What to know about outsourcing your content creation

Good copywriters can help you spread the word about your organization. Here’s what to look for and how to find them.

Hiring a copywriter

Let’s face it: We are not all skilled writers.

Producing compelling and engaging content is an art and science of its own—a combination of journalism, sales, creativity and psychology.

You know your business, and that business is not writing. It only makes sense, then, to outsource your content creation to someone whose business that is.

How do you find copywriter(s) who can spread your brand by educating, entertaining, inspiring and motivating your target audience?

This is a matter for some research, and perhaps some trial and error, as you look for a copywriter who meets your needs and those of your target audience.

Criteria for a good copywriter

You want to look for certain things as you consider selecting someone for your outsourced copywriting needs:

  • A seasoned copywriter should have a portfolio that demonstrates his or her talent in creating website content, writing blog posts and social media content management.
  • You want a copywriter with successful experience in your niche. There are a lot of generalists out there, but a specialist may do a better job for you. You will spend less time explaining your niche to the writer.
  • A copywriter should have solid and excellent references from former clients—clients who state that their brand has expanded and that their customer/client base has increased due to the copywriter’s efforts.
  • Reliability is crucial. As you check references, be certain to look at performance in meeting deadlines.
  • A copywriter should discuss your requirements with you and develop a content campaign strategy based on your business and your goals. An experienced copywriter will be a great resource in terms of making suggestions and taking initiative in a campaign.
  • A copywriter should be willing to take on a small project for you (which you will pay for, of course), so that you can judge style, tone and match for your requirements.

Where to look

Once you have made the decision to outsource your copywriting needs, you have a number of options for finding the right person(s). Here are some sources:

  1. Freelancer.com. This is a huge job board with millions of postings. Organizations looking for specific skills and talent can post their needs and receive responses and bids from freelancers whose skills are a match. Obviously, if you use such a job board, you will want to have discussions with anyone who presents a bid.
  2. LocalSolo.com. This site caters to organizations who prefer to work with copywriters face to face. However, the organization has recently expanded to include remote work options as well. Content providers constitute one of the categories for contracting.
  3. Custom Writing Services. There are a multitude of writing services that offer a full range of products and services, including copywriting. When you look at these sites, be certain to check out any reviews and feedback you can find. In addition, be sure that when you do select services from such an agency that you will have lots of direct communication with the copywriter(s) assigned to your work.
  4. Upwork.com. Upwork is a large job board site that resulted from the merger of Elance and Odesk. Those in need of copywriters will find a large number of candidates. The site has a good reputation and publishes honest reviews of its member freelancers.
  5. VirtualVocations.com. This job-matching site is only for telecommuting jobs. Hiring a remote copywriter is quite common, so this should not deter you from finding a seasoned professional with experience writing in your niche.
  6. LinkedIn. You have some options here, but it may be a smart idea to join some writers’ groups on LinkedIn and listen in on their discussions. You can learn a lot about them through their conversations, and you can then contact a few who seem promising for further discussion.
  7. Ad/marketing agencies. You may be able to find a small agency that will take on your project(s). Their writers will have the skills and talents you need.
  8. Online writers’ associations. You’ll find a lot of these with a simple Google search. You will find some that focus on “commercial” writing as opposed to literature. Avoid looking at literary writers’ groups—they have wholly different styles.
  9. Your own research. There are blogs out there related to your niche. If you have not already done so, access them and start reading. Posts will have authors with bios and contact information. Even if the one you contact cannot take on your work, he or she will probably be able to suggest someone.

A word about pricing

Do not look for a bargain. On several of the above-mentioned sites, you will find people who charge very little. You get what you pay for, however, and those who charge more do so because they have a reputation and a history of success.

James Daily is a writer, content manager and blogger at Flash Essay.

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