Quality content is the lifeblood of content marketing success. Yet producing enough high-level blog posts, case studies and other materials is easier said than done. Many brands look to freelance content marketing writers to help them handle the workload.
By leveraging outside talent, you gain the knowledge, skills and bandwidth needed to keep content flowing. Hiring freelancers also gives you more flexibility and cost efficiency while helping you meet last-minute content demands or coverage gaps.
But finding candidates with the right backgrounds is challenging. It takes time and effort to distinguish solid writers from subpar ones and locate professionals versed in search engine optimization (SEO), marketing and your industry.
We created this guide to examine the best places to find and manage skilled freelance content marketing writers. You’ll learn about:
- Key skills and qualifications to look for.
- Popular platforms to find freelance content writers.
- Lesser-known communities catering to content marketing writers.
- Best practices for managing and retaining freelance teams.
The Role of Freelance Content Marketing Writers
Freelance content marketing writers are essentially specialized scribes. They create all sorts of assets, including blog posts, white papers and case studies, based on your brand messaging and content marketing goals.
These writers aren’t just knowledgeable about writing; they also grasp essential marketing concepts like:
- Crafting engaging, audience-focused content.
- Optimizing materials for search engines and conversions.
- Researching industry niches.
- Aligning tone and topics to your target buyer personas.
- Producing content that’s formatted by channel.
Experienced freelance content writers also understand how to research assigned topics and deliver articles that are accurate but also insightful. This ability allows them to quickly learn about specialized industries and gain insights that matter to your target audience. They’re comfortable diving deep into data, interviewing subject matter experts and analyzing industry reports during the writing process.
Advanced content marketing freelancers can also optimize content for search visibility. They seamlessly integrate SEO keywords into articles without compromising readability. They also know how to format titles, meta descriptions and media for maximum search engine exposure.
Beyond writing talent, the best freelance marketing writers have project management capabilities that allow them to work independently. They can coordinate with internal stakeholders while requiring minimal direction to research subjects, outline drafts and meet deadlines.
Benefits of Hiring Freelancers
Freelance content writers can help content teams as an extension of in-house writing staff or as a substitute. Here are some benefits of using freelancers.
Access to Specialized Skills and Experience
The best freelance writers focus on niches and industries. This specialization allows them to deliver targeted, insight-packed content without extensive training or ramp-up.
For example, hiring freelancers with proven financial industry experience ensures your articles will speak your audience’s language and coherently discuss complex topics, including the latest regulations. Sophisticated audiences expect content that speaks at their level, and the best freelance writers rise to the occasion.
Scalability and Flexibility
Freelance writers are project-based by nature and available to scale up and down as your content needs fluctuate. Do you need to speed up blog output to align with a seasonal spike in demand? Bring on freelance support for a few months without having to worry about delays in hiring full-time staff or potential layoffs after the rush subsides.
Freelance writing talent eliminates much of the overhead of full-time employees. With freelancers, you avoid payroll taxes, benefits, and technology and infrastructure costs. Labor costs are often predictable, especially for per-project agreements, and you’re generally not paying freelancers unless they’re actually doing work.
Rapid Turnaround Capabilities
Experienced freelance writers are masters of time management (even if only out of necessity). They handle multiple clients and tight deadlines simultaneously. This positions them perfectly to turn around content projects quickly without sacrificing quality.
Free Up Internal Staff to Focus on Core Initiatives
Even if your team has exceptional writers and consent creators on staff, they might have a variety of other responsibilities. You might want them to concentrate on marketing strategy, campaign management or high-value analysis. Effectively manage your content marketing team by delegating some of your writing tasks to freelancers. You free up your full-time staff for other priorities that fit their strengths or are too sensitive to trust to outsiders.
Where to Find Freelance Content Marketing Writers
Now that we’ve covered the significant impact freelance marketing writers bring to the table, let’s explore the best places to find them.
Popular Freelance Writing Platforms
Generalized freelance websites offering all manner of professional services can be great sources to connect with marketing writers. Leading options include:
- Upwork: This platform has millions of freelancers covering any number of specialties and needs. You can screen candidates based on expertise, relevant experience, testimonials and more. Pay writers hourly or per project based on fixed rates.
- Fiverr: This platform connects freelancers and employers for various services, including content marketing. Quality varies, given the low barrier to entry, but you might find diamonds among the coal. Fiverr is particularly useful for smaller one-off projects.
- Freelancer: This website is similar to Upwork, although it charges a lower percentage fee for projects. Users can search profiles, post jobs for free and access candidate vetting features. Premium tiers enable direct hiring and other benefits. The site serves over 50 million users, increasing your chances of finding writers in virtually any niche.
Content and Copywriting Communities
Niche freelance writing platforms can be a way to source content marketing writers with less clutter. Top options in this category include:
- Contently: Geared toward major brands and enterprise organizations, Contently offers experienced content marketing writers and can handle most administrative work, including payment.
- Scripted: This platform combines AI and human expertise with various plans and solutions, including access to subject matter expert writers who follow your content briefs to the letter.
- Constant Content: A marketplace that connects brands and businesses with thousands of top-quality freelance writers.
Job Boards and Forums
The following communities offer advanced marketing writers with SEO, lead gen and conversions top of mind:
- ProBlogger: A popular site for finding writers with a strong focus on blogging and SEO. It attracts professional bloggers and content writers.
- BloggingPro: Similar to Problogger, this platform is ideal for finding writers specializing in blogging and content marketing.
- Contena: A job board featuring an invite-only community of freelance writers, editors and content creators.
- Superpath: This job board lets businesses source from over 15,000 writers and strategists.
- MarketHire: Hire freelance marketing talent using MarketHire’s AI-powered matching technology.
- American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA): This professional organization’s “Find a Writer” resource lets you search for other ASJA members for your writing project.
Don’t forget that freelancers themselves can be among the best sources of referrals.
“We have had success finding writers by searching on LinkedIn, but our best leads come from our own stable of writers. Our current writers understand our clients, industries, and processes and their referrals have led to wonderful partnerships,” Jamie continues. “Editors of the publications we frequently work with are also excellent sources of recommendations for freelance writers who specialize in the industries we work in.”
More Places to Find Writers
The big platforms aren’t the only places to find the perfect writer. There are many other formal and informal ways to connect with quality freelance content marketing writers.
- LinkedIn Services: LinkedIn enables direct booking of content marketing talent through LinkedIn Services. You can look at LinkedIn members’ services profiles, message them and request their services.
- Local networking groups: Don’t overlook local resources. Visit co-working spaces and network with chambers of commerce and small-business associations to mingle with local talent. Attend relevant events, check internal job boards or leverage these connections for word-of-mouth referrals.
- Social networks: Social networks like LinkedIn, X and Facebook have a lot of noise, but they can also surface talented freelance writers. Mine your contacts to see who they recommend. Reddit “for hire” forums are another option for requesting or advertising freelance services. When posting, communicate project expectations, timelines and compensation to expand your candidate reach.
- Email newsletters: Kaitlyn Arford and Sonja Weiser offer freelance-focused newsletters, where you can post work in each week’s edition or catch their attention with a social media post of your freelancer needs.
Managing and Retaining Freelance Talent
Finding and evaluating freelancers is only half the battle. You need to properly manage, guide and encourage your freelance writers so they are happy, engaged and keep returning to you.
Follow these best practices for effectively managing freelancers:
Welcome Them and Set Expectations
Begin the relationship with a friendly and professional welcome email. This sets a positive first impression. Use this note to outline next steps, including contact information and what else the freelancer needs to know about working with you..
Set expectations regarding project scope, deadlines and branding standards. Use an onboarding packet or kickoff call to reinforce these guidelines and address any questions.
Make clear whether you’re offering a one-off assignment, an ad hoc schedule or a long-term assignment. This certainty fosters a sense of security and loyalty, encouraging long-term collaboration.
Give Writers Detailed Project Briefs
Use comprehensive project briefs to communicate the work’s scope, objectives, target audience, brand voice and key deliverables. A well-defined brief acts as a blueprint, minimizing the need for revisions.
Likewise, share style guides, product documentation, past content samples and editorial calendars. This ensures on-brand content creation with minimal guidance.
Set Up the Systems You’ll Use
Whatever system you use to track your projects, make sure the freelancer has the access they need. Train the freelancer on the system if they are unfamiliar with it. Use these tools for centralized feedback to avoid confusion or missed deadlines.
Similarly, clarify preferred communication methods, and set a regular schedule for updates and check-ins. Communicate response time expectations, and encourage writers to ask questions or voice concerns.
Designate a Point Person
Assign a single contact person for the writer for feedback and guidance. This approach promotes consistency in project direction and avoids confusion from conflicting feedback.
Recognize Success While Offering Constructive Feedback
Show gratitude for exceptional work. Acknowledging milestones and skills enhances job satisfaction and encourages maintaining high standards. Reward successful projects with positive testimonials or opportunities for ongoing work.
Provide specific, constructive feedback after a writer submits their initial content. Clear guidance on what is effective and what needs improvement sets a benchmark for future work.
Provide Competitive Compensation
Align your rates with market standards and the quality of work expected. Timely payments and performance incentives motivate writers to maintain high standards. Unlike full-time employees, freelancers don’t get a regular paycheck, so timely invoice payments are vital. Prompt, accurate payment can be crucial to retaining freelancers and having them say nice things about you to others.
Foster Strong Working Relationships
Create a supportive work environment that emphasizes open communication, understanding and trust. Treat freelancers as integral team members and encourage their feedback and queries.
“Referrals are the number one way I find freelancers, and it’s how the lion’s share of my clients find me,” says Margot Lester, CEO and writing coach at The Word Factory. “It’s why I focus as keenly on customer service as content quality.”
Support Professional Growth
Encourage development through training recommendations, industry insights and constructive feedback. Investing in their skills elevates content quality and the writer’s commitment.
Scale Your Team Carefully
Expand your freelance team gradually, ensuring effective coordination and project delegation processes are in place. This gradual approach prioritizes organizational stability and content consistency.
Strategically hiring and managing freelance content marketing writers is essential for successful content marketing initiatives. By recognizing where to find talented writers, fostering effective collaboration and building long-term relationships, you can significantly amplify the impact of your marketing efforts.