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Recently a client needed help to source a freelance writer to assist with marketing materials.  This post will share some of the experience.

This is a common challenge that exists today for marketing teams trying to find good written content to use in marketing materials like blogging.  Blogging is a type of news feed in which articles can be published online and released in synchronization with other promotions.  One of the goals for web and blog content is to attract a steady readership that will share the content with others on social media channels.  This also helps to raise search rank and contributes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search rank is controlled by companies like Google and Bing, who will rank your web content based on the overall level of interest by the public.  Creating fresh web and blog content is a never ending task which can require daily maintenance and a coordinated effort across many departments.  Writing this content can become time consuming and difficult to juggle along with other daily jobs tasks.  

For most In-House marketing teams, web and blog content is written by employees that have other dedicated tasks they must attend to.  Having an additional task for writing content can sometimes create a burden that becomes evident when deadlines creep in and project schedules collide.  The shortage of time and resources for written content is what has exposed the widespread need for an external freelance writer.  Additionally a freelance writer could provide an outside perspective to the content and help with SEO strategy.

Beginning with a job posting on Craigslist (a website bulletin board service), many responses flooded in applying to help with the web and blog content.  The responses totaled nearly 100 people which took considerable time to go through. Among them were a few that my client and I agreed were the stronger candidates and we chose to test out.

We hired two writers for similar tasks and hoped to discover a noticeable difference between the two.  Writer #1 seemed to have all the desired skills and interest in taking the projects head on but he repeatedly turned in grammatical errors, even when they were pointed out to him.  Writer #2 turned out to be our favorite due to his punctuation, spelling, and straight-forward approach to the material.  In addition, Writer #2 had experience with SEO and even helped to restructure some of the content to make it easier to understand.

Since moving forward with Writer #2, we have used him on two different blog articles, some web content, and a few brochures.  He has not disappointed and for the price it’s turned out to be a great experience. Over time, it’s anticipated that he and perhaps other freelancers could become a valuable part of the clients in-house team.  

The ability to outsource work successfully should expand the capabilities when it comes time to plan and complete projects.  My client and I have since discussed the potential benefits of having other videographers and designers participate in quoting on jobs or providing an outside perspective.  Craigslist has proven itself to be a valuable resource for talent, provided you can sift through the vast responses.

Other websites and temp services may be consulted in the future if we need to expand our options.