Mastering the Art of Revision Requests
Content needs often run up against deadlines, increasing the urgency already present in writer-client exchanges.
When hiring freelance writers, you’ll typically aim for experts already within your field, or those that have previously worked with your preferred writing tone or format.
Sometimes, however, lines can get crossed, and even high quality writers need a little nudge in the right direction.
Knowing the right way to communicate your needs in those situations is crucial, both for the quality of your content and your ongoing relationship with your content writer.
When it comes to revision requests. it’s in your best interest to lay out your preferred workflow or thought process, rather than simply dictating the changes you need, for several reasons:
Writers Want to Learn About You
When you explain the “why” of needed changes, rather than just the “how,” it enables the writer to use your preferred lens to recreate problematic or overly-brief content.
Remember: you initially hired your writers of choice to save time or to take advantage of their expertise, and laying out everything to the letter robs you of both benefits.
If you have even tentative plans of ordering more content later, it helps to stick with the same writers for the sake of consistency. It’s in your best interest to get those lines of communication opened wide from the start.
If you have an existing website for your company, or an example of content you’d like them to mimic, those are both very helpful resources in building a strong writer-client relationship through clear revision requests.
Writers are People Too
When you hire freelance writers online and only communicate through messages and email, it can be easy to forget there’s a person behind the text.
No one likes to strike out when they’ve given their best effort, so explaining what you do like about a piece before requesting changes is a great way to ensure both clarity and morale.
Additionally, don’t feel like you have to essentially rewrite the problem piece yourself; when revision instructions start to become as long as the assignment itself, it can damage cooperation going forward.
If a writer feels like you don’t have enough confidence in their ability to give them a slight redirect rather than taking the wheel, there’s a good chance they’ll no longer feel like “one of the team.”
While no professional writer would sabotage their own content, a lack of confidence in their ability might show through in their second shot at organic writing, and that means you could be cheating yourself out of their best work.
Communicate Your Expectations
As a writer, there are few things more frustrating than earning high praise on a client’s article, then getting chastised for taking a similar approach – either structure or tone, not necessarily content – on the next piece.
This is an unfortunate situation that occurs often when more than one individual is approving articles on the client’s end, and it leaves a writer confused as to which writing style is the “right” one to use in the future.
Letting your writer know how and when you plan to use, approve, show or discuss their content with others keeps them mindful of your timeline and needs.
The more intrinsic and workflow-oriented your explanations are now, the better your collaborations will be in the future. Do you have an important meeting with your client on Tuesday?
If you let your writer know that you need their changes by Monday night, it helps them prioritize and keep their clients happy – including you!
Remember – you have the same goal as your writer: the creation of successful content.
Quality writers work best when they have quality instructions, but an important part of that equation is trust in their abilities and transparency when it comes to your workflow. Master those, and you’re on your way to avoiding revision requests entirely.
Delany M is a talented WriterAccess writer who has completed over 1,500 orders for businesses and agencies and earned her Hubspot Inbound certification.