We often read advice about how to write, how to pitch a blog post, and how to get clients as a freelance writer, but rarely if ever do we read articles about how to order a writing job.
The reason why I’ve decided to write about this subject today is that I often get clients that go round and round and back and forth before they’re able to decide what they want, because they tend to contact me before they’ve done their homework.
So this post is for all of you out there who order writing gigs or who might someday. The better prepared you will be when you’re getting ready to make that order, the more you will save your valuable time as well as that of the writer you want to hire.
As you save them time, you’ll find out that it will also save you money. Indecision and lack of organization can cost you money in the end.
Follow the simple advice discussed in this article, and you’ll be thanking me you did. Plus everyone will be happier at the end of the day.
1) Have a Clear Overall Idea of what you want to Order
Before you even contact a freelance writer, make sure you have a clear overall idea of what you want.
Way too often do I have potential clients contacting me when they still don’t know what their article should be about. If you want me to write about “apples” make sure you know it beforehand, and simply tell me, I want you to write an article about apples.
If you’re not sure yet if you want an article about apples, cherries or pears, try to figure it out first and contact me only once that’s clear for you. (Of course, the apples cherries or pears is only a humorist example).
You might be surprised how much time is wasted in figuring that first step only. Let me show you how it goes at times, and you’ll understand what I mean.
Client: I want you to write an article for me.
Me: OK, do you know what you want your article be about?
Client: I’m not sure yet.
Me: Do you at least know what niche we’re talking about here?
Client: My niche is about fruits.
Me: OK, do you know what fruit exactly you’d like me to write about?
Client: I’m not sure if I want you to write about apples, cherries or pears.
Do you see what I mean here?
It would save us both so much time if we could avoid this back and forth type emails and start emailing me once you’ve decided what topic you want me to write about.
So that instead of all that, we could start our conversation at, OK, I would like to hire you for an article about apples.
Ah, that’s so much better! Now we’re going somewhere right from the get go.
2) Have a List of the 5 Main Keywords you want me to use
Even though I’m the writer, I’m not the owner of your business, and I’m not supposed to know what keywords you want me to use in your article. So, a good practice, is that before you contact a freelance writer for your writing job is having a list of at least 5 strong keywords you want me to use.
You may or may not know that now Google doesn’t like stuffed keyword articles anymore, but we are going to place about 5 related keywords that’s going to help me write your article and please Google at the same time.
Google will be happy because I’ll use those keywords naturally, not for selfish need to rank, but to help the reader find your article. This is called LSI, short for Latent Semantic Indexing which is an indexing method that serves to identify relationships between related terms (keywords) contained within an article.
When you give me your five most important keywords with your article order I can take care of all that myself. How easy is that?
So, please, net time your order an article, on top of your specific topic, please, be sure to have your list of keywords.
Now, if you’re not sure about what the best keywords will be, I can always figure that out while consulting with you, but you need to give me at least an idea of the type keywords you want in order for me to do this.
3) Have a Budget in Mind
Even though I’m not expecting you to know exactly how much you want to spend for your article, it would be much better for both or us if you had a budget in mind.
About a week ago a potential client contacted me mentioning that he found my article why writing for peanuts while you could write for big buck, so at least I understood that he already had some type of budget in mind and didn’t expect me to write for him for peanuts.
But better still, if you could tell me your work order budget right from the get go it would be a huge time saver for both of us.
For example, if you budget was $25 for a 700 word article I wouldn’t have to waste your time with needless back and forth. I could tell you from the get go that your budget is way too low for my services, and refer you to some content mills.
There is no need to start getting too involved with the details about the order to find out that you can’t afford such order. Why would I start trying on a dress that I intend to buy just to find out that the price is too high for me? If I go shopping, I know my budget and I’ll ask the price tag first and then try on the dress see if it fits and want to buy it.
It’s the same thing when you go shopping for freelance writers. Don’t be shy and ask for the price tag very early on, especially if you have a limited budget.
4) Provide all your Links and Pictures Early
While my job is to write as much as a knock out article as I can, what my job isn’t, is knowing what links you want to have in your article or provide you with pictures.
These are two items that you will also need to have in mind before of very early in your order process so I’ll be sure to include them in the best way possible in your article.
Went you come up with links and pictures ideas once I’m done with my writing, it’s too late and can be time consuming to try to add them later.
If you do this, be prepared to pay an extra fee for your article, as it adds extra work for me to tweak my article just to fit the right link at the right place, or decide what picture goes best where. It’s much more constructive for your article if I have all the material you want me to include before I start my work.
5) Don’t Expect the Writer to Read your Mind
Last but not least, make sure that you tell the writer of any specific requests you may have. Don’t think I can read your mind and figure them out, especially if you have specific formatting request, or if you need your article before a specific date, or yet again, if you wanted to include some specific quotes or something like that.
Nothing is more aggravating for a writer when the client as for a specific request when the article is completed. This also has to be very early your order.
By the time the contract is signed there should be no details left in the air. If you come back with a specific request too late, it might cost you or you might not get your wish. Either way, it’s not a good thing for you and your business.
The better prepared you will be when you make your writing order, the more likely your provider (the writer) will be able to do a good job and make sure you’re satisfied with his or her work. So remember those five simple items next time you order your writing job, and everyone will be happier.
Please, leave any feedback or comment you may have down below!
34 thoughts on “How To Order Your Writing Jobs While Saving You Time And Money”
Good to be over at your blog after my little break 🙂
I am SO glad you wrote about this important topic today. Being a freelance writer myself, I was just nodding my head with agreement as I read through your post. I couldn’t agree more!
I think because we are so disciplined in the way we work, we find it odd if clients seem so unsure about their work they give us, and the endless emails just seem a waste of time. The very basics if they are clear about, it would help us start with our work right away and deliver the goods in time. More so, if you already have your rates mentioned, the least they can do is read about it all and contact you ONLY if it fits in with their budget, that’s another problem half the time.
I hope people read your post and keep all of these things in mind before contacting us 🙂
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
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Hi Harleena, and welcome back!
Of course, your comment is very valuable to me as you know exactly what I mean here and I feel better seeing that I’m not the only one going through this.
At times the time wasting back and forth emails go on for a week before I can actually start working, so I think that from now on I will include the link to this post in my contact page asking my postential clients to, please, read first 🙂
Thank you very much for your feedback and have a great week ahead!
Thanks for the advice Sylviane. I always think it’s best to have some expertise to help you know what you want when hiring help. That’s why I like to give EVERYTHING a go in my online businesses. Even if I’m not good at everything, at least I have an idea.
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Yes, if you are going to order an article and you’ve never done that before it might be wise to ask for help, so it can be done like a professional. If you do, the writer will take you more seriously as well.
Thanks for you feedbacks.
Does this ever vibe with me. What a smart post. You’ll get what you want when you can convey a clear and helpful, detailed image of what you want….otherwise, you’ll get nowhere near what you want, because you have no idea what you want in the first place.
Come to the table with details. I can wing it, but why go that route? Get super clear on your order, niche, title, keywords, links and images, and then you’ll give a writer something easy to work off of.
Life becomes easier for both parties when you develop supreme clarity in what you want, and are willing to state your order in clear, definite and detailed terms.
Even if the individual comes to the table with a clear image I discuss price early on so the person can figure whether or not we’re a match, budget wise. Some clients have massive budgets while others are bootstrapping it; I appreciate both approaches though certainly don’t complain when the client has free funds to spend 😉
Excellent Sylviane. I dig your tips. I sometimes state that we’re not a match, or maybe, to just get back to me when the client is super clear on what they want, to save both parties’ time and energy. No sense emailing back and forth 4, 5 or 6 times trying to nail out specifics when it can be a 1-2 email affair, and both parties are happy with the end product.
Tweeting through Triberr. Thanks!
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Thanks for your excellent feedback, and all the more so since you’re a writer.
I have to say that I have less and less patience for those back and forth emails right now. And I don’t have any fear at all (as I used to have) to let a potential client go by saying what you’re mentioning here “we don’t seem to be a good match at least at the moment.”
The stress and headache that this may cause is not worth it 🙂
Thanks so much for your comment and have a wonderful time in your beautiful islands.
Wow! You rocked:)
After reading this post I don’t think anyone will dare to frustrate any freelancer.
I totally agree with your points. If someone wants to hire a freelance writer then it’s important to know at least the niche for which he/she want the freelancer to write on.
The example you have given may help many beginners who don’t have the proper idea. Most of bloggers think to hire any reputed freelance writer who can write for them but how can they reach to any writer if they themselves don’t know their own niche?
You brighten my mood with this post.:)
Hope you are enjoying.
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Thank you so much for this input, and I’m so glad to hear such positive feedback from you.
We read a lot of articles to help the writer, but very few if any to help the client. So here it is!
Thanks for coming.
hi Sylviane Till now i have been doing my content work myself, there are 18 articles and each of these has been done by me.Now i am thinking of outsourcing, can save my time for promoting my blog. I found your points useful but this point number 4, i am not sure. Writing it on my own i try to ensure that i write each line thinking about the reason why should reader read my next line. Don\’t know whether i am successful at it but i try.i am on look out for services which i can get at reasonable cost. any way your tips are taken good take.
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Don’t worry, Number 4 is only if you do want to include pictures or links in your article. You may or may not.
I mentioned this because at times people ask me to add a link or a handful of pictures at the last moment and I don’t really appreciate that as it messes up my work. It forces me to do some editing in order to do that for them. When they do that early, there’s no problem.
Thanks for your input.
Once you’re ready to have someone write for you, you can always contact me 🙂
Wow, I give you so much credit. You not only write for your two web sites, you also write professionally for others. How do you find the time? I struggle with just one web site and all the social media platforms. These are great tips and perfect timing for me. I just had a conversation last night with a couple of women to write me some sales copy. Now I know I’ve missed a few things and have to get the info to them before they give me a quote. Thank you so much. Have an awesome week. Lisa
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Thank you. Well, I don’t have two blogs, I have three 🙂 and I’m so glad this came on time for you.
Also, if what those people are charging you is too high, please, know that I do sales copies as well, so if you or someone you know need my services in this regard, keep me in mind.
Thanks for coming and have a great day!
Three blogs? This one, the one about France (love it) and? Do you have a new one for your life coaching? You are crazy busy my friend. Oh, I had no idea you wrote sales copy. Good to know, thank you. I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Thank you. Have a wonderful week. Lisa
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Oh, it’s not new. It’s up since 2009 🙂 I thought you knew about it. My new post on that one (personal development) comes on Wednesday, but Thursdays when I’m late like this week, new post will be up tomorrow. I have a link to my other two blog right here on the sidebar.
I would have sworn that I’ve seen you there at least once.
I received your Facebook message and will look it up.
Great post as always and all your points are spot on.
I wonder how people would have the nerve to contact a freelance writer without having an idea of what they really need to write about. It’s really strange!! Do they think you are a psychic to know what to write for them or read their minds about what they want you to write about? Sorry, just saying….
Planning before doing or asking for any service is important, be it a writing job or designing a dress or even cooking a meal. The five points you mentioned are spot on and I agree totally with you about having them all in mind before contacting you for a service.
Thanks Sylviane for clarifying those points and I am sure it will be very helpful to many. Have a great week ahead.
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Yes, it’s because I’ve become a bit tired of people who don’t know what they want and tend to waste my precious time, that I decided that it was time for me to write such article. I really hope it will help them.
Thank you so much for coming and have a fantastic day ahead!
Thanks for writing this article. It makes so much sense. Ocassionally, I have ordered articles (I always revise them to fit my voice), but it definitely means you need to know what you want the article to be about. Doesn’t make sense otherwise, at least to me. A clear concept of what you want to say has to be given to the write.
For me, I usually add my own pictures so I don’t worry about giving the writer the photos and likewise, I usually know my budget. Or at least know I want a 400 or 500 word article so the author can be me a base price.
I guess I thought these things were common sense, but since you’re writing about, guess I was wrong. 🙂
Thanks for reminding people what they need to do otherwise you will not be able to provide a great service for them. People need to realize that. If they shopping for a dress we cna’t expect the sales person to pick out something without giving them a description of what we want and a price range. Makes perfect sense to me.
Great job Sylviane.
Have a blessed day.
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Indeed, I’ve written this article because I’m seeing too much of indecision and time wasting in back and forth emails that can truly be avoided, if clients only follow my tips here.
I’m glad you are better prepared when you order articles, it also helps the writer see that you as a professional, which is not obvious when the client doesn’t know what they want. After all, not only the service provider needs to look good, the client does to. So this post should make clients look more professional if they follow my advice here.
Thank you for your input and have a great day!
Heya, it was a really nice post. I am also starting my own freelance business soon where I am going to hire a team of writers. It would be really helpful for me when dealing with people in the near future. Thanks for sharing such articles!
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I’m so glad that this can be helpful for a writer or writing company. Thanks for coming and letting me know that you appreciated this information.
Now this is how you lay down the rules 😉
I can definitely feel how frustrated a freelancer can get when their clients really don’t have a clue as to what they want them to write on. It made me frustrated from just reading the post and I’m not a freelancer LOL
But this is a great prerequisite for those clients looking for a freelance writer. They need to do their homework and know what they want before asking for your services. That should be the Golden Rule.
But I guess people figure that if you’re a writer, then it’s your job to do everything which is not the case. Setting these rules is a wise thing to do to let people know what you do and what you don’t do!
Thanks for sharing!
Once again this is a great post Sylviane, i appreciate your sense of commitment and focus, thank you very much.
Writing clients are funny aren\’t they? It sometimes hard for them to know what to write about. To me that\’s part of the blogging/business process. Folks should know what their blog is about, have categories set up and add content to those categories accordingly. But for those that don\’t know you\’ve got it all laid out perfectly. Now you can refer those clients that aren\’t very prepared to this post 🙂 It\’s also a nice reference for the rest of us too.Thanks and have a wonderful day Sylviane.Blessings,Liz
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Nice very nice summary about Sylviane you are absolutely right with your this post ! Now I understand how does it easy to mange & save in each time !
Content strategy is very difficult.. The best way could be just sit up hire writers and have a relaxing holiday where everything is on auto pilot 😛 or be a part of some referral systems..
Hi Sylviane,I was considering to order writing job but didn\’t know what to do. My focus was on budget only back then. Your post here just give me some clue to do it the right way.
Thanks for this post. Share it in my fanpage :). Wish you have a wonderful weekend
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I’m glad this helped.
If you need any help, please, let me know.
Hi Sylviane,How do you cope with managing 3 blogs and a family? You are really a super woman, Happy Blogging
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That was excellent post and I am inspired by the effort you have put here in your blog post. I believe all great writers loves their work and I have seen writers always busy in writing and they manage things better than others. I too have a habit of writing and I write about myself only. You write to earn and managing these blogs plus family, much impressive. I will be visiting your blogs in future and try learning from you.
Thanks for your feedback and kind words, but be sure to use your real name next time. Not a keyword or company name, or it will be marked as spam. Thanks.
Great article! Every freelance writer should write an article like this to direct their clients to. 🙂
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Glad you enjoyed, Angela.
Thanks for your input.
Excellent points Sylviane,
I’d also like to add, from the perspective of proofreaders, that it’s a good idea to have some basic knowledge of formatting and the track changes option, as any editing may require them to revise the order – also to use .doc rather than .pages – it’s more universally accepted (1997-2003 if using Word).
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Thank you for your expect input.
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