You’ve made your deposit to the writing agency, composed a dozen writing orders, and posted them on the writing platform. Now you’re sitting there waiting for your orders to be reserved by eager writers. Hours pass. A few assignments get taken, then released again minutes later. Some writers send you questions, or the same question over and over again, which takes an unexpected bite out of your project time. Eventually all the assignments do get completed, but you’re confused: other business owners have raved about this writing agency, saying how all their assignments were reserved within half an hour of posting. Do they know something that you don’t?
In a word, yes. Or rather in a few words — and as one of the writers who sifts through orders ranging from luscious to nearly impossible — I’d like to offer those few words to you. Here are a few tips on how to hire a copywriter and become one of those clients we love to write for:
Don’t expect magic. We try to spin straw into gold for you, but you have to give us the spinning wheel. For starters, tell us a few words about what you want our writing to do. Are you trying to get people to buy professional services from you? Do you want to be mentioned by name in the article? Do you want to be “we” in the blog-post? If what you need is just a few passable English sentences assembled around keywords to entice the Google-bots, it’s ok to tell us. We’re not that idealistic. You don’t have to throw in red herrings like “creative” and “passionate.” Besides, if you’re requesting a 100-word piece with 10 keywords in it, you aren’t going to get literature.
Be realistic about the amount of research you’re expecting, in relation to how much you’re investing. The fact that there are cadres of underemployed English majors available at the click of your mouse is the result of a confluence of a tough economy and an exploding market for online writing. We’re crack researchers, or we wouldn’t stay in this business, but digging up facts and citing sources with any level of integrity is still a slow business. We’re much likelier to reserve an order if a customer does a bit of the legwork for us ahead of time and supplies a few sources.
Think twice before you casually ask the writer to include an image. “Finding” an image is nearly the same as “finding” a chunk of text: most of what’s out there already belongs to someone. Even images available through Wikimedia have six different types of Creative Commons licensing. Searching for an image and trying to figure out whether its attribution requirements are realistic for your site is beyond our pay-grade at the baseline levels. For higher rates, of course, writers will happily hunt for images, sing you Happy Birthday, or take your dog for a walk.
Hopefully these suggestions will get you on the right track to becoming one of the customers whose orders get stalked — and pounced on — the moment they appear on our list!
Betsy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.