The Benefits of Hiring a Freelance Writer

Dane O'Leary
10 min readJan 24, 2019

freelancer n. /ˈfrēˌlansər/
Someone who works on a contract basis for a variety of companies, as opposed to working as an employee for a single company. Freelancers are often considered to be self-employed, and have the freedom to pick and choose their projects and companies they would like to be associated with.

The Business Dictionary

When faced with a project or task that can’t be completed oneself, many people will look for someone to hire. Obviously, in these instances, we want to hire a professional who completes those kinds of projects for a living, someone with the expertise and know-how, someone who can be trusted to deliver results by the time they’re needed. If that sounds familiar, have you considered the benefits of hiring a freelance writer?

There are many reasons why someone would choose freelancing instead of being an employee. For starters, when you’re a freelancer, you basically make your own schedule, and that can be a major selling point considering most people don’t start out freelancing full-time. Instead, many freelancers in the early stages of their freelancing career are working around their day jobs.

And since freelancers work directly with clients rather than through a middleman, freelancers are often able to better meet each client’s needs. With freelancer writers, in particular, this means producing content of a much higher quality.

Freelancing offers a lot of freedom, giving people the opportunity to choose how they do their jobs, when they do their jobs, which clients they work with, how they choose their clients, whether they offer any supplementary services, and so on. In short, freelancers are professionals who answer only to themselves. In many cases, a freelancer could work for an agency but has simply chosen not to.

But the world of freelancing isn’t just beneficial for the freelancers. It opens up a whole universe of possibilities and opportunities for those hiring the freelancers, too.

Hiring a freelancer is often (but, to be fair, not necessarily always) a better choice than going through an agency. With a freelancer, you get a more personal experience. Plus, freelancers are receptive to your feedback, which is also easier to give to a freelancer. More often than not, we value the people hiring us more than agencies and media companies would.

As a freelancer, I wear many hats. Besides writing, I do graphic design, web development and design, tech journalism, marketing, and even science. But I am, first and foremost, a writer.

I write many different types of content. I regularly write editorials, news articles, blog posts, reviews, marketing content, sales copy, white papers, case studies, press releases, product descriptions, newsletters, technical documentation, how-to guides, tutorials, and many other types of content, tailoring each to the needs of my diverse clients.

As a writer, my role is to write engaging, informative, memorable content that establishes my client as an industry leader. My purpose is to help his or her business and its services become more visible by extending my client’s digital reach.

8 Benefits of Hiring a Freelance Writer

Maybe you’re a freelance writer who wants to better pitch your writing services. Or maybe you’re considering hiring a freelance writer, but you aren’t sure it’s worth your time and money. So the question is: What can a freelance writer offer that you may not get by working with an agency?

Here are eight of the main benefits of hiring a freelance writer.

1. Diverse Knowledge and Experience

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When you hire a freelancer, you benefit from that freelancer’s diverse knowledge and experience. Many freelancers have actually worked with agencies; however, by nature of being freelancers, we’re not bound to any one agency. This level of freedom means freelancers don’t just write for the same business or group of businesses over and over again.

Over time, most freelancers write for dozens or even hundreds of companies, gaining the experience that comes with it. So when you hire a freelancer, it’s likely that he or she has experience in your industry.

Each time a freelancer writes content for a client, the freelancer adds to his or her growing knowledge base. As that knowledge accumulates and experience broadens, freelancers can write richer and more dynamic content for their clients. Just as importantly, this content not only communicates effectively but is memorable and enjoyable to read.

2. Direct Communication & Faster Turnaround

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Even when a freelancer has many clients, the turnaround is faster than if you go through an agency. At an agency, a piece of content often must pass through numerous hands at different steps in the agency’s process. As a result, things tend to take much longer with an agency than with a freelancer.

When you have a direct line of communication with your freelancer, there’s less that gets lost in translation. Tell a freelancer what you need, and you can be sure you’ll get great content promptly. Plus, with a direct line of communication, you can contact your freelancer anytime. This arrangement is especially beneficial when you remember important details that you forgot to mention initially.

3. More Bang For Your Buck

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There’s merit in hiring a freelance writer, especially compared to going through an agency. Even when the cost of a project would be the same through an agency or a freelancer, you’re usually better off hiring the freelancer. Writers working for agencies often have a backlog of assignments. With a heavy workload, these writers power through, spending as little time on each assignment as possible. The result is that barely meet your expectations instead of trying to exceed them.

A freelance writer works with you directly. Meanwhile, the writer puts significant effort into your content to make an impression and, hopefully, build a relationship with you. Freelancers don’t just do the bare minimum. We want to exceed your expectations, so you often get more than you asked for and, by extension, a larger return on your investment by hiring a freelancer.

4. Avoiding the Content Mills

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Not unlike content mills, many agencies charge top dollar for content while paying the actual writers as little as possible. Believe it or not, this often means hiring freelancers instead of staffing more writers; especially when the freelancer is early in his or her career and doesn’t realize his or her value, the freelancer will take contract work from the agencies, receiving only about 20 percent of what you pay for content.

Some agencies use content mills to source your content. These are digital businesses that provide writers with an abundance of writing jobs while paying them very little. For this reason, content mills attract inexperienced freelancers.

Typically, content mill writers are just starting their freelancing careers. These writers accept the extremely low rates because more experienced writers are put off by such low pay. But the agencies using content mills are interested in sourcing content, no matter its quality, for literal pennies on the dollar. As these agencies line their pockets, you’re left with incoherent gibberish written by people paid too little to care. You could potentially find yourself needing to have the content written a second time, which might mean paying for it a second time, too.

Instead of paying more and getting less, hiring a freelance writer eliminates the intermediaries and saves you the trouble of paying for mediocre content from content mills. When you hire a freelancer, you know precisely who’s writing for you because you’re working with him or her directly.

5. A Reliable Partner to Meet Future Needs

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You hire someone when you need their skills or expertise, but keeping people with niche skills on your staff gets expensive, especially when you may not need those skills continuously. Hiring a freelancer can be a great solution to this problem. When you have a freelancer in your address book, you can contact him or her anytime a new project comes up, which offers some reassurance for when unexpected, spur-of-the-moment assignments crop up.

At an agency, an agent forwards your request to a writer who puts your content order on their to-do list. You have little control or influence over what happens between placing your order and receiving it. However, a freelancer sees you as a partner; if you want to be involved in the process, he or she will surely accommodate you.

If you need a piece of content written quickly, a freelancer is more likely able to move things around to get your project completed as soon as possible, even if that means working on weekends or late at night. As freelancers, we do this because we actually care about your needs and our professional relationship.

6. More Than a Writer

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The majority of freelance writers have skills beyond just writing. It’s worth taking note of the additional skills your freelancer may have because even if those unrelated skills aren’t particularly useful today, they might become valuable or crucial at some point in the future. Any freelancer would be thrilled for his or her other skills become helpful for you; even if writing is a freelancer’s livelihood, we all want to be a resource for you in whatever ways we can.

More often than not, the freelancer you’ve hired worked other jobs before getting started as a freelancer. In fact, many of us have college degrees, too, so, between prior job experience and education, freelancers frequently offer supplemental services that might put us in even better positions to meet your needs.

As I mentioned, I’m a freelance writer who wears many hats, so whether you only need content, content with an infographic, content with a custom webpage, or an ebook designed, I can be a one-stop-shop for a variety of needs. Best of all, most freelancers offer a discount when you recruit them for multiple services. Leveraging a freelancer’s diverse skills is much more cost-effective than hiring multiple freelancers, and the experience of working one-on-one with a freelancer for multiple projects will be more personable than working with one or more agencies.

7. Helping Your Business Grow

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Many people have considered hiring a writer but talk themselves out of it. Why pay someone to do something I could probably do myself? But there’s a difference between filling a page with content to check a box and crafting content that offers an engaging reading experience, conveys the right information, and converts leads. Quality content and marketing is more than just putting words to paper.

When you hire a freelance writer, you’re not paying them to simply write a few paragraphs. Time, effort, and thought are put into writing content specially designed to enhance your web presence. It involves things like conducting keyword research, finding similar content to assess what competitors are doing right and wrong, identifying gaps in the information that already exists, creating a strategic structure for the content, and making sure the content has been edited, formatted, and polished. And that doesn’t even account for the actual writing process.

A writer’s job is to produce content that portrays your business, company, or brand as authoritative and engages your target audience. By hiring a freelance writer, you’re ensuring that all the important boxes get checked off the list.

8. More Than a Transaction

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When you go through an agency for your content, you rarely meet or even speak to the writer who’s assigned to create your content. You might not even know the writer’s name. To the agency, you’re a transaction. Your value to the agency is only how much your content order contributes to the agency’s bottom line.

Freelance writers measure their success, in part or in whole, by the strength of the relationships built with our clients. It’s as important to us to establish connections with one-time clients as it is to build and sustain our relationships with the clients with whom we’ve worked for years. To a freelancer, you’re never a mere transaction or a number on a spreadsheet.

Any business owner knows how difficult starting and running a business can be, especially when you’re venturing into the entrepreneurial world for the first time. It may seem straightforward on paper, but in practice, it quickly becomes a puzzle with many separate pieces you must bring together. While there’s a lot you can do yourself, there are often certain things that you can’t or shouldn’t do yourself if you want your business to succeed.

As a business owner, entrepreneur, or professional, your web content — whether it recounts the history of your business, information about your products or services, your accomplishments or achievements, or is merely a casual blog post — is usually the first point of contact you have with your leads. If the content doesn’t draw the reader in or touch them in some way, he or she will likely go elsewhere, so by investing in quality content, you’re ensuring a positive first impression for your target audience and investing in the success and longevity of your business.

By investing in quality content, you’re establishing a lasting connection with a freelancer who will likely become valuable to you in many other ways in the future.

As a freelance writer, I’m passionate about crafting engaging, memorable content that drives web traffic, converts leads into customers, and helps business owners, entrepreneurs, and other professionals to establish themselves as leaders in their respective industries.

Originally published at Dane O’Leary Media.



Dane O'Leary

Designer & Creative Strategist, 10+ Years Building Brands & Digital Experiences | Covers Design, Marketing, Tech, Education, Entertainment & Business