of text work which we have already talked about when discussing different kinds of content. Proofreading is usually billed per page, with an average number of characters per page. And often, the page price decreases as the number of pages to be reviewed increases. For professional proofreading, you should expect to pay between five and twelve euros or more for a single page.

Textbroker author search


Our online freelance writer platform offers several features to help filter authors by knowledge, area of interest, and competency. Several thousand freelance writers are registered on Textbroker, classified according to a five-star rating system, and encouraged to complete their own ‘find an author’ profile. Orders are placed via an order form which allows you to put together a detailed briefing. And incidentally, every article submitted to Textbroker undergoes a plagiarism check, so you can be sure your content will always be unique.

So if you want to hire a writer on practically any topic from an extensive pool of competent authors, register with Textbroker and use our freelancer search tool.

We wish you success and a very productive experience in your search for a freelance content writer!

 
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