Defining the Content Writing Relationship
Hiring a freelance writer to handle your content needs can lift a huge burden off your shoulders. Finding a writer who fits what you want and what you need is important. Just like snowflakes, no two writers are alike. Entering a working relationship with a freelance writer means finding one you can trust to do the job right.
When you hire freelance writers, one of your first priorities is to define the terms of your content writing relationship. You need to be on the same page with your writer, so the content they produce under your direction will retain your voice and your brand message.
You can craft an effective working relationship with multiple freelance writers through following these guidelines:
1. Establish a fair pay rate
It’s a fact that you get what you pay for. If you want quality content, you need to hire a writer who is skilled enough to produce that content on a consistent basis. You can’t do that without compensating a writer at a competitive pay rate. Writers have to earn enough to cover their living expenses just like any other skilled professional. If you won’t pay them a fair rate, they will find a client who will do it.
2. Set a consistent production schedule
Regular work is important to a freelance writer. The freelance life can mean fluctuations in the amount of work and pay from month to month. Giving a writer steady work each week is an effective way to make your content their top priority.
3. Flesh out a detailed content plan
Once you hire a freelance writer, don’t leave them in the dark. Meet with them in person or talk over the phone and flesh out a detailed content plan for each month. Give them topics you would like to see covered, keywords that should be included in content and any other important information they need to know to best meet your needs.
4. Offer appropriate feedback on content
There’s nothing wrong with checking in with your writer and steering the ship from time to time. Perhaps your original content plan isn’t working how you envisioned and you want to take it in a different direction. Maybe you want the writer to capture your voice in a different way. Make a point to offer professional feedback and share ideas on what you want. Be careful to not veer toward micromanagement. Give your writer enough freedom and space to put their own spin on your ideas as long as the essence of your voice is retained.
5. Develop reliable communication channels with the writer
It’s never a good idea to assume a freelance writer can simply read your mind after your initial content plan meeting. Keep in regular contact through phone and e-mail. Arrange face-to-face meetings when possible. It will keep both of you on the same page and they can have a better understanding of how to craft content according to your specifications. You will create an environment where the writer feels more comfortable asking questions and can get a better read on your ideas.
John C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.