Define Your Needs When Outsourcing Writing

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Finding the right writer when you’re outsourcing your writing can be tough. Writers are like snowflakes: no two are the same. They’ll differ in their writing style, personality, and client interactions. You need to find the writer who fits you and your organization best. Some writers will charge more per hour than others, and you may be tempted to look at just the price. But don’t. Ask yourself these questions first:

  1. Availability: Will you need someone you can contact often to discuss assignments, edits, and other relevant topics? Or are you okay with a 24-hour turnaround to your inquiries?
  2. Control: Should the freelance writer work mostly independently? Or should they email you every time something is unclear?
  3. Deadlines: Do you expect the writer to adhere to an editorial calendar? Or are deadlines somewhat flexible?
  4. Personality: Contrary to popular belief, not all writers are hermits. Do you need someone who’s assertive and will take command of your writing needs? Maybe even lead a team? Or do you need someone who can be a chameleon and transition between different teams/employees in your company/department?
  5. Needs: Can the outsourced writer work with your specifications? E.g., do you expect them to adhere to certain style guidelines or vocabulary?
  6. Style: Do any samples of the writer’s portfolio match the style you’re looking for?

What are the Right Answers?

The ones that help you effectively outsource your writing. In the end, you may be happier with someone who charges more but fits your work style, whereas someone who is cheaper may cause delays and frustrations down the road. Check out my own suggestions of how to save money when outsourcing writing.

I don’t mean that more expensive freelance writers are automatically better! But if you believe the more expensive writer will make your life easier, consider the size of that pay-off.

So, shop around when you’re outsourcing writing and take time to get to know potential freelance writers. Definitely set up a phone call: you can learn a lot just from the sound of the someone’s voice. But know what you’re looking for first before you call. It’ll save you more time than you can imagine.

About the author

Lori Straus

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