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Hire freelance writers: all you need to know.

If you search on any remote job hiring platform, you are bound to discover hundreds of fantastic freelance writers for hire, ready to work with you. 

However, when you start digging a little deeper to hire freelance writers, you might be confused about the types of writers, what they offer, how much they make, and how they work with clients. 

In this deep dive blog, we also aim to demystify what freelance writing is to any businesses and companies considering hiring writers.  

And whilst we are at it, we spoke to some lovely freelance writers already in the Work for Impact (WFI) community to hear what they had to say to help you hire freelance writers.

What do freelance writers do?

The most obvious answer to this question is, of course, freelance writers write. 

They craft the written word into paragraphs, articles, and content, informed mainly by that of a client, but what exactly do they do? Is all writing the same? Another easy answer here: No.

There are numerous types of writing, and freelancers often specialise in specific areas we present below.

Types of professional writing:

  • Web copy – copy specifically created for a website
  • Academic Writing – Research Write Ups or Journal Articles etc
  • Article Writing – for magazines, online publications 
  • Copywriting – mostly used in flyers, booklets, informational pamphlets, sales-focused copy
  • Blog Posts- used on personal or professional blog sites
  • Social Media Copy – social media posts, AD copy and direct messages
  • White Papers (longer form copy) – Topic detailed research and knowledge summaries
  • Proposals/Business Plans – often used to apply for loans or gain investment
  • Grant Applications (Charity) – proposals based on the charity’s offering (requires experience in the sector)
  • Creative Writing – ghostwriting and/or writing competitions

Additionally, some writers offer bespoke and unique services beyond traditional writing services, such as editing and updating pre-written copy and even market research and analysis in some cases.

Freelance writer drafting proposal in front of the computer - hire freelance writers.
Ph: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

Types of Writing Work to consider when hiring freelance writers

After knowing what kind of writing you are looking for to hire freelance writers, there are many ways to engage each writer in a working agreement. Here are two main types of arrangement:

Project based 

These writing projects are when you want a writer to write regular content for your blog but don’t wish to hire a full-time writer. The workload is determined at the beginning of the project and has a finish date. Also, they get the client’s writing subject and tone are dictated.

N.B: Sometimes projects can be very long term, and still not be a contract job.

Single Article or Copy Submissions

These are much smaller than a project-based writing arrangement. Often pitched by the writer themselves to a magazine or website, and will focus on the writer’s specialism or an interesting topic they’ve come up with. They are harder to get, but they are more financially lucrative in return.

There is a third type of contract writer, which one might argue is the same as project-based, but by having a contract, a writer becomes less of a freelancer and more of a contract writer. In this article, we will not go into the specifics of searching for or hiring a contract writer/gig.

Stages to hire freelance writers: How do freelance writers work?

For most freelancers, there are five stages to any project or writing assignment. 

Top Tip for Hirers: “Every freelancer is different, it is important to understand what you want and be clear how much control you want the writer to have over the project.” – Sasha

1. Contact or Pitching

Writers will either reach out to the media outlet or company they wish to write for with an article submission pitch. They’ll outline the title of the piece and the scope of the article, with a price and timeline included. 

Alternatively, copywriters or other types of writers will often receive an email or message asking for their services, and from there, they need to begin negotiations for the work.

2. Negotiations, Agreements & Deadlines

Writers move into the negotiation stage after accepting the pitch or taking the work on board. Here is where payment is decided, as timelines and delivery. 

Both parties must ensure their overall requirements are met, and all parties are satisfied with the compensation, work amount, and when it will be delivered.

3. Briefings

“Depends on the project, but briefs are almost always a part of it!” says one of the freelancers, Ocean. Each project or article is different and requires a briefing. Some writers, such as Flavia, utilise email to ensure they understand what is required. 

“I usually exchange emails with questions and ask for their goal to understand what they want and need. Plus, I also ask for examples of similar articles they like.” However, some writers prefer a briefing form to gather information and/or a call.

4. Submissions, Reviews & Alterations

Once the writer has created the first draft, many will send it to the client for review. This is to enable the client to check the copy matches the briefing requirements. Furthermore, it enables them to ensure the information is correct. Things can be lost in translation.

Most writers will offer small changes as complementary, a sentence or paragraph change here and there within their initial price. However, if the client asks for big alterations, this may require further charges to the clients. 

This rarely happens, though, and ensuring you get all the correct information to the freelancer in the first instance means this is even less likely to happen.

5. Completion & Invoicing

After review, writers will make last changes and submit them to the client as a final draft. Once sent, an invoice will often follow for payment. In the next section, we’ll go further into payment types.

What are the freelance writers’ rates?

Pricing can vary dramatically from writer to writer and from one type of project to another. Experience, location, and speed can also impact revenue. In other words, traditionally there are four main ways of charging for writing services.

  1. Article – each article is given a set cost regardless of length or time for research
  2. Hour – a writer has a set price and covers a multitude of services, i.e. research, writing, project management etc
  3. Project – Similar to per article, but a more extensive scope. It can cover several written projects with special rates and additional work
  4. Word – each word has its own price, i.e. $0.15 per word

However, as freelance writers become more experienced, they may raise rates to match their expertise and knowledge levels, mainly if they specialise in a specific area or focus on a writing niche. 

An experienced writer’s standard blog price can be around $140-160. However, it can be as low as $50-70 (varying depending on length etc.). Some writers also take advantage of invoicing tools such as Quickfile or Zero, which enables them to easily invoice you and track writing projects and clients. 

Others use job boards such as Work for Impact, which can track projects, manage contracts, fulfil payments and send receipts, all so you don’t have to.

Our freelancers shared some of their pricing experiences: 

“Journalist work is usually project-based and per article, while copywriting is usually per word count. Payment is usually made after the job is completed and the work is published or accepted.”

“I price my writing hourly. If it is a contract, I charge per hour and get paid weekly or monthly. If I have to price a single article, I study the subject, see how long it could take me, and charge the total amount of hours.
I sometimes can lower the price if the client gives me more work to do, and charge it when I deliver the final piece.”

“Quote per project and request payment on completion, with a deposit of 35% depending on the reputability of the client.”

“Blog writing is based on word count, and then the others would be project-based. Payment would be after completion.”

After hiring freelance writer, client is reviewing the article in front of the computer while drinking coffee
Ph: Vlada Karpovich via Pexels

What do freelance writers on our hiring platform care about?

The writers of Work for Impact care about impact. So it’s not surprising to know this is a big element of the work they do and the writing they endeavour to take on. For instance, Ocean shared with us that she liked working with clients “dedicated to making a difference in the world”.

For Flavia, it was about sharing their passion for Veganism without being righteous. It used the written world to share the message and inform whilst showing that little changes are everything in making an impact.

Finally, Jordan focused more on matching their values and intentions with their clients. So, with a passion for working in different fields, such as sustainability, conservation, travel, environment, and animals, these were the types of clients they looked to work with.

Best place to hire freelance writers aligned with your project

As Flavia puts it so well, “working with a freelancer is great because once you find someone who understands your likes and dislikes and knows what your business is about, you can really bond and trust the work. It is a more personal relationship, and it can humanise the professional environment” but where to find them?

In truth, there are many freelance websites for writers with a simple search. However, hiring through a company like Work for Impact allows companies like yours to work with aligned freelancers and give back to meaningful initiatives. 

Among some of our featured writers, such as Ocean M., Flavia Z., Jordan M. and Sasha C, you can search for freelance writers on our platform according to your project needs.

Create a business account to hire freelance writers aligned with your project.