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How to Save (Yes, SAVE!) Money When You Hire a Freelance Content Writer

Not sure you can afford to hire a freelance copy or content writer?


You probably can!


Here are a few cash-saving tips to:


  • help your business keep costs down, and

  • still get great content.


Budget-saving tip #1: Do your OWN project management


Some freelance writers will offer to coordinate a project on your behalf. In addition to writing, they can manage version control; approvals; and work directly with designers, translators, printers and distributors.


Save your money by limiting your writer’s contract to ONLY writing - and take on the project coordination internally.


Keep in mind though: each iteration takes time to coordinate.


If you or your colleagues are prone to making lots of copy changes, or are not highly organized, it may be more worth your while to get the writer to manage all the project aspects.


Budget-saving tip #2: Anticipate your writer’s information needs


To do the best job possible, your copywriter must understand your business before getting to work. And that takes time.


Save your writer a couple hours (and save a few dollars) by anticipating their information needs. (Even better: send it before they ask - they'll love you for it.) 


Create an information package that gives them a sense of your organization, products/services, and any related communications or marketing issues or challenges.


Here are some ideas for your "info pack":


  • Have them review your website and any relevant micro-sites and social media channels, pointing out specific pages they should look at.

  • Provide existing marketing materials, news articles, case studies etc.

  • Notify the writer who your biggest competitors are, and why.

  • Provide materials you want the writer to emulate in terms of tone and messaging. Not sure how much to provide? For anyone you outsource, it’s always better to give more information than less. An expert writer is able to sift through large amounts of text quite swiftly.


Budget-saving tip #3: Write the copy yourself


There is one caveat to this tip: you MUST be a relatively decent writer to make this work (or have a decent writer on staff).


Here are a couple ideas:


  • Try a first draft yourself. Then hand it to the copywriter to edit it. But don’t forget: "good writing" is subjective. Your writing may be technically correct, but it may not be strategic enough for reaching your audience. If the writer believes a major overhaul is necessary, you’ve ultimately wasted your time.

  • Hire a writer to take you through a couple hours of one-on-one content consulting. The writer can review some of the things you've written (like your website copy, blogs, social media posts, e-newsletters or email campaigns) and provide suggestions for improving your messaging and better targeting your audiences.


Time is money


When it comes to smart, strategic, polished content that markets your business effectively, you can save a few dollars by: 


  • taking on some of the workload yourself, and

  • anticipating your writer's information needs.


The end result: a professionally-written, audience-targeted, persuasive, compelling communications piece.


And a bit more change in your wallet for other business activities! 


A writer is a worthwhile investment you can rightfully afford! Comment below, or contact me to discuss your content needs.

"Ottawa writer for hire" Lindsey McCaffrey is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and content strategist for businesses and non-profit organizations. Learn more about Lindsey here.

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