The best place to hire writers in my opinion is Elance. Elance is a virtual workroom that allows you to place jobs for projects such as writing and then lets independent contractors bid on your projects.
The advantage of using Elance.com is that it has the biggest network of users; it’s easy to set up and post jobs; you can find experts for your industry; and your payment is help securely in escrow until the project is 100% delivered. This stops you dealing with people scamming you and taking your money without completing projects.
You can choose to pay workers either on a fixed fee or per hour basis. When they submit proposals, you can also send messages to see their credentials and previous work.
The best thing about Elance is that it’s 100% free to submit jobs. This is because Elance deducts it’s fees (8.75%) from the contractors rather than the buyers.
In addition to writing, you can also post jobs in a broad range of categories on Elance such as graphic design, coding services, virtual assistant, translation services and more.
2. Hiring a Content Writing or Media Agency
The advantage of hiring a content writing agency is that you’ll receive a more professional service (including a phone number and helpdesk), however the downside is that you’ll probably be paying 2-3x as much as hiring an individual from Elance. This is because agencies will typically charge a 100% markup on their work.
The other disadvantage is that depending on your job specification, you might be better off hiring a specialist writer, as opposed to in-house ghostwriters that most media agencies employ.
Personally, I prefer to hire writers on an individual basis as it allows me to develop a strong business relationship directly with the writer. The advantages of developing a direct relationship includes outsourcing more work, negotiating a lower rate, increase the job responsibility (e.g. getting him/her to upload the content directly to your site) and allowing your writer to suggest topics or ideas on your behalf.
How Much Should you Pay for Content?
The average price you should pay for high quality content is around $0.03-$0.10 per word, depending on quality, experience and volume. In other words, around $15 – $75 per page.
The price that you pay also depends on your industry and the level of technical expertise requires. For example, if your website is in financial trading or health, you’ll presumably have to pay someone with professional credentials and qualifications. This will lead to a higher fee.
The advantage of using sites such as Elance is that the money is held in Escrow until the job is complete. This prevents contractors running off with your money before the job is complete. It also gives you more leverage for demanding improvements/edits until you release the payment.
If you’re hiring a freelance writer for the first time outside of elance than I recommend paying no more than 50% upfront (ideally 30%) and than 50% upon completion of the work.
What to Look for when Selecting a Writer?
When choosing a contractor or agency, you should be looking for high quality work, a proven track record, a reliable service and positive customer reviews.
The biggest issue that businesses have when ordering freelance content writers is work delays or issues with the quality of content.
You can also find cheaper writers by posting jobs for university students on sites such as StudentGems.com.