Hiring a Cheap Freelance Writer? Think Again.

How Cheap Writing Hurts Your Company’s Brand

4 min read

If you’re looking to hire a freelance writer for your business, there are a few things you should be aware of. While it might be tempting to save some cash and hire the cheapest person you can find, there are plenty of reasons you shouldn’t.

I’m saying this because I was a cheap freelance writer, and I did some of these things, but I was learning and that was why I was so cheap. Even now, I’m more affordable than other writers out there as I consider myself to still be developing my skills.

Here’s why you should spend a little more to hire a good writer and what happens when you don’t.

They Affect Your Brand Image

In the era of social media, image is everything. While poor writing and the odd typo isn’t the end of the world, it’s not a great first impression. If you give a new writer creative control to post on your website or social media page, then be prepared to see some mistakes. Obviously, this isn’t always the case, but it’s a lot more likely with a cheaper or inexperienced writer.

Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, but in general, this is a major concern and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You want to hire someone to make your brand look better, so you should be as picky in hiring a professional writer as they are in who they work with.

It Costs You More Time

A new writer might not be using the tools to create quality writing. They might not even be editing it at all. If you’re revising and editing their writing, then you probably could have done the job yourself.

Why are you hiring someone to save you time if they aren’t actually saving you time at all? A professional, experienced writer will provide you with a much better first draft.

You’ll Probably Do the Research

If you’re hiring a freelancer who is starting out, they likely don’t have the knowledge of your industry and will rely on you to do the research. Without it, you’re paying for fluff and vague writing.

Some freelancers might do the research, but if you’re hiring someone cheap they’re probably more focused on quantity than quality. They have to do that because you can’t live off $2 an hour unless you work god knows how many hours.

You Risk Paying for Plagiarism

I’ve heard of so many horror stories where a business hires a freelance writer who simply copied the writing from another company. Logo theft also runs rampant on freelance platforms and despite the customer complaints, not much seems to be done about it. Just read this article by Sacha Greif in The Startup about an experience with 3 different freelancers on Fiverr (TLDR: Of the 3 logos, 2 were stolen and unoriginal.)

Just yesterday while I was researching for an article I found 2 different blogs with identical writing. Google doesn’t like duplicate content so one of those articles will perform worse in regards to SEO. Stealing is not only morally wrong, but financially wrong as well because the money you spent on that content is going to waste.

They Might Lack Professionalism

Cheap freelance writers are cheaper because they are either starting out and might not know proper business practices, or because they choose to be cheaper and undercut other writers to get more jobs. In either case, you might find emailing and communicating with them more difficult than a professional writer with lots of experience.

This again ties back to saving your time. If you want a better experience and better writing, you’ll need to work with someone who charges a fair rate and who cares about their own work and time.

It’s a Short Term Relationship

When you hire someone for something for such a low price, you may only work with them once. Finding a good writer is difficult, and in most cases, you’ll want to work with the long term. Blogs, websites, newsletters, and all these things are ongoing marketing tools after all.

When you hire a cheap writer, you won’t be able to get a long-term commitment. This happens for two reasons in my experience:

  1. You have a bad experience and decide to try a different writer.
  2. They raise their rates and you can no longer afford them.

At the start of my online writing career, I experienced the second scenario a couple of times. A smart client will accept or at least counter my offer and try to work with me, but the cheap ones won’t. But, that’s life and so we both move on.

Now, it might seem like I am bashing novice writers in this article, but I would like to say I’m trying to help them. A novice writer who is just starting out with hopefully respect themselves enough to charge reasonable rates for both parties and act professionally.

You can work with a writer who is more affordable and starting out, but you better be prepared to hire someone else if it doesn’t work out.

Published by Victoria A. Fraser

Freelance writer, podcast producer, and comic artist.

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