It’s not all about the writer’s qualifications.
Communication is key when forming a new business relationship.
Once you establish guidelines for your writer, it’s also easier to find the perfect person for the job.
Here’s a 20-point checklist to review as you search for a small business writer.
[_] You have to know what you want the results to look like before you can effectively tell someone what to do. If you hire a writer simply to “let someone else think about that work,” you can expect bumps in the road.
A writer’s vision for your project may not match what you have in mind. If you don’t provide detailed specifications, you’ll likely be disappointed when you see the final product.
[_] Who is the writer’s contact when he or she has questions? What’s the best way to reach that contact? Email? Phone? Instant message? Text message?
Providing your writer with this information helps determine if your company’s preferred communication method fits with the writer’s preferred communication method. For instance, I conduct business correspondence through email only.
[_] What computer software must the writer use for your project? Word? Excel? PowerPoint? Acrobat? InDesign?
[_] What type of file do you need? A Word doc? Plain text? PDF? Google Document?
[_] If you’re hiring a writer to blog for you, will she directly access your blogging platform (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, etc.) and post the content herself, or will she submit the raw text to you?
[_] How will you assign work? If you assign a project via email, does the writer need to immediately confirm receipt?
When you order proofreading services online with Revision Fairy, you get instant confirmation that your order was received. You also promptly receive an invoice. Once the invoice is paid, the turnaround time that you selected begins. I will return your revised document to you by that deadline.
[_] Will you assign work on a set schedule, or will you give the writer an on-going task to complete daily, weekly, or monthly?
[_] What standard instructions will you give the writer with each assignment? Word count? Keywords? Topic? Deadline? Submission format?
[_] Does the writer need to submit any supplementary materials, such as images, sources, captions, or footnotes?
[_] What is your desired turnaround time for each project? When is the writer’s deadline or due date?
[_] How do you want the final product delivered? Email? A shared Google document? Do you need it mailed or faxed?
[_] Is it appropriate to give your writer a byline for his or her content, or is your project ghostwriting?
[_] What is your payment structure? Per word, per hour, or per project? Is your payment structure negotiated with each assignment, or is there a set fee for any writing services?
[_] Does your writer need to invoice you?
[_] What is your payment method? Check, direct deposit, or PayPal?
[_] Do you reimburse for expenses, or are all expenses included in the writer’s standard fee?
[_] When do you pay your writer? Per project? Weekly? Bi-monthly? Monthly? Do you pay a 50% deposit at the onset of a project?
There should be no confusion about how and when the writer will be paid.
[_] Do you have an online proofreader, or does the writer also need to meticulously proofread his or her content? Is an occasional punctuation, spelling, or grammar error acceptable? What matters the most to you—accuracy or speed? Both?
[_] How much work do you anticipate assigning your writer? Is it steady work or sporadic?
[_] Will your writing needs evolve, or do you strictly need the writer for one type of project?
For example, will the writer mainly ghostblog for you, but you’d also like him or her to occasionally write press releases, newsletters, white papers, sales letters, etc.?
When you hire a small business writer, view the process as growing a relationship with a reliable professional. You’re not just carelessly outsourcing work.
– Is there a small business writer specification that I’m missing? Mention @RevisionFairy on Twitter, and include #SmallBusinessWriter. –
Stefanie Flaxman created Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services with your editing needs in mind.