WriterAccess Hack #3: Parent Your Children
Do your writers know what you want? If you hesitated or stuttered, your ability to publish quality, consistent content may be compromised. As the client, you need writers you can depend on for a fast turnaround of personalized content. The better your writers understand your expectations, the more efficient this process will be.
But what if you’re an agency or large organization where multiple people decide what gets published and what gets sent back for revisions? How can you give writers consistent feedback to help them generate consistently awesome content?
The WriterAccess Parent-Child account setup was born out of this very dilemma. Keep reading for an interesting case study on the importance of parenting your “Children.” Don’t use Parent-Child accounts? Don’t worry — we’ll also provide best practices for finding and keeping the right writers. Something for everyone!
The Birth of Parent-Child Accounts
In our early days, WriterAccess landed an account with an enterprise company that required a sizable chunk of our writer workforce. This client had about 50 users (or “editors”) who needed to work with hundreds of writers. This was our big break in the content creation industry, so we rolled out the green carpet. We worked with the company to develop a feature that best served their needs.
The client wanted to give each of their editors a sub-account, so they would have the freedom to create their own Love List of Writers. We delivered with a shiny new Parent-Child feature. This allowed sub-accounts (“Children”) to function autonomously, but the main (“Parent”) account could still view each Child’s Love Lists and account activity.
The Parent could also see editors’ revision feedback and writer ratings. This enabled the Parent to monitor the sparks and fizzles between the Children and their writers. But as Child accounts completed more and more orders, the Parent noticed some interesting developments…
Who’s on Your Love List?
As the Parent reviewed Love Lists and feedback on writers, only one pattern emerged: the complete lack of a pattern. Strangely, the Parent found little consistency from Love List to Love List, rating to rating. Some editors were raving about certain writers, while other editors were blocking those same writers from their account.
This inconsistency was problematic. The editors had very subjective opinions of what qualified as great content. It was time for the Parent to step in and start laying ground rules for what content could pass “Go” and what had to return to the start.
Our WriterAccess team also learned a lot from this first Parent-Child experiment. Here’s that wisdom, from us to you, in three simple hacks.
Parent Your Children Well
When working with writers here at WriterAccess, follow these best practices to create consistent content, even with a dozen editors:
- Standardize your standards: Use a style guide, shared Creative Briefs, and even the same order instructions to create consistent expectations. This will act as a control even when you have multiple editors.
- Provide consistent feedback: Make sure all editors refer to the shared resources above when asking for revisions. Develop internal criteria for when to return an order and what qualifies for a “Did Not Meet Expectations” rating.
- Cultivate the “right” writers: Encourage your editors to approach the first few orders with any writer as an onboarding process. First, focus on identifying promising writers who understand your content needs and your industry. As you launch more orders, continually work with the writers to capture your brand’s voice and to reach specific content goals.
These three hacks will get you well on your way to a well-honed writer team here at WriterAccess.
Want to learn more about this interesting study? Reach out to me, Byron White, for more information.