Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging him this week. Enjoy.
Virtual work relationships are far more complex than they appear to be. When you hire a blogger, what you are getting is an independent writer, not an employee. That little fine line changes a lot of things. Freelance writers are not bound by employment laws. You are not paying employer-related taxes, worker’s compensation, PTO, or having to provide benefits, like health insurance. There is a relationship here that is almost akin to being on the same team. What is good for you is good for your virtual writer. What are the positives and how do you create them when they are lacking?
Time As An Investment
There are a lot of freelance writers available. How do you pick the one that is right for your project? There are the prerequisites such as looking at writing samples, education, and background. However, in the virtual world, those traits only go so far. A good tip is to first look at your project. Ask yourself:
- What kind of time commitment does this project require?
- What is the value of this relationship for this project and future projects?
- How much time do you have to devote to this project?
Those questions help to develop better working teams. It is important for both the writer and the client to understand their roles. For example, if you are paying $10 for a 400-word blog post, you should know that you are buying a run of the mill blog. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,) as of May 2012, the median annual pay for writers and authors, including freelance writers, was $55,940 or $26.89 per hour. That means that the writer, at this wage, will need to churn out 2.689 blogs per hour. If you have considered what the time commitment is for this project, then you should also see that quality is going to cost. Most blogs are full of run-of-the-mill content. A lot of this comes down to expectations. What do you expect your blog to do for you? Can you meet that goal with $10 content?
Remember that you and your writer are a team and that successful writing endeavors are not slapped together. If you want readers to react, you need to develop a strategy with your blogger. You need to communicate expectations and, in some cases, results. One of my clients sends me notes on how well each of my pieces are doing. This allows me to understand his readership and market. It allows me to think outside of his instructions to create content that works better for him. We are a team.
How Do You Create a Team?
- Invest the time to communicate your goals with your writer.
- Be open to suggestions for content, social media, and future topics.
- Be open to developing your professional relationship.
- Be willing to pay for quality work.
Virtual writers are invisible. They don’t have to be. Building a project and meeting goals is team work. Build your team.
David S is a freelance writer who loves the creative side of writing. He primarily writes blog posts, articles for travel, outdoor living, healthcare, investing and gardening. He recently celebrated his 2000 approved article here.