How to hire writers
Whether it’s to maintain the company blog, write product reviews, or create an ebook—freelance writers are in high demand. So how do you find a writer? What follows are some tips on finding top writers on Upwork.
How to shortlist writers
As you’re browsing available writing consultants, it can be helpful to develop a shortlist of the freelancers you may want to interview. You can screen profiles on criteria such as:
- Industry fit. You want a writer who understands your industry, so they can help you figure out how best to reach your target market.
- Attention to detail. Writers who follow style guides, grammar, and instructions are a win.
- Feedback. Check reviews from past clients for glowing testimonials or red flags that can tell you what it’s like to work with a particular writer.
Before posting a job, ask yourself:
- Do I need a specialist? Do you need a copywriter with an engineering background? A video script writer for sales landing pages with a history of success?
- When do I need the project done? If you have a tight deadline, a more experienced writer may be able to turn a project around faster and with fewer edits needed.
- How much research is needed? The copywriter needs to understand the audience’s hot buttons and what they’re selling before they can write. The more information you can provide upfront (i.e., testimonials, past campaign results, buyer personas) the sooner they can start writing. And if you’re promoting an online course, for example, a good copywriter will often review the entire program before writing. Be sure to account time for that in your planning.
- How much expertise do I need? Copy for a multimillion-dollar product launch, or perhaps to make a difficult announcement without inciting the reader, often requires higher expertise than copy for a blog post that nurtures prospects.
How to write an effective writing job post
With a clear picture of your ideal writer in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Aim to provide enough detail for a freelancer to know if they’re the right fit for the project.
An effective writing job post should include:
- Scope of work: From press releases to ebooks list all the deliverables you’ll need.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.
- Background: If you prefer experience working with certain industries, software, or marketing channels, mention this here.
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
Ready to hire a writer who can bring your project to life? Log in and post your writing job on Upwork today.
What does a writer do?
Businesses rely on writers for a wide variety of projects. For this reason, professional writers often specialize by industry or project type.
Here’s a quick overview of the skills you should look for in professional writers:
- General writing and editing
- Niche writing domains such as SEO, technical writing, copywriting, advertising, and email
- Familiarity with word processing software such as Google Docs
Why hire writers?
The trick to finding top writers is to identify your needs. Are you looking for an SEO writer to write search engine optimized content for your company blog? Or do you require experience creating witty posts for social media? The cost of your project will depend largely on your scope of work, and the specific skills needed to bring your project to life.
How much does it cost to hire a copywriter?
When deciding how much to budget, know that independent writers are businesses. As in any other business, they set their own pricing. Below are the seven most common factors that affect copywriting fees.
7 factors affecting copywriting rates
- Project Research: Many times, the copywriter needs background before starting the project. This may include interviewing your customers, researching the industry and your competition, reviewing past marketing campaigns, and so on. The greater the amount of research needed, the higher the project fee may be. For example, if the copywriter must develop your buyer personas or read your 400-page book before writing an email campaign to promote it, the time commitment will add up.TIP: Keep fees down by providing the copywriter with as much relevant data as possible at project start.
- Specialization: The more specialized and in-demand your copywriter, the more they may charge. It’s basic supply and demand. For example, if you need a direct-response copywriter with an electrical engineering background to sell your highly technical product to other engineers, then expect to pay more.
- Planning and strategy: For more complex projects, the copywriter may benefit from meeting with other project team members to help strategize a rollout or plan a campaign.
- Project type: Project fees aren’t just dependent on the amount of copy needed, fees are also affected by the project’s complexity. Writing a four-page brochure will obviously cost less than a 40-page website. But a single Pay Per Click (PPC) ad can cost as much as an email. That’s because when an ad only has 25 characters to entice a conversion (e.g. get the click), each word used often requires more thought and research.
- Deadline: If you need something done sooner, you may have to pay what many call a “rush fee.” Fees vary depending on the project and deadline. Also, expect to pay more if your writer has to work over the weekend or during a holiday period.
- Additional skills: Generally, copywriters just write the copy, without formatting past a basic MS Word or Google document. Some copywriters have other skills such as graphic design or voiceover talent. More advanced direct-response copywriters often provide marketing strategy as well. If you need the copywriter to do more, such as write and design a brochure, or to enter blog posts on WordPress, expect to pay more.
- Level of expertise: As in most professions, the more experience and skills needed, the higher the professional fees. Copy for a multimillion-dollar product launch often requires higher expertise than copy for a blog post that nurtures prospects.
Depending on the project type, copywriters may charge per word, hourly, or a flat project fee. Content writers usually prefer hourly or a fixed price. Experienced copywriters often prefer fixed prices for most project types. When the project’s success relies mainly on the copy, royalties may be paid in addition to a flat project fee. For example, if a credit card company mailed out 10 million sales letters to solicit new applicants, the copywriter could receive a fixed price for writing the sales letter, and royalties for every new customer the letter converted.
Copywriter vs. content writer vs. blog writer—what’s the difference?
In general, all writers are a type of content writer. Content covers online and offline assets from landing pages, whitepapers, to social media ads. The types of writers available can be as specialized as the type of content you need creating.
A copywriter differs in that they integrate psychology and sales into their writing to drive conversions such as to sign up, download, or buy something. They often work on assets designed to convert including sales landing pages, ads, email campaigns, TV, and direct mail projects.
A blog writer specializes in writing short or long articles for a specific website. The articles (blog posts) usually cover a topic related to the website. This can be anything from industry news, product information, to opinions.