Tips for Working with Freelance Writers

  • Pick a freelancer with the correct abilities and agree on a rate upfront.
  • Be sure their style matches yours and share a clear outline of the project.
  • Keep the lines of communication open and don’t be afraid to ask for a trial run.
  • Ultimately, be respectful of each other’s time and knowledge. You’re both working together towards a common goal.  

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you better love where you live because it could become your office. More and more workers are choosing to freelance every day, and it shows no sign of slowing down. In an article by the Society for Human Resource Management, the CEO of Upwork said, “It’s no surprise that freelancing is on the rise, especially now that we have fully disentangled where we work from what we work on. The data shows that independent professionals are benefiting from income diversification, schedule flexibility, and increased productivity.”

Utilizing a “flexible workforce,” aka freelancers, can be beneficial for several reasons. Maybe your business is just getting started, and you’re not ready to bring anyone on full-time. Or, perhaps you’re interested in filling a role, but the boss says you need to test drive a new hire as a freelancer first. If you’ve worked with talented freelance writers for years or are looking to work with freelance writers but don’t know where to start, here are some tips on creating the best working relationship possible.

Pick a freelancer with the correct abilities 

The key to outsourced freelancing success is choosing who best fits your needs. As much as we all want to go off someone’s word, it’s imperative they have examples you can reference. Ask to see their portfolio or if they can share testimonials from their previous clients. In the words of NKOTB, do they have the right stuff? Solidifying that your chosen freelancer has both the skill set and level of ability you need before starting saves you many headaches down the road.

Agree on a rate upfront 

To successfully work with freelance writers, you must be honest about your budget from the get-go. Make sure you and your freelancer are on the same page about compensation but consider what’s realistic. For example, if the going rate for the scope of work you’re looking for seems out of your price range, you’ll need to adapt. But, as they say, you get what you pay for. 

Be sure their style matches yours 

Just because someone fits in your budget and is a talented writer doesn’t mean they are the right fit. What drew you to them in the first place? Was there a specific piece of content in their portfolio that matched the style you’re looking for? If so, share that with your freelancer! Most are thrilled to emulate a style they are already comfortable with.

Share a clear outline of the job 

Every freelance success story starts with a clear outline. Remember, freelancers aren’t mind readers. It’s for everyone’s benefit to precisely outline the project, state your expectations, and what your ideal result looks like. A great way to do this is to provide examples. If your freelancer worked on something similar in the past, reference their portfolio. Provide links to the quality content you’re striving for, and you’ll avoid a slew of follow-up emails. If you’ve never made one before, check out our blog on Creative Briefs. 

Keep the lines of communication open

Even with the most extensive outlines and explanations, your freelancer is bound to have questions. Establish an open dialogue while you work with freelance writers. They might not understand a request, and you might have tweaks you’d like to make before the final result. Feedback is always appreciated and encouraged and allows the freelancer to adjust and make necessary changes. Being honest and available is the quickest way to get your desired result.

Test the waters

If this is your first time working with someone, don’t be afraid to give them a trial assignment. This will be indicative of their abilities, and you’ll get insight into how communicative they’ll be when working on a larger scale. Are they meeting deadlines? Does it take them several rounds of notes before they can deliver the final project? Use this time to assess if they are a good match before handing over the complete set of keys.


Remember, you and your freelancer are a team. Mutual respect is paramount, not just for each other’s time but also for each other’s areas of strength. Chances are this isn’t their first rodeo, so ask them what they think. This doesn’t mean you can’t give constructive feedback; it just means to be considerate when doing so. If they nailed your style and tone, let them know. Freelancers love compliments too! 

Lastly, the best way to show your respect is to pay your freelancer swiftly upon completion of the project. There’s nothing worse than sending several follow-up emails wondering about payment. If you’ve assigned a lengthy task, offer to pay in installments. The bottom line is, treat your freelancer how you’d want to be treated.

We have the writing help you need

If you’ve made it all the way through and are thinking, “I’m in a good spot to hire someone, but I don’t know if I want to manage a freelancer”, we’ve got great news. Redefine Marketing Group has a massive team of qualified in-house and freelance writers. So rather than stressing about finding the next word guru for your content, let us handle that for you! We’re sure to have someone on our team perfectly suited for your needs, whatever they may be. So give us a shout today!

Author avatar
Stephanie Fehrmann
Stephanie was an SEO content writer before transitioning to a management role. As the co-founder and Head of Content at RMG, she oversees everything from the development of content strategies and content creation to day-to-day office operations. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Journalism, and enjoys showing clients the power and versatility of content.
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