Hiring a Writer Series: Why Hire an Outside Writer?

The Hiring a Writer Series examines how business owners, managers and marketers can can hire the best freelance writer for their project and establish a successful, productive relationship.

English: Alexx Shaw, freelance curator and writer

English: Alexx Shaw, freelance curator and writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deciding whether or not to hire an outside writer or editor can be challenging. Often, the cheapest easiest solution seems to just do the project yourself.

Many times, however, the opposite is true: an independent writer can get the job done faster, better and, therefore, more efficiently than if done in-house.

There are so many reasons that businesses hire an outside writer to complete a few tasks. I think these reasons fall into four general categories:

1. Expertise: If you want to produce something new, like a blog or marketing brochure, then working with a writer who excels at this specific translates into a successful final project.

2. Quality: While you have extensive knowledge of your business and organization’s objectives, you may not have the knowledge of grammar, creativity or eye for detail needed to perfect the project.

3. Speed & Efficiency: Professional writers generally turn around projects very quickly. This allows you to catch up on work when you have too much on your plate and finalize larger projects that have been pushed aside for too long.

4. Outside Perspective: Sometimes all you need are “fresh eyes” to complete the task at hand successfully. An outside writer or editor offers new ideas, creative approaches and solutions to challenges.

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3 thoughts on “Hiring a Writer Series: Why Hire an Outside Writer?

  1. I am a writer – so I am your sympathetic audience to hiring a professional writer! I’d like to add a few ideas from talking to software developers, engineers and manufacturing types. Expanding on your 4 points above — a staff member’s time-and-cost can be more expensive than hiring the outside writer.

    Common issues that I’ve heard when companies use internal staff to write their content have been:

    * Delayed starts and procrastination / missed deadlines for written copy
    * Missed or incomplete sections, disorganized relationships between sections
    * Awkward or complicated stories that confuse instead of help the end-user
    * Misunderstanding who the audience is and what language they understand
    * Overuse of acronyms, internal service / product names and cryptic industry lingo
    * Taking longer to write copy than a seasoned writer would need
    * Writing too much copy and losing the reader in details
    * Including negative comments or tactless criticisms of the company or competitors
    * Time lost to writing instead of completing staff’s non-writing projects

    Hiring a pro writer is the safest bet. However, there are some incredible employees and contractors who have the communication-bug. I tend to find these people at the help desk, sales or administrative jobs. They are good at translating a company’s service or product into useful written and sometimes diagrammatic material.

    An additional suggestion is to have the pro writer become an as-needed team member and work in collaboration with the good-internal writers and pick-up work that exceeds staff’s practical time.

    • Hi Shauna,

      Thank you so much for your great insights! I’ve also come across many of the situations you detailed. I’m very much looking forward to your thoughts on the upcoming “Hiring a Writer” posts!

      Warm Wishes,
      Grace Myers

  2. Pingback: Hiring a Writer Series: When should you hire? | better writing in business

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