How to Choose a Freelance or Ghost writer

When you have a writing project that needs a special touch, consider choosing a professional freelance writer (or ghostwriter) to make it shine. Finding a professional writer can seem a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before, but choosing a freelance writer is much the same as choosing any other vendor for your business. It’s important to consider which writer has the skills to deliver a quality product and the professionalism to do so on time and with minimum hassle to you.

About Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a unique industry, and it helps to understand a little bit about how it works. A freelance writer is someone who takes on writing projects for hire, usually based on the number of words or pages required. He or she is an independent contractor who works with you to finalize project specifications and deliver a final product that meets with your approval. Define Your Project

The first step to successfully finding a writer is to define your project. This is a crucial step because if you don’t have a clear outline of your requirements and needs then choosing a freelance writer will be somewhat like finding your way through a forest in the dark.

So how do you define a project clearly enough for commissioning copywriting that will meet your needs? Here are a few things to consider:

Does your outline list required topics and sub-topics? Does your outline clearly define project milestones and benchmarks? Does your outline specify the required word count? Does your outline specify relevant deadlines and due dates? Are the project timelines and deadlines reasonable? Does your outline contain acceptable contract terms and conditions?

Choosing Writers

The key to ensuring quality project results is learning a bit about choosing a writer. Much like shopping for a car, choosing an author for your project is a process of considering your needs and looking for a freelance writer who can provide the quality you want at the price you can afford. Not all writers are created alike, so you should carefully consider the qualities you are seeking and evaluate potential contractors accordingly.

Some of the elements you should evaluate are:

Experience References and feedback Writing samples Style and readability Responsiveness to inquiries Reasonable terms and requirements

Above all else, choosing an author for your project involves matching your needs with the person who will deliver an exceptional product.

Look For Experience

How do you know which writer will deliver that exceptional product? One likely indicator is experience. Look for a writer who has completed projects similar to yours in scope and stature. Ask for writing samples and references, and check them thoroughly.

Don’t be shy about expecting a freelance writer to provide you with this information. On the contrary, he or she should be happy to supply you with samples that illustrate their skills and style. Take the time to read the samples you receive and look for materials that are similar to what you’re seeking. If you don’t see anything that’s close to the type of project you have, then look for writing styles that are engaging, easy to understand, and capture the attention of the reader. A skillful freelance writer can adapt to whatever style you want, as long as you’re specific about your needs. Reliability Is Important

Freelance writers are, by their very nature, creative and open to many types of writing. However, some are not terribly disciplined about meeting deadlines and providing copy that’s timely and error free. It’s not that they’re bad people; it’s just that they haven’t developed the reliability that buyers rely on when they hire a professional writer.

Checking references is a good way to gauge the reliability of a freelance writer, as is your general experience dealing with them during the project negotiation stages. For example, if a writer agrees to provide you with a bid by a certain date, you should expect to receive it on time. If a writer agrees to provide specific information about their bid proposal, you should expect to receive it in full. If not, then it may be a red flag for you as a buyer. If a writer isn’t reliable during the project negotiation stages, then can you depend on them to be reliable with delivery of your project?

Professionalism And Customer Focus

Your project is important to you, so any professional writer who agrees to complete it owes you professional service with a customer focus. You can get somewhat of a sense for these attributes during the contract negotiation process, but there’s no substitute for checking references and reviewing feedback.

In today’s world where a great deal of freelance writing is contracted via specialized web sites, it’s fairly easy to find feedback about a specific writer. Most web sites that match writers with projects also include a section for clients to leave feedback about a writer’s performance. Take the time to read these comments and take them to heart, paying particular attention to any statements that refer to the writer’s professionalism and focus on customer satisfaction.


Choosing a writer is a daunting task if you have never dealt with the world of freelance writing before. With a little preparation and a willingness to do your homework, you’ll find that choosing a writer is not quite as hard as it seems. Look for indicators that reassure you of a writer’s experience and reliability, and make sure your project is well defined.

When you have a writing project that needs the touch of a professional writer, it’s well worth the time to hire a professional writer who will provide you with an excellent end product.