I mostly hire writers off of Craigslist. Here's why you would want to hire someone off CL in my opinion: Cheaper - When it comes to web content, most firms/companies are always adding a big markup to the tune of 50% to 100%. You're paying X, and that content could cost .5X - .7X if you went directly to the writer. You can save a lot on content costs if you go direct, and, because your applicants are going to be competent (bullet below), "training" your writers takes significantly less time, too. Better content - In the case of Craigslist specifically, your applicants will actually reside in the US. You won't get applications from the freelance hoardes. The quality of the applications is a lot higher on CL than on anywhere I've seen. You can post one ad and get 50-100 highly-qualified emals, assuming you follow the instructions outlined a bit further below. Privacy - Dunno, I wouldn't want to handle my niche details to someone running a writing service on an internet marketing forum or elsewhere on the web. They might, and probably do, have sites of their own. (I do use plenty of BHW writers, but not for super-important projects - gotta be careful with who you trust.) Here's when hiring an individual writer wouldn't be a good idea: You don't speak English very well. If you can't assess the quality of your content past blatant grammatical errors, you might be paying 6c/word for 3c/word content and never even know it. You just have an order here and there. Trying to get the attention of quality independent freelancers when you just want one 500-word article is very difficult. A few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month to one writer will make you an "important client" that gets very quick replies and consistent quality (or at least, it should). That same amount towards a firm doesn't give you as much pull. How to write the ad and appeal to good writers I'd recommend paying 3c to 5c per word if you're hiring off of CL. 3c will be fine for most standard content, and you'll get surprisingly good stuff. I do 3c standard and compensate my writers extra without them asking if content goes beyond the call of duty. Stress that you have volume to send. No one wants to reply to an ad, take the time to woo you, and then get a $30 order in return. Make it clear that you have an immediate project for whatever amount, and if you think you'll have consistent orders, include that, too. 10k words is a good starter. Be specific with the niches you need. A general 3c/word writer can be good, but if your 3c/word writer is specialized in whatever niche you're writing about (or at least familiar with it), the content quality spikes and the writer is happier to take on your projects. Win-win. This is important. How to post the ad Post in a big city. I do writing section of CL, not gigs or part-time. Be professional and use "we". Don't say "hey I have a website I need a writer to help me build email me xoxo", say "We are expanding our website inventory and looking to take on one to two new freelance writers in the Boston area." Side note: Good writers don't really have to deal with annoying clients, they can just drop you and get new business because it's not worth the hassle. So, be professional throughout, but also courteous and all that. Type of work. Be very clear with what you need. Don't just say "web content". Is it blog posts? What kind of blog posts? How long, any example topics, etc. Just like including the niches you need, this will help thin the pool of applicants and make sure the people emailing you want to actually work for you in the long run. Preferred categories of expertise - I usually say this is optional, as you don't want to rule out any really excellent writers from applying because they misinterperate the level of expertise required. Some will be fine with slightly lower rates than they're used to if you actually have the volume you claim to have. Include rates, estimated volume. I usually mention the fact that I understand 3c/word is not the best pay, then follow up with saying I'm not a cheapo client and as long as the writing is good and deadlines are met, this will be a "hey, here's a big new order, send invoice and let me know TAT" relationship. From a freelance writer's perspective, those are the best clients to have, because even if you're courteous in the barrage of emails you send, time is money. Ask for a short introduction and samples, along with anything else you need. Some people are utterly ridiculous and will copy/paste their resume, unformatted, onto the email in a weird font, and the resume is like 9 pages in a Word document already. I usually say 2-4 paragraph intro then get straight to samples and knock my socks off. Followup Look for qualifiers. No qualifier? Trashed without taking the time to look at it. Even if the writing is good, that person spamming out emails, which is a terrible sign. Take note of the intro, but give every sample a shot. You'd be surprised. Some people will tell you they have very limited experience, but the writing will blow you away. These are some of the best writers to hire. Review samples critically. You can do that. You'll be able to find five or 10 applicants out of the hundreds who apply (it's usually hundreds) who have 3c/word content that goes way beyond anything you could get at popular companies/firms online. Check for style of writing, tone, critical thinking ability (list of facts, or piece of writing?), and of course, grammar. I look at critical thinking first. Is this person engaging, or is this a junk article? If it's engaging, we move to grammar - is this person writing professionally, or blogging and usually commas recklessly like I am in this post? That mixes in with style and tone - basically, you are looking for someone who can be the voice of your new website, not just someone who can jot down information about your new niche. Star any emails where the samples catch your eye. Wait a day. Look at them again. What do you think now? Chances are, you'll get rid of 75% of the people you thought were surefire winners yesterday once you see the applicants of today. Craigslist will keep giving you new applicants for a few weeks, too. You have the luxury of waiting for the good ones to roll in. If you make a list on day 1 that list might be completely different on day 7. Order a single test from the writers who blow you away. Don't skimp - do something like 800 words. Remember, these are people in the US, with US living expenses - you can't be dangling 500 words for $15, expecting their best quality, and expect them to give you their time of day. Mark up your test with requests (if any) and send it over. Wait for the revision. The revision should be pretty much perfect. If it's not, and you don't really like it, don't be afraid to not hire the writer. Things aren't going to magically change if you place the big order. If you're "pretty much" satisfied with the first run, you're going to be "pretty much" satisfied with your big order, which is not what we're aiming for by putting in the extra effort to hire someone off of CL. You sort of want someone who can get it right the first time around. Once you've chosen your writer, write a detailed brief of your new site and send them a sample, perhaps a similar site in a different niche. This might take you a while to explain if you've been writing the content yourself! You know what you need, but they do not. This is the "training" process, but it can be done with a single document if you take the time to write down everything. (Ordering a lot of content is handy here, because again, you can't expect a writer to follow a million instructions for one $30 article.) --- Once your first order is wrapped up, if you need similar content in the future, you now have a 3c/word source for excellent content. The writer has critical thinking ability, so all you have to do is fire over the instructions and send payment. It's not like the writer is going to magically forget what he or she did to make you happy the first time around. And because of where you looked and your patient, thorough vetting process, you can get unbelievably good quality for 3c/word - I promise. Hope this helps someone who feels he or she is spending too much and getting too little in terms of web content. Thanks for reading!