Try Again, Please: How To Ask For Revisions

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After submitting an order, you eagerly await the arrival of a well-researched article, an inspiring blog post or a product description that will have shoppers racing for the “Add To Cart” button, but what arrives leaves you feeling a bit deflated. Even top-notch writers who specialize in everything from business plan writing services to web content can miss the mark once in awhile. That’s why there is an editing and revision process. Though clients would prefer to receive spot-on content the first time, and writers would rather create exceptional pieces right out of the box, requesting a revision doesn’t need to be a negative experience if you use a few simple strategies in your communication.

Be Friendly And Positive

Writing is a creative process and most writers see the pieces they create as their babies, just with less spit up. Everyone believes their baby is the smartest and prettiest there ever was. Can you imagine what would happen if you insulted a new mom’s baby? Negativity can set anyone on edge, and writers may feel defensive for their work.

While you want to be honest and straightforward about the changes needed, keep communication friendly and positive. Try to start and end with something you liked about the piece, or at least a word of thanks for the time spent working on it. Think of your revision request as a sandwich. Praise and thanks are the bread and the requests for changes are the meat and pickles stuffed in the middle.

Be Thorough and Specific

When you first realize changes are needed, disappointment may fuel an urge to immediately send off a request for changes. Instead, take a deep breath and read the piece in its entirety a few more times, taking notes as you go. This lets you send a single request for all the changes you would like, rather than finding additional items later.

When putting together your revision request, be as detailed as possible in order to cut out any confusion and save time. Some aspects of writing, such as spelling and grammar, are concrete. However, tone and style are subjective. What sounds conversational to one might come off as dry to another. If you have a specific style in mind and feel like the writer isn’t nailing it, try linking to an existing blog post or web page that embodies what you are seeking.

Keep the overall word count in mind when asking writers to go into more detail on topics. If you would like them to explore sections more fully, identify which areas can be cut back so that the piece stays within the specified word count. If you love it all but need more, it’s an easy fix to increase the maximum word count and have it all.

Use The Writer Again

Right now you are probably thinking this sounds like the worst advice ever. Why would you go back to a writer who needed to take a second stab at your order? Creating valuable content is a partnership between the client and writer. The better you know each other’s preferences, needs, and communication styles, the better the results will be. If you look at revisions as a learning and growth opportunity for both of you, you’ll both be more prepared for the next round of content.

Michelle S is a freelance writer focusing on fashion, home improvement, relationships and travel. Right now she probably has her tiny pup, Peanut, in her lap and a chi latte at her side while she stares at the Pacific Ocean, or a black laptop screen. Whichever.


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