Knowing where to find freelance writers for your blog, website or any other aspect of your business can be difficult when it actually comes down to it. But before we run through how to find them, let’s start with why you need them.
Why use freelance writers?
There are a number of perks to using freelance writers over employing your own writing team. Firstly, you don’t need to add them to payroll and draw up a contract, you don’t need to provide them with office space (many freelancers have their own offices and equipment), and you’re not responsible for their training and development. They’ll submit an invoice – you pay it. Simple!
What’s more, going freelance often means you have the whole world of writing expertise at your fingertips. You can approach someone who has exactly the expertise and experience you’re looking for, and it doesn’t need to matter that they’re not in your town – or even your time zone. Plus, they can provide your content that fits around your schedule since they will manage their own workload.
“If you’re strategic about the freelancers or independent contractors you use, you can gain expertise you might not have in house and save money at the same time.”
And these are just some of the main benefits of using a freelancer.
So, where to find freelance writers?
Nowadays many freelancers have their own websites, and if you’re looking for someone in your area then Google is a good starting point. Let’s face it, a freelance writer you can’t find by searching by freelance writer + location probably isn’t one you want to anyway since SEO should be their bread and butter. But there are some other avenues…
1. Ask around
There’s a reason good word of mouth trumps most things. Make one customer happy and the rest keep coming. So if you’ve recently admired a fellow business’ latest rebrand or marketing campaign, why not ask them who they used and see if you can reach out to them for your next project. Even if they’re unwilling to part with the contact details, they might be able to let you know how they found them.
Or if you’re just looking for someone who has a way with words, why not ask family and friends if they know anyone who would like to earn some money on the side (and experience) by rewriting your materials.
2. Partner with an educational institution
Schools, colleges and universities are always looking to extend real work placement offers to their students to give them practical experience, and a by-line. If you’re willing to work with a student or two on improving your website but you don’t have a deadline in mind, why not get in touch with your local educational institution and see if they would be interested. You might find a student who is willing to do some more work for you on the side to build up their portfolio.
3. Post job ads
Recruitment sites are a good starting point, whether it’s Indeed, CV-Library, or Guardian Jobs. However, fees are often involved, and be prepared to be inundated with applications, many of which you’ll have to shortlist and interview yourself.
Placing an ad on a student job site like Milkround or Student Job is another more targeted and affordable way to find freelance writers who may be recent graduates in advertising, English and communication, marketing or a more technical field. They may have all the knowledge but be looking to cut their teeth on a real life writing project, which means they can typically be much more affordable or willing to negotiate on rates.
It’s not all about online either. Consider placing an ad – or checking the classifieds – in your local paper, trade magazine or technical journal to find freelancers in your locale or niche able to take on your work.
4. Through a professional network
There are plenty of professional directories and networks out there, including ProCopywriters, UK Small Business Directory or The Publishing Training Centre’s Freelance Finder.
The upside of finding a freelancer through one of these networks is that you can guarantee they are members of a professional body or have qualifications in their vocation. However, they may also charge industry rates at the higher end, so may not be the best if you’re looking for more affordable freelance writing services.
LinkedIn is also a great way to find writers in a particular field, and the best part is you can review their experience and even sample some of their written work. They even have their own ProFinder service which can put you in touch with professionals.
5. Networking events
This could be trade shows, digital conferences, your local Chamber of Commerce’s coffee morning, a local B2B digital skills Meetup or similar.
Essentially, freelancers of all description are looking to get found and will do so by looking for the intersections where businesses need them.
6. Social media
Particularly if you’re looking to find a writer in a key field or who has good online traction and a pre-existing audience, social media platforms such as Twitter are a great way to interact with a freelancer who might have caught your eye. Perhaps you enjoy their style of writing from their witty posts or have been following their articles on climate change and can see that their level of knowledge in the subject and their ability to be heard is a huge plus. Send them a DM and see whether they would be interested in writing for you.
7. Freelancing sites
You may have heard of sites like Upwork and Fiverr as one way to find a freelancer, but many of these require you to submit a brief and require writers to send in their proposals before a single word of your content is written. While this gives you an element of choice it’s not the best option if you’re looking to have your content turnaround by a professional quickly. More reputable jobs boards such as ProBlogger can help you get the content you need, and LinkedIn suggests some more sites to find freelance writers online.
8. Through a content agency
Content agencies and online SEO experts can help with everything from strategy to simply getting your blog posts written. Some of the bigger agencies will either have a network of freelancers they use frequently or have an in-house team (or both). This is great to ensure you’ve got a dedicated writer on the job who will be able to talk through your vision, the only downside is it can be more expensive and may take a while to get your copy initially as this will often involve a contract and consultation process.
There are plenty of online content marketing platforms out there too, such as Contently, which offers a curated team of experienced writers and journalists and the ability to strategise your content from brief to results (though it can be on the pricier side).
For a quicker, more affordable solution, outsourcing your content to an online agency like Copify offers freelance writing services from writers who are ready and waiting. There are no complicated contracts or bidding processes; simply submit your brief online and a writer will deliver it, proofread and ready to download, within around 48 hours. You can even set up a monthly rolling blog package for hands-off easy content delivery. This is a much more time-efficient way but it may not be suitable for those who wish to sit down and discuss their content needs in person with the writer.
Where to find freelance writers: A final word
The best way to find freelancers writers who will do justice to your content needs is a combination of the above. Ask or browse around to find good testimonials, consider your options for hiring in person or outsourcing online (and which makes a better business case for you), and have a Plan B in case your first option doesn’t work out. Above all, make sure you brief your freelance writer well to ensure they know what is expected of them and be aware of some of the key things to know before hiring a writer.
Main image: Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash
Embedded images: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash, Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash, Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash