There are a few things to consider before you begin searching for your writer:
- How involved do you want to be on the project? Do you want to provide the research and an outline and then have your writer do the work? Do you want help organizing the content, but then write a draft on your own, before handing it over to your writer for a major edit? Do you want your writer to take the topic and a few bullet points and hand over a finished book with little input from you throughout the process?
- How will a writer fit into your budget? A professional, experienced writer can charge in excess of $1 per word, depending on the project. Are you looking for top dollar experience, budget-friendly content or something in between? All of the above can be found and can deliver good quality writing; it is just a matter of finding the right fit for your needs.
- What is the goal of the writing? You may be looking for content for your website to improve your search engine ranking or you may be looking for something that establishes you as an expert in your field. You may want to attract clients to your business, or simply something that represents you to your existing clients. Define your goal before you set out to hire a writer.
1. Define the project parameters: You may understand the ultimate goal of the project, but you also need to figure out:
- Target audience
- Length of the piece of writing
- Tone; is it conversational or authoritative?
- Your involvement in the project
- Will you give your writer credit, or will you retain full credit?
2. Online reviews and referrals: Find a writer who has an excellent reputation, whether you find them through their online client reviews or a personal referral.
3. Ask questions: Does your writer have experience and expertise in this genre of writing and in this subject matter? Do they know how to engage your target audience? Are the writer's rates within your budget? What is their process for similar projects? Can they start immediately and how long do they expect the project will take? When you are interviewing your prospective writer, trust your instincts. You must develop a level of trust with the writer in order to have an effective working relationship. Any odd communication or red flags should send you running. Take notes or keep the communication electronic.
4. Evaluate the writer's experience: Has the writer done similar projects? Have they provided samples of similar work, or at minimum, projects that give you an idea of their style?
5. Define expectations and put them in writing: I prefer to work on larger projects in phases. This allows both the writer and the client to evaluate their relationship before committing too much time and money to a project that is going in the wrong direction. Each phase can be contingent on mutual satisfaction with the preceding phase. How many drafts are included in the contract? How much will the writer charge for additional words or pages beyond what the originally defined project?
If you have any questions about hiring a professional writer for your online or offline content, please ask in the comments section or send me an email. I answer each and every email question myself.