When you hire a freelance writer, keep in mind that your writer needs a thorough understanding of your needs in order to deliver content that is appropriate, in keeping with your vision, and accurate! But what if your writer isn’t giving you the content that you want and need? You request a revision, but they still can’t seem to hit the nail on the proverbial head. Many times, a communication breakdown between client and writer can cause the frustration of repeat revision requests. But it doesn’t have to be that way; here are some tips for better communicating with your writer in order to get what you need/want the first time every time!
If you have parameters that are an absolute requirement for the project, you need to articulate those parameters as specifically as possible. Since the writer will work from your instructions, those instructions need to be very clear. The vast amount of revision requests come from instructions which are either vague, not in keeping with what the client wants to see from the final project, or simply too broad. Don’t be afraid to spell out exactly what you want in your order instructions.
Just like a picture is worth a thousand words, an example can really help a writer nail the tone, format, or style that you’re going for with a piece. If you want your content to be inspired by another piece you’ve read, give that piece to your writer to read also. Explain what you like about the piece (see suggestion 1!) and help your writer understand how they can better see your content from your point of view.
If there is something you definitely do not want to see in your content, tell your writer. Whether it’s links to outside sources, bulleted lists, or mention of the word "pineapple", your writer needs and wants to know what these boundaries are. If you are transparent about your "DON’T"s, your writer can diligently avoid them rather than absent-mindedly wander into a looming forest of faux pas.
While communication is important, there is also such a thing as too much information. You want your writer to be able to understand your needs at a glance. If you feel that your project is more complex than can fit into a 200-300 word explanation, consider bullet-pointing the key points in a handy list, then elaborating on individual items.
Just remember: when you hire a freelance writer, your writer wants to create your content exactly the way you want it. Don’t be afraid to tell them how that is, and how they can better serve you!
Danielle R. is a mild-mannered university educator by day and a freelance writer by night. She loves writing zippy content for creative-minded clients and hopes to one day eradicate the improper usage of the semi-colon.
Danielle R is