Finding freelance writers is relatively easy. The real challenge is evaluating their potential fit for your brand. You’ve got to consider things like budget, style, tone, experience, and a host of other factors. If successful, you’ll have built a writing team that can scale with your business. If not, you’ll have churned through dozens of writers (and lots of money) with little to show. It’s not a task to be taken lightly.
Though we’re always available to personally help you build an elite writing team, we realize that many marketers have a DIY mindset. So today, we’re going to share some tips on evaluating potential freelance writers on the nDash platform.
1. Review Their Profile
In many ways, the evaluation process starts and ends with a writer’s profile page. This is where you’ll find all the essentials, including:
- Areas of expertise
- Work experience
- Budget & rates
- Content formats
- Writing samples & more
Does the information (or lack thereof) provided on this page generate some interest on your part? If not, it’s probably best to move on to another writer. You shouldn’t be left to guess whether the writer’s a fit.
Assuming there is some interest at first glance, you’ll want to dive a little deeper into their background…
Check Their Recommendations
Below the writing samples, you can see if there are any recommendations from clients on or off the nDash platform. Since this is a relatively new feature on a relatively new platform, don’t fret if this section looks a bit blank. Chances are, the writer you’re looking for has several client recommendations on their LinkedIn page. More on that in a few.
Look at Industry Pitches They’ve Submitted
Although writing samples are ideal for gauging a writer’s wordsmithing abilities, they don’t offer much insight into that writer’s creativity. Oftentimes, writers are simply following the (often boring) directions of their clients. If you’re looking for a writer with some creative ideas of their own, then you should take note of their “Industry Ideas” located at the bottom of the page. These are unique content ideas that can be commissioned into content with a single click, but more than that, they’ll give you a great sense of whether the writer will be a collaborator or simply an order-taker.
Check Endorsements on Social Media
If you don’t feel as though you’re finding what you’re looking for on the writer’s nDash profile, take a look at the social media pages that are linked at the top of their page. Taking a deep dive into LinkedIn can show you information that the nDash platform won’t have, such as professional skills and endorsements, as well as recommendations that may not be included in the profile.
2. Send an Idea Request to Freelance Writers
You can tell a lot about a writer based on the quality of their content ideas. If you don’t have an assignment ready to post just yet, but you’re looking for future writers who may be of interest, you can send an idea request to a writer who’s caught your eye. An idea request includes the type of content and the type of information you’d like the writer to provide. This information can consist of a price range, a word count estimate, and a brief outline of what the content will cover. You can easily send an idea request by clicking on the light bulb on the writer’s profile. You can also send a community-wide idea request by using the button in the top-right navigation menu.
3. Message Them Directly
At nDash, we recommend that you find a few writers that you will consistently work with and feel comfortable assigning content directly. One of the best ways to see if a writer will be a good fit is by directly reaching out to them.
Gauge How Well They Communicate
Whether you’re on a time crunch for your assignment or just want to make sure that you’ll be working with a writer who is responsive to your needs and inquiries, directly messaging writers is a great way to gauge their communication skills. To message a writer through the platform, you can either look at the list of writers by selecting “Writers” on the left-hand menu or click on an individual profile and then click on the message icon.
Ask for Writing Samples That Might Not Be Available on Their Profile
Even though writers may have completed a large amount of content, all of it may not be available on their profile for you to review; however, this doesn’t mean that the writing sample doesn’t exist! If there’s a writer that piques your interest and who you think could be a strong fit for your assignment, feel free to ask for a writing sample in the message thread. In this thread, writers have the ability to upload files for you to consider and review.
4. Send Direct Assignments to Freelance Writers
If you think a writer has great potential to complete your assignment, and you don’t want to have multiple writers apply, you have the ability to send a direct assignment to a writer. To directly send an assignment, select “Create Assignment” on the writer’s profile. This writer will be the only one to receive this assignment and will allow you to see how well a writer can follow instructions, follow a style guide (if applicable,) and adopt the desired voice of the company.
5. Send a Content Rewrite
Sending a direct assignment can be a risky time investment for both the writer and the company. If you want to get a sense of how a writer follows directions and can adopt the company’s voice but don’t want them to start from scratch, you can send a content rewrite. By up-cycling and updating content, you provide a specific idea of what you’re looking for, as well as the voice of your company. Rewriting content also demonstrates the writer’s ability to find relevant and credible resources to update the original content.
Ready to Get Started with Evaluating Freelance Writers?
If you’re new to the nDash platform, finding a writer who you’re comfortable working with may seem overwhelming. At nDash, first, we suggest finding at least three to four freelance writers who you feel comfortable using on a regular basis. Then, build a relationship with them for future assignments. Using the tips above, you’ll be able to easily navigate profiles and communicate directly with writers who you can trust to help you reach your content creation goals. While these tips are useful to assist you in becoming acquainted with the nDash platform and what our writers have to offer, nDash’s client services team and our project managers are always available to help!