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Working with a content writer

Working with a content writer

What to look for, how it works & how much it costs

What to look for, how it works & how much it costs

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A writer's skill-set

A skilled writer is naturally adept at turning large amounts of information from multiple sources into one clear, concise piece of content that anyone can read and understand.

They have the skill-set to distil down to key messages, provide structure and knit together a concept.

Professionally educated writers are trained to communicate in a range of ways.
They have highly developed wordsmith and interpersonal skills; copywriting, SEO & research skills.

Through inclusive and engaging copy, writers can attract and speak directly to a reader without being cliché.
They create pathways that lead the audience through the content and accompany them along their stage of product awareness.
A consistent message is carried through the copy. Typically robotic, clunky keywords and key-phrases
are turned into engaging copy with balanced SEO.

A writer identifies target audience segments, brand archetype and tone of voice.
The content they write helps hone the positioning and perception of a brand.

What to look for when hiring a content writer

Here’s what I would recommend looking for when you are reviewing services offered by content writers

Does their service include the following:

  • A transparent quote and locked-in price
  • A clear process to easily execute the project
  • Project management
  • Identifying your brand archetype & tone of voice
  • Assistance with the positioning of your brand
  • Navigation structure & user experience advice
  • A personal service, connection & availability

Are these things included in the content project cost:

  • Top-quality original written content, delivered on time
  • Briefing & planning sessions
  • Competitor, VOC & industry research
  • Keyword & keyphrase research
  • Title tags & meta descriptions
  • Content formatting (copy deck)
  • Rounds of amends
  • Proofreading

How to work with a content writer

Creating content is a process that involves collaboration

so, the most important thing before you begin a project with a writer unknown to you is to see if you get along

Do you click?
Do you feel a positive connection?
Do you feel heard?
Is the communication clear?
Do you think the writer understands your project?
Can they manage it and deliver what you want?

Satisfy yourself that you are on the same page and will work well together (and you are happy with the price).

Process

Professional writers have processes in place to keep a content project streamlined and on track.

This creates a stress free way to write, edit, review, approve and complete the copy.
And that means less time spent on revisions, resulting in copy that is what you asked for.

When you work with a writer they will take the project lead, they will communicate with you regularly in regards to draft stage, direction, and tone of voice. They will let you know what is coming next and how things are progressing.

As an example, these are the processes I have in place when you work with me on a content project:

6 easy steps to manage your content project

1. STARTING BRIEF

We have a chat about your project and budget, I’ll get a few basic details and you can ask me questions too.
After our intro chat, if you would like a quote, we’ll then complete a starting brief where I gather all of the detail about your project – this helps me come back to you with a quote for consideration that accurately captures the project details and proposed fee.
There is no cost to you at this stage.

2. QUOTE

l send you a proposal that details the project objectives, scope, timeline, total cost, the project process and what services are included in my fee. Once you’ve received my proposal and if you are happy to proceed, I’ll get you to approve the quote and pay the commencement fee (50% of the total project cost).

3. PROJECT BRIEF

We have a briefing meeting to discuss the project in detail before I start researching or writing.
We will confirm deadlines and milestones, you can share any existing content or business collateral that you already have and we can confirm anything else important before kick-off.

4. WRITE

I’ll spend time researching your industry, keywords & competitors. I’ll also read your existing content and business collateral.
I’ll write your content and check-in with you pretty early on to see if I’ve got the tone & approach right.

Once we’ve fine-tuned the approach, voice & style I’ll then continue creating the rest of the content.

If it is website content I’ll put it into a deck – this helps to make the formatting instructions clear for you or your website designer when you copy the content onto your website.

5. REVIEW

It’s important for me to point out that there will be your own time required to review the content at each draft stage.
This is something we factor into the milestones/deadline and something I have processes set up for and will support you with – I’ll be around for discussions to help with amends – but it is worth planning ahead to ensure you have time put aside to review content.
Although it’s not a particularly onerous task, if there is a delay in the review process this may impact the original project timeline.  Upon approval of the final draft, the content then will be proofread.

6. SIGN OFF

When the project is finished you will receive the content, the final invoice and also the End of Project Sign Off document.
The project sign off is how I formally transfer the Copyright and IP licence to you i.e. you legally own the content and the rights to publish it in your name.

4 easy steps to create your content

1. SAMPLE PARAGRAPH(S)

For small to medium sized projects
I send you one or two sample paragraphs to check that I am writing the content with the right tone & voice, and to check if you like the approach we are taking before I write the rest of the content.
Your approval – you come back to me and let me know if I’m on the right track or if we need some big changes.

For larger projects (e.g. websites/product catalogues/long form content etc)
In addition to a sample, I will also send you a skeleton site draft – this is a bulleted list that is a rough sketch of the project layout – and works as a check that we are including all of the information you would like on each page/section.
Your approval – you come back to me with your amends/additions/corrections.

2. FIRST DRAFT

Now we have our ducks in a row and have confirmed our tone and approach, I write the full first draft.
Your approval – first round amends – you review all the content and come back to me with your feedback and edits.

3. SECOND DRAFT

I fine-tune our amended content, make the last final tweaks and finalise the content.
Your approval – second round amends – the big check! You do one last review of the content and make any final edits.

4. PROOFREADING

Eagle eyes check over the content to make sure it’s perfect.

The Content Project Process
The Content Project Process
The Writing & Review Process
The Writing & Review Process

How a writer makes sure your content is what you ordered

  • They conduct a detailed initial consultation
  • They define a clear project scope
  • They work with you to take a detailed project brief
  • They have processes in place that help review, edit and refine the copy
  • They offer rounds of amends to refine the content
  • You get final say on the direction, tone and style of the content

In short, the writer should work with you to make sure the copy will be what you wanted.

How much does it cost to hire a content writer?

A lot less than using a marketing agency

The advantage of hiring an independent content writer is that you pay for the words they write, not fancy office space with pinball machines and waffle makers (or wafflers).

They charge per project, not by the hour, that way you know how much your content will cost.
The total amount includes the time spent briefing, researching, writing, editing and proofreading your content.

There is no hard and fast industry standard so prices will vary and the cost will depend on the quality of the content provided, the experience of the writer and how much content is to be written. If you’d like an exact answer to this question you can check out my prices here.

Are you ready to up your content game?

Well-crafted, original content can take a while to research & refine,
and this takes up time that could be spent on what you do best – running your business.

If you’d like someone else to save you the time of writing your blog articles or website content,
check out my services below or come say hello.

Connect with me

Services

Website Content

Content writing, Copywriting, SEO & VOC research

Article and Blog Content

Original long and short form sharable content

Product Descriptions

Customised words that have an impact and sell

Email Auto Responders

Engaging strategic communication, direct to reader

Video Scripts

Connect with your audience and improve your SEO

More Writing Services

Business content, fiction and a whole lot more

Don't freak out -
I've got your back

When you work with me you get

  • Top quality content
  • Your price locked in
  • Clear processes to execute & complete the project
  • Your project written and managed by a professional
    but you’re still the boss
  • Content that attracts new and returning customers
  • Content that converts readers into buyers
  • Content that increases your brand loyalty and reach
  • Personalised service; I am available and happy to communicate
  • To look good –  like a professional expert in your industry
Kim Harper content writer 6