How to hire a freelance Copywriter

A guide to hiring the very best copywriters

A great copywriter has the ability to command the written word to inspire, persuade and educate. When you find a copywriter who resonates with your customers, it can produce amazing results for your business.

Copywriting projects are one of the most popular types of project in our marketplace. We also have thousands of talented copywriters ready to help you. This guide will help you spot the right copywriter for your project.

In this guide, we'll cover:

How to hire a freelance copywriter

What makes a good freelance copywriter?

It's very rare to find a copywriter who is great at all forms of writing. A copywriter, who is a natural at writing for social media, may struggle with producing academic content. And someone who is amazing at writing sales copy might be awful at writing SEO-friendly web copy.

There are, however, some common traits all good copywriters share:


Freelance copywriters will need to become near-experts in the range of subjects they write about. Therefore, a good copywriter will need to be adept at conducting thorough research quickly and efficiently.

Understanding of the audience

The best way to engage a reader is to speak to them through the words they use every day. A good copywriter will be able to combine their detailed research with an understanding of the audience's vernacular to create an engaging piece of writing.

A knowledge of the intended format

The intended format, or medium, of the piece matters when producing copy. For example, if you're hiring a copywriter to help with your social media content, the writer should have a thorough understanding of character limits, hashtags and colloquialisms.

Vocabulary and Grammar

Expressing meaning with words is difficult but it gets easier with the correct application of vocabulary and grammar. A good copywriter will have a rich and diverse vocabulary and a keen eye for grammar.

Writing a brief for your freelance copywriting project

The key to briefing a good copywriter is to concentrate on the result you want to achieve, rather than trying to prescribe the finer details of the copy you want produced.

Here are some tips to remember when briefing a freelance copywriter:

Provide background and context

The first component of your copywriting brief should be background reading and context:

A good copywriter can never have too much background or context. The more informed their writing, the more effective it will be. A good copywriter will also be quick to sift out the irrelevant or uninteresting so don't worry about overloading them with 'useless' information.

Give essential details

In addition background reading and context, you must also be sure to include any essential details. For example:

Apart from providing the essential details, try not to impose too many controls or restrictions. An overly restrictive brief can inhibit the performance of even the best copywriters.

Describe what you want the reader to think/feel/do

Every piece of copywriting should lead to an outcome. This will give a good copywriter very clear direction on the route to take when they start writing. The outcome will vary from project to project. For example, you may want the reader to take a very specific action, like make an enquiry.

Questions to ask your freelance copywriter

After you have created your copywriting project and you are starting to shortlist and discuss the project with freelance copywriters, here are some questions you could ask to help you select the right one.

Do you have a portfolio?

Every great copywriter will have a portfolio. It's important to try and review their work as objectively as possible. When reviewing their work, focus on the attention to detail, the depth of research and the standard of the writing. Try not to focus on the style or tone of voice as this may be inherited from the client.

Have you worked in my industry?

Previous industry experience can greatly shortcut the time to get a project started, especially in the research stage.

What's your preferred style of writing?

Even though a good copywriter can adapt their style to suit, it's best if you can find a copywriter who prefers to write in the style you're looking for.

What stages would you deliver my project in?

This is an important consideration for larger writing projects. Stages, or Milestones, may not be required for shorter writing projects. For example, it's probably unnecessary to have project milestones when the copywriter is delivering one 600 word blog post. However, milestones are recommended for longer and larger projects as they reduce the need for editing and amends.

How and when do you work?

Copywriting projects usually require feedback, especially at the start of a working relationship. Initially, it is recommended you provide verbal feedback because it's nearly always easier to talk through your feedback and ask questions. This means you'll need to be able to schedule feedback calls that are convenient for both you and the freelance copywriter.

Hiring a freelance copywriter: Summary

There are four things to know that will make hiring a freelance copywriter easier:

Other Resources

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If you haven't worked with an online, remote freelancer before you may be wondering how this would work. Can an online freelancer really do as much as in-house staff? How do I send them files?

Freelancing vs zero hours contracts: An employer's guide

Freelancing and zero hours contracts are both effective ways of managing your staff costs. But they are very different. Understand how.

How to write effective briefs for freelancers

It's an undisputed fact in freelancing and project working, the quality of the output is only as good as the quality of the input. In other words, if you want a great piece of work back, you need to provide a great brief.

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