How to Work with Contractors to Create Great Content

How to Work with Contractors to Create Great Content
By Alice Seba & Annette Elton

Many Internet marketers use writers to create content for their websites. We are frequently asked for suggestions on working with contractors. Let’s take a look at some of the more common questions on the subject of hiring a writer.

How do I find the right person for the job?

When first looking for a writer, you might be tempted to go with the cheapest one just to save a few dollars but cost should not be your only concern – and never your first concern. This person is going to be writing as you and you should feel comfortable putting your name on the work they do. Here are some things to do to find the best fit for you.

– Request samples of their writing. This will give you a feel for how they approach different topics, the amount of time they put into making sure the content is informative and engaging to your readers, as well as if they have an understanding of the subject.

– Request references. Ask around your group of networking friends. Have they used the particular writer? Was the writer timely and did she ask questions for clarification? Was the client happy with the outcome of the content? Did the writer need to tweak the article more than normal?

– Test their work. Give the writer a small assignment so you can see how she works. Does she take constructive criticism well? Does she make certain she understands the assignment before beginning by asking questions? Does she need hand holding throughout the entire process or do she complete the project with very little direction?

What about payment?

How payment to the contractor is handled will be something the two of you should discuss up front, before any work is passed back and forth. You should find out the following from the contractor regarding payment:

– What are her rates? Do she charge by the hour, per page, per word, etc?

– Does she offer discounts for on-going work or client referrals? Many writers will offer this. Keep this in mind for future projects.

– When do they invoice clients? Do they bill once the project is complete, weekly, or monthly? What are your payment terms?

– Is a deposit required? If so, how much do you need to initially put down? Although paying a deposit is ok, never pay 100% upfront. We like to think the majority of contractors are honest and ethical, but there is always a possibility a contractor will accept payment in full and then never complete the work. Give your writer an incentive for completion; payment or remainder of amount due.

– Will you be paying them via paypal, check, or some other method? Paypal is pretty standard in today’s virtual world, but not everyone does it this way, so be sure to double check. If you want an alternate payment method, be sure to ask about that.

How do I assure I keep a contractor that does a good job?

When you find a writer that fits well with you and your business, you had better keep them. Some tips for keeping them include:

– Give her continual work. Don’t just throw her a task or two a month, when you need something and expect her to stick around forever. She can and will move on to bigger and better projects if she doesn’t have on-going work from you.

– Be patient during the learning curve. Working with someone new always has a learning curve. Your writer needs feedback and patience while she learns your writing style and preferences.

– Pay her on time, every time. Swift payment makes a writer want to work with you more because she knows she doesn’t have to worry about whether she will receive her money or not.

– Allow them to correct any mistakes they make…don’t just fix it for them. Your writer can’t learn what you want if you don’t let her know.

Once you find someone that works well, using a contractor to create content for your business is a wonderful thing. Be patient during the learning curve that comes with working with someone else and if you find it’s just not working out, don’t sweat it. Let her go and move on.

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to take the hassle out of content creation and get back to running your business, let All Custom Content take care of all the little details. For professionally researched and prepared content, visit Annette & Alice at All Custom Content.

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