Freelance Writing Jobs
How to Find and Hire an AI Content Editor

AI content generators are sweeping the field of content creation, eliminating the need to hire writers for a lot of the low-level, boring, barely-unique content needs like product descriptions, short resource posts, and technical writing.

AI isn't perfect, though. To use it effectively, you need humans to oversee the content it creates, fact-check the output, smooth over the discontinuities, and stitch together generated sections of content. It's currently impossible to use AI content without editing unless you want your site to be flagged as nonsensical spam.

Solution The natural solution, of course, is to hire someone to smooth out the AI content and make it publishable on your site.

How do you go about hiring an AI editor? Let's dig in.

Know What an AI Editor Does

The first thing you need to know is what, exactly, an AI editor does. As it turns out, there are several possible roles that can fall under that banner.

An AI Editor

I go over this in greater detail here, but here's a quick rundown:

  • AI Content Generators. These are people who take your needs, like the keyword and topic lists you generate and use that information to guide the AI into generating the content you want. I don't generally consider this to be an AI editor role – it's more like an AI writer role – but if you plan to use AI for your content, you need someone to do this. This role is also often called the "prompt artist," though this is more commonly used in AI Art rather than AI Content.
  • Copyeditor. Content is content, and all content needs an editor to look it over. The AI is unlikely to make basic grammatical errors, and it pretty much never makes typos, but it can misuse words, especially technical words and jargon within your industry. A copyeditor goes over the content and smooths it out, making sure every sentence is fluid and valuable to the overall content.
  • Fact-Checker. AI content generators are all mathematical models that analyze language and determine what words are most likely to follow what other words in a sentence. Your phone's predictive text is a primitive example of the same technology. That means the AI can generate content that, on the surface, reads well, but is factually incorrect. This can't be overstated: AI can and frequently is completely wrong, because it has zero way to fact-check itself. So, you would do well to have a subject matter expert on hand to fact-check everything the AI generates.
  • Managing Editor. Someone needs to develop the overall plan for content on your site, including what will and won't be generated by AI. This person guides your content strategy, helps with keyword research and topic ideation, and assigns topics to the AI content generators and prompt artists. They help manage your whole team and run your blog.

Sometimes, one person can wear many hats and do several of these roles. Sometimes, you want several different people working together, along with human content writers and graphic designers, to form a complete team. Look at your current team, and figure out what duties need to be fulfilled when you add an AI to the mix.

Know Your Needs

You likely have your own content team already. Maybe this is just one or two freelancers you hire on a weekly basis to write content for you. Maybe it's a larger, more robust team you have constantly creating content for your blog while also handling other content like product descriptions, landing pages, ad copy, and social media posts.

When you slot an AI content generator into the mix, what are your needs? What purpose does the AI fulfill, and what support does it need to be functional and useful?

Determining AI Editing Needs

Solution I'll tell you one thing: you shouldn't jump on the bandwagon and fire all of your writers right away. The AI is almost certainly going to be a poor replacement, at least for long-form content and content with original thoughts and conclusions.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer here.

At a minimum, you'll need someone to review the content generated by the AI tools and guide where it fits in your overall content plan. Starting small – with things like product descriptions and ad copy – is a good idea. Trying to leap into long-form content, which AI already struggles with, can be expensive, time-consuming, and difficult.

Develop a Brand Guidelines Document

The AI Editor you're hiring will have three general responsibilities.

  • They will review the content the AI generates to make sure it covers your topics appropriately, doesn't have a bunch of extraneous sentences and off-topic content, and is generally on point.
  • They will review and edit the content to ensure that it matches your brand style guides and other kinds of language usage.
  • They will smooth out the content to make sure it looks as little like a mindless computer made it as possible.

This will require someone with a lot of attention to detail and a deep understanding of your brand, your subject, and the guidelines you follow for your content. AI can happily switch between POVs and perspectives, as well as levels of formality, and there's not really a good way to enforce guidelines short of manual editing.

This isn't necessarily all that different from hiring a standard group of content-writing freelancers. Freelancers need a brand guidelines and standards document, whether it's something as simple as "write in AP style using X, Y, and Z as guidelines" or a more complex and comprehensive style document. An editor needs to review the content you would publish to make sure it fits, regardless of how that content is created.

Developing a Brand Guidelines Document

The difference here is that you can teach a freelancer, but you can't teach an AI. When a freelancer makes a mistake, you can point it out in the guidelines, ask for a revision, and keep reminding them until they internalize it. Over time, they'll get it. An AI doesn't have that learning capacity (at least, not unless you develop a unique AI based only on your content, but that won't be nearly as robust or useful)

What goes into a brand guidelines document?

  • Your voice. This includes tone, perspective, point of view, and level of formality.
  • Key style flags. How do you format your name and the names of other brands or keywords?
  • Red flags. Are there brands you don't want to mention or concepts you don't want to use? Note them.
  • Base style guide. Chicago, AP, APA, MLA; there are many different style guides, and you want to pick one to base your content on.

There's plenty more that can go into a brand guidelines document. Usage guides for your logo, your chosen color scheme, typography and font choices, and so on. Most of these are more relevant to graphic designers, ad managers, and other brands using your imagery in their promotional content, though. Moreover, the AI-generated content isn't going to respect them or care about them.

Post Job Opportunities

Once you have everything ready, you can start to generate a job listing. Feel free to use the AI to do this if you're willing to go through every word it says and pick it over. A job posting is fairly standardized, after all.

Normally, with freelancers, you have the choice of posting a job listing on various job sites or going out and looking for freelancers to hire based on their profiles on sites like Upwork.

AI is too new to have many freelancers who are already established with working with AI. There are people with a few months of experience, generally at most, unless they're developers. Editors are a very new role (at least as of this writing), so there aren't many freelance profiles out there with it listed as a skill.

You can, of course, still try. Some people will have mentioned AI in their skill sets. It's up to you how much you trust their expertise this soon into a new technology, however.

Freelance Writing Job Board

For the time being, I recommend posting job a listing. You can also look into hiring traditional editors, though some editors will reject working with AI content, either for technical reasons or moral reasons. Be up-front that you're looking for someone to work with AI-generated content.

If you want to get started, my job board is a great place to post an opportunity.

Trial and Pick an AI Editor

While you're waiting for freelancers to apply to your job opening, you should go to your AI platform of choice, whether it's ChatGPT, Jasper, or something else. Use it to generate a handful of pieces of content of varying sorts, like a product description, a handful of social media posts, or a bit of ad copy. These will be your testing content.

When freelancers apply to be your editor, give them a test. Hand them your brand style guide document – or a pared-down version of it – and have them edit the content you just generated. It will almost certainly have a few mistakes that need correcting, but with content you personally generated, you should be familiar enough to recognize those issues and know how to fix them on your own. Then, you can compare what the freelance AI editors give you to what your ideal would be.

AI Editor Taking a Test

Note: I highly recommend paying for your trial project. The test pieces should generally be pretty short, so even at going rates for good editors, it won't be expensive to test out a handful of different editors to see how well they work for your needs. Paying for projects also shows that you're serious about hiring a freelancer, and it shows that you aren't trying to use AI just to exploit the cheapest possible labor available.

Negotiate Rates and Sign a Contract

Once you get reviews from your various potential AI editors, you can evaluate them. Look at things like:

  • How quickly did they edit and return your pieces?
  • How well did they follow your brand guidelines?
  • Did they directly edit the content, offer suggestions, or both? Which did you ask for?
  • How were they in terms of communication if you had to chat with them mid-project?
  • Are they still interested once they know what the job is going to entail?

And, of course, you always have other elements, like culture fit, to consider. You'll need to pick an editor to hire, so choose the best one and offer them the role.

There will naturally be some negotiation here. You'll need to determine pay rates and how they charge (per word, per page, per project, etc.) and work something out with your candidate.

Editor Signing a Contract

I also recommend getting a contract signed. Some freelancers will work without one, and some companies hire without needing one, but it's always a good idea to have some formal backing for the relationship you have going. A contract pins down terms, pay rates, deadlines, and more. Moreover, it's a crucial part of peace of mind for any freelancer, so offering a good contract will help you retain the best editors.

Once you have an editor nailed down, all you need to do is start the ball rolling on your project. Start generating AI content (or have your dedicated AI content writer handle it) and funnel it toward the editor. Edit it, publish it, and see how it performs.

There are many considerations to be made when using AI content. Does it adequately represent your brand? Does it save you time, money, or both? Does it perform adequately? AI is in a tricky place at the moment, with a lot of controversy surrounding it. You'll need to be agile and willing to make adjustments on the fly as standards, rules, and tools all change.

If you have a need for freelancers for any part of this, from high-quality content writing to AI tool usage to editing, I highly recommend both my hiring resources and my job board. I'm striving to put together the best resource and hiring site on the web for writers, editors, and companies who need them, but I can't do it without you.