Today we have a guest post from Anfernee Chansamooth, the Learning and Community Lead at Bean Ninjas! Anfernee is going to talk about hiring a high-quality freelance content writer and why Eastern Europe is an amazing resource for finding content writers! Enjoy!
Wondering how to hire a great freelance content writer for your business? Here are 7 proven steps to make it happen.
It’s no secret that content marketing can be a fantastic way to attract more visitors to your website, grow your audience, and sell more products and services.
Here’s the challenge…
Over 4 million blog posts are published on the Internet every day. (1)
So how do you cut through the noise and ensure that the content that you produce is actually going to be valuable to your target audience?
It’s simple, but not easy… You need to produce and promote high-quality content that converts and you need to do it consistently.
So what do you do if…
- Writing content is not your strength,
- Your time and energy really should be invested in income-generating activities like sales, and ensuring that your customers are getting a great experience so that they keep coming back, or
- You don’t have the budget to hire a writer in-house full-time just yet, or
- You currently have a great content marketer on the team but they’re taking on more responsibility and transitioning to a new role (because your business is growing – yay)?
It’s time to hire a high-quality freelance content writer.
It’s because of a mix of all 4 scenarios that our leadership team at Bean Ninjas made the decision to outsource or content writing.
Let’s look at some of the questions that we had to consider once we made the decision to bring on contracted support.Want to bring on a freelance content writer, but unsure how to do it? Follow these 7 steps to getting great remote talent!
Why hire freelance content writers anyway?
1. Similar (or better) quality of work to what you’re used to
An important concern that we had initially was whether or not we’d be able to find a freelancer who could write content at a similar quality to what we, and our readers, were familiar with.
Thankfully we already had a documented content strategy with a clear vision, theme, and goal for our blog.
So the key for us was to hire a writer who could write at content at 70 or 80% quality, and then work with the writer to improve the quality over time.
With good communication and constructive feedback, you can get a similar quality of work.
We also have an editor on our team to follow our editing checklist to ensure that our high-quality level was maintained.
2. More affordable than hiring locally
Let’s take an example, Jobrack started out paying people from the UK and the US 50-100$ per hour. Hiring from the UK or US is hardly profitable or scalable.
So, Noel Andrews, the CEO of Jobrack, started hiring from Eastern Europe and paying people 5-20$ per hour. This cost difference makes a huge difference to the profitability of the business.
Different countries have different standards, salary-wise. So it’s much more affordable for your business to pay someone less for the same (or similar) quality.
By the way, Jobrack has a hiring calculator that you can use to get an idea of how much a freelancer might cost.
Here’s an infographic explaining how hiring freelancers can benefit your business:
Why hire freelancers from Eastern Europe?
Freelancers from Eastern Europe have a great education system and great value. They are determined to search for amazing online opportunities.
Culturally, they typically avoid the fluff-talk and keep communications direct which is something we appreciate.
Eastern European freelancers, in particular, are a hard-working remote force.
There’s a lot of people with two college degrees. This describes the quality and technicality that these future freelancers can produce.
Hiring Eastern European freelancers is a plus for you because you get great value at a relatively low cost.
What type of writing jobs can you outsource?
Articles and blog posts
Want to produce educational and insightful articles and blog posts that your audience is interested in reading?
This is definitely possible.
We typically put together an article outline based on topics we know our audience is interested in and some initial keyword research that we’ve done.
We then hand that over to our writer and they will research and write quality articles from there.
Podcast show notes
Some people prefer to read, some prefer to listen on the go; record your podcast and find a writer that will take the gold of the recording and put it in plain text.
Here’s an example of some podcast shownotes that our Eastern European content writer has produced.
Client case studies/customer success stories
Your prospective buyers might be interested in finding out what results you’ve been able to produce for your clients, so why not get a writer to write up your client success stories?
This type of content is fantastic for sharing with prospects throughout your sales process.
Furthermore, it’s a great way to value and highlight your best clients, and featured clients might even share it out with their network (which means bonus traffic back to your website).
You can view some examples of our Bean Ninjas client success stories here.
Team member profiles
Get a writer to write about your team members, their backstories, their success.
By doing this, every team member gets to know something interesting about who they’re working with, it builds rapport and culture, and the person being profiled feels valued. When sharing team member profiles publicly like Bean Ninjas does, this also gives people who follow you a sense of the type of people inside the company and the team culture.
7 steps to finding & hiring a quality freelance content writer
1. Define your requirements
The clearer you are, the better the communication between you and your writer is going to be. You should lay out your hiring budget, what work you need to be done and by when.
We typically plan out our content 3-6 months ahead.
2. Prepare a good content writer job description
Take the potential applicants through what they can expect to be doing for you, and what is expected of them in terms of how you’ll be working together and communication.
Also let the applicants know what is the minimum of skills required for the job, what values are important for them to possess as an individual working within your team culture, and what ideal traits would make them a successful candidate.
3. Post your job on a freelance marketplace
There are lots of online freelance marketplaces you can use. You can post your job on more than one marketplace if you’re in need of more people, looking for more options, etc.
We hired both our freelance content writers through Jobrack.
4. Use a qualification process to filter candidates out
Define some clear rules around what a high-quality candidate looks like, and use those filters to narrow your candidates down to the top 3.
For instance, you may expect a certain level of language proficiency, proactiveness, or personality in how a candidate interacts with you in their application.
Hint: If you’re looking for a creative writer then pay attention to how creative their actual application to you was.
This way you are left with candidates that contain the knowledge, skill, and motivation that you’re looking for. It’s important to pay attention to how the candidates communicate with you throughout the entire hiring process. This will give you a good indication of their responsiveness, ability, and how enthusiastic they are to work with you.
5. Test your top 3 freelance content writers
Give your candidates a piece of content to work on and a deadline. Then wait for them to deliver the work.
Offer to pay them for this trial. It’s only fair that if you’re expecting someone to do work for you then you’ll pay them. This also sends the message that you’re serious and value their time and effort (even if it doesn’t work out).
When your content is delivered you’ll see which style of writing fits your business best. What tone of voice you want to spread.
Also, it’s normal to have things come up that require clarification so, you’ll find out how willing candidates are to engage and ask for suggestions, help, etc.
Is the freelancer prompt in their replies?
Are they asking good questions to clarify things they don’t understand and to remove assumptions or potential misunderstandings?
Do they deliver on time, before time, or after the deadline?
If there is a delay, when and how do they communicate it?
Take notes as these behaviors will help you decide who the best candidate(s) are.
6. Hire the best fit
Pay close attention to the quality of work candidates delivered, as well as your notes on communication throughout the process, and pick the candidates that suits you and your business best.
As you can see from our hiring process, we had 5 applicants (we had very specific requirements) and ended up hiring 2 writers.
Introduce and welcome your new team member to your existing team.
Looking to hire a great freelance content writer? Follow these 7 steps.
In conclusion, when you’re overwhelmed at work or are seriously the worst person to be writing content, it’s relieving to know you can delegate some of your tasks to a freelance content writer.
Follow the 7 steps outlined above to find and hire a freelance content writer that has the qualities you value, and the style that matches your brand’s voice.
Eastern European contractors are great to work with so we definitely recommend that you give them a go.
Post your job on Jobrack and find your next freelance content writer or if you are tight on time and can’t dedicate enough attention to the hiring process make sure you check out their Done For You Service! You’ll be pleasantly surprised like we were!