Destiny Connect published a handy article on working with freelancers last month, which gives sensible advice like agreeing to deadlines before work commences, getting everything in writing and giving proper briefs. Can I hear an ‘Amen!’ from all the freelancers out there?
From my own experience as a freelancer, here are some further thoughts on how to work with freelancers so that the experience is pleasant and pain-free for both client and freelancer:
Are there any lessons you’ve learned as a freelancer or someone who has hired a freelancer that could make the process easier? Feel free to share in the comments section!
I’m back from a mini-break to Namibia and then Easter with my in-laws, and while I was away I did not a jot of writing. But I did do lots of thinking about writing. In fact, I’m pretty desperate to chronicle my trip in typed words.
I think that writing helps me to crystallise the random thoughts flitting through my head into some sort of order. It also gives me something concrete to look back to, when I want to remember the holiday and how I felt at the time, what we saw, experiences we had. It also inspires my other writing. Yes, I find that often my unpaid, heartfelt scribblings that seem to gush forth onto my screen with so much more ease that my commissioned work are the inspiration I need to do the tougher jobs.
I’ve tried to explain this to myself before and I honestly believe that amid the deadline-driven client-orientated work that makes up the majority of my days, I sometimes lose the magic of writing. I forget why I love it. I lose the urge to write and forget the way that words can come together so beautifully to express a thought, a feeling or an experience.
When I take the time to just sit down and write for myself, I feel refreshed. Once I’m done letting the words tumble out, without questioning whether the grammar is perfect or if a client will agree with a particular term, I am reminded why I love what I do. And I’m ready to tackle my writing jobs with relish again.
This also provides me with a very good reason to take a holiday once in awhile!
I find that many of my clients get worked up about the difference between writing for the web and writing for print. Although there are differences, there are actually far more similarities. The main point you need to understand is that people don’t read bad copy. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you include all the right SEO keywords and manage to achieve a good Google page rank, if you have bad copy on your site, nobody will read it.
Writers find that we deal with a range of conceptions on our job. There are people who think that everyone can write and there’s no point in hiring a professional writer, and there’s people that think that writing is a mythical art form gifted to a chosen few. I sit somewhere between those extremes. I believe that bad writing can damage your brand and that hiring a professional writer is a good idea, but I also believe that writing is like any other job – you learn the rules and you do it. Not every article will be your greatest masterpiece. Sometimes, it’s more important that a piece of writing is functional than poetic (for example, your company brochure).
Here are a few very pragmatic pointers for writing good copy:
What are your top writing tips? Let me know in the comments section.