So you’ve decided to hire a freelance writer to write content for your website or promotional materials for your business. Great! Hiring a freelance writer can take the responsibility of carrying out these tasks off you or your staff. There are, however, many things business owners do that drive a freelance writer crazy. If you want to maintain a good working relationship with your freelance writer, don’t do these things.
Don’t take a long time to pay them – and pay them a fair rate for the work they’ve done.
I understand that many people with small businesses have tight budgets, and I’m willing to work with that. But remember, advertising should be a big part of your budget, and that includes the fees you pay to freelance writers for the services they offer.
Examples of good, average and poor pay for a 750-word post:
- Good – $200 – $450
- Average – $100 – $200
- Poor – less than $100.
How do you determine how much to pay a freelancer? It depends on how much research is going to be involved. If the writing involves a lot of research and interviewing experts on the topic, you may want to pay towards the middle or high end of the “Good” spectrum. Again keep in mind, this all depends on your budget too.
When it comes to how quickly you pay freelance writers, don’t make them wait too long for payment. The longest we should have to wait is 30 days. When you work with a freelancer, let them know how quickly you’ll pay them after you receive the invoice, or the final product if you’ve chosen to be invoiced. Then do everything you can to stick to that schedule.
Provide clear guidelines.
Know what you want. If you want a 750-word post on common health problems in a certain city and state, ask for it. If you want certain keywords or keyword phrases mentioned a certain number of times, ask for it. If you want the keywords to be links, ask for it. Nothing irks me more as a freelance writer than when clients ask me for constant revisions because they didn’t provide clear guidelines in the first place. That doesn’t mean that I won’t accept revision requests, I will – but be specific about what you’re looking for when you send the revision request so I can get it right the second time around, and you won’t have to send it back again to be revised.
One way to help freelance writers is come up with contributor guidelines, a style guide for your company, and provide information on your audience or buyer personas if you have them. If you have a website published already, whether or not it has a blog, give them a link to it so they can get an idea for how to write content for your audience.
When I say “communicate” I don’t mean just by email. Communication takes a few different forms when it comes to freelance writing:
– Answering questions promptly and providing thoughtful and detailed advice. This helps a lot, especially when a freelance writer is in the beginning stages of forming a relationship with a client.
– Give them feedback on what they’ve written. Let me know what worked well and what you got rid of so I can do things differently in the future. If needed, I’m willing to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature so you can show me what you liked and disliked about what I wrote.
– Build a relationship with your freelance writer, and thank them when they’ve done a good job. Even though I’m not working side-by-side with you in an office, building rapport or taking time to get to know your freelance writer makes the working relationship stronger, which improves the quality of their work.
Help us further our careers.
I chose freelance writing because of the freedom and flexibility it allows. But that freedom also comes with uncertainty – I have to accept that I may not have as much work tomorrow as I do today. That’s why referrals are valuable to freelancers. There are a few things you can do to help us with our careers:
- Refer us to others
- Write recommendations on LinkedIn
- Write testimonials for us to post on our website.
- Let us know if you have any future work in mind for us.
These actions help us further our careers; we appreciate it when clients do that for us.
If you’ve hired us to write something our name is going to be on, don’t take away our voice.
I’ve ghostwritten a lot of articles and will continue to do that when needed. But when I write something that my name is on, I want my voice to come through. If you want me to tone things down a little at times, I don’t mind doing that. But don’t completely change an article to your voice unless it’s something my name isn’t on.
These are just a few ways you can avoid driving a freelance writer crazy. A freelance writer can be one of the most important people you hire to help your business, but it’s important to keep the lines of communication open, pay them promptly, refer them when you can, and don’t take their voice away when they’re putting their name on something they’ve written. Doing these things is a good way to start a good relationship with a freelance writer.