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5 Telltale Signs You’ve Hired a Bad Freelance Writer

5 Telltale Signs You’ve Hired a Bad Freelance Writer

As much as we would like to live in a world where everyone has an excellent work ethic, the reality is often far from that notion. At any given time, there is always someone trying to ‘game the system’. This is particularly true in the world of freelancing.

Why you need to hire freelance writers

Whether you own an eCommerce business in the form of a blog, a website, service provision platform or are a social media GURU and such, there is one thing you have in common with everyone else in the virtual world; you all need content. Now, you could choose to write this content yourself, which is often the best way forward considering the fact that you will pour your soul into your own project. But, there are several problems with this course of action:

  • You may not be that good at stringing sentences together
  • You probably will not have the time to write as much content as is needed to give you the necessary volume that meets clientele demand
  • You might not be very well versed with your subject matter
  • You just don’t want to do it

Anyone of these issues will negatively affect your ability to produce high-quality content that captures the audiences’ imagination and convinces them to spend money on your offers. So what do you do considering you still need content to successfully attract clicks and potential business for your eCommerce platform?

You hire a freelance writer

You can do this either through a dedicated website content services provider or you could go on Craigslist and place an ad for any willing freelancers to apply. Whichever path you choose, you are going to end up with some applications. In most cases, hundreds of applications from content providers who all want to write for you. But, not all these people are as good as they would like you to believe.

Signs that you’ve hired a bad freelance writer

It is every single bloggers nightmare, waiting for your freelancer to send you the article you ordered two weeks ago but haven’t received yet. What this often means is that while you are waiting, your blog or platform is not receiving any fresh or relevant content. Which in turn means that your readers are busy finding alternatives to your blog. After all, they have to feed their appetite for information. In many cases, these readers, once they find someone else who meets their needs, they will simply forget about you and move on.

So, after weeks of waiting, you finally receive the ordered article in your inbox and loh and behold, it is nothing compared to what you expected. You see, in your mind, since your freelancer took forever to deliver, you thought maybe they are working on something excellent and they will simply blow your mind when they finally hand in the project. This, at least, will make the wait worthwhile.

But when the article does arrive, not only is it off topic, but it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, it features unverified facts, it has run-on sentences and worst of all, it failed Copyscape. Which means it was copied from somewhere else online and Google does not tolerate that at all.

Clearly, you can use this article. If only you had known weeks before when you hired the copywriter that they would turn out to be such a disappointment you would have saved yourself a ton of grief, a great deal of time and money. And maybe you wouldn’t have lost however many readers you lost while you were waiting for your article.

What you need to know is that every once in a while, this is going to happen. You are going to hire a freelancer who claims to be a content writing genius only for them to end up being the biggest mistake of your young virtual life. This, however, is a mistake that only needs to happen once. Here are the telltale signs that you are hiring a bad freelance writer.

They are way cheaper than the average market rate

Yes, content writing is choke full of competition and as such, freelancers will try to undercut one another by lowering their prices. Even though this competition is a good thing for you, going for freelancers who have rock bottom prices isn’t necessarily the best strategy to take. Any excellent writer knows what they are worth and the best of them will not water down their quality by taking low paying jobs just to get clients. Top-notch writing takes skills, research and time, all valuable assets. It is true that in the freelancing world, you get what you pay for in the end.

They are an EXPERT writer, in every topic

Yes, as a freelance writer, it pays to be knowledgeable in a wide variety of topics. But no one is an expert at every single topic. Every freelance writer has their strong suits and their weaknesses. If you find a writer who claims to be excellent in every suggested topic, then you may be dealing with a fraud. This is someone who will run a simple search on Google and type out a watered down version of an article in any given topic just to get the money. Needless to say, if you are to position yourself as an expert in your field, you do not want to post watered down articles on your blog. Ask your freelancer a few more questions and ask for topic-specific samples just to prove that they are not leading you on.

They tell you their rates without first finding out the scope of the job

There are no standardized parameters for freelance work. Every client wants something different and as such, freelancers are forced to customize their rates accordingly. If you find a freelance writer who tells you their going rate without even finding out what you need them to do, then you are most likely dealing with a bad freelance content provider. Every freelancer worth their salt will ask fact finding questions about the project. They will use this information to determine just how much work is needed to successfully complete the project and based on that, they will give you a quotation. Do not accept blind proposals.

They are not a full-time copywriter

Even though it is okay for any professional to wear many hats, you ideally want to hire a freelancer who works as a full-time copywriter. What this means is that they have the skills and capacity to fully support themselves solely based on their writing. This is someone who has taken the time to hone their skills and is continuously looking to improve it. It also means that your project will not have to fight whatever else they are doing for the necessary attention and quality of workmanship.

They are either argumentative or they agree with everything you say

Creative individuals such as writers are independent thinkers. As such, you can expect some banter from them about the project. Excellent freelancers will give you their vision of the project so that you can discuss with them your personal views and desires towards the end result. This is how they reconcile their own creativity with your vision of the entire project. If you find someone who is either too argumentative or simply agrees with everything you say, you may be dealing with a fraud who is not an independent thinker. Hire only people who can challenge your vision while adding value to it.

From experience to how good their samples are, you can easily tell when you are dealing with a bad freelance writer. All you need to do is pay a little attention and ask as many questions as possible. Think of it this way, if you were bidding for your own project, what would you want to know about it? How would you go about making sure that you deliver exactly what the client wants? Would you be as quick to accept the job without asking questions?

These are all steps that you would expect any logical professional to take before accepting any time-consuming project. Why isn’t your chosen freelancer taking them? Because they are a bad freelance writer.


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