Recently a question was posed in the Content Marketing Academy LinkedIn group:
48 comments later, this became one of the most active and passionate discussions in the group. Some of the activity was the result of a small, but important typo in the question (Carol later clarified she meant $30/hr not $30 total). The rest of the activity revealed that hiring freelance writers for marketing support is far more complex than it appears.
Watching the discussion unfold, I realized marketers have a lot to talk about when it comes to the following questions:
- Where do you find quality freelance writers?
- How much do you pay them?
This post will answer those questions once and for all. I won’t even make you wait:
- Lots of places, but some are better than others.
- It depends.
Boom, done. Best 150 word post you’ve ever read, right?
In all seriousness, the issue is a complex one, and there really isn’t a “boom, done” answer. When folks in this heated discussion suggested sources for writers, the responses varied broadly. Many shared specific sites they had used to find writers. Others suggested methods for searching. Still others popped up with personal recommendations for writers they’d worked with directly.
The responses differed primarily based on personal experience and preference. In a lot of ways, it was a dizzying conversation, just as the idea of finding someone who can jump in, write quality content to help meet specific marketing goals, and do it for a reasonable price can be a dizzying exercise.
That said, I’m going to make things more dizzy for you here. Kidding. (Or am I?) Since this topic is a hefty one, I’m going to break it down into two parts. The first will cover how to find freelancers, the second what to pay them.
How to Find Them
Carol did the right thing both in going to her peers to ask, and doing it on LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be such a valuable resource, especially if you’re in an awesome group of professionals who have dealt with similar issues in the past—like say, The Content Marketing Academy (shameless plug). I did a quick profile search on LinkedIn for “content marketing writer” and found some amazing results, which of course could be narrowed down using the filters. If you’re looking for an SEO-savvy content marketer, do a Google search for ‘freelancers’ plus your topic (or some variation of that). That first page should give you a good read on who can handle your task.
I asked Anne Murphy, Editor-in-Chief of the Kapost Content Marketeer for some wisdom, and she added: “Find similar content you like and figure out who wrote it. Take a look at the byline. Most freelancers will make it very easy to contact them directly from their posts. After all, they’re marketing their expertise through the content they create. Make it easy for guest bloggers and freelancers to contact you. Have a contact form of your site, or an email address for the Publisher or Managing Editor on the about page.”
If you’re just looking for a list of websites outside LinkedIn to find professional freelance writers, there are great suggestions in this discussion thread.
In my next post, I’ll give you some tips and advice from other industry professionals on determining a pay scale for a freelancer once you’ve found one you like.