The content marketing industry is projected to be worth $600 billion in 2024. Today, consumers rely on the Internet for both entertainment and information, making content marketing a powerful strategy for lead generation.

Of course, this is common knowledge, and there are more than a billion websites out there competing for people’s attention. To stand out, you need quality content written by a professional.

Freelance writers with subject matter expertise can be a great source of content for your brand.

Why Work with Freelance Writers?

Freelance writers are self-employed contractors who specialize in creating content. They may write for numerous publications under pen names or provide ghostwriting services. Some freelance writers specialize in a specific form of writing, such as:

  • Copywriting: Creating content that helps raise brand awareness, build trust, educate, and inform prospective customers.
  • Blog writing: Writing regular posts for your blog to establish your brand as an authority in its niche, and improve your ranking in the search engines.
  • Technical writing: Freelance writers with technical expertise translate complex topics into easy-to-understand content to benefit your target audience.
  • Social media marketing: Producing snappy, concise, and engaging content tailored to the audience of your chosen social media platform.

Working with freelance writers gives you access to a vast talent pool you can call on any time. If you already have an in-house team of content creators, you can use freelance workers to add a fresh perspective or take on extra work during busy periods.

In contrast, if you’re on a budget and need only the occasional blog post or press release, hiring a freelance writer on a per-piece basis makes more financial sense than having an under-utilized full-time staff member.

Tips for Getting the Most from Freelance Writers

Hiring a freelance writer is similar to hiring a full-time employee. You want to find someone who is a good fit for your organization. Even if you’re looking for just one or two short pieces of content today, go into the process as if you’re hiring someone for a long-term writing job.

Once you’ve found the right person, consider the following:

Provide a Clear and Detailed Brief

The more information you can provide your writers, the more likely they are to hit the mark with their copy. A good brief includes, at a minimum:

  • A general overview: If you ask for “a post about sunglasses,” your content writer will have to guess what angle you want them to take. You could be looking for a guide to reactive tints and prescription sunglasses, or a picture-heavy list covering fashion sunglasses popular celebrities have been seen wearing. Providing a high-level overview helps your freelancer understand the writing style you want and serve you better.
  • The overall goal: Is the piece intended for entertainment, general information, or as a sales-focused page? Knowing this helps the writer set the right tone.
  • Where the content will be published: If the content is intended for a third-party website, are there any editorial guidelines they should be aware of?
  • Keywords: While keyword stuffing is frowned upon, targeting certain keywords or phrases is still important in content marketing. Google changed its algorithm 36 times between 2018 and 2023, and good SEO copywriters understand how to write content that serves both human readers and the algorithm.
  • Perspective: Do you want the content written in the first person (I/we) perspective, or is the third person more suitable for your chosen platform?

Communication Is Key

Providing a detailed brief helps writers understand what you’re looking for. However, once they start to work, they may still have some questions. As part of the onboarding process, work out how you and your writers will communicate, how you’ll provide briefs, assets, and other information, and how they can deliver their work.

Set Realistic Deadlines

Writing quality content takes time, and even the best wordsmiths will occasionally deliver copy that isn’t quite what you were looking for. Try to plan your content calendar well in advance so your writers have ample time to work on the content and some buffer time for revisions, too.

Managing Freelance Writers

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 73% of companies work with freelance writers for at least part of their content marketing. If you’re in the 27% that doesn’t currently use freelance writers, you may find the idea a little daunting. Some things to consider include:

The Onboarding Process

If you already have an in-house team, give your freelance writers access to the same tools for keyword research, content creation, and project management.

Monitoring Progress and Providing Feedback

Check in regularly with your writers via Slack, Teams or some other collaboration tool. Take advantage of the collaborative features of Google Docs to give feedback and discuss the writer’s work.

Payment and Incentives

Agree to compensation in advance and be sure to stick to it. Consider a transparent bonus structure to reward writers who go above and beyond.

Collaborating with Freelance Writers for a Long-Standing Relationship

Whenever you bring a new team member on board, whether as a full-time staff member or a freelancer, there’s usually a “getting to know you” period. You need to learn each other’s wants, needs, and expectations. Once you come to an understanding, you’ll find you work far more efficiently together.

As a brand owner, you should aim to build trust and rapport with a team of writers that you’ll use long-term. As these writers get to know you, they’ll be able to deliver a better product and more confidently match your brand’s voice.

Two-way communication is key to having a successful relationship with your freelance writers. They want to see your brand succeed, and if you provide constructive feedback and listen to what they have to say in return you’ll find they can bring a lot of value to the table.

Elevate Your Brand with Freelance Writers

Having reliable and skilled freelance writers as part of your content marketing team can help you build a strong online presence and grow your brand.

Working with a content agency makes managing freelance writers a simpler process. We can match you with a writer with the industry experience you’re looking for who can deliver content in your brand’s “voice.” We’ll handle the administrative side of the relationship, so you can focus on sharing your vision with the writer and helping them get to know your brand so they can produce top-quality content.

To learn more about how freelance writers can help your marketing efforts, book a free consultation today.

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