ContentMy Two SenseSmall Business

Questions to Ask A Freelance Writer

Blogging is a fantastic way to increase your Search Engine Optimization and generate credibility. But many business owners simply do not have the time to write a blog post each week or even each month.

Once you have decided to hire a freelance writer to manage your business blog, it may seem easy from there. But while you have checked out his or her writing style and asked about price, you may be forgetting a few important things about working with a content partner. Here are some questions you should be asking a freelance writer.

  1. What does each blog post include? Most writers submit blog posts with a headline and the content. But what about internal and external links? Keywords for your SEO tools? Who is responsible for finding photos? Is the research included or is that an extra charge?
  2. Do you manage the content calendar? Some clients prefer to manage their own calendar and list of ideas, which they share with me. Many don’t. I often create a “calendar” using a spreadsheet and share it with clients. That sheet lists ideas and a schedule of topics. Be sure you know who is responsible for this part; it’s essential for keeping the content flowing on time.
  3. How do we handle revisions and how many are included? Some writers provide a set number of revisions. Others offer unlimited. Be sure to find out how many and, most importantly, whether you have a deadline for submitting them.
  4. Who handles posting the content? Some writers offer this as part of their service while others charge an extra fee. While you may think you prefer to do the posting yourself, I recommend you hire someone else to manage it. Posting is an easy task for someone who does it repeatedly and your time is best spent doing other things.
  5. Can I have this ghostwritten? For most of my clients, I write as them. Some don’t mind if my name is on the work. Be sure to clear this up front and also whether the writer can tell people you are a client. True ghostwriting means the writer won’t mention your company or infer he/she does the writing.
  6. Who owns this work? You should own the writing published on your website. Check to make sure your content creator releases ownership to you. Also, some writers will use work created for you in their portfolio. If you prefer they don’t, be sure to mention that.

And MOST importantly:

7. What do you need from me? Many business owners want to “set it and forget it” after hiring a writer. But for your freelancer to do his or her best work, you’ll still need to provide input on ideas and questions you receive from clients. You may need to send photos of events or your process. If you are working with an SEO manager separately, your writer needs to know the strategy and what keywords to use. You’ll need to review blog posts before they are published. Don’t forget: you are the expert at what you do. Your freelancer is not your employee; he or she is your partner.