With today’s content-heavy digital strategies, hiring freelance writers can be an ideal way to get the high-quality, high-volume, publication-ready text you need for your website or blog. Unfortunately, managing freelance writers, especially at scale, can create challenges that marketing teams are unprepared to handle. Before you decide whether freelance writers are a good fit for your business, read on to learn more about the challenges of project management and how you can overcome them to execute a successful content strategy.
Why Hire Freelance Writers
Modern companies need to offer information-rich digital content to stay competitive. Search engines such as Google no longer base their rankings on how many times you can stuff a keyword into a single post. Instead, they reward quality, relevancy, and completeness.
With in-house staff who may not have the talent or skills required for effective content creation, companies often turn to freelance writers. These skilled writing professionals can be valuable for several reasons.
You can bring in writers when you need them
Chances are you don’t have enough work available to warrant staffing a permanent writer. Hiring freelancers lets you bring on writers only when you need them, such as when there’s overflow work, during times of seasonal high demand, or when your company is scaling up.
Freelance writers come with unique skillsets
Different types of content require different skillsets. Whether your project calls for a writer who specializes in riveting long-form blog posts or someone who can knock out short, eye-popping product descriptions that drive sales, hiring freelancers lets you match writers to the specific job.
Freelancers enable scalability without sacrificing quality
Unless you’re running a huge, multinational corporation, you probably don’t have a team of in-house writers ready to churn out content. When it’s time to scale up, freelance writers can power your efforts, providing the content you need quickly, without sacrificing quality.
Hiring freelancers lets you match cost to output
Since freelancers are generally paid by the word count, you’re not wasting money on staff who end up sitting around waiting for the next assignment. You pay only for what you’re actually getting, which makes freelance writers one of the most cost-effective options for businesses that need quality content without breaking the bank.
The Challenges of Managing Freelance Writers and How to Overcome Them
While the benefits of hiring freelancers are undeniable, so are the challenges of managing them. Thankfully, many of these challenges have simple solutions.
Challenge #1: Finding reliable professionals
According to Elliot Boey, Head of Content for Bitcatcha, one of the biggest problems they face in managing freelance writers is finding reliable professionals. He says, “Writers are a dime a dozen, but the ones that are responsive and will produce quality work are far and few between.”
Solution: Hiring high-quality writers
Megan Robinson, the managing editor at DollarSprout notes the importance of hiring high-quality writers. “When I first started hiring and managing freelance writers, my main concern was keeping the content budget low. However, I soon learned that the lower the pay, the lower the quality of writing,” she says. “I received 1,500-word articles that required hours upon hours of editing to make publish-ready. … Looking back, I now realize those hours of editing would have been better spent on other projects. Now I always pay a premium for high-quality writers.”
Challenge #2: Matching expectations
Another challenge Robinson faces is not receiving the quality of work she expects. She says, “Oftentimes, the articles I received either weren’t thorough enough or included information that wasn’t relevant to the topic.” This mismatch of expectations and results is a common complaint, and it can lead to cumbersome edits, or worse, unusable content and wasted money.
Solution: Providing more information
Often, the gap between expectations and results stems from a lack of information and communication. As Robinson explains, “I quickly realized that I wasn’t giving our writers enough direction. Once I started providing more information up-front rather than just a topic, the quality of the content drastically improved, as did the number of edits.”
Challenge #3: Keeping everyone on the same page
Different writers mean different styles and skill levels. This can be a project management nightmare.
Jay, the publisher and managing editor of Unseen Japan, elaborates, “One of the things I love about my writers is that each has a unique voice. The challenge is that this means they all write to different levels and standards.” This can easily translate into too many hours spent finessing content to create consistency.
Solution: Using style guides and other tools
Jay recommends tools such as Grammarly – which helps writers eliminate spelling and phrasing errors – and Yoast SEO tools, which assess readability. Their goal, he explains, is to encourage writers to self-edit to reach a baseline established by his company.
Companies can also ensure consistency through the use of style guides, which provide writers with well-defined standards to follow.
Crowd Content: The Ultimate Solution
If you don’t have an effective system in place, managing a team of writers and a tight editorial calendar can be a huge administrative effort. From finding writers who are a good fit, to assigning work, overseeing revisions, and ensuring that content is delivered on time, there are a lot of moving parts involved in leading a content creation team. In addition to recruitment and training, you’ll have to handle messaging, supervise the standardization and proper formatting of completed work, and navigate the tricky road of freelancer availability.
If it sounds overwhelming, that’s probably because it is. The good news is that Crowd Content can manage it all for you, so you can get back to business.
What Crowd Content offers
- Recruitment made easy: Our tools let you search our pool of over 6,000 pre-approved writers to find the best fit for your project.
- Team-building: Whether you hand-select writers or choose to let our project managers pick the right freelancers for you, you can build your team with writers who have the skillsets needed to effectively tackle projects of all scales and scopes.
- A simple one-step platform: Crowd Content’s innovative platform lets you add orders individually or in bulk. Through our easy-to-use interface, you can track revisions and ultimately publish your content.
- Style definition: Using Crowd Content’s style guide tool you can effectively define your brand’s style so our writers can create content that seamlessly blends into your website.
- Effective layouts: With our simple layouts tool, you can easily enforce formatting requirements on delivered content so it’s ready for publication.
If you’re ready to streamline your content management process, let us do the hard work. Visit Crowd Content today to learn more about our platform and how we can fulfill your content creation needs.