Clear Guidelines, Clear Success

When hiring a copywriter for a writing project, the end result will ideally line up with your expectations. In order to avoid disappointment, the writer must be provided with clear guidelines before the project begins. Communicating your needs and restrictions to your copywriter enables them to shape a piece to fit your needs immediately, rather than wasting time and effort on back-and-forth edits. Here are a few considerations that will keep both you and your new writer on the same page:

1.) Set Your Length

Word count is one of the most powerful tools a client can give a writer when initially beginning a project. An easily understood limitation that can be adjusted to fit web template borders, print restrictions, and more, a firm word count acts as an assembled border in the larger puzzle of an unwritten article. This number can be expressed as a range, a lower limit, or an upper limit depending on your particular project.

2.) Set Your Tone

If you have existing pieces or a competitor’s blog that sound similar to your ideal result, be sure to provide them to your writer to study. He or she will be able to mimic the voice of these examples while still making the end product something extremely personalized and unique. In the absence of examples, simply explaining the type of tone you prefer – business, friendly, promotional, etc – will give your writer a direction to begin with.

3.) State Your Preferences

If there’s a certain phrase or concept that seems benign on the surface but actually has negative connotations for your business, be sure to point it out to your writer. Remember, he or she might not be familiar with industry terms, and this often leads to miscommunications or a poorly written piece.

4.) Keep in Contact

Making yourself available for questions will keep judgement calls – and the potential disasters they can foster – to a minimum when it comes to your project. As the paragraphs progress, it’s common for writers to have difficulties understanding and restating business-specific concepts to fill a piece. Let your writer know that they’re free to discuss concepts with you and ask questions about the article subject if they find themselves confused. This open communication fosters better overall understanding, and in turn, a better article.

5.) When in Doubt, Ask

If you notice a sentence that seems off or dislike a turn of phrase in your finished article, don’t be afraid to ask for a revision. Most writers will happily jump at the chance to adjust their work for you as opposed to suffering a poor review or rating. Extensive revisions may warrant additional budgeting, but small touches here and there are generally provided on the house, especially if you have an existing business relationship with your writer.

Keeping these tips in mind will bridge the gap between your ideas and the actual articles your writer produces. Decide what you want before you hire a web content writer and you’ll never have to deal with disappointment again.

Delany M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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