How to Write a Good Freelance Writing Job Ad
There are tons of freelance writers currently looking for work. If you want to hire one of the best, then the key is to create a quality job ad that will not only draw in talented professionals, but also weed out those who are less serious or less competent at their craft. Many people write ads and simply post them without much thought. Do this at your own peril. A poor ad that is not well-crafted or specific will lead to tons of applications from less serious professionals. You could spend hours going through them and never find the right fit for your project. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before writing and posting your ad.
Quality writers want to know exactly what the project entails before taking the time out of their busy days to send you a resume, cover letter, and writing sample. Let’s look at an actual example from craigslist:
Looking for two male, two female writers and bloggers to discuss sports and relationships on my blog. This is a great opportunity for an intern or someone trying to get more experience with writing and to build credibility and to add to their writing samples.
If you’re interested, please email me so we can discuss this opportunity further.
Most people may look at this posting and think it looks fine, but a seasoned freelance writer would skip right over it and move on to the next one. The topic, “sports and relationships,” is much too vague. Writers like to know what they’re getting into before committing. In addition, there’s no mention of word count per piece, number of articles per week, or anything relating to compensation. Talented freelance writers are typically busy and they need to know that a new client is worth adding to their list before applying. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to draw talent.
Include Desired Experience and Qualifications
This is perhaps the most effective tool to keep under qualified writers from applying to your posted position. Yes, some will ignore your statement concerning qualifications, but most will heed it and not apply if they don’t meet your standards. This also allows quality writers to know your expectations. Asking for substantial qualifications and experience will indicate that you are a legitimate potential client.
Proofread your Ad
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but nothing will drive talented writers away faster than a terribly misspelled ad. Most writer and client communication occurs via email, which requires both parties to know how to convey their thoughts in written words. An ad that makes it seem as if you have no knowledge of the English language will give writers pause because they know that it will be difficult to take instruction from you.
Communication is essential to any writer-client relationship. If the writer thinks you cannot convey you instructions via email, they will automatically know that it will be a headache to produce the content you actually want. You may think this is overly dramatic, but there are tons of examples of ads on craigslist that prove just how bad this problem can get. Run spell-check before posting your ad, or better yet, have someone else proofread it.
Post a Decent Pay Rate
If this is your first time hiring a freelance writer, you may not know exactly what to list for a pay rate. There are two ways to solve this problem. You can go to freelance writing job boards and look at postings for similar projects with pay rates listed. After looking at quite a few of them, you should be able to determine what seems fair to pay for the piece you’re requesting.
Another way to determine a pay rate is to simply ask writers to send their rates with their application materials. Now be warned, some freelance writers have an overinflated sense of worth for their craft, but most are reasonable and won’t request any more than their talent and experience dictates. Take a look at the rates and the application materials together to make a decision on how much you’re willing to pay.
Don’t Be Angry
You may have posted a specific and well-written ad featuring a great pay rate, but if your tone seems hostile or smug, then most good writers will not consider applying. You’re probably asking yourself how a job posting can be smug or hostile, but you’d be surprised how many fall into that category.
An excessive use of capital letters is probably the best way to turn potential writers off. Another way is to write things like,
“If you don’t meet these qualifications, don’t bother wasting my time.”
There are actually new posts every day that express that sentiment. A quality writer does not want to work for someone who seems angry or controlling. Some don’t want to work for someone who’s overly cheerful either. It’s best to just keep it professional.
These five tips should help you craft the perfect freelance writing job ad. Just remember that you need to impress them as much as they need to impress you.