Freelance writing is one of the most versatile jobs on the market. You can be contracted to write about anything from the medical industry to sports analysis. That’s why it’s a profession tailor-made for business, an incredibly wide-reaching industry.
Whether you’re a growing business looking to start an in-house blog or an agency that handles other client services, having a writer experienced in business can bring plenty of benefits to your outreach and overall brand. With that being said, finding someone who is academically and professionally qualified to write content on behalf of your organization is easier said than done.
In this article, we’re going to highlight several key factors when looking for the right freelance business writer.
Freelance Business Writer Hiring Tips
Know your intent
Before you go online to look for job boards, it’s important to fully assess your priorities and what exactly you’re looking for with a freelance business writer.
Because “business” is a relatively vague term with a lot of attached meanings, the more specific you are from the outset, the easier the rest of the process is likely to be. Maybe you need a writer experienced in digital marketing, or perhaps an entrepreneurial expert. Maybe you just need a jack of all trades.
Whatever it might be, taking the time to determine exactly what you need from a writer is going to save you a lot more time in the future. Your intent will determine the type of writer you hire, and whether that writer can achieve your organization’s goals.
A great way to narrow down your intent is by separating your needs based on the content you’ll need. Will they be writing mostly newsletters? Will they write well-researched blog posts? Are they going to focus more on social media posts? Outline these priorities early and use these insights to guide the rest of your freelance business writer search process.
Don’t just look for any freelance writer
Like we established earlier, “business writing” can refer to anything from digital marketing to advertising, all the way to blog posts and landing pages. It’s almost impossible to find a writer that’s going to be both proficient at every type of written content on every single popular topic in modern business.
That’s why the previous step about finding your intent and establishing your priorities is so valuable. It’s going to streamline the hiring process since you’ll automatically be looking for writers who are experienced in the topics you’re focusing on.
What all this means is that you shouldn’t hire just any freelance writer. A lot of business-related knowledge can only be obtained through years of academic or professional experience. Yes, a regular writer might be able to produce some quality content here and there, but it’s a much safer bet looking for freelancers experienced in your business sector.
As such, it’s important to look for freelance writers with credentials that match your needs, either based on their academic background or professional experiences. To do this, you’ll need to scout websites that connect you with the business writer you need.
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Write a job brief
A job brief should outline your company, audience, clientele, the topics you’ll want the writer to cover, payment, scheduling, and any other pertinent information that you want candidates to know.
You should spend a lot of time outlining the job brief and find points of emphasis that you think are important to consider for anyone considering the position. Giving a detailed description of your organization will set the candidate up for success when understanding your mission and business goals. Being very specific about the payment and rates might entice qualified candidates to consider your position. Being transparent about the weekly schedule and expectations is important for freelancers as well.
Outlining everything you want to your writer to know about your position will eventually save time and effort when you find a set of candidates who have a comprehensive understanding of the position.
Know where to look for writers
Once you’ve established a set of priorities and type of writer you’re looking for, it’s time to find the right channel to connect with your potential candidates. Scouting for talent to see who’s right for your business is certainly easier said than done. There are dozens of credible job boards and employment websites that can connect you to freelance writers, and combing through each one is just too time-consuming for most.
You can start by tapping into your own network. You’d be surprised how many of your colleagues might know a few freelance writers through second or third-degree connections. Therefore, asking your friends, co-workers, and local business contacts is a good way to find a handful of promising candidates.
A more unorthodox approach is to join a writing group, either on Facebook or through Slack. Posting jobs on these groups is a good way to organically find connections and possible candidates, so long as the group administrators allow you to do so.
You can also try the more traditional approach of looking through popular writer job boards such as ProBlogger and Upwork. There are more freelance-focused sites that you can try, such as Freelance Writing Gigs.
If you need lots of content for your business, and want to skip this entire process, then we recommend working with an unlimited writing company like Content Cucumber. Services like Content Cucumber provide more affordable access to writing services. They'll also do a lot of the leg work in their onboarding phase to ensure you get paired with the best writer for your business.
Thoroughly review applications
As with any recruitment process, thoroughly reviewing applications is a time-consuming yet necessary process for selecting the right candidate. After you’ve spent hours writing up the job brief and identified the right set of applicants, it’s time to go over their qualifications to see if they align with the needs of the position and your entire organization as a whole.
But even if a candidate’s resume is impressive, when you’re hiring a freelance writer you need to see their body of work to judge whether they can write for your organization. One of the best ways to gauge this is by reviewing their published work or writing sample. Chances are, the candidate sent in samples that align with the type of written content you’re asking them to produce.
Reading these samples and analyzing their skills is a great way for you to know if a freelancer is right for the position. You can even assign a writing prompt as part of your job brief to see how proficient a candidate’s writing skills are as well as their knowledge of your business industry.
Prepare and execute the perfect interview
Finally, you’ve narrowed down your list for the best freelance business writer candidates. The last step in the hiring process is the interview. Just as your applicants have to prepare for this part, you need to make sure you know what you’re going to ask if you want to understand who is the best fit for this position.
Have a diverse set of questions that provide a general overview of your writers while getting more specific into how they’re qualified to write for your company and business structure.
General freelance questions
It’s important to ask a few questions about your candidate’s abilities and work cycles. Such questions can include:
- What kinds of topics do you like to write about?
- How do you handle multiple projects at once?
- What does your work schedule look like?
- How many articles/words are you comfortable writing per day?
- What is your experience with working under tight deadlines?
These questions provide valuable insight into your candidates’ personalities, tendencies, and other intangibles that should be emphasized when considering their fit within your organization.
Freelance business writer questions
Once you’ve gotten to know how your candidate operates and how they like to work, it’s time to get into more detail about their technical knowledge. Some questions related to this subject include:
- What is your professional background in business?
- Have you written for other businesses or business-related companies?
- How would you describe your academic knowledge in [specific business field]?
- Think about an experience where you had to gather information from multiple business sources. How did you determine which was the most relevant?
By asking these questions, you can gain a better understanding of a candidate’s overall abilities. Will their skills and knowledge will actually translate to the content you need from them? Freelancers are not cheap, so gain as much information on your candidates before making a decision.
How much does a freelance business writer cost?
Because being a “business writer” can mean a number of different things based on experience, industry, and even geography, the cost of hiring a freelance business writer can widely vary. Glassdoor claims that freelance writers earn on average about $42,000 a year, but this is also a generalized statistic.
If you go on sites like Upwork, you’ll find that the best freelance business content writers run from $38 an hour up to $100 an hour. Much of this is dependent on their years of experience and areas of expertise.
There are also alternatives to hiring individual freelance business writers that we mentioned earlier. Unlimited blog writing services also allow users to request articles, newsletters, longform emails, and other written business content at a flat monthly rate.
At the end of the day, how much you end up paying for freelance business writers is commensurate with your budget, the type of content you need, and the minimum qualifications you have for your candidates.
Trying to find a freelance business writer can be a daunting task if you cast too wide of a net during the searching process. The more you narrow down your priorities and goals for a writer, while finding the right avenues to pool candidates, the easier it can be to find the right candidate.
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