Category Archives: Content

The Benefits of Hiring Freelance Writers

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of marketers are planning to increase their use of written digital content, which means producing articles, ebooks, blogs, white papers, and anything else you may need to promote your business, generate and nurture leads, and build brand awareness.

Where is all that content going to come from? If you already have an in-house team of writers, that’s great! But if you find yourself running short on writing resources, look into hiring a freelance writer.

What Is a Freelance Writer?

A freelance writer is an individual who writes or produces written content who is not an employee of your company. Most freelancers perform project-based work and charge by the project, the hour, or the word.

In other words, a freelancer is a contractor. As a reminder, the IRS differentiates contractors from employees for tax withholding purposes. When you hire a freelance writer, you are getting a contractor as long as you don’t dictate too much about how the job gets done.

  • Don’t micromanage when or where the writer works or dictate the tools to use.
  • Don’t provide too much instruction for achieving the project.
  • Don’t measure “how” the work was done.

In other words, don’t treat the contractor too much like an employee. The IRS gets a little torqued about misclassifying workers.

The Benefits of Hiring a Freelancer

Hiring freelance writers provides several benefits.

  • A flexible workforce
  • No need to provide fringe benefits
  • Long-term freelancers get to know your business almost as well as you do

An experienced freelance writer often has experience in multiple industries with a deep well of knowledge about one or two. Depending on the business you’re in, you can find someone who can hit the ground running with very little in the way of onboarding.

Retaining Talented Freelancers

Once you find someone who understands your business and consistently provides content that is true to your brand, correct in all its details, and converts leads, hang onto that person.

Just like you lose historical knowledge whenever an employee leaves, allowing a freelance who is doing a great job for you to disappear back into the pool would be a shame.

If you found someone you would like to use long-term, set up a retainer. Many freelancers already provide retainer services. It’s a great way for both sides to control monthly cashflow. You don’t need to look for someone new every time you have a content project. With a retainer, you receive priority attention from the writer, so you don’t need to be scheduled into a larger pile of work.

Paying a Freelancer

You get what you pay for. The freelancer is doing this for a living, just like your employees who work for you day in and day out. If you want top-notch work, be willing to pay for it.

Sure, you could put those assignments into a content mill website and get a writer for a couple of pennies per word, but you have little control over the quality until you have tried out a few. You may get lucky and find someone who does a great job for cheap, but don’t be surprised if your chosen writers leave the service to make more on their own.

Besides losing cheap labor that is good quickly, hiring writers charging such low rates often indicates a beginning writer or one doesn’t write well. Either way, you could end up paying more than you expect if you pay a cheap writer $20 for a brief post and then spend several hours editing it and making it ready for publication.

Isn’t your brand worth more to you than that?

Obviously, you know how much you can afford to pay. But here is a glance at the appropriate payment for an experienced freelance writer.

  • Hourly rates – $50 to $100 per hour. If you need specific technical expertise, prepare to pay at least $100 or more.
  • Per-word rates – $0.10 to $0.40 per word for general marketing content. For print and specialized content, plan to pay $0.50 to $1.00 per word.
  • Project rates – typically based on a loose hourly rate, project rates are appropriate if you have a defined set of work to do. It can also include other tasks than writing, such as posting to your content management system or sourcing images.

One sign of an experienced writer is the experience to quote a reasonable rate and an estimate of time and cost.

A good freelancer provides value to your business without the hassle of employee administration. Just order your content and pay the invoice. At the end of the year, you can send a Form 1099-MISC to each writer for their taxes. They will love you for that!

As you brainstorm content ideas or if you have a large content project coming down the pike, consider hiring a freelance writer. In the long run, you will save money and receive quality work. You can also gain a long-term partner who can help you generate leads and expand your business.

Reading Is Still Fundamental

(This post originally appeared May 2, 2018 on the Aubrian Cubed Blog.)

I come from a family of readers! We didn’t just read occasionally – we read All. The. Time.

I grew up with parents who were avid readers. Even though my father only had an eighth-grade education, which was not uncommon for children growing up in rural areas in the 1930s, he spent most of his evenings reading.

Mom and Dad Were Readers

Dad learned to love reading when he was in the army during World War II.  There was little to do to break the monotony, so the soldiers read whatever they could find. My Dad favored westerns for the most part, but Mom said one day he picked up one of her romances to read. (Wonder what he thought of it.)

  • Dad read the newspaper every day and used his reading skills to take a correspondence course in electronics and TV repair in the 1960s. (This was a class taken by snail mail way, way, way before personal computers and the internet.)
  • He read manuals and instructions for assembling projects.
  • He had a fascination with bicycling in the 1970s and read magazines and books on biking.
  • As a farmer and auto mechanic, he read books on gardening and tried to keep up with the automotive knowledge that was beginning to change so rapidly.

My mother also read widely. She read cookbooks, gardening books, fiction… anything and everything. She favored romances but engaged numerous interests while I was growing up. She researched everything from astrology to Zen Buddhism.

During her later years, she spent time reading about ways to manage her diabetes. Eventually, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy had made it impossible for her to read.

My Brothers and I Are Readers

My brothers and I all caught the reading habit. They enjoy westerns and science fiction among other things. They all read manuals and magazines and other material to keep up with the technology for their jobs in software engineering and radio technology. Their wives read. The family trades books to read.

Of course, I read every day. A. Lot.

  • I read the newspaper every day to keep up with what is going on in the world, especially about things that affect us and our children.
  • I read cookbooks to fix healthy and tasty meals for the family.
  • I read books about writing to improve my craft.
  • When I was a medical technologist I had to read and write laboratory procedures.

I read children’s, young adult, and adult fare from Harry Potter to Artemis Fowle to books by Mercedes Lackey. I like romances and mysteries and science fiction and fantasy. If the writing moves along well, I will read almost anything, including medicine, art, theater, and music.

My curiosity bump causes me to read articles about a wide variety of subjects in magazines and papers just because they sound interesting or catch my attention. Many are scientific in nature. I read textbooks to refresh myself on subjects I haven’t thought about in awhile to answer questions for the kids.  As a freelance writer, I read on different subjects for research purposes and to learn more about my craft.

I Married a Reader

My husband also likes to read.

  • He reads the paper every day and keeps up with the new using online resources.
  • He likes to read books about military subjects, having been in the Air Force for many years.
  • He is very interested in submarines and in the Titanic.
  • He also likes science fiction and Harry Potter but reads much more non-fiction for pleasure than I do.

He reads manuals and all manner of technical material in order to keep current for software testing. He read textbooks for a course in Project Management.

“I Get It! But why? Why do we read?”

Because we can’t NOT read…

  • For information and pleasure
  • Out of curiosity
  • To learn new things
  • To keep up with a world that changes quickly and constantly.

Reading is absolutely necessary to go online, read prescription instructions, or learn the best way to plant peas. When we read a book that really speaks to us, it can change our life!

Re-reading a favorite book is like visiting old friends. Finishing a book that we just can’t put down can be exciting but a bit depressing.

The story was great — Yay! but now it is over (Boo hoo) — On to the next!

Reading can make us want to try new things, take us to other places, and keep us in touch with family and friends. Reading can comfort us when we are tired or sad. Reading can inspire us in ways that television, movies, videos, and games never can because we are free to interpret what we read for ourselves.

Remember the program “Reading is FUNdamental”?

Even now, in the Age of the Internet, reading is still at the foundation of all we do.

Give your audience something to read.

Contact Aubrian Content Creation and Curation.

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