What types of freelance content writers do you need? The answer to that question depends on the business goals for the content you want to create. Before you begin hiring freelance talent, define the purpose and goal for each assignment to ensure you attract candidates with the skill sets to match the type of writing required.
Time and people. Do you have enough of either to fulfill your content vision?
Sixty-two percent of marketers are challenged by a lack of time to create content. Additionally, finding talented people was three times more challenging than working within a budget to actually hire them.
You have limited time and resources to see your content vision through. You won the budget battle and now you must assemble a powerful team. You have stories to tell, a brand reputation to protect, sales goals to reach, and a rebrand to finish. And thankfully, you can find a specialized writer to support all of these grand efforts.
Before you hire a freelancer, take a moment to understand the types of content writers that exist. Then, you’ll have the foundation to make better hiring decisions for your content initiatives.
What does a content writer do?
A content writer does many things because there are many types of freelance writing niches. Every writer specializes in different areas, bringing unique skills and experiences to the table. But you will also find plenty of overlap across the content types each writer can handle.
Once you fully grasp the common types of freelance writers for hire, you’ll be ready to select the appropriate extension of your team.
10 popular types of content writers:
1. Blog writer
A blog writer knows how to turn complex topics into warm conversations. They are devoted to making engaging content that performs well. For a single article, they will work four hours on the draft and consider six blog titles along the way. Eventually, the blog writer will settle on a title with the highest click-through potential.
Blog writers use their inquisitive powers to hunt down and source data points that strengthen blog content. If they don’t understand a topic, they know content can’t be faked so they reach out to subject matter experts for support. They also collaborate with influencers and experts to produce interviews or add contributor quotes that bring more credibility to content.
Since a published blog post is ultimately another page on your website, blog writers also tend to have SEO expertise. If scoped into the project, some blog writers will perform keyword research and optimize the content. Others will take direction from your overarching SEO strategy. A skilled blog writer always integrates keyword phrases appropriately without sacrificing the integrity of the content.
A blog writer handles:
2. Brand journalist
A brand journalist is a natural-born storyteller and they don’t rest until they find their story. These writers are more extroverted by trade and they feed off the energy of their interview subjects. They will send cold outreach emails and follow up with phone calls to see the story through.
Brand journalists make excellent brand ambassadors. Whether they are writing press releases or customer stories, they will show your brand in a positive light. They understand the fragility of a brand’s reputation, so it is in their nature to regularly fact-check data and quotes before anything is published.
A brand journalist excels at long-form content and human interest pieces that are pitched to third-parties for media or publication placements. They also have a knack for writing highly compelling headlines that drive click-throughs and shares.
A brand journalist is ideal for:
- Brand stories
- Customer stories
- Press releases
- Internal communications
- Company bios
A copywriter is agile, able to switch their creative brain fluidly between an impressive range of topics and projects. They get how to connect blocks of information so the reader finds ease in even the most complex digital journey.
They simultaneously speak the language of your brand and your customer. From product descriptions to website pages, copywriters cobble together experiences with every sentence. Copywriters are curious and analytical, so expect to provide details and data to help them craft messaging strategically.
A copywriter knocks out:
A ghostwriter is a chameleon, so skilled at their writing craft that they shapeshift into the dedicated voice that belongs to both brands and people. Ghostwriters fill content resource gaps when your organization does not have the bandwidth, the skills, the motivation — or all of the above.
This writer churns out articles for various team members and thought leadership pieces for your CEO. They take on the ebooks and white papers your team has been unable to produce all year due to time constraints. A ghostwriter has a good bedside manner as they are used to asking people in-depth personal and professional questions to capture expertise, stories, and tone.
When you hire a ghostwriter, find someone with immense confidence and credibility, as you will entrust them with the greater voice of your brand and the people behind your brand.
A ghostwriter is perfect for:
5. Technical writer
A technical writer is frequently confused with a tech writer, but their skills are distinctly different. A technical writer is an ace at making highly technical content easier for others to understand. They provide in-depth explanations of technology — how to use it, how to build it, the processes, the components, the inner workings, and the mechanics.
A tech writer doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of product specs and details. Instead, they write about technology in a broader sense and usually the application of technology. To see tech writers in their natural habitat, go to TechCrunch.
And, back to technical writers… these writers are methodical and detail-oriented. They will clearly demonstrate your product to non-technical users so they understand its capabilities, whether they are whipping up guides, FAQs, or manuals.
A technical writer produces:
“In an online world, our online words are our emissaries; they tell the world who we are.” — Ann Handley
6. Social media writer
A social media writer is arguably the loudest voice of a brand. Every day this writer releases content into the social media chaos, with the goal of sparking conversations and interactions. Social media content isn’t all about punchy copy and clever hashtags. It’s also technical and fast-paced.
Social media writers stay on top of ever-changing capabilities and algorithms with social platforms to ensure content success. They fluently speak the language of each platform to engage followers with relevant messaging and interactive elements, such as polls and questions.
Social media effectiveness continues for brands; 93% of marketers reported that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their organizations. When hiring a social media writer, again trust is a major factor as this person will become your brand’s spokesperson.
A social media writer is your go-to for:
- Social media posts
- Interactive content
- Platform-specific content
- PR outreach
7. Email writer
An email writer has one goal with their copy… driving action. They have a strong understanding of lead generation strategy and how content supports those efforts. Psychology is a huge part of their writing process.
They write headlines and call to action phrases, taking buyer stages and sales initiatives into consideration with the creation and placement of every word. A good email writer is adamant about A/B testing copy, and they will continually analyze and refine their writing to ensure optimal conversion results are achieved.
An email writer creates:
A scriptwriter is a key player in multimedia projects. They provide storytelling expertise and stay aligned with the messaging strategy. Scriptwriters visualize how words on a page will eventually translate to richer formats, like videos and podcasts.
For explainer videos, they match fast-moving graphics with concise one-liners about product features and benefits. For customer story videos, they ask the necessary interview questions that draw out impactful brand experiences. You’ll know you found the right scriptwriter because they will see the big picture of your content vision from day one.
A scriptwriter is a creative resource for:
- Video scripts
- Explainer video scripts
- Podcast scripts
- Radio/audio advertising
- Motion graphics scripts
9. Long-form content writer
A long-form content writer is somewhere between a novelist and a long-distance runner. They have levels of stamina and patience that cannot be matched. Self-proclaimed data nerds, long-form content writers maintain a large library of the latest industry research reports… just in case.
Because of their excitement for analytics and information, long-form content writers often become subject matter experts by default. As specialists in niche topics, they seamlessly pull together technical white papers and compelling ebooks.
While 2,000+ words will unnerve many writers, long-form content writers prefer lengthier formats because they have the wherewithal to bring insights into a strong and cohesive format.
A long-form content writer crafts:
10. Ad and promo writer
An ad and promo writer knows how to take advantage of prime real estate with any content they create. Powerful messages are quickly constructed within character count limits. The call to action is front and center, hell-bent on driving awareness and conversions.
Ad and promo writers are performance-driven creators. A landing page is “the closer” — and their job is to create messaging that both resonates with prospects while inspiring them to take a very specific course of action that results in a captured lead for sales. This writer wants to know about your goals because they need to visualize what they are aiming for.
An ad and promo writer is your best bet for:
- Advertising copy
- Direct mail copy
- Landing pages
- Promo blurbs onsite
- Product descriptions
- Sales collateral
It’s not one-size-fits-all, nor should it be. Content is complex, which is why a variety of writing specialists exist to help brands like yours succeed.Content is complex, and a variety of writing specialists exist to help brands succeed. Understand exactly what type of #content writer you need to support your #contentstrategy. Click To Tweet
Now you know exactly what type of content writer you need to support your strategy. The next step is finding talent. Use ClearVoice to quickly hire vetted freelancers and start fulfilling your content vision.
Also see related posts to working with content writers:
- How to Make an Editorial Style Guide That Is Freelancer-Friendly
- Understanding Different Types of Editors
- Secrets of the AP Style Guide: Updates You Might Have Missed
- How to Define the 11 Content Levels of Your Brand Experience