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Hiring A Copywriter In 2024: A Guide To Finding The Right Freelancer 

Hiring a copywriter

The hiring process is always dicey. 

So, hiring a copywriter on a freelance basis might seem like an easier option. After all, it’s less of a commitment than employing someone full-time. But that’s not always the case. 

As a freelance copywriter, I’ve been working with clients for years. While it’s much easier for us to part ways when the time comes, no one wants to go through multiple freelance writers just to find the one that sticks. 

If you also plan on hiring a copywriter for a long-term freelance partnership, you’re in the right place. 

Even though I don’t hire freelancers myself, I get to know my colleagues and hear client stories that help me understand what’s important when building a long-term partnership with freelancers. In this article, you’ll find:

  • What do copywriters do?
  • Is it better to work with a marketing agency, freelancer, or in-house copywriters?
  • Where to find and hire copywriters?
  • What are the red flags to be aware of?
  • And how to build a strong foundation for a long-term partnership

If you want to skip to a particular part, you can do that here:

For those who are in for a long read, let’s go!

What is a copywriter?

a freelance copywriter using a laptop

Before we dig deeper into what it’s like working with a freelance copywriter, let’s see if you need one to begin with. A copywriter creates content for websites, blogs, social media, email campaigns, and other marketing materials. 

The goals of copywriting are:

  • Creating awareness
  • Educating readers
  • Leading people through the buyer’s journey
  • Boosting conversions
  • Driving traffic to your website

A professional copywriter uses everything at their disposal: SEO skills, research, storytelling, brand knowledge, and customer research to create optimized, researched, and engaging content that brings value to your readers and encourages them to discover your products.

What does a copywriter do?

A copywriter prepares content to fit your whole content strategy. They plan topics, research them, perform SEO research, write, and edit content. Of course, many content writers focus solely on writing, which is great, but in the current job market, it can be an advantage to know other skills. 

Hire a copywriter to:

  • Create valuable content for your customers
  • Develop clear content funnels
  • Build your brand’s DNA through content
  • Create awareness about your company
  • Attract more organic visitors to your website
  • Increase your lead conversions
  • Create informational content like blog posts, guides, how-to articles, e-books, etc.
  • Influence people to purchase your products 

Freelance copywriter vs. marketing agency vs. in-house writer

Ahh, the life-long debate: whom to hire? A freelancer, an agency, or a full-time employee? There’s no right or wrong choice here. Your decision depends on your goals and needs. But let’s see the pros and cons of each type of employment.

Freelance copywriter pros

Fast results

When you work with a freelancer, you communicate and deal with them directly. That means that whatever tasks or edits you have, they can take them on (almost) right away. 

Personal communication

Communication with freelancers is straightforward. You don’t need to go through customer service or a project manager to assign new tasks or ask for revisions. Working with a freelance copywriter is also more personal. As there’s no middleman between you, you can look for someone easy to get along with. 

Better prices

Every freelancer sets their own rates, and you can find countless offers. But when compared to your in-house team and agency, freelancers don’t put a significant markup on their prices because you work directly with them. 

A copy that an agency would charge 200 euros might cost only 100 euros when ordering from a freelance copywriter. You also only pay for the actual work, not their coffee breaks, sick leaves, and days off.

copywriter working on a laptop

Large talent pool

Post that you’re looking to hire a freelance content writer on any freelance job marketplace or a group on Facebook/Linkedin, and you’ll be bombarded with countless message requests. While most of them aren’t worth your time, you can definitely find at least a handful of copywriters who deliver great results.

Less responsibility

Working with freelancers allows you to try different professionals and hire people just for particular projects. If your vibes don’t match, you can always pay for the work they’ve delivered and part ways. 

Flexibility

Every freelancer is a business owner selling their services to you. They want to offer you the best service they can. It means they can alter their offer, add additional services, and provide extra revisions with more flexibility. You don’t need to go through a lengthy process of changing your contract or communicating with a bunch of project managers or an HR department.

Freelance copywriter cons

Beware of scammers

When the freelance talent pool is so large, you can’t avoid scammers and shoddy work. Low prices and fast results are tempting, but remember the saying: “Buy cheap, buy twice.” When you hire people you find on questionable sites, freelancers with fake reviews, no experience, or no previous work, your risks of being scammed increase.

It can be even more difficult to find legitimate copywriters with the rise of AI-generated content. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Below, you’ll find the red flags to be aware of when hiring a copywriter.

No call, no show

When no contract ties your business with a freelancer, it’s easy to get your fingers burned (That’s why I always recommend signing a contract, especially for bigger projects). Without a reliable hiring strategy, you might encounter many freelancers who work just fine, but one day they stop responding, leaving you with no results and no money.

Pros of working with a marketing agency

Many service options

Marketing agencies often specialize in multiple services. If you need content writing done along with a content strategy and web design, in most cases, you can get it all. 

Reliable

A trustworthy agency is a reliable choice because you sign a contract, and they must provide the service you ordered. Although there are scammy agencies, you should be fine if you do basic research and read customer reviews. 

Another benefit is that marketing agencies work with multiple people. So, let’s say a writer who’s been working on your projects gets sick or quits, the agency will find a replacement to do the job. 

Peace of mind

The good thing about working with an agency is that you don’t need to communicate with the writers yourself. You just tell what needs to be done, and project managers within the agency ensure that the results match your expectations. 

Marketing agency cons

Can be pricey

Agencies put a hefty price markup on the work they provide. You can see agency markup analysis in this article by DashClicks. And they have all the right to do so. They give you peace of mind and guarantees, so you might as well pay more. Most agencies work with both in-house and freelance workers. They have to pay for their work, do the administrative work, and generate profit. 

Low agency fees might actually be a red flag. If you pay below average for content work, you can be sure they pay unlivable wages for their team. Low salaries mean low morale and overworked staff, resulting in low-quality, copied, and template work.

Results take longer

While having a project manager dealing with writers can be a good thing, it also means more misunderstandings and misstated communication. 

Let’s say you need a few edits. For that, you contact a project manager responsible for your project. The manager then reaches out to writers. Messages get lost, people have their own schedules, and sometimes things just get lost in the pages and pages of email sequences.

Pros of hiring a copywriter in-house

They are always there

If you need a quick edit or to brainstorm new blog topics, your in-house writer is just a few desks or a Slack message away. No need to wait for them to respond or contact a project manager, as long as they’re not busy with other tasks.

All of their focus is on your projects

Even if an in-house copywriter has some side gigs, they legally can’t work on them while on your paid time. So, you know that they’re giving 100% of their focus. An in-house writer knows your brand, customers, communication style, and vision, reducing mistakes and misunderstandings.

You get to know them better

You work with this person 5 days a week, so you know their communication style, motivational language, and needs at work. You can build better relationships and motivate your in-house staff to become great assets to your company.

In-house writer cons

Expensive

Hiring full-time is an investment. You pay their salary, taxes, insurance, social guarantees, sick leave, time off, etc. Let’s say you have a slow month where you don’t need as much content, you still have to pay them the same salary.

Big commitment

When you sign that contract, you hope it’s for good this time. But what if the new hire fails to meet your expectations? What if they are horrible team players or just slack off, earning a comfortable living?

Of course, if there’s a legitimate reason, you can always fire them, but searching for a new person, hiring, and onboarding them is very expensive and time-consuming for a company.

It takes time to find the right fit

That brings me to my next con: the hiring process can take months because you want to find someone to stay on your team for at least a year or longer. That means countless interviews, outreach messages, meetings, no-shows, etc.

6 Best websites and ways for hiring copywriters

The good news is there are many websites where you can find and hire freelance copywriters. With writers being among the top freelanced positions, you can be sure to find enough candidates. 

But with many available options, come the risks of sketchy hiring platforms and scammers. So, I’ve gathered 6 websites and ways to hire copywriters you can trust.

1. Upwork

upwork landing page

Upwork is the biggest freelance job marketplace in the world. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for fast and affordable outsourcing. Upwork offers various services like content writing, copywriting, photography, graphic design, you name it. 

How much do copywriters charge on Upwork? Most copywriters on Upwork charge between $15 and $40 per hour

What to expect? While some people say Upwork is more prestigious than similar freelancing platforms, you’ll find many writers who charge ridiculous rates and provide copied or poor-quality work. You can definitely find great freelancers, but it might take a while.

2. Fiverr

fiverr landing page

Fiverr is another popular freelance marketplace. Here, you can find many great freelance copywriters. It’s also a popular platform among designers, web developers, virtual assistants, and other freelancers.

How much do copywriters charge on Fiverr? You will find content writer rates ranging from less than a dollar to $100 and more. So, you have to search for the best price/quality ratio.

What to expect? Many people to choose from, meaning it takes time to find the right candidate. Most users charge meager rates, so be aware of the quality.

3. ProBlogger

freelance marketplace

ProBlogger is a job marketplace for all sorts of writers. You can post a job or browse the talent page to find candidates for your own content projects. The platform also has many resources to help you create better content and improve your marketing efforts.

How much do copywriters charge on ProBlogger? The rates for posting a job listing start at $80, and then you can set any rate you think is suitable for the job. To choose from the candidate list, you have to pay an additional fee based on how many resumes you wish to collect.

What to expect? A site with a high reach and publicity. You can expect to receive many inquiries and find great freelance copywriters quickly.

4. LinkedIn

copywriter's linkedin page

LinkedIn is a professional social media network designed for job search and networking. LinkedIn is becoming a popular platform for hiring full-time staff and freelancers. You can post jobs for free and check the candidate’s profile, experience, education, and network. That can be a great advantage if you’re looking for top-class copywriters.

How much do copywriters charge on LinkedIn? It depends on the writer, their skills, experience, field, location, etc. While you might encounter low-paid freelance copywriters, many people who invest their time in building a reputable LinkedIn profile charge higher rates.

What to expect? Platform to network with industry leaders, communicate with freelancers, and get to know them better.

5. Freelancer.com

job marketplace for freelancers

Freelancer.com is a similar platform to Upwork and Fiverr. You can register for free to post a job. The platform works on a bidding principle, where you post a project, and freelancers place their bids. You can also pick from the list of freelancers and contact them privately.

How much do copywriters charge on Freelancer.com? The rates vary, but you can choose from multiple bids, which allows you to find the best price/quality ratio.

What to expect? Freelancers can bid on your offer when you post a job on the platform. That means you have full autonomy to choose an offer with the best price. However, like on other freelance job platforms, you’ll encounter countless low-quality writers, so it might take time to hire the right one.

6. Recommendations from your network

It’s one of the best ways to find and hire professional and dedicated copywriters. Contact people in your network and ask them to recommend a copywriter. 

I bet at least some of them have worked with a professional copywriter. While it might cost more to work with someone good enough to earn a recommendation, it’s totally worth it. And think about all the money you’ll save by not wasting your time on scammers and unprofessional writers.

7 Red flags you shouldn’t ignore hiring a copywriter

Now that you know where to look for freelance copywriters, you can roam free, hiring right and left. 

Well, there are many things you should be aware of before hiring a freelancer. You might be surprised at how many scammers and fraudsters are waiting to waste your time and take your money. The best way to avoid them is to notice red flags before assigning them any tasks. Here are some red flags to look out for before hiring a copywriter.

1. Something just isn’t right

When you contact a freelancer or when they email you, notice how they communicate. Are they polite and do they provide their full name, website, or other things that help verify their identity? What does your gut feeling say?

If someone emails you with an email like ehsg@hotmail.com, you should really reconsider hiring them.

Also, notice if they immediately take on a task without asking questions first, ask for payment in advance, or try to trick you into communicating outside a trusted platform, etc.

2. They have no social proof

At the beginning of starting a freelance business, it might be challenging to get testimonials and client reviews. But as time goes on, a freelancer should have worked with at least a few clients they can show you. If they have no testimonials, social media accounts, a portfolio, guest posts, or other information showing that they have worked on other projects, it’s a red flag.

3. They don’t have a portfolio

It’s always strange when a freelancer doesn’t have a portfolio. You don’t need to work for a client or even publish guest posts to create a portfolio. You can write a blog on your website, do some projects for exposure, and publish on platforms like Medium or your own social media. While it doesn’t mean a freelancer is a scammer, it doesn’t show they are willing to invest time and effort in building their business.

4. They avoid signing a contract

Most standard freelance contracts don’t put a lot of pressure on a freelancer or a client; they just provide some guarantees. And who doesn’t want to ensure themselves? Most likely, someone who is planning to breach the contract.

5. They insist on talking outside the platform

If you contact a freelancer on platforms like Freelancer.com, Upwork, etc., you have the advantage of the platform protecting you. When you don’t receive your order or receive poor-quality work, you can ask for a refund or some other compensation from the platform.

But some scammers try to coax clients into working outside the platforms where there’s no protection. You must be careful when dealing outside the platform because nothing will protect your money or information if a person turns out to be a scammer.

6. They avoid calls or in-person meetings

While it doesn’t apply in every case (especially when you contract through freelance gig platforms), if a freelancer always finds an excuse to avoid meeting you in person or jumping on a call, there’s something off about that person.

Having a call can give you more security when dealing with a new hire. It’s also easier to explain some tasks over a call than to go through countless emails.

7. They can’t issue an invoice

Nobody likes paying taxes, but, just like the sun rises in the morning, everyone has to pay taxes. I’ve encountered many freelancers who work without permits, don’t pay taxes, and hide their income.

While it’s your personal choice whom to work with, don’t be surprised when one illegal action turns into more. Think about it this way: would you buy services or products from a business that openly avoids taxes? Probably not.

These are just a few red flags to be aware of when hiring a copywriter. Always listen to your gut, it has helped me avoid problems when picking clients many times.

How to start working with a freelance copywriter?

Now that you know where and how to find reliable writers, it’s time to see how to make sure it sticks. Most of the time it’s not enough to send a few messages before you order freelance services. It’s important to work your way to know the person and their style to see whether it’s the right fit.

1. First communication

Whether you got a recommendation from a colleague or found a writer on Upwork, the first communication is essential. Notice how they communicate, how long it takes for them to respond, and whether you find common ground. Even if they’re an expert in their niche, you need to click on the professional level to avoid problems later on.

Simple things like a friendly and polite introduction can tell a lot about a person.

2. Clearly explain your needs

Before you sign a contract or place an order, clearly explain what you expect from a freelance copywriter. Tell them what tasks you plan on giving them, your industry, audience, work process, etc. A professional copywriter will assess this information to see whether they’re the right fit for your project.

As a freelancer, the more I work in the field, the narrower my expertise and niche get. At times, I have to reject a project I know I’m not knowledgeable enough about. From the freelancer’s perspective, it’s good to know your client’s expectations to see whether you have the availability and tools to provide your best work and meet their expectations.

3. Sign a contract

When you agree on the terms, sign a contract. A contract is to protect you and a freelancer. It’s helpful when one of the parties can’t provide their obligations or the work doesn’t meet the agreed terms and standards.

4. Agree on further communication

Many business owners are reluctant to work with freelancers because managing them is more complicated than managing their in-house staff. 

However, I always recommend looking at a freelancer as someone you would hire to redo electrical wiring in your home. You probably know a thing or two about electricity, but you don’t stand behind their back pointing fingers at where to put electric circuits and other parts. 

If you did your homework in choosing the right hire, you should be able to trust their work.

To make sure you get updates, but don’t micromanage, agree on further communication and the process of working together. Perhaps you can agree on weekly Slack updates or biweekly calls to discuss ongoing tasks. This way, you’ll know the status of your projects and have assurance in the copywriter’s work.

How much is the freelance copywriter’s salary as of 2024?

Freelance copywriter rates vary depending on the writer’s experience, location, skills, project difficulty, and other factors. On average, a copywriter’s hourly salary is around $30 in the US, with some reaching $40 or more. But you’ll find people who can write a blog post for $10 and those who write the same post for $500. It’s up to you to find someone who offers the best quality-price ratio.

Should you use AI instead of hiring a copywriter?

With emerging AI writing tools, everyone’s wondering: “Will artificial intelligence replace human writers? Will robots write your morning newspaper?” And while many people jump on the bandwagon saying that the future is here and you can forget about hiring copywriters, programmers, and designers, the topic is more complex. 

AI text generators are becoming more advanced and intelligent. You can craft a coherent text with just a few lines for context. But the tool is still a tool, not an actual person. They can’t sense your audience’s unique needs and style or bond through human communication. 

Even though AI tools will continue to advance, the need for quality and unique content is increasing. Google, the most-used search engine, focuses on detecting content written by AI. It might flag such content, lowering the website’s rating.

But suppose you’re working with content writers who charge a few dollars for a blog post and present it with more grammar errors than there are words. In that case, it’s better to generate content using an AI tool that won’t make grammar errors. But again, in the ideal world, AI tools should help writers only come up with outlines, do research, and write the basic first draft instead of writing a complete blog post.

Hire a freelance SaaS copywriter 

Freelance SaaS copywriter

Working with a freelance copywriter for the first time can be hard. You might ask yourself: Where do I find reliable workers? How can I be sure they won’t run off with my money? But working with a freelancer is a great way to get extra help on your projects, come up with helpful insights about your business, and save money. 

If you follow my tips in this guide, I assure you, you’ll find trustworthy people to work on your content projects. 

If you’re looking for a new SaaS freelance copywriter, you have come to the right place. I’ve been working for over 6 years, planning and writing content for SaaS businesses in different industries. 

Check out my work, and let’s get to know each other better!

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