Thanks to the arrival of platforms like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, ExpertEasy, and Fiverr, it’s never been easier to hire a freelancer. You can quickly check out the available talent and really home in on writers that have both experience and passion in whatever niche you work in, as well as experience and passion for writing. If you find someone that loves the area in which you focus and lives to write, you’ll see that reflected in the work they produce for you.
Why Vetting Content Writers is Important
If you run an ecommerce website, obviously, the quality of written content needs to be high. After all, it’s the content that will encourage readers to buy items and Since this is how you’re going to be making money, you really don’t want to settle for anything but the best you can afford.
Whilst the choice that the aforementioned talent marketplaces provide is great, the ease with which people can offer their services these days means there are many, many weak writers. These typically charge much less than those writing professionally and, unfortunately, the difference in price usually shows in the quality of their work.
With many potential candidates to choose from and the quality of writers varying massively, it’s very important to vet those you’re considering before offering them a job. The last thing you want is to employ a very cheap writer who will make a complete botch of the job. You’ll only need to spend more money on a competent freelancer to tidy everything up down the line!
How to Vet Content Writers
Clearly, it’s important to choose those writing your content wisely. However, doing so is not always straightforward. Here are some handy tips to help you find the very best of the best to work with you. Putting a bit of work in to find someone capable will definitely pay off in the long run!
Start Vetting Before You Make Contact
A great advantage of an increasingly digital world is how easy it is to market yourself. Platforms like ExpertEasy, LinkedIn, Upwork, and Fiverr allow professionals to advertise their services. Meanwhile, those looking to employ folks can survey what’s out there without necessarily having to open the flood gates to potentially weak applicants by creating a formal application process.
When you start your search, create a list of keywords that writers in your niche might use in their profiles. If it’s online gambling, your list might include “casino promotions”, “iGaming guides”, or “online slot reviews”. Similarly, if it’s travel, you can include words like “travel”, “hotels”, and “tourism”. Use your word list in conjunction with terms like “freelancer writer”, “content creator”, and “marketing specialist” to target individuals that you think will be an asset for your site.
Generally speaking, you’ll also save a lot of time by approaching only those professionals who natively speak and write the language you require content in. Whilst we’re not suggesting that non-native content creators can’t produce excellent work, you’ll often find their prose feels less natural and compelling.
Talent marketplaces are full of non-native writers who will offer to produce work for you. Their rates are usually a lot lower than native speakers. Don’t be sucked in by what feels like a better deal though. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and substandard content is not going to shift products for you.
After You Make Contact
Once you have a shortlist of writers you think will produce good quality work, start sending some messages out. First, ask if they’re interested in the kind of work you need completing and then ask them what they typically charge. Also, don’t be surprised if the answer they respond with is: “it depends”.
Most writers can produce the work you’re wanting at almost any rate. However, if you want their highest quality work, you have to be prepared to pay them a rate that encourages them to put their all into it. Research, writing, proofreading, and editing, all take time, and if you’re not compensating someone for all of that work, they’re going to rush it.
Samples Speak Louder than Words
One of the best ways to make sure a writer is up to scratch is to ask for samples related to the actual work you want done. If they’re short, snappy product reviews, request examples of such. If it’s long-form pieces, you’ll need someone experienced in producing that content.
Tanya, Editor in Chief at NoDepositWorld, gave us a tip:
"Make sure to understand what kind of structure and form of content your target audience needs and look for writers experienced in writing such content."
Once you have a few samples, be sure to also ask how much the writer charged for them. You’ll probably find that prospective clients show you their very best work. Usually, their best work is the stuff they’ve dedicated a lot of time to and, typically, this will mean it’s also their most expensive work. By requesting that they share their rates for work of a similar quality, you’re more likely to be on the same page if and when you do start working together.
Unless your job offer is one that’s going to provide weeks’ worth of full-time employment, it’s likely that the writers you’re interested in will maintain other commitments. You can’t expect them to drop everything to write one $50 piece for you whenever you need it.
It’s, therefore, a good idea to enquire about their schedule when you’re discussing the role you have in mind for them. You can then determine if they’re going to be able to deliver work for you in accordance with whatever deadlines you might have.
Be Open and Honest
As part of the vetting process, it’s important to be very open about your expectations. The more information you can give to a writer, the better they can assess whether they’re able to deliver work in accordance with your expectations.
If you’re expecting them to produce content that is 100% ready for your web developer to upload, they need to know that. Really, full proofreading and page formatting is someone other than the writer’s job but these days folks seem to think that writer, editor, and sometimes even web developer seem to be rolling into one.
Similarly, if you’re going to be expecting them to directly add the content to your website, that’s an important detail that will probably increase their expected rates too. If you’re fully open about everything to begin with, they’ll be able to give you a much more accurate quotation on the cost of a job and your working relationship is going to be better over time.
A happy writer who doesn’t feel like you’re trying to squeeze too much out of them is much more likely to stick with your project and their satisfaction with the position is going to be reflected in their work. Ultimately, this is going to result in more sales via your site and greater profit margins!