Freelance writers are their own breed of people.
They’ve committed themselves to the art of writing, and most spend years honing their craft into something worthy of your hard-earned cash.
Not everyone can churn out quality copy on a deadline with little more than their imagination propelling them forward, however.
Whether you’re in the market for a new freelance writer in Austin, Texas or are searching the interwebs for someone to help you write your “about” page, who you hire makes a difference.
No two writers are alike. Each has their own style and experience.
Still, writers who kill it for their clients possess the same core qualities. Ask yourself if the writer you are hiring has these 5 qualities before you send them a deposit.
- They know how to conduct research like a BOSS
A quick Google search will only get you so far.
Experienced writers have sources and contacts all over the world, and are quick to pull a quote or statement that supports what they’re writing.
Sure, some writers are knowledgeable in certain fields and don’t really need to research their topic.
However, no one can know everything.
The writer you hire should have the skills to research whatever you want written, and do so with expert precision.
- Has a good grasp on grammar
I say a good grasp because no one is perfect. Even bestselling authors have editors who undoubtedly spot an error here and there.
Let me be perfectly clear—there is a difference between an error here and there and flat-out awful grammar.
You are paying good money to have a freelance writer take on your project. You should receive high-caliber writing, but on the off-chance a mistake pops up don’t freak out.
The most important aspect of writing is creativity and a unique ability to sew sentences together. Focus on that first.
Read a few samples from your potential writer and determine if they have the grammar skills you require, then let it go unless you want to spend your life searching for the ‘perfect’ writer.
Writing mentor and Fortunate 500 freelance writer, Linda Formichelli, wrote an excellent post about grammar police. Give it a read if you still believe professional writers should be error-free at all times.
- Has Communication Skills!
Writers have to communicate clearly and quickly with their clients. Fast email response, open dialogue, and a willingness to listen are a must.
Also, a professional writer should communicate their concerns and ideas for your piece, and you should want them to. Why?
- Because writers have an outside perspective of the project
- They have experience you don’t
- You’re paying them for fresh ideas
If a writer doesn’t ask any questions and simply sends you an invoice for their work, chances are you’re dealing with someone who really doesn’t give a shit about your project.
I know that’s harsh, but I can tell you from experience—a lack of communication equals a crappy outcome for you.
Keep an eye out for new ideas, questions, and comments about the project from your writer. You’ll find that professionals never hold back their opinion, and you’ll be glad they didn’t.
- Is Deadline-Conscious
A good writer has several pots on the stove at any given time. They can’t risk running behind on deadlines.
In my work, the deadline is critical. I don’t like to be late on projects and I do what it takes to guarantee a quality piece is delivered on-time and within the budget set.
You’ll find that’s the case with all professional freelance writers. Your deadline is held up to the light like the Holy Grail, shining down on our keyboard. Remember—if they care they make the deadline happen.
- Has a professional attitude
No matter who you choose to be your freelance writer, they should have a professional attitude.
Friendly email responses, asking if you’re happy, and a willingness to explain their process are a few things professional writers make happen. Regardless of your project, your writer should have a professional attitude throughout.
While this mostly becomes a concern if something goes awry, take note of how the person speaks to you initially and what their clients have to say about them.
Put simply—work with professionals if you want a professional result.
Hiring a professional freelance writer can be challenging. Use the qualities above as a foundation for your search and don’t settle. You work hard for your cash and should only give it away to someone who delivers.
If you like this post, and the other things I have said, then send me a message about your project. I’d love to work for you!