You’ve just hired a ghostwriter to provide content for your business blog. This project is important to you; your blog is a major portion of your Internet marketing campaign. And so far, everything is going great. The content is fresh and entertaining; your blog is drawing lively traffic.
Now the question is, what can you do to keep it that way? The relationship with your writer is running smoothly right now, but, how do you keep everything rosy once the honeymoon is over? Gratuities are one way to say, “Thank you. I appreciate your hard work,” and they can bring out the best in your writer. But, if your budget just won’t budge, here are some other simple ways to get the most from your writer for hire.
Call me by my name – Content writing is a business, and I am, of course, a professional. But I am also a human being. By addressing me by my name when you need to communicate, you are acknowledging that we are two people working together on a project. This acknowledgement makes me want to do my best, and reminds me that you deserve the best I can offer as well.
Write directions in whole sentences – This may seem a small point, but, believe me, it matters. Written directions, whether online or through email, are, by their nature, devoid of emotions and softening facial expressions. They can come across as crisp or dictatorial. Taking a few extra seconds to write a full sentence can make the difference between directions that sound like a request and those that come across as a command. “Hi! This is great, but could you please rephrase the second paragraph?” is so much more friendly than the imperative, “Redo second paragraph.”
Thank me when I’ve done something right – Content writing is a job, and a job I’m getting paid to do. I will, of course, uphold my end of that contract, but, again, I am a human being and respond to human kindness. When I’m thanked for a job well done, I feel a warm glow all day long, and always associate that glow with you and your project. The next time I work for you, you can be sure that I will go that extra mile to ensure that your project is done just right. In fact, I will probably even put you on my priority list, above other clients who haven’t been quite as thoughtful.
Be gentle when I’ve done something wrong – Mistakes happen. Maybe you weren’t clear in your directions; maybe I got a little sloppy and let my standards drop. Whatever the reason, when a mistake has been made, try to keep in mind that we have the exact same goal: We both want you to have the written content you need. I may need a little redirection this time to get the job done right, but, if you will let me know what the problem is in a clear, polite way, I will jump through hoops to make sure you get what you need.
All relationships require effort, but it’s effort well spent if it makes the relationship shine. Put a little effort into your relationship with your ghost, and you’ll be rewarded with shining content — which was your goal all along.
Kate C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.