How Do Clients Properly Vet Content Writers?
Clients and writers alike consider proper vetting techniques. Vetting a content creator means finding the best person for a project. As for the freelancer, knowing a customer’s needs facilitates more work. Answering this question smooths the process, creating professional compatibility for writers and clients alike.
Be on the Lookout for Repeat Business
Working with somebody twice is a tell-all. Depending on the site, an independent worker may collect reviews or testimonials. If you see “I’ve worked with [this person] before,” then you are in a great spot to find high-quality commitment.
I met many touch-and-go customers over hundreds of projects. At times, we were incompatible. Other times, they needed somebody with a distinct experience. Despite the conflicts in needs, they always leave nice reviews.
I think that my biggest sign of triumph lies within my repeat projects. When I make someone ecstatic to work with me, I consider that a win.
Collect Sample Writing, and Front the Bill
Asking to pay for 250 words is quite appropriate. Most creators are used to turning over a paid sample. You get to see a polished piece, specifically made for your project. For amateur writers, this is a portfolio-building exercise with feedback.
From an expert’s perspective, making your potential new contractor jump through hoops to get hired is inappropriate. I fill out dozens of applications every day, and I prefer for the process to be streamlined. This is not out of laziness. Think of it from my perspective. After filling my 12th written proposal for the day, I am tired of taking the “tests” and filling out detailed surveys.
Do us a favor, and simply ask for a pristine, paid writing sample after carefully reviewing portfolios, resumes, and cover letters.
You Get What You Pay For
How do you expect to vet a content writer while paying beginner prices? My biggest qualm is reading an extensive, strict job description. They say something along the lines of, “We have an intense editing process. Do not apply if you cannot follow instructions, take criticism, and edit to our satisfaction.”
How much does a job like this pay? I scroll to the bottom, and I see that the description proposes $10 per 1000 words. I promptly close the job description and never look back.
It takes me two or three hours to compose 1000 words. I research, draft, leave it, come back to edit, proofread, leave it, edit, and proofread again. Asking for $10 per 1000 words is paying me $3 an hour. I am worth more than $3 an hour, and so are other experts. We will never work at that minuscule amount. Instead, you attract desperate bottom feeders with fewer skills, and the experience is bad for everyone.
While you vet freelancers, they also vet you. Low pay is a sign of a lack of respect for someone’s time. My time is valuable, and I put thought into where I spend it. Three hours lost on $10 serves nobody.
I Want to Interview a Freelance Writer. What Are the Tell-All Questions?
You made it to the interview process! An independent artist caught your fancy, and you want to be sure before hiring them. Astounding payments and good work environments are in their future. They only need to answer a few simple questions. What do you ask to get to know them?
1. What Is Your Minimum Daily/Weekly Word Count?
This question is a true tell-all. Knowing their workload and how you fit into it is necessary. Some experienced writers push out 10,000 words a week, and others produce 100 a day.
As a freelance writer, I never get asked, but I believe that it is the most important question. A truly practiced professional is found in the word count. For example, according to my editing tool Grammarly, I am pushing 700,000 written words from January to July. That is an amazing amount! To help you with the quick math, that is around 4000 words per day.
If they are a weekly blogger, then consider why they only draft 1000 words per week. Maybe they are uninspired or not getting enough work. Perhaps you are ecstatic to see their schedule open because you have an extraordinary weekly workload. The correct answer is tailored to your needs, and you get to know your content writer a little better.
2. What Do You Use for Research?
The obvious answer would be Google, right? Everyone uses Google to investigate. For many clients, this answer is okay. However, you could be looking at a research-intensive project that needs vetted facts. Ask them to describe their research methods, and spend less time mulling over the accuracy.
Some excellent answers include the following:
- Research articles
- Personal connections
- News journals
3. Can You Take Criticism?
The newer, younger generation is notorious for being inept at taking criticism. Deep editing processes may bewilder fresh writers. For many of them, they have never been told that their work is shoddy and needs improvement. Asking about their ability to take constructive criticism prepares them for the job.
“After six years of writing, the reaction gets better, but the feeling is exactly the same.” — From the Author Destiny Vaughan
I am young, but I am not new. Criticism was hard to stomach in my early years. I was only 15 when I completed my first freelancing project. The editor tore my writing apart. After six years of writing, the reaction gets better, but the feeling is exactly the same. Be empathetic! Having your hard work edited is anxiety-inducing, and it takes legitimate practice to get used to the process.
4. Do You Have Any Advice for the Success of This Project?
I will be honest. Sometimes, a website asks for 2000 words on a landing page, and I strongly advise against that. Yes, I will be paid for 2000 words of writing, but that is way too many words for a quick touchdown. Since the relationship is so new, I do not want to start blasting ideas at them.
Asking for advice opens a safe dialogue. A creator may know more about the quality of the content than you. A general rule of thumb is that quantity does not mean quality. Having fewer words saves money in the long run too.
Here are some common suggestions to get from a seasoned content contributor:
- Lessen the word count.
- Do some keyword research.
- Your formatting is off.
- Quit overcomplicating the project.
- This outline is too big for such a small word count.
5. Are You Proud of Possessing Any Soft Skills?
This question gets into the nitty-gritty of the personality of your potential worker. Soft skills are highly underrated, and I never get asked about them. My soft skills are a big reason for my success. Here are some soft skills that I think are critical for excellent writers and thriving projects:
- Quick learning
- Creative thinking
- Taking pride in a job well done
- Avid reading/learning
- Genuine interest
Congratulations on Hiring a Skilled Freelance Content Writer!
After streamlining the rules, you just hired an exceptional new content writer. Congratulations! I hope that my advice eased the process. With some tenacity, hard work, and luck, your next writing project will run exceptionally. Avoid the bottom feeders, and respect the work of your freelancer. I guarantee that you, an ethical client, have successfully vetted an amazing freelancer.
What’s that? You still have yet to find a good one? Lucky for you, you’re in the presence of one now. If you are interested in my writing services, feel free to browse my portfolio and follow me on social media. I am happy to accommodate your project. Thank you for your time, and I will see you on the flip side.
Portfolio and Reviews: http://www.upwork.com/fl/destinyvaughan4