It’s hard to find a good writer these days. Don’t misunderstand me — there are plenty of talented and reliable writers out there. But it’s tough to find that one person that totally gets what you’re looking for, that can read between the lines, that knows the answers to your questions before you even ask them. That easy communication is a big part of what you pay for in freelance writing rates and every successful business-writer team has to be built on trust and communication.
Now, imagine finding multiple people like that. Sounds pretty daunting, doesn’t it? But some clients actually prefer to have multiple writers and they might have been the ones to really crack the freelance writing code. In fact, it makes too much sense not to employ more than one writer.
Why Hire Extra Writers?
Sometimes, in life, things happen that aren’t normal. People get sick. Kids need care. Laptops break. If you have a go-to writer that experiences one of these abnormal life events, you’re in trouble. That piece you need for tomorrow morning isn’t getting done anytime soon.
Having more than one writer on call is an insurance policy that gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that nothing is going to get in the way of great content. If Writer A is busy, Writer B can pick up the slack. And if Writer B doesn’t understand a given concept, Writer C can step up. It’s a great way to ensure that someone’s around to write your content; it also allows you to access a diverse array of writing styles and backgrounds. No matter what you throw at your team, odds are good that someone can knock it out of the park.
The Power of One
On the other hand, juggling multiple writers does have its drawbacks. The way you communicate with Writer A isn’t necessarily the way you’d communicate with Writer B. And if you say the wrong thing to Writer C, she’s likely to get offended.
You also lose a measure of the reassurance you thought you were getting. If each individual writer writes for you infrequently, they might not have the intuition and familiarity with your direction that you really want. You may also end up favoring one writer over another, which leads to you paying a writer for lesser quality material just so they don’t feel left out. There’s plenty of room for a team of writers to turn into an exercise in massaging egos.
Having one writer means you know exactly what you’re getting each time. You only have one personality to learn, which means you don’t have to tailor your message for a specific individual. You have access to the writing style you really like, who works at the pace you like, for the rate you like.
Which Approach is Best?
There are clear pluses and minuses to each way of handling this situation. One writer means a reliable product without an iron-clad guarantee that life won’t interfere with your timetable. Multiple writers means you’ll always get something on time, but you might have to do a little more finessing to get what you want.
What should you do?
Your decision depends largely on your volume, your timeframe, and the level of detail you require from the work. For example, if you produce articles about a very specific niche, you’ll want to find that one special writer and never let him or her out of your sight. On the other hand, if you need 20 articles that don’t require a ton of specifics, you can safely farm these out to a team of three or four writers and know that they’ll get the job done.
If you’re somewhere in the middle of two extremes, try going with one writer and see how things go. You can always add more to your team if necessary. It’s not always so easy to freeze out a writer if you find that you want a more narrowed focus on your team, so exercise caution before adding writers to projects.
Bryan B is a freelancer writer living in Long Island, N.Y. He may be the only writer in the entire world that doesn’t drink coffee.