image of tausif akram By: Amby
15 Aug 2014

A Cheat Sheet for Spotting the Right Freelance Writers, and the Wrong Ones

The trend in content marketing has continued to increase… it’s not going anywhere. Now more and more companies find themselves in need of hiring a freelance writer. Chances are high that you do not have the resources to have an in-house content marketing department, or the time/skills to manage your own content production, which leaves you gambling on investing in a freelance writer.

Keep in mind that it’s a gamble because the content marketing industry has grown so much that there are now more than ever before a saturated influx of unskilled, inexperienced, low quality service providers that cause more harm than good.

To save yourself the hassle, this cheat sheet will help you spot the difference between a quality content writer and a dud.

Unskilled Freelance Writers:

  • Can’t even write an email properly. This is surprisingly common, and it’s the easiest way to spot when a so-called writer uses excessive errors or even a generic template
  • Poor communication, including a lack of responsiveness, is another major red flag.
  • Do not produce original content. You might need to use a plagiarism checker to catch this one, but it’s common to find somebody who will rip off a competitor instead of working with you to produce unique, quality articles.
  • Are cheap. Even if you are on a budget, you really need to watch out for those $5/articles. There is only one reason why these writers are so cheap… they don’t have the experience and skills to demand fair wages.

On the other hand…

Quality Freelance Writers:

  • Tend to write with authority. This is important because you will be trusting them to convey the authority of your brand. Now a writer may not naturally be an authority within your industry but that’s okay because they will also…
  • Ask the right questions. A quality copywriter will work with you to extract the information needed to produce articles that are truly valuable for your core audience.
  • Can be adaptable. It’s always a plus when a writer has expertise in a specific niche, but that’s never a requirement because quality writers tend to be flexible enough to produce quality content about multiple industries.
  • Clearly get how internet marketing works. They have a social following. They have an active web presence. They are a proven example of what they are capable of.
  • Clearly get the most basic business and marketing concepts. It’s not just about writing content, after all. If they want to get involved and bring ideas to the table about promotion, image selection, optimization, and other elements then you’ve found a keeper!

Subscribe to SST