Where to Hire Content Writers: Freelance Vs. In-House

More than 70% of businesses invest in content marketing. And content marketing is incomplete without content writing and content writers. Finding competent and experienced content writers isn’t easy. Retaining them is another challenge that most business owners face.

There are several places where you can hire content writers, freelance writers, and niche expert writers for any industry. This article is your best resource for finding and hiring top content writers online.

Let’s get started.

In-House Vs. Freelance Content Writers

Before you go ahead and recruit content writers, you need to make one critical decision and that is: Should you hire freelance writers or hire permanent writers as part of your team (in-house content writers)?

A freelance content writer is someone who works as self-employed. Freelancers don’t work for a single employer consistently, rather they work with more than one employer on a project-to-project basis.

On the other hand, your full time content writers are your employees who work only for your business.

You need to decide whether you need to hire a freelance writer or a full-time content writer for your company? Both have their pros and cons:

inhouse vs freelance

When to Hire an In-House Content Writer

Hiring a permanent content writer is an expensive route. The average yearly salary of a content writer is approximately $49,000:

average yearly salary of a content writer

The salary includes base salary, bonuses, commission, social security, 401K/403B, pension, time off, and other benefits. It is, therefore, suitable for medium to large-scale businesses.

Here is a quick checklist that will help you identify when hiring full time writers is feasible:

  1. You have a documented content marketing strategy
  2. Your editorial calendar is filled for the next 3-6 months or there is a backlog of articles
  3. You have enough budget to hire and pay full time writer for at least a year
  4. There is enough content creation, editing, and revision needs that you can keep new recruit fairly busy
  5. The ROI for content marketing or content publishing is known for your business. The data shows it works for your business.

Key Takeaway

Only hire an in-house content writer when you have the budget and enough content creation needs to keep your writer(s) busy.

When to Go with Freelance Writing

Freelance content writers aren’t your employees. You use them on a need basis. This saves a lot of cost. You can agree to a fixed rate per article or word and that’s it. There is no need for any bonuses, perks, etc.

benefits of hiring freelance writers

Additionally, freelance writers are expert and experienced in content writing and they bring a lot of other skills to the table. For example, if you hire a niche freelance writer, you’ll receive epic content that no ordinary writer can create even with exceptional research skills. Similarly, freelance writers know how to optimize content for search engines, they use tools to create quality content, and you’ll receive a ready-to-use article at the end of the day.

Importantly, you can pick from a wide range of freelance writing options. The price varies depending on the experience of the freelancer:

Examples of potential per word rates.

According to Indeed, the average per hour salary of freelance writers in the USA is $23.10:

average per hour salary of freelance writers

Hiring freelance content writers is cheaper both in the long and short run.

Here is a checklist to help you identify when you need to hire freelance writers for your business:

  1. You have a small business or a startup with a limited budget
  2. There isn’t any documented content marketing strategy
  3. You are just testing content marketing and have no fixed content creation needs (especially for the long term)
  4. There isn’t any content calendar or it isn’t filled
  5. You are looking for an all-in-one content writer who will do keyword research, use necessary tools, create content, optimize it, and publish it on your blog.

Key Takeaway

Freelance content writing is ideal when you need high quality content on a project-to-project basis and you are looking for a cost-effective yet expert content writer.

Where to Hire In-House Content Writers

When you have to hire a permanent content writer, you need to follow your recruitment process. There are numerous ways to hire a new employee. Here is an overview of the best ways to hire new content writers as employees:

1. Internal Hiring

One of the best ways to hire a permanent content writer is to go with internal hiring. It is a cost-effective way to quickly fill the position. Importantly, you won’t have to spend time on orientation, onboarding, and training the new recruit:

What is internal recruitment

This makes internal hiring ideal when you are in a hurry. 

Here are practical ways to recruit quality content writers internally:

  • Promote an existing employee
  • Transfer or job rotation
  • Add a new role to existing staff
  • Announce formal internal vacancy and shortlist candidates.

Best For

Internal hiring is ideal for established businesses that have a decent number of employees and a proper marketing team, and they want to hire a content writer fast (e.g., a full-fledged content marketing agency with several long-term clients). Businesses that are already working with minimal staff can’t go with internal hiring.

2. Employee Referral Program

Do you have a formal or informal employee referral program? You should give it a try to recruit content writers.


Your existing employees best know your business, its culture, working environment, and other things that no one else knows. They’re in the best position to refer a content writer (in exchange for a reward).

The best part: Your current employees will only recommend the best talent as their own reputation is at stake. They can’t refer someone who is a misfit and might end up putting their job in danger too. Research shows that referred employees have the highest retention rate:

referred employees retention rate

You can create and announce your referral program via email. Nothing fancy here. You need to keep a few things in mind when creating and executing an employee referral program:

Keys to Effective Employee Referral Program

A simple email like this is enough to get started:

employee referral email template to hire content writers

Don’t forget to mention incentives for the employee. As much as 70% of businesses prefer offering cash incentives for successful referrals:


You’ll be able to find a perfect content writer in no time.

Best For

Employee referral program to find content writers is ideal for small businesses and startups as they don’t have enough resources (especially time) to take the pain to use other hiring methods. Additionally, referred employees will stick with your business (something that’s perfect for startups).

3. Career Sites and Job Boards

Top 55 Global Job Boards

Career sites, classified job sites, and job boards are amongst the top sources for hiring content writers. This turns out to be a time-consuming route since it requires time to get applications. Then you have to spend time on screening, shortlisting, interviewing, and so on.

You’ll need to run your entire recruitment process.

The best thing about careers sites is that most of them are free. You don’t have to pay anything to post a job ad and you’ll be able to get applicants almost immediately.

Here is the list of the top sites where you can post job ads to hire quality content writers for blog writing, press releases, and other content needs:

  1. Craigslist
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Glassdoor
  4. Indeed
  5. Monster
  6. Job.com
  7. Angel.co
  8. Ladders
  9. ZipRecruiter
  10. Simply Hired.

Most companies use these career sites for recruitment as these sites are extremely user-friendly and easy to use. You can post a job in a few minutes using a suitable template.

Here is an example of a job from Indeed:

content writer job post

The best thing about careers sites is that they provide additional services such as help with shortlisting, screening, and hiring.

Besides, your business will receive decent brand awareness from some of the top career sites.

Best For

If you aren’t in a hurry and can wait to find the right writer for your business, go with a career site and job board.

4. Your Website and Social Media Accounts

One of the easiest ways to hire content writers is to use your website. You can announce and promote content writing vacancies on your website and social media accounts. 

Here is an example of how Visme announces new posts on its website:

visme we are hiring screenshot

You can create a “Careers” page on your website where you can announce open positions. You can also announce the same on social media accounts with relevant hashtags. A lot of people use Twitter and LinkedIn to find jobs.

Here is an example of how to announce vacancies through social media posts:

vacancy announcement on twitter

However, you’ll receive a lot of spam and irrelevant applications in this case. Screening applications will take a lot of time.

If you are looking for high quality content from expert content writers, this isn’t the most effective way to hire top talent.

Best For

Using your website and social media to hire content writers is the best option for high-traffic websites. If you have a popular brand, you can get a lot of applicants in a few days by posting the vacancy on your website.

Where to Hire Freelance Writing Experts

Hiring freelance content writers is somewhat easier, quick, and cost-effective as compared to hiring a full-time in house content writer. If you are looking for freelance content writers, your best bet is to use a freelancing platform.

Here is the list of the top freelancing sites where you can hire top talent:

1. Upwork

upwork screenshot

Upwork is the leading freelancing site that’s one of the best places out there to hire content writers. You can join it for free, post a job, and hire writers in a few days.

You’ll find all types of global writers on Upwork and this is the beauty of hiring freelancers. If you are based in Singapore and looking to hire native language writers, you can hire them from Upwork. You will find experienced writers who will write content of all types such as blog writing, digital marketing, press releases, and more.

Everything is handled by Upwork including payment processing, escrow, time tracking, messaging, and more. You can hire freelancers and work with peace of mind through it.

You can also Project Catalog to instantly hire a writer without posting a job. This is a nice section that works like Fiverr where freelancers offer their writing services for a fixed price. You can buy a project based on your requirements:

upwork project catalog for content writers

This makes it even easier to use freelancers on a need basis. 

2. Freelancer

freelancer.com homepage

Freelancer is another top freelancing site where you can hire expert content writers in all niches from all over the world. You need to post a job, choose freelancers, and proceed with the payment via Freelancer.

The process is simple and transparent. You can create a free account on Freelancer and get started immediately.

You can hire freelancers by skill or location. For example, if you are interested in hiring native language speaking skilled writers, you can find freelancers based on the location from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.

You can choose to pay blog writers an hourly rate or a fixed rate per article or written word. In any case, your money is secured by the freelancing site.

3. Fiverr

fiverr screenshot to hire writers

Fiverr is a freelance marketplace where you can buy services from freelancers for as low as $5. Services are known as Gig on Fiverr. A simple search will show you hundreds of content writing services that you can pick from:

content writer gigs on fiverr

You’ll find all types of content writers, blog writers, and highly experienced writers on Fiverr. It is a global marketplace that’s filled with some amazing full time writers. However, you’ll need to do some serious research.

Fiverr is best for businesses that have irregular content writing needs. You can buy a gig whenever you need an article. There are no contracts. No commitments. It is a simple and straightforward process.

Payments are handled by Fiverr. Your payment is kept in escrow and released only when you are satisfied with the content.

Tips to Hire Freelance Writers

If you are hiring a freelance content writer for the first time, you need to take care of a few things as it might get a bit tricky. It involves hiring a writer online and managing everything remotely. And this is something where a lot of businesses face issues.

Here are a few top tips and techniques that will help you in hiring freelance writers:

  • Read reviews of the freelancer on the platform before hiring
  • Ask for writing samples preferably in the niche you are interested in
  • Avoid hiring writers who aren’t specialized in a specific niche and have written content for different target audiences such as ecommerce content, product descriptions, crowd content, white papers, landing pages content, custom content, blog posts, press releases, website copy, etc.
  • Hire experienced writer with a proven track record of producing top notch content
  • Ask for a trial paid article to see how things go. This will help you better understand the freelance writer, writing skills, and the writing style
  • Create milestones to make writing manageable. It is best to go per week instead of a monthly contract
  • Negotiate the price
  • Don’t haste in hiring. There is a good chance you’ll find a better freelance writer.

Final Words

There are several places where you can hire content writers. The thing that really matters is that you hire a professional writer who produces engaging content. And once you have hired the right content writer, retain him/her.

It isn’t easy to find and hire good content creators. So, when you have hired the perfect content writer for your business. Make sure you don’t let him/her go.

Featured Image: Pexels

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