Setting Good Deadlines: Why Writers Can’t Actually Bend Time
Freelance writers can be really amazing creatures at times. They can turn out large amounts of well-written, carefully considered content, turn a cleverly-worded phrase out, or give your company’s website a professional air. One thing they can’t do, however, is bend time. That’s why we’ll take a few minutes today to discuss how to provide a good deadline for a writer.
What to Write About: Pitches and Clarification
The first step in the writing process is finding out what you need to have written. Is it a press release with specific formatting requirements? Do you have a specific topic you want written about or would you prefer to be given a few ideas in the form of pitches? Have your instructions been specific enough or does the writer need to contact you to find out if you prefer first, second, or third person viewpoints, exact or varied keywords or similar points of note for the piece?
Clearly telling the writer what is expected helps speed up the process. If you’re expecting to receive several pitches, be sure to add a day or two onto your deadline, as it will take a little longer for the writer to get the ideas to you, for you to consider them, and to give an answer back.
What’s Involved in Writing?
When you hire writers, they just sit down and write out what’s needed, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Writers often have multiple clients, scheduling difficulties, family commitments and administrative tasks such as billing, marketing, and negotiations which can take up a lot of time.
When writing time comes, even industry-experienced writers need to perform research on the facets involved in the piece. A certain amount of time is spent laying out the article’s organization, followed by the writing process itself. After writing is complete, they often spend additional time proofreading and editing to provide you with the best possible outcome for your piece. The writing process for a blog post or 500-600 word article often takes a day or two and you’ll receive better results if you allow three to four days.
You should allow two to three days in your schedule for revisions, especially when dealing with a new writer who needs to learn what style and tone you would prefer. If you’re not expecting much for revisions on a shorter piece, a day or two can work well. For major revisions or a longer article, allowing three to five days is helpful, giving the writer the opportunity to see your side of it.
Setting Up an Editorial Calendar
Now that you know how long it may take, why not look at setting up an editorial calendar to meet your goals? Figure out how often you will need new content, write the topics you want discussed, and count back to the day you’ll need to assign it. You’ll find yourself swimming in exceptional content in no time!
Cathleen V is a multi-talented writer with experience in various fields. She focuses on content, article, and blog writing for small business management, content optimization and marketing, arts businesses, crafts, agriculture, home improvement, food, nutrition, and natural health. She is a top 1% content writer out of over 22,000.