As a freelance writer, I wish there was a compact of instructions I could give clients at the beginning of our working relationship. Somewhat like an operating manual for doing business with me. “How to Get The Most From Your Writer,” it might be titled, or perhaps even, “How to Ensure Your Writer Doesn’t Lose His/Her Mind During Your Project.” Alas, though, since so such manual currently exists, the following outline of seven things your freelance writer wished you knew will have to suffice:
1.) Instructions Are Key
Perhaps more than any other element, instructions are immensely important. It is within the confines of your written instructions where I gleam my direction and understanding of the job at hand. Sometimes, you dear client can go way overboard in this department. Bless you. I know you mean well. There will be a novel sized expo of directives all of which I am required to acknowledge, adhere to and remember.
Other times there is no instruction at all and I am left to wonder around like a blindfolded dart thrower hoping I get the target and don’t end up causing an injury to a unlucky passerby. What we as writers prefer is somewhere in the middle. Give us guidance, link to example pieces, tell us what your goal for the content is, but don’t overexplain. Also, don’t leave us with no guidance at all. We need YOU to tell us what this content should do. Of course, once we have established a relationship with you, we know what you want/need and instructions take a back seat to other elements. However, in the beginning, such as during the first order, instructions are key!
2.) I Have Other Orders, so a Heads Up is Helpful
In the world of freelance writing, there are ebbs and flows. Some weeks are packed to the point of exhaustion, while others I find myself wondering if there is some sort of holiday of which I am unaware because all my clients seem to have left me. However, in general, know that we as writers have orders going pretty steadily. This means, we LOVE a bit of a heads up if you want us to work on a project. Yes, you can send us solos, we obviously welcome them. Just keep in mind that we might already have other clients’ work ahead of yours. If you let us know your orders are coming, though, we can often clear a space for your work.
3.) Know We Depend on You to Come Through
To follow up with the above point, if you do tell us you plan to send us an order next week on Tuesday, please do so, or at the very least let us know there has been a delay. We get it. You don’t always have control over the people over you and sometimes projects get shelved. In general, though, as in any walk of life, do what you say you will do and we will return the favor! We might turn down orders to be ready for your promised one, so don’t leave us hanging.
4.) Keywords Can Be a Challenge
We know you love a well-appointed piece of content with divine elements of SEO scattered throughout. Please note, though, interweaving oddly worded keyword phrases into your content can be a challenge. This is especially true when the keywords don’t exactly match the content topic or they are written from a different narrative voice than the content. Never fear, we will get those keywords in, just please understand it can be a challenge, so keep that in mind when choosing 25 to insert.
5.) We Hate Nitpicky Revisions
I am speaking personally, as I can’t possibly know every writer’s feelings on the topic, but from my perspective, I hate revisions. Only because it negatively affects my bottom line. When you send an order back for me to remove a sentence, or switch the order of headlines, and then I send it back to you, that means I have spent longer editing your piece than it took you to send it back to me and tell me what was wrong. It also means I have to reenter a project I had marked “complete.” Since we don’t get paid to revise orders, each revision reduces the amount we make per hour on a job.
There is one large caveat to this, if you have a major issue with the piece. For example, the content isn’t at all what you wanted and you need a rewrite, then for sure, let me know. However, for small tweaks that are easily handled on your end, I would rather not have to make those changes. Of course, mistakes are another story altogether. Poor grammar, typos, etc. I will always gladly fix. I am primarily speaking of style preferences that only require tiny tweaks.
6.) We Want to Hear From You
No, you don’t have to hold our hands, but give us feedback. If you like something, let us know. If you don’t, tell us (be nice please). Communication is so important. Your positive feedback also goes a long way in keeping us motivated and helping us remain diligently focused to giving you the content you deserve. Also, if we reach out to ask a question, please answer us in a timely manner. We wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t necessary to writing your content.
7.) We Love Our Jobs And You
In conclusion, we writers want you to know we love our jobs, and consequently, we love you. Without you, there would be no way we could do this writing gig as a way to make a living. Therefore, there is nothing but mutual respect and love from this writer to all clients who darken the cyber doors of WriterAccess.
Brandie P‘s career as a freelance writer spans several years and encompasses an abundance of niche specialties. Before beginning her writing career, she was an office manager and worked in the medical field. Her experience in these two fields have come in handy when writing topics pertaining to these fields.