How To Avoid Getting Screwed By Your Content Writer

content writer

If you regularly hire content writers then you know that sometimes things can go wrong, tempers flare and relationships get destroyed forever. You can prevent this from happening by keeping the following things in mind:

Do Not Ignore First Impressions

You can spot a troublesome content writer right from the start. Assess how their application in response to your job offer has been worded and presented. A lazy or uninterested writer may just provide a one line response stating that they are interested in the job, without even indicating that they have understood what the job entails. If the writer’s spelling has a problem or their word structure does not make sense then do not think that these problems will magically disappear when you hire them.

How the content writer responds to any messages you send them is an indication of how reliable they are and their level of professionalism. If the writer takes days or weeks to get back to you then they will also probably give you a hard time when you start working with them.

Do a background check on the content writer

Find out as much as possible about the writer. If possible, talk to people they have worked with before. This will give you an insight on what to expect from the professional.

If you are hiring from a freelance bidding site do not ignore the ratings or feedback left by clients they have worked with in the past. I am still surprised when I see employers hiring someone whose feedback clearly shows that they are not reliable then the employer complains bitterly when the writer also lets them down. If a previous client states that the writer abandoned their writing project when it was half way through chances are that the writer can also abandon your project before completing it.

Other places to check includes the LinkedIn profile of the writer, and their pages on any social media site they may be present in such as Facebook and Twitter.

Check out their portfolio

Do not hire a content writer before you check out their portfolio or any samples they have. This can be links to their own websites, blogs or articles they have written for other people. It can also be clips they have written for other offline publications or work submitted to other clients.

Checking out their portfolio will give you a good idea of their writing style and let you know what the writer’s interests are. Some writers are good in conversational articles, which may not be appropriate if you want a formal article.

Try them out first

Before you assign any critical story or a lot of work to a content writer, try them out first. Assess how they carry out that work and then decide whether you want to continue utilizing their services or not.

Agree on the job details in writing

It is quite easy to forget deadlines, payments or even guidelines, which lead to disappointment for both parties. That is why you should put everything down in writing. This will prevent misunderstandings as their will be a common reference point in case anything is not clear. I normally have clients fill in a client project worksheet so as to establish major elements concerning the project. Important details to agree on includes:

1)The scope of work (number of articles you want done)
2)A keyword or article title if you have a particular preference
4)Word count
5) Writer’s pay
6)How many revisions can be offered in case you are not satisfied with the delivered project
7)Terms of payment- when and how payment should be made

Set clear guidelines

Convey what you want done to the writer. For example, the tone of voice to use, the angle you want the articles to take and so on.

Establish article rights

Determine whether you will own the articles when the writer sells it to you or if they will still own the rights to the article. If the writer does not transfer the full article rights to you then you will have to include their byline whenever you publish the article. The writer will also have the right to resell the articles or republish them anywhere. If you do not want to run the risk of seeing your articles appearing anywhere else on the Internet then purchase the full article rights from the author, off course you will have to pay more for the article if you want the full rights. Make it clear from the start that you want the full rights transferred to you.

Agree on who is responsible for what

Clearly state the obligations of the parties involved. If you will be supplying the research material then let the writer know in advance before they start working on the project. If you want the writer to post the project on your website or include links in the articles or supply pictures together with the articles let them know from the start, so that they can decide whether they can meet your requirements or not.

Pay your content writer well

It is quite common to find clients who pay $2 and expect an article worth $100. Have realistic expectations of the writer, if you want quality then be prepared to pay for it. You may get writers who are willing to take a low pay but they may not do a job as good as someone who may demand more and has more experience.

Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!

A lot of misunderstandings are as a result of lack of regular communication. Good communication helps the parties involved to highlight their expectations and points of view. Let the writer know that you are available in case they have any questions. Insist on getting regular updates from the writer especially if a large project is involved. This will help you address any issues as soon as possible or help you keep the project in line in case the writer goes off on a different tangent. Also, agree on the communication channels to use. You can communicate through telephone, email, chat or even fax.

Have you ever been screwed up by a content writer? What could you have done differently?

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