Freelancer Tips

Skills Wanted from Freelancers—Beyond Writing

Hannah Curran
January 21, 2019

There are more than 57 million freelancers in the US – that's 36% of the country's workforce. And they're all fighting for their piece of the gig economy. So if you're a freelance writer, you need to be able to do more than just, well, write. You need to be able to show potential clients that you have a range of skills you can use to produce high-quality work and bring their brand or publication to the next level.

That's why we asked five editors exactly what they want they want from their freelancers – and which skills writers can use to truly differentiate themselves in the growing freelance market. Here's what they said.

1. SEO skills

"I'm really impressed when a freelancer demonstrates a basic understanding of SEO. It can be something as simple as using headers, bullet points, and naturally interweaving keywords throughout the copy. I don't expect my writers to be experts in the field, but having some familiarity makes them a far more attractive hire."— Michael Boley, Content Marketing Manager, Zappos

2. CMS and HTML formatting

"Today's content lives primarily on the web. As a freelance writer, it is extremely helpful to marketers when you are able to publish and format your own articles directly in a website content management system (CMS), including knowing how to select and place photos, use headings and subheadings, link to relevant content, etc.

It helps to be familiar with common CMS platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, Joomla, and Drupal, and have a basic understanding of HTML for formatting your content."— Nancy Huang, Director of Marketing, Travel Tripper

3. Social media outreach

"We enjoy working with freelancers who are willing to share their published work on their social media platforms. It indicates they are proud of their work while also letting their own followers be exposed to new and engaging content from a brand they trust."— Victoria Araj, Team Leader, Quicken Loans Zing Blog

4. Understanding of brand voice

"The best freelancers research our current portfolio of work before submitting their own. They get to know our editorial style guide in-and-out. They understand our style, voice, tone, and structure. This makes it easier for me to envision their work published among ours, it saves me time in the review process, and I know I can rely on them to embody our brand next time."— Rachael Perry, Managing Editor, HubSpot

5. Pitching ebooks and downloadable assets

"Innovation is all about coming to us with new and interesting ideas. On the Glassdoor blog, we primarily write articles, but every once in a while a freelancer will pitch us a great idea like an eBook or a downloadable asset. I appreciate when freelancers demonstrate that they're trying to reach out to our audience in unique ways we haven't thought of before."— Emily Moore, Senior Staff Writer and Editor, Glassdoor Blog

But how do you learn these skills?

So, you know exactly what editors are looking for. Now you just need to build those skills and add them to your toolbox. The good news is that there are resources like Learn from Fiverr, where you can take e-learning classes in topics like SEO, content marketing, layout and design, and Facebook Ads targeting to enhance your services and increase your marketability.

This way, when you're vying for your next freelance job, you'll know that you can stand out and wow your potential client with more than just great writing. Which skills do you use to differentiate yourself as a freelancer?

Let us know in the comments below—and then take your skills to the next level with a Learn from Fiverr course

Hannah Curran
Hannah Curran is Fiverr's Social Media and Content Manager. Originally from Connecticut, she lives in California and works out of our San Francisco office. Have an idea for the Fiverr blog? Connect with her on LinkedIn.
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