Questions to Ask Freelancers Before Hiring Them to Write Content

If you’re a blogger, then you know the MOST important element to success is the ability to write unique content. If you’ve been writing for several years, then you know there comes a point where’s it’s impossible to generate engaging topic ideas. If you don’t have content that will be engaging and attract an audience, it’ll stunt your blog growth going forward. However, the Internet has provided a portal to connect with people all over the world, which opens up opportunities to hire freelancers with a unique perspective. Here’s the problem…

It’s important to hire the right person for the job because hiring someone who is inexperienced will do you more harm than good. For example, if my blog niche is “SEO”, then it’s important the person I hire has the right knowledge and skills to add value. You should avoid anyone who doesn’t add value to the bottom line because NOT only is it costing you money, but can also hurt the quality of content available to your audience. I currently own 5-6 blogs where I write content regularly, but have hired freelancers to help when things become overwhelming. Each time I search for the right person for the job, I’ll run through a series of questions to establish their expertise. If you are going to be hiring a freelancer going forward, you should ask them the following questions.

What’s Your Experience?

I personally believe experience is more important than price because I’ll pay extra to get the right person for the job. With that said, it’s important the person I hire can handle the job at hand, starting with the niche. Because it’s important my blog has specific types of content published for my readers, it’s important my freelancer knows the industry, being involved in it for several years. The longer the involvement in the industry, the greater chance they’ll be up-to-date with the trends, etc. Next, if the freelancer doesn’t know the trending news, it’s important they know where to conduct their research, which comes with experience in the industry.

What Type of Content Do You Create?

You have to remember, blogging is a vast industry and technological advances have created tools to easily create different types of content. It’s important to ask the freelancer if they specialize in one over the other. For example, are they comfortable with text, video, image, list-type, tutorials, resource type, etc? Here’s something else you should remember…

Don’t be narrow minded with content type because all different types of people prefer different content. You might want to give different freelancers who specialize in different content a chance, to analyze what works well on your blog. However, if you’ve been blogging for years, you’ll have a good idea of the content your audience finds engaging.

How Do You Research Content? (Optional)

This question is optional and I would recommend if you’re experienced to ask this questions. If you’ve been in the industry for years, then you’ll know where to find trending content and where to research effectively and should expect freelancers to share the same knowledge. The answer to this question will give you a good indication if the freelancer will produce the type of content you expect from them. Some of the best content I’ve written starts with an effective research campaign.

What’s Your General Content Format?

As a writer, you know the importance of content format and how it can effect your SERP rankings. We spend enormous time writing out headlines, sub-headings, the intro, the conclusion, adding meta data, etc., so you need to ensure your freelancer can do the same. The last thing you want is for content to be published with poor formatting. It’s been stated that poorly formatted content will effect…

  • Indexing
  • Organic search results
  • Keyword focus
  • Readability
  • User engagement
  • Bounce rate

I recommend that you scrutinize their formatting, before hiring any freelancer for permanent work, ensuring they meet the highest standards. As a matter of fact, content formatting is just as important as grammar and punctuation. We’ll discuss this in the next section.

Wrapping It Up…

In part 1, we went through some common questions to ask a freelancer before hiring them to write content for you. In the next section, we’ll look at more advanced questions like pay rate, trial work, revisions, etc. You’ll be surprised how useful this series will be going forward because if blogging is your business, then there’ll come a point where you’ll want to hire someone to submit work for you. I currently have 4 people on my payroll and at one point, I was totally against hiring a freelancer. As you become more popular, you’ll have less time to focus on each project so will start searching for freelancers.

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