In my last post I wrote about why you should hire a professional freelance copywriter to write your small business website. In this post I share some places where you can find high-quality professional freelance copywriters. I’ll also suggest where you shouldn’t look.
But first, let me set an expectation.
Good copywriting isn’t cheap.
There… I’ve said it.
What I’m going to share with you rests on this foundation… because someone can type doesn’t mean they can write.
When hiring a copywriter it really is a matter of getting what you pay for.
A professional freelance copywriter has developed the knowledge and a specific set of skills not found in someone who can “get that email out quick.” A professional copywriter:
- Will write 30+ headlines until she gets it exactly right.
- Knows the patterns of organization that will produce the required action.
- Can use keywords and phrases to optimize your SEO strategy.
- Has studied and absorbed great examples of copywriting;
- Understands the value of the “One Big Idea.”
- Believes no one buys features and benefits, only solutions to problems.
- Considers David Ogilvy’s 223-page book, On Advertising, light reading, and has some of his most enduring rules of advertising tattooed on her arm.
Someone with this much going on is someone you want writing for you.
Where to Look for a Professional Freelance Copywriter
If you want to know where to hire a copywriter, who better to ask than a recruiter?
LinkedIn: The Best Place to Find a First-Rate Freelance Copywriter
It’s 2019 and 77% of recruiters who use social media to find qualified candidates use LinkedIn.
And with so many recruiters looking to fill positions, you can bet people looking for jobs use LinkedIn too.
As of February 2019, 100 million applications were submitted using LinkedIn every month… with applications from professional freelance copywriters among them.
Facebook: Check Out Business Pages
Ranked second to LinkedIn, 63% of recruiters use Facebook to find job candidates.
According to a November 2018 article published by Hootsuite, there are 80 million small- and medium-size business pages on Facebook. And while I couldn’t find an accurate count of every copywriter using Facebook, I went to my homepage, searched for “copywriter” under Pages, and got 103 hits.
You and I can probably agree that’s a very small corner of the Facebook copwriting universe.
Professional Organizations: It Makes Sense to Look Here Too
While using professional organizations to find qualified copywriters may not immediately jump to mind, it makes perfect sense. These organizations are like watering holes for writers… you can find an entire herd of them all in one place.
I haven’t personally checked all of these out, or the training organizations and job boards that follow, but I’ve included their websites so you can see them out for yourself. You may find a perfect fit.
Membership in a national professional association doesn’t guarantee a writer is good, but it does mean they have access to industry experts, resources, and conferences and workshops where they can learn the newest trends and improve their skills.
These associations provide credibility to writers who belong and, because they usually have a hefty membership cost, you can reasonably assume most who belong are committed to their profession.
Local associations are also worth exploring. National organizations typically have local chapters, especially in larger cities. A Google search should tell you what associations are in your area—those that are affiliated as well as those that are not.
Get in contact with any of these associations and they’ll steer you in the right direction.
The American Association of Advertising Agencies (https://www.aaaa.org/)
American Marketing Association (https://www.ama.org/)
Association of National Advertisers (https://www.ana.net/)
Organizations that train copywriters often have job boards on which you can advertise. But, more importantly for you, they also have directories of their members and all of them are eager to have an opportunity to write.
These are two of the best and most reputable:
American Writers and Artists, Inc. (https://www.awai.com/)
Writers who pass AWAI’s Program for Six-Figure Copywriting become “Verified Copywriters.” There are substantial writing assignments and an exam to be completed before being verified. They also offer dozens of other courses for beginners to experienced writers. AWAI has an active job board and writers’ directory.
And here’s something you don’t hear every day… AWAI’s courses prepare copywriters so well that Copyblogger (I talk about them next), who also offers training, raves about AWAI’s training. That’s nice.
Copyblogger’s thing is content marketing, and their courses are only available a few times a year. Once a writer passes their training (exercises and exam), their profiles are listed among their Certified Writers. Those who have a nearly perfect score are recognized as “Master Level” writers.
Job boards for writers
Finally, consider posting an ad on job boards set up for writers. Using boards that cater to writers means you can find what you are looking for faster since many allow visitors to search based on filters or categories. Just be sure to include the right words in your job ad and be specific about your needs.
Even if you aren’t looking for a blogger, don’t shy away from this site. ProBlogger has a great reputation for the quality and variety of jobs posted and the writers who apply. It’s run by Darren Rowse and what he knows and does around blogging (and photography, his other passion) is impressive. The man has it going on.
Freelance Writers Den (https://freelancewritersden.com/writer-jobs/)
You’ll need to register and create an employer profile, but it will be worth your time. There are many high-quality writers who have paid money to belong to the Den and there is typically a waiting list to join, so you know these writers are serious.
Mediabistro includes some serious writing jobs for freelancers. They include a separate search called “Freelance Connect” where you can look specifically for a contracted writer and view profiles.
Blogging Pro (https://www.bloggingpro.com/jobs/)
Yes, there are a lot of content writing jobs on this site, so if it is a “blogger,” “social media writer,” or “content writer,” you need, then this is a good place to look. Other types of writers look for jobs here as well. I did a search for copywriters and got five job announcements—not a lot—but I also searched “Miscellaneous” and I was surprised. All of them were for copywriters; they just had different job titles.
Creative Hotlist (https://www.creativehotlist.com/)
Creative Hotlist allows you to see jobs as well as review writers’ portfolios. If you see something you like, you can contact the creator directly. Their contact information is included with their portfolio.
Krop, like Creative Hotlist, is another hybrid site. I was hesitant to include this site because with a first glance it seemed primarily for designers of visual communications. But if you use their “Search Creatives” function and include “copywriter” and “marketing/SEO” in your search, you’ll find a decent number of portfolios.
Freelance Writing Jobs (https://allfreelancewriting.com/freelance-writing-jobs/)
This is another site where you can review writers’ profiles. What’s nice about this site, at least from the writer’s perspective, is the jobs are categorized as very low, low, semi-pro, and pro, depending on what the rate employers are paying. Guess which category is going to get the most action.
More Idea About Where to Look for a Professional Freelance Copywriter
Colleges and Universities
You won’t get highly experienced writers pursuing this route, but if yours isn’t a high-profile job, or you need a proofreader, or you’re willing to provide some coaching, then colleges and universities can be a fruitful place to look for a beginning writer.
Contact the school’s job center, writing center, or the department chair of a discipline known for intensive writing—English, journalism, rhetoric, philosophy—and ask for student recommendations or have them put you in touch with a recent graduate.
You can always search the Internet and go straight to the source. Any serious copywriter will have a website and the quality of copy on their site is a good indication of their talent.
But you’ll need to use a series of search terms to find freelance copywriters.
If you search “freelance copywriter” the top results will be everything except freelancers (unless they’ve purchased an ad): what is copywriting; how to become a copywriter; the complete guide to copywriting; the top 25 jobs for writers… you get the picture.
Try searching for specific types of copywriters either by niche or by type of writing. For example: “copywriter for veterinary practices” or “email marketing copywriter.”
Staffing agencies or temp agencies are resources for hiring temporary workers and a good place to look for a freelance copywriter. Ask the agency if they conduct any preliminary testing of their applicants’ skills.
We give recommendations from friends and family members an insane amount of power when it comes to our deciding what to buy, and that includes buying the services of a copywriter. (If you want to read some over-the-top statistics about the power of referrals in buying decisions, then check out AnnexCloud.
If you know someone who has worked with a copywriter, then ask if they think it’s worth your while to give them a look. You might even ask to see what work their copywriter did for them.
Avoid Freelancer Marketplaces
Freelancer marketplaces like Upwork and Fivver—people either love them or hate them.
Writers who love them are people who have no problem:
- wading through low-quality jobs;
- dealing with poor customer service;
- paying fees to bid on potential jobs;
- paying 20% of the money they make back to the marketplace;
- bidding against other writers for jobs until the price is so low a paper route becomes a better option.
Potential employers who love them don’t mind:
- paying for reports and timesheets of the freelancers they’ve hired;
- being harrassed when refusing to pay for what is obviously sub-standard work;
- having projects blow up in their faces because the freelancer they went with didn’t have a clue.
But there is also no shortage of freelancers and employers who would gladly backspace, strike out, or delete every one of these marketplaces if they could.
While I’m reasonably sure that some people have had success using these sites, and manage to pay the bills, the point is the same one I made at the beginning: When hiring a copywriter you get what you pay for.
In a future post, I’ll offer you some questions you should ask a potential freelancer before you decide to hire one for your next copywriting project.
Readers want to know!
Are you a freelance copywriter? What do you think about the advice offered?
Have you hired a freelance copywriter using any of the resources discussed? What’s been your experience?
Share your comments below.
- Featured image: rawpixel from Pexels
- Magnifying glass: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
- Crowd at conference: Vicki Lynn from Pixabay
- Sign up screen: rawpixel from Pexels
- University building: Pixabay stock photo
- Red pen: Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay