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How to Get the Most From Your Freelance Writer

Dear Innovative Editing Client,

As a freelance writer, I can’t read your mind.

That statement isn’t meant to be snippish or insulting. Honestly. I only bring it up for your sake.

Let me explain.

When I’m writing business copy for you – whether it’s a blog post or an article or website content – you’re paying me to get the job done. For every minute I take to put your piece together, you’re compensating me with an estimated $0.583.

That amounts to $35 an hour.

Depending on the subject matter and the requested word count, I can get a blog post, article or page of website content done in an hour or two. But that’s with the proper instructions.

If all you do is tell me vague generalities about what your company stands for and what you’re trying to promote with the business copy in question… you’re automatically tacking on more minutes, if not hours.

Admittedly, that might not bother you all that much. After all, $35 an hour is a crazy-good rate for a freelance writer. Many other professional editors charge $50 an hour or more. Others place price per project, which can get just as steep.

So $35 an hour? Bring it on!

That’s great. I’m extremely happy you’re that financially solid, not to mention pleased with my prices.

Even so, there’s still the matter of time, which also has value.

I’m not referring to my time. We’ve already established how much I charge for that.

What I mean here is how quickly your website is up, running and ready for business. Or how swiftly that article is ready to send to that industry-specific journal you finally got a spot in. Or how fast your new blog post can get put up online to attract SEO-driven hits.

Did you know that a sizable part of capturing SEO (search engine optimization – the stuff e-commerce dreams are made of) is timing?

The internet gods, or overlords, or whatever you’d like to call them are greedy for new content. The way they see it, content is king but new content is emperor.

It’s a matter of how often you’re posting. If you’re following all the other current SEO guidelines while frequently publishing new material, you’re going to rise to the top of the otherwise dizzyingly deep pile.

Page 1 on Google, here you come!

That alone should make it worthwhile to remember that freelance writers can’t read your mind.

If you agree with that assessment, here’s how to cut down on the hours your freelance writer spends working on your copy:

  • Understand your own message first and foremost. The more you articulate what you want the copy to look like, the better she will understand your end-goal and the less time-consuming back-and-forth revisions you two will have to send.

  • Tell her how many words you want, how closely you care about SEO (you might, after all, already have a worthwhile following on your own) and when your deadline is.

  • Explain what the purpose of the piece is. Essentially, what should the main takeaway be? Is it to get people to subscribe to an email list? To purchase something? To convince them of something?

  • List off any keywords you definitely want her to use, if any; and any terms you simply can’t stand, if any.

  • If possible, give her an outline of what you want to see in the final project. If not, give her a thesis statement.

Again, this is only if you want to cut down on the time and cost involved with hiring a freelance writer. Rest assured that she can, indeed, produce something spectacular regardless.

An attention-grabbing blog post...

SEO-saturated website content...

An article that engages and inspired and encourages readers to seek you out...

Whatever it is, this freelance writer is confident she can provide it. It’s just a matter of how much money it will cost and time it will take.

That part is largely up to you.

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