Questions To Ask a Freelance Writer Before You Hire

Questions to ask a freelance writer before you hire

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your existing website, start a monthly blog, or incorporate social media into your marketing strategy, working with experienced content writers is helpful in order to achieve quality and consistency. But not every business owner has the capacity or desire to hire a full-time staff writer. In these cases, hiring a freelancer might be the perfect solution!

When it comes to developing effective online content, it’s important to hire a freelance writer that has the skills, knowledge, and experience to adapt to your specific voice and tone. Keep reading to discover the most important questions to ask a freelance writer before you make a final decision!

1. “Do you have a portfolio or work samples?”

Looking at education and credentials is only one part of the process. Before trusting a freelance writer with your online content, you need to make sure they can walk the walk. Start by inquiring about their portfolio of work and any published content they’ve written. This will give you the opportunity to see if a freelancer can adapt to your style and if their abilities are up to your standards.

2. “What industries have you written for?”

Two women at coffee shop for job interview

Some freelance content writers have a specific niche. For example, if they specialize in writing for the construction industry, they may only know how to write within that particular field. Other freelancers are more versatile and can seamlessly adapt to a variety of topics and industries. 

If you own a small business and only need writers to focus on one subject, you may want to opt for a more specialized freelancer. But if you’re looking to expand your horizons or you work with third-party companies and need a more diverse range of content, you’ll want to prioritize versatility.

3. “How do you research topics you’re not familiar with?”

While there are some exceptions, the majority of freelance writers won’t be subject-matter experts in your field. They’ll need to conduct research to write authoritatively. That’s why you should always choose a writer who’s comfortable learning new concepts quickly and communicating them effectively. It’s also a good idea to consider if you want to provide them with guidelines and content briefs for each project, or if you’d prefer they conduct their own research.

4. “What is your rate per word?”

Person calculating rate per word freelance writer

Some freelance writers charge by the hour. Others charge per word or per project. While paying an hourly rate might be cost-effective in some situations, we always recommend paying freelancers by the project or by the word. This makes budgeting easier for you and ensures you only pay for the actual work being done.

So how much should you pay a freelance writer? Rates can vary quite a bit depending on the writer’s experience, areas of specialty (e.g. financial or legal writing services), skill level, and any included editing services. As a very general guideline, you can expect the following rates per word for freelance content writers:

  • Beginner (0-2 years of experience): $0.05 – $0.08 per word
  • Intermediate (3-5 years of experience): $0.08 – $0.14 per word
  • Experienced (6+ years of experience): $0.15+ per word

5. “Are edits and revisions included?”

No matter how talented or experienced a writer is, you’ll likely want them to edit, rewrite, or add to your content at some point. If you’re paying by the word or project, it’s important to know if revisions and edits are included within their rates.

Generally speaking, freelance writers that are worth your time will include one or two rounds of edits for each project at no additional cost.

6. “How long do you need to complete a project?”

Black alarm clock next to laptop

Each professional writer is different in terms of their processes and speed. Always ask potential freelancers about their general timeline for completing projects. For example, if you’re interested in developing a monthly blog for your website, consider how frequently you’d like to post and if the freelance writer has the speed and capacity to reliably meet deadlines.

7. “Are you open to doing a trial assignment?”

Even if you find a writer that seems like the perfect candidate, you won’t necessarily know if they’re a good fit until you actually start collaborating. Having them do a paid trial assignment can be a great way to find out if you work well together and if they can actually produce the quality of content you’re looking for in a longer-term partnership.

Work with experienced freelance writers to build your brand and expand online presence!

Person typing on keyboard

Choosing a freelance writer is a major decision for any business. After all, digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to get eyes on your business and boost profits. At Pitkin Writing & Editing, we work with small businesses, digital marketing companies, and others to consistently deliver engaging, results-driven content. If you’re interested in working with experienced SEO marketing writers, then you’re in the right place!

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you connect with customers and optimize your online marketing approach.

Scroll to Top