They can drive traffic to your website, build you up as a thought leader in your niche, increase conversions, and help build relationships with your target audience.
There’s a real demand for freelance writers as many business owners may not have the skills or time to dedicate to creating content for blogs, landing pages, or websites.
Nor do they have time to write articles or guest posts for other publications.
As with everything else, demand for freelance writers has led to an explosion of contracted content writing services.
Many work independently while others work through digital agencies.
As you might expect, quality can vary widely.
Some of the writing produced by these services is brilliant.
Other content, not so much.
A lot of companies are duped by services that sell stolen content that has been ‘spun’ until it is barely readable.
This content is often written by low-wage workers who have little to no English fluency and lacks depth, as a result.
The challenge, as a business owner, is finding a content writing service which doesn’t suck.
I’ll share the following tips to help you accomplish this goal.
Ask for a Portfolio and References
Be wary of content providers who don’t give you the opportunity to see their work.
A content writing service should have samples of their work posted on their website.
The samples should vary and showcase all of the work the company is capable of doing. And also ask to see any published writing.
A freelancer should have samples, as well. Many will have writing excerpts on their website.
And they should be able to provide you with links to their published work.
If you aren’t quite convinced they’re up to the task, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a customized sample.
However, you should expect to sign something indicating that the sample remains the property of the writer and that you won’t publish it without compensation.
Reviews are Important
One good thing about the content writing industry is there are plenty of people willing to share their experiences.
Because of this, it’s easy to find consensus about a freelance writer.
Of course, to truly get a well-rounded look at a company, there are a few things you should do:
- Read the reviews and get them from a variety of sources.
- Pay attention to commentary and social media engagement. Many freelance writers also publish customer testimonials, even case studies. Read these as well.
- Ask around. There’s no doubt that other businesses you know are using these services. Ask local business associates, hit up your followers for recommendations, and check in with online business associates.
Here are some resources to check and see what others think of the freelance writers you are considering:
- Supreme Dissertations shares a variety of customer testimonials on its website. They are a great example of what you should expect from other writing services.
- Reddit is an online forum covering a variety of topics. This includes business writing services. Use Reddit to research companies and find out if they have been a topic of discussion or see how their reputation fares.
- Companies such as Get Good Grade have generated buzz on various social media channels. Search writing services on social media to learn more.
Sometimes, reading a straightforward review gives you all of the information you need.
Cheap Writing is a Red Flag
Imagine you’re looking for someone to repair your car.
Certainly, you’d look for the best possible price. You might even use a coupon.
But you’d still expect to pay a reasonable amount of money for a well-trained, properly licensed mechanic who has the right tools.
If a repair shop offers to change your oil and tune up your car for only $20, you’d be suspicious, wouldn’t you?
Well, you should be!
Likewise, if you find a content writing service offering impossibly low rates, you should be extremely wary.
And unfortunately, many of these services exist.
They offer extraordinarily low rates, which come at a high cost.
The content they deliver is low quality and often lifted from other sources.
Citatior editor, Joanie Stevens, advises:
A contractor you can trust won’t be cheap. What they will do is give you your money’s worth. They’ll provide you with well-researched, original, engaging content. In terms of value, that is a better deal every time.
Your best bet is to comparison shop. Speak with several freelancers and service providers.
Pay attention to the going rates. Be wary of any company charging more or less than the others.
Look for a Variety of Services
A well-established content writing service will have staff on hand to handle all of your needs.
This is important if you have a large amount of content to produce, or you need ongoing help meeting your requirements.
Niche services are okay in some cases, but a company offering a variety of services won’t usually suffer from staffing issues or other problems.
Here are a few content providers which offer a variety of services and a few self-help services to help you stay on top of your content.
- Flash Essay has a very reputable copywriting division. They offer services such as web content writing and guest posts and have a large staff.
- Grammarly is a free service that checks your content for grammatical or spelling errors. You can use the Grammarly website or its plug-ins.
- Hot Essay Service has a well-known copywriting department. In addition to offering writing, they offer editing and proofreading services. For some, using these complementary services offers a savings advantage.
- Purdue Owl is known mostly for academic writing and is a good resource. Much of the marketing content is in AP format. Clients can use this to double check the quality of the writing they receive.
- Rewarded Essays is a writing service offering multiple content solutions, and they can fill your order quickly.
Professional Web Design and User Experience
The truth is, this is an industry with a very low barrier to entry. There are no licenses or tests.
All it takes to become a content writing company is simply registering and publishing a website.
These two things can be done quickly for less than $100.
It’s great when talented people with limited funds can get a start in a business like this.
Unfortunately, this also means unscrupulous people will go into business, as well.
They throw together an inexpensive website and offer their services.
And for those businesses that give them money, it means wasting money on terrible content, or content that is never delivered at all.
The good news is there’s a simple way to avoid this.
A company which intends to serve its customers for a long time will care about more than taking orders.
They will take the time to create a well-designed website.
They will pay attention to what their users want, and they do everything they can to meet those needs.
If a writing service website is professionally designed and has a good user experience, it’s likely you can trust the quality of their writing.
A Talent for Research
Never ask a potential writing provider if they are a subject matter expert.
They don’t always make the best writers.
After all, you’re probably a subject matter expert yourself.
Instead, seek out freelance writers who pride themselves on being good researchers.
A freelance writer with a talent for research can tackle a blog post, article, or other content on any subject.
They know where to go for information and how to turn that information into great content.
A Great Freelance Writer Asks Questions
A good freelance writer understands that business writing and digital marketing are all about branding.
Their job is to produce content that helps people better relate to your brand.
The best writers take time to learn about your company and your brand.
They will also want to know what you are trying to accomplish with your content.
Find a Great Service
Use the steps above, and you’ll find a great writing service.
They are the best path to selecting a service that meets your needs and helps you avoid those that don’t.
The process of finding a content writing service or freelancer is serious business.
And the ability to reach customers using content can seriously affect your bottom line.