How to Work with a Freelancer

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Now that I’ve been working with clients on Upwork for a few months, I’ve come up with a few tips for how to work with a freelance writer. I hope these tips will help you if you decide to hire me or another freelance writer on Upwork or any other freelance writing platform.

Explain what you’re looking for as clearly as you can. 

I’ve seen some fairly vague descriptions on Upwork. One job I worked on recently just said they needed someone to write an 800-word article and a 1000-word article by a  certain date – no mention of the subject matter in the title or description. 

I guess they thought they’d get more responses if they left the subject matter out of the description, but to me, that’s a devious way to get someone to write for you. Yes, I applied for the job, and I was awarded the job, wrote it, and got paid. 

Be clear about all the tasks you need the freelancer to do. 

I accepted another job where the client needed someone to proofread a letter he had written and create envelopes from a list of addresses he had. My understanding was that I would make up the addressed envelopes in Word and he would print them out. But he later told me that he wanted someone to print out the envelopes and send them to him. I told him I wasn’t set up for that, and he’s investigating other options for getting the envelopes printed. 

In hindsight, I probably could and should have clarified the scope of the project with him when he contacted me after I put in a bid on the project, but if he had mentioned in his posting that he needed someone to print out the envelopes as well as proofread the letter, he could have saved himself some time and trouble.  

Attach examples of the work you need to do, or include links to articles written in a style you like. 

If you attach a sample of the work, the freelancer can use this to show you how they would do what you want to be done. An example article lets the freelancer see what kind of writing style you like, so they can attach a sample that’s written in that style if they have one. 

Check your descriptions for typos. 

If you knew how to spell, you wouldn’t be hiring a freelance writer, I know, but there are so many resources you can use to ensure your project descriptions don’t have typos. Try typing your descriptions in Google Docs or Microsoft Word, or even installing the Grammarly browser extension – even the free version will catch the most obvious spelling mistakes. 

If own a business, provide information about your business and what you do in the description.

Some of the best descriptions I’ve seen start with information about the business and what they do, then go into information about the freelance job. This is great, especially if you want to hire a freelancer to work long-term. 

If you’re hiring a freelancer through a platform like  Upwork or Freelancer, remember you have to use their platform for communication and payment.

Anytime I respond to a freelance job and find out that communication and payment will be done off the platform, I immediately pull my offer. Make sure you follow the platform’s terms of service. 

Those are my tips for making it easier to work with a freelancer. If you keep those in mind, you’ll make things much easier for yourself.  If you’re looking for a freelance writer or proofreader, feel free to check me out on Upwork

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