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How to Find (and Keep) a Good Freelance Writer

By Edited May 14, 2015 5 5

Often all the focus in the world of freelance writing goes to the 'cheap freelance writers' and you will probably find a hundred thousand articles on how to find those writers. What seems to be lacking are the articles that tell you how to find a good freelance writer and how to stop them running off and finding a better employer.

In the past high-volume, low-quality content was king. No one really wanted to admit it but they just wanted a bunch of pages that had enough mentions of their keywords to drive traffic in one end and out the other. People talked about keyword density like it was a marketing tactic but in reality they were just trying to find the best way to game the system.

Nowadays this content is starting to become less and less effective. Google keeps evolving and many people are feeling it's wrath. Google had the weight of a billion keyword spam websites bogging down it's search engine and stopping it from doing it's number one duty - getting it's customers to the most relevant content to their queries. It got fed up.

Internet marketers, businesses and even revenue sharing websites like InfoBarrel have started to realize the importance of quality. They are putting stricter rules in place and trying to find good writers to produce engaging content for people to read. In the future the best-written, most well-liked and most relevant content is going to show at the top of search rankings.

If you are one of these people working towards this future then welcome! I am going to talk a bit about how you can find (and keep) a legitimately good freelance writer. Writers of the last decade are easy to find but if you have actually tried looking for a good writer then you may have realized how hard it can be to find one. Something you may not realize is that the problem is actually you.

With this in mind, let's take a look at how you can find and keep a good freelance writer.

Contact Them Directly

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The best relationship for both freelance writers and the people hiring them is a direct one. When you contact a writer directly you can tell them exactly what you want, you can customize the job to the writer and the writer can customize the job to you.

Both parties are also financially benefitting from leaving a broker out of the equation. The writer doesn't lose out to brokerage fees and you can ultimately get a cheaper price. 

In addition to all of this you can work together to produce the exact piece you want. If something is off when you receive it a good freelance writer will always be happy to make changes for you. Trying to get this same level of support through a broker is very difficult.

The best places to find writers to contact directly are on writing sites like this one. Join up and get to know people in the forums, you will quickly learn who the good freelance writers are.

Pay For Quality

If you pay a writer peanuts most of the time you will get something that looks like it was written by a monkey. The amount you pay makes a statement about your expectations and how much you value the writer's efforts. If you pay a writer $5 for a 1000 word article then they are going to feel like you don't think their words are worth much and they wont give you a high quality piece. 

A major problem in the freelance world is that many writers will accept work that is horribly and ludicrously underpaid. This is because many writers are struggling and because they love their jobs and want to do it even if it means selling themselves for a pittance. 

Just because a writer will accept a lesser pay doesn't mean you should offer it. If you make a writer an offer above what other people in the industry are (under)paying them they will love you for it and they will write to the best of their ability. If they don't produce good work you can always offer less for the next job or go to another writer. Just make sure you tell them why.

If You are Talking to Your Writer They Aren't Writing

Every writer has had clients like this where they can't get away from them for long enough to actually get the work done. Sometimes it can even impact on their other work. 

Give your writers some autonomy, you don't need to be hounding them all day long for progress reports and to tell them they are five minutes late on their delivery. If they are a day late and you haven't heard from them then send them a message but otherwise give them room to work.

Recommend Them to Other People

One of the best ways to keep a client is to recommend them to your friends. This may seem counter-intuitive but if you do this they will love you for it.

One client's recommendation can make all the difference in the writing world and every writer knows this. Give them a good recommendation and your writers will repay you with high quality content for a long time to come.

Respect Their Writing Ability

While this has factored into earlier parts of this article it deserves its own mention for reinforcement. If your writer decides to make a change to the requested structure of the article, the keyword density, LSI use or anything else let them do it! Of course they should ask you first but an intelligent writer knows when they can improve an article and having strict unbreakable rules on keyword density can result in a low quality article and it can even cause the writer to resent the work they are doing. 

Creative expression is a huge part of writing and allowing your writers to express themselves is only going to benefit you. You're essentially getting a free upgrade on what you originally paid for.

Some of my best clients have been the ones that not only allowed me to change and improve as I saw fit but they applauded me for my initiative. And I loved them for it.

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Thanks for reading, I really hope this article can help both freelance writers and freelance hirers create a better industry for themselves. If you have any other suggestions please add them in the comments below!
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Comments

May 11, 2012 6:44am
davwrite
Nice article. I hope employers read it and take note. In the end we will all benefit.
May 11, 2012 9:49am
ZiggyD
Indeed, I look forward to an improving industry for us all. Thanks for reading!
May 11, 2012 9:36am
Poster
A good writer should always hear the ideas and needs of his clients and also he must provide if needed, some valuable advice that he knows, to the clients regarding the content creation.

For example if clients asking 5 to 7% of keyword density, he should at least tell him before starting the work blindly, it's not a good way to write that much of density. If client still wants it he can go as per the order.
May 11, 2012 9:48am
ZiggyD
Yeah, I agree. It is the writer's duty to inform the client of ways that the work can be improved but in the end to do what the client wants. Thanks for commenting Poster!
May 11, 2012 12:58pm
Introspective
Excellent information and valid points. Great job, ZiggyD! "Thumbs-UP!"
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