Getting the Words Right for Your Project
Finding and hiring a professional contract, full-time, or freelance writer can be difficult. Here’s how to make it easy.
1. Know Who You’re Looking For
- Find a writer that is an expert in the medium — a book writer for example, has a different skill-set than a print brochure writer, Web / online writer, quiz or calculator writer, game writer or newsletter writer
- Find a writer that has experience with the genre — fiction, nonfiction, marketing, technical, entertainment, educational, SEO, or interactive, for example. The writer doesn’t necessarily need past knowledge in the subject matter. In fact, you may get more creative results if she or he doesn’t. For quality control, pair up a writer without expert knowledge and an editor with expert knowledge in the subject.
- Evaluate his or her writing style — email correspondence, Web site copy, blog posts, ads, and a few recent samples should give you an idea of a writer’s overall writing style and flexibility.
2. Identify a Few Really Good Writers
Once you know what kind of writer you’re looking for, here’s how to quickly locate a good one:
- Ask your friends and colleagues for a referral. Be specific about the kind of writer, the length of the project, whether you need someone local or in-house, and experience level. Use e-mail, LinkedIn status updates, Twitter, and Facebook to get the word out.
- Check the freelance writing and professional directories, such as MediaBistro, Elance, and LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, search for “editorial, writer, editor, freelance writer,” and other keywords that match your project, including location.
- Search Twitter. Use keywords such as #journchat, #editorchat, #pr, #prsa, #freelance, #writechat, #writers, #jobs, #editors, and #contentstrategy
- Post your writing project online. Try CraigsList, MediaBistro, Elance, subject-specific journals and online bulletins, and your local online newspaper. Use this option as a last resort.
3. Or … Ask Me.
I may know a freelance writer or editor who can help.
Know other creative ways to find a really good freelance writer? Let me know in the comments below. San Diego photo by Gary Allard. Nifty diagram of writing process by me, Shelly Bowen.