Managing writers is not always a walk in the park. There is an art to it, and you often have to learn as you go. On websites like Elance.com, there are literally thousands of writers who offer their services and bid on jobs every month… you could get 20, 30 or 50 bids on any given project. How do you go about finding the ‘right’ person, and how do you keep the project on track to end up with great content when it is all over with?
Well, first things first… you are going to need to come up with some writing guidelines for your writers to follow. Having guidelines not only provides your writers with specific details regarding the project, but it will also show writers that you are serious about the project and that you are here for GREAT content… not mediocre fluff or filler. Make sure that your instructions, guidelines, and specs are detailed and easy to understand. If you find that many writers ask you questions about certain parts of your guidelines, consider revising your work order template to make it easier to understand
Once you have your work orders down and you have all the details in place, experienced writers who care about what they do should not have to ask a dozen questions before getting started. Drafting detailed, easy to understand work orders is a CRUCIAL component to managing great writers. Remember to include details like word count, tense, any links you want inserted, and instructions for any SEO keywords and how you want them implemented.
Remember, if you don’t give details, then the writer might ask you what you want… or might just do what they imagine that you would want. Sometimes misunderstandings happen, but it is important to cut out as much confusion as possible.
Working With Your Writer
If you know how to make a website and are now looking for content to put on it, then you already know a thing or two about the internet. Therefore, you also know that there are a lot of good writers out there… but for every good writer, there are SEVERAL who will only make your life much more difficult! So choose your writer well, and move on to getting the project completed.
Working with your writer will no doubt involve some back-and-forth communication. This eats a little time, but it is worth it in the long run. Don’t expect to maintain radio silence for the duration of the entire project and expect it to come out perfectly… unless you are working with a writer whom you have worked with a LOT in the past. A healthy number of questions are to be expected… but be wary of writers who cost you so much time that you could almost write the article yourself with less trouble!
If you have a good writer, then they probably try their best to be a professional… so try your best to return the favor. If there are problems, then give detailed examples and ask for them to be fixed. If your writer is a professional, then they will provide positive customer service and will not mind fixing problems for you. If, however, your writer gets all defensive and angry when presented with problems… despite your professionalism… it could be a red flag. Dealing with an unprofessional writer will very seldom result in professional level content without causing a MAJOR headache on your part!
What to Look For in a Writer
With so many writers out there, what should you look for? Well, here is a short checklist that will help you with some of the basics…
- Positive feedback with either few or no cancelled projects
- A well-written service description and a well-crafted job proposal
- A professional appearance and portfolio
- Well written samples in a variety of different styles
- A reasonable price within your project budget
- Good and prompt communication skills
Managing writers can be a big job… but choosing a great writer to begin with will make ALL the difference in the world! A great writer will get work done on time, will deliver content that requires few or no edits, and will pay attention to feedback and seek to correct problems while maintaining a professional attitude and positive communication.
James Martell is a well-known author, affiliate marketing specialist, radio talk show host, husband, and father of four. He enjoys travelling and spending time with his family when he is not busy with work or making an appearance at an industry level public speaking engagement. James often refers to websites like www.openwebsitetutorials.com in his line of work, as collecting the latest information and doing research is something that he believes should be a huge priority in any business.