One of the most growing and in demand industries within the online marketing world is freelance writing. If you have the skills to create great content, believe me, you are going to go far and find business people like myself who seek your services to make our lives easier. And if you don’t know where to go or what to do, you will after reading this article, trust me.
Because this is such a large industry, I have come to understand that finding someone I can trust to write for me is very, very hard. Because my business has grown (yay!) I have come to the point where I simply CANNOT produce all the content without someone’s help…
And frankly, there’s a ton of garbage writers out there who:
- Simple do not know how to produce good content.
- Use recycled or duplicates of previous content they wrote (and/or they copy it of other sources).
- They just don’t care about the work they produce for you.
Unfortunately those 3 scenarios make up for a majority of freelance writers out there and if you’re a businessman looking to expand their site and content production, the last thing you want is to hire someone who will commit one of those 3 mistakes (or others). Your business’s life is on the line after all…
The 2 groups of people this article is for:
1) Online business/site owners.
If you are someone who owns a site and seeks to hire people who will write for them, I will show you how to filter out the bad ones and find yourself one or more people who you will confidently be able to trust with delivering your site the type of work that will get you more traffic, clients and business.
2) Actual freelancers looking for gigs. I’ll show you how to find clients and build a great/stable income from this.
I used to be the type of person who believed that freelance writing was not something you could make a decent income from, that it was the sort of work where you produced one or a few articles for a client, and that was that.
But a recent trip to Las Vegas where I privately met with some of the most successful online marketers in the world showed me that not only was I wrong to assume this, but there was immense possibilities in this line of work.
Let me share a personal story which changed my view on freelance writing forever (and it will also help you):
On the trip I mentioned, I was discussing the idea of outsourcing. Many of the businessmen I was speaking to were mentioning how they were expanding their content production into new sites and seeking to work on new projects while “automating” their existing websites and by automating, they meant hiring people to continue to crank out the content.
And through this discussion, most of us agreed that it was very hard to get people who we could fully trust. However, one of us mentioned that for about a year, perhaps more, he found one person on Upwork.com that he personally trained for several months.
And by training, he meant that he showed him exactly how to do things he sough to see on his site. I have written about what most good online business owners will expect from their writers here, but there is a small snippet of the MANDATORY things I expect both online business owners and freelance writers (the image to the right) to know and if you don’t, I’ll explain it further down in this article.
What ended up happening was that this person he hired became very good at what he was producing for the business owner. For about $50 an article, this person would write 2,000 words or more of great content and place it on the owner’s site.
And with what I heard about the amount of articles this person wrote up, he ended up making over $50,000 a year in the process and their relationship is still going, there’s a raise being added because of the great work he’s doing and it’s a continued source of income for the writer as well as a continued source of increase in business for the owner, a win-win.
It was this story that really pushed me over the fence about hiring writers and how to go about it, and it is what I will share with both business owners and freelancers here.
The purpose of this article will be to help you, whether you’re in one category or the other to recreate the same type of results my friend has with his guy and help your business grow. And of course, if you are the freelancer reading this, I will also show you how to how to find the business people seeking this type of quality work, get hired and get paid very well by them too.
So let’s start with the business owner looking to find the trustworthy freelancer. Where do you look?
I would say anything involving iWriter.com, Upwork.com is fine. However, just finding people there is simply NOT enough.
You will want to find people who may not necessarily charge cheap prices for a good article. So for JUST the price, this is the only parameter I seek for now:
$40-$60 PER a single 1,500-2,000 word article. Negotiate bulk article discounts AFTER good results have been shown for individual articles.
It is expensive, but generally at that type of price range, you’re bound to have better chances at hiring a better quality person.
Now, beyond that, we go into more important and stringent parameters I personally recommend EVERY single business owner have for their hiring guidelines. Here are the 7 most important ones.
Note: Whether it is a ghost writer you seek or someone who will be identified on your site as the author of the content, it makes no difference for the guidelines I am putting up.
In short, you need to get in touch with the person you find and/or who finds you. The key is to build a trustworthy relationship and that starts with you basically running them through those 7 parameters I mentioned.
Suppose I find one person who appears to be trustworthy and they show me work they have produced that I find satisfactory.
But perhaps, there’s problems…
- Perhaps he or she doesn’t know about the topic I wish they would write for me. Example: If I have a website on dog care and the person I hire has no experience with dogs.
- Perhaps they need time to research and come up with everything they need to get good work done.
- Perhaps they don’t understand SEO. Titles, keywords, how to write in a marketable fashion to attract traffic.
If you stumble onto a promising prospect who requires one or more of these things, and odds are you probably will stumble onto these types of people often, take the time to train them…
This brings me back to the story I mentioned about my internet marketing friend who now has a writer he pays $50k a year to do work for him.
He even mentioned how “WELL WORTH the investment” it was to train that person and develop a great relationship with them it was because now a huge chunk of that internet marketer’s business is automated and he doesn’t need to worry about that person he hired, and just as well, that writer now has a good income being generated that he can live off.
So how do you train your freelancers if the need arises?
Well you want to start of teaching them VERY basic SEO. The whole concept of how traffic is generated through keywords, titles, great content and how it all fits together. Be ready to show them actual examples of what type of stuff you’ve personally written up so they have a reference to look at.
Now if you as the business owner is unfamiliar with SEO, here is a crash course on it. In fact, you may want to link your writers to that resource as well.
Make it very clear what the objective of your site is after the SEO talk. Again, if I am using the dog care site example, I will want to let them know that I want them to write for me great content that helps dog owners read and take good advice from my site and that my writer needs to continue that trend by also giving out great information that my visitors will enjoy. And as I said in the 7 things, make sure they do NOT duplicate or copy ANY content.
Run through several articles with them together. Basically hold their hand through the process as they deliver work after work to see if they are progressing and producing the type of work you will find to your liking.
If need be, I’d say 5-10 articles is a good start and the more you’re sure they are on the right track, the easier it’ll be to let go of their hand and let them do this on their own.
If it is a dog care site, I’ll walk through with the person how to find the keywords for various dog topics, see how they title the articles, how well they write, make sure they aren’t duplicating their work from other sources, how well they do things like interlink and create sales funnels to my promotions, be they affiliate promotions of my own services/products.
Once I am sure the person understands it, I will still check the final work, but at least by then, it’ll take less time for me to go over everything and moving forward, I can be confident it is going in the right direction.
Trust me, the time you put into the prospective writer you hire will pay you back many times so don’t be lazy about this.
Let your prospective writer know that if they produce good work, they will have a long lasting gig with you. You’re building a business relationship here. If you let the person working for you know that you have long term intentions and will pay them a good price for their services, they are more likely to keep working for you and producing great work for you.
If they do really well, consider raises, that will certainly incentivize them to keep up the good work.
Again, it is highly unlikely you will find yourself an ideal writer right off the bat, so be ready to train them if necessary and know that it can be VERY profitable for you in the long run as the business owner.
Additional way to find more freelance writers:
Go offline with your endeavors. By that I mean find people in your circles who you know are very eloquent and write well, but are perhaps in need of work. I have personally though about getting a few people from my life that I know could use the money to do this for me. In this case, I know and have met the person so if anything, that extra layer of personal connection may bring about a more trustworthy relationship for us.
It is especially good if these people you know run their own personal blog. Through training them and giving them a good gig, you can also help them eventually start their own online businesses.
Now, onto the freelancers! How to get hired, get gigs and writing jobs that pay well!
You may be on the other end of the coin on this subject, but you are just as important for the business owner’s success and I’m going to show you several ways you can increase your odds of getting that gig that pays well, possibly full time even!
To be honest, the whole process isn’t all that different that the business owner seeking YOUR help, but the steps look a bit different. Let me explain:
I ideally recommend you find gigs for people who seek content production in things YOU already know about. So in the example of dog care, if you own dogs, know about caring for them, you now have knowledge and a certain level of expertise in the area you can bring to the table when negotiating with your client.
Whatever subject you know about or have, list them out, they may become necessary to write on your resume should you decide to get in touch with a business owner and/or they get in touch with you.
Submit your information/resume knowledge to iWriter and Upwork.com. You may or may not get in touch with people looking for your services, but it’s a good place that many business owners go to. And by the way, I do not consider Fiverr to be a good place to outsource your services, because it’s cheap work for cheap quality generally.
Be ready to write 1,500-2,000 word articles AND understand SEO. The understanding of the SEO part will be HUGELY important for when you get in touch with the business owner.
Find a list of websites (blogs, eCommerce, ect…) which deal with the subjects you know about and contact the owner. In your email to them, explain to them how you can contribute to the website with your content.
Let them know briefly that you understand SEO, and for their website (say it’s dog care again) get them an extra (hypothetically speaking) 1,000 visitors or more every single month for the type of articles and keywords you can produce for them.
A business owner will be much more likely to listen to you if they see that your work will directly help their business grow. After all, what would an extra 1,000 RELEVANT visitors add to the site owner’s income? Probably enough to justify paying you a substantial amount to produce the work to make that happen.
What happens if you find a good gig but for a topic you don’t understand? Well if it pays well, you will want to take the time to study up on the topic so you can turn that into great quality content for the business owner.
Normally, I wouldn’t suggest doing this and starting out with the topic you like and speaking to the site owner who would benefit from that relevant knowledge you possess, but anything can happen in the freelance world and you can get a proposition to start writing on things you know little about. Well, in that case, start Googling and learning!
Socially share your work and interest in writing for sites. Also consider finding freelance related fan pages and posting what you can contribute.
Negotiate, but don’t argue with the site owner. If they question some work you did or want you to rewrite something, generally the rule of thumb is to do it, after all, they are the boss, but if the change they request may negatively impact their SEO, traffic and rankings, for example, explain your position in a calm manner before awaiting their final approval/disapproval, then moving forward.
Remember, you need to maintain a healthy relationship here because if you don’t, they will cut you off.
Multiply your gig potential by multiplying your knowledge in various fields and/or site owners. Contact multiple sites on the same subject with the same email if you have to. The more who reply to you = more potential gigs.
Learn about other topics to multiply your potential to contact site owners in other niche topics and also increase your odds of getting more jobs.
Understand that 1 gig may be all you need. That guy who now gets paid $50k a year is doing this of 1 person and 1 website. If you can make your knowledge to the business owner/s known in that you are an asset and can bring them more traffic, more revenue and more business, you will earn a lot, for a long time.
Final advice: Be on the lookout for a great gig potential coming soon…
I strongly recommend that whether you are a business owner or freelancer that you join up with the following website called Wealthy Affiliate. It is where you can:
As a business owner find great information on SEO and build a profitable business. See how well I do through them.
And as a freelance writer, find the same business people and work for them. This will save you tons of time in having to find them on your own and help you find work faster.
My final thoughts:
We live in a world where content is produced at an extraordinary rate and most site owners simply cannot keep up with the level of new content that needs to be produced for their pages to grow.
As such, by knowing how to find the quality freelancer and being the writer who can attract the business owner, you will be able to both grow and make good money moving forward.
If you personally have ANY thoughts about this topic, questions and/or suggestions from personal experience in hiring or being hired as a freelancer, please leave your thoughts below!