If you want to add a blog, video or even just a landing page to your business’ website, then you will probably consider hiring a freelancer to create the content for you. After all, unless you run a sizeable business with its own writing team, then creating content will just take time away from performing other tasks.
If you want something that can be posted on your website, however, then you will need to be very careful about which freelancer you hire – and you will need to be prepared to pay for high quality content. Poor content can be even worse than not having anything posted, because it will reflect on the professionalism of your organization.
Think about the purpose of the work
There are a few reasons why you might want to create additional content for your website. The main one is for SEO purposes. A close second is to try and have content that is widely sharable. You also want to add to your visitors’ experience. Of course these are not mutually exclusive – if you are careful in your specifications, you might be able to do all three!
If you want to improve your SEO you, you can hire an SEO firm like SEO Shark to handle it for you, or you can hire and manage freelancers yourself if you want to maintain control. This gives you better content and search rankings that will improve faster. You can also get content created for social media purposes, and someone to work to make your website more user friendly.
Use local freelancers where possible
Using locals from your target areas is a good idea because they will be more likely to already know a bit about your business and the context of your operations. They will also have more of an insight into the mentality of the customers you are targeting – after all, some of them will be neighbors!
Of course this becomes less important for an e-commerce platform, as you will be targeting a bigger area. If you ship nationwide, the biggest consideration would be hiring someone who has the experience to make your content relatable to a wider audience. You also need to strike the right balance between technical and simple language for these varied target markets.
Note here that US based freelancers will probably be more expensive than those you can hire remote from overseas. However, they are also generally more likely to have better English language skills. Local writers will also have a better command of the local slang terms and writing style. This will make the articles and pages they write more relevant and familiar to your local page visitors. Someone from overseas will not have the same command of the language, no matter how fluent literate they are in the English language.
It is possible of course to find good writers, video editors, and social media managers from outside the US, and they will work for less money than their local counterparts. Whoever you decide to hire, you want to make sure they can do the tasks well so you are not pouring money down the toilet and playing roulette with your website.
Get a small sample first
Before you commit to giving a lot of work to a freelancer, get them to show you a sample of what they have written. If you have to pay to get them to write a small article, do so – especially if you need a writer on an ongoing basis. You need to know that the person you hire is capable of producing content that meets your requirements and will look good to your customers.
Getting a small sample piece first also shouldn’t cost much, so you can get a few different people to create them and then keep the best writer on call for your ongoing work. This is a good way to vet some writers who might not be great at what they do, and find people who can write creatively and with a style that suits your business. Be warned, however – the better the writer, the more expensive the work. But it’s worth it for the results that you’ll get.
If you are getting the freelancer to produce a number of pieces of content for you – say, posts for your blog, or landing pages – get them to send you work as they complete it, rather than all in one go. This will make it easier for you to double check the writing and ensure that everything meets your standards, at least in the beginning.
As you build trust, you can even ask a freelance writer if they can do the uploads to your website, or have another freelancer manage post images, SEO, and publishing. Then simply check on the pieces from time to time so that you can be sure that the person you are paying is actually doing the work themselves, and not farming it out to a cheaper writer. This is also where hiring though the right platform is important. At FreeeUp, for instance, freelancers are pre-vetted for attitude as well as skills, and the FreeeUp assistants are always there to lend a hand if anything goes wrong.
Provide them with the information they need
If you get someone to create your videos, blog posts or landing pages, you need to make sure that they have the information they need to create useful content. This means being open to communicating with them about how your business operates, and some facts about the industry that an outsider wouldn’t know.
If you run a law firm, for example, you can’t expect the freelancer you hire to be a legal expert – if they were they would probably be your competitor! Of course, they should have experience with legal writing, and will be able to do some of their own research. They will also need to be able to make the content specifically about your organization, however, and only you can provide them with that information.
If a writer is just rehashing what they can already find on your website, or re-writing stuff they find on your competitor’s page, then you are not adding value for your customers – after all, if the writers your hire can find the information themselves, then others can too. A good writer is able to make a meaningful contribution to your visitors’ understanding of your business to get the best results.
So how do you get the most out of hiring a freelancer?
Hiring the right person (or agency) and giving them the tools they need to create high quality content will give you the best return on investment. You can get the right person by spending a bit of extra money to hire a pre-vetted freelancer – which actually can save you more because you save a lot of time. You can also ensure better quality by getting writing samples and doing regular check-ins. This will ensure your content is readable and written in an engaging style that fits well with your goals.
You get the most out of external consultants when you provide them with a lot of information about your business and industry generally (although nothing you don’t want the general public to read about). They need to be informed to add value to your website, rather than simply rewriting what is already there.
If you follow these tips when you hire freelancers for content, you will be able to build a content strategy that works well for your business and have a group of freelancers with you who can collaborate independently to keep things running smoothly.