Tell Me What You Need

A lot of clients don't really know what they need - and that's fine, I can send over some examples if you need me to, or we can just wing it and work things out as we go along.

If you do have specific requirements from your content though, let me know.

The examples below are things you might want to take into account - and which can help to make things run more smoothly if you let me know about them in advance...

Quantity

How much content do you need? For example:

  • in print, do you have a fixed-size text box to fill?
  • online, do you have a template layout to fill?
  • if you want 1,000 words, is that three 330-word pages, four 250-word pages or five 200-word pages?

I'm pretty flexible about how we split things up - so any combination of different word counts is fine, it just helps if I know what I'm aiming for, so I can quote you an overall price for the project.

(I tend to quote based on word count, rather than time, but both approaches base the price on the scale of a project - it's just that my method makes it much easier for you to know what to expect.)

Frequency

If you're ordering ongoing work, how often do you need it?

You'll probably pay me monthly, but if you need a new article every Friday, tell me. If a slightly more irregular delivery schedule would help your site to look more 'natural', just say so.

On that note - do you want me to add your new content myself, or email it over to you? Some clients prefer to handle the uploading part, others trust me to deliver content directly to their site via WordPress or some other content management system.

Deadlines

I can work fast. I've turned projects round in a matter of minutes for clients in the past - 500 words in 20 minutes, free of errors? Yes, I've done that.

But I can't sustain that kind of pace for long - it's mentally exhausting. So let me know if you need something by a particular date or time, and I'll let you know if I can take it on.

I have ongoing commitments with some of my clients whose content needs to be delivered at a certain time during the week, so if I'm coming up on one of those major deadlines, I'll be less able to take on large short-notice work.

Just let me know up-front, and I'll tell you honestly whether the time frame is achievable. And I don't miss deadlines, once I've committed to them.

SEO

For online work, if you have an SEO strategy, let me know. I understand on-page SEO and I'm happy to take it into account, usually for no extra charge.

If you're paying someone for online content, it's worth making sure it's search-visible and search-optimised. But quality varies massively - some writers will totally compromise grammar in order to fit a keyword into the opening sentence.

I'm experienced at writing with awkward keywords, and can usually find a way around them that is still readable - and if they're impossible to use, I'll let you know. Often there's no need to commit slavishly to an ungrammatical keyword, when a minor alteration would fit it into the sentence without harming your optimisation.

Again, if you have no idea about SEO, that's fine. I usually repeat a few pertinent words and phrases in each blog post or article anyway, just to give you a head-start - and you probably won't even notice I've done it.

Tone of Voice

Is your brand friendly? Formal? Controversial? Funny?

Give me any guidelines you might have - from brand and style guidelines, to specific issues like whether you use US spellings - and I can take those into account when I start writing for you.

Competitors

An extension of branding and style, you may or may not want to mention competitors in your industry.

Mentioning them can be good for SEO, as your pages can start to rank for searches on your competitors' brand names, and you can also position yourself as a company that works as a part of its overall industry, rather than one that tries to shut out its opponents.

However, there are also clear business reasons why you might not want to mention the major operators in your field. I can't make these business decisions for you, but once you've decided, let me know how to proceed.

Anything Else?

The above are just examples of the most common issues that come up when I'm taking on new work for a client - you could have all kinds of specific concerns or problems for me to deal with, especially in print projects, which vary much more than online work.

Whatever you need, things will run much, much more smoothly if you tell me in advance, so I can take them into account from the outset. It's unlikely to be a problem, but any information you can give me helps me to give you what you want in your finished content.

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