Hiring a Writer? Start with These 4 Questions

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Before you can figure out what kind of writer would work best for you, it’s important to know yourself and what your needs are. These 4 questions are a great place to start.

1. How much time can I give my writer? 

The first item to consider is how much time you want to spend working with your writer. When considering this, take a hard look at both your schedule and your management style.

Do you have 30 minutes to spare every week? Perhaps just an hour per month? Syncing up schedules is a necessary part of working with a writer, so it’s important to be realistic about your availability. You will need to carve out time to consistently meet with your writer to assign tasks, strategize, and allow them to interview you to extract important info. Sticking to a schedule will avoid wasting your money and your writer’s time.

  

2. What kind of research materials can I provide?

Great articles are well-researched and fact-based. They have facts, stats, and are firmly grounded in evidence. But who is going to dig up all of those gems?

As an expert in your field, you likely have access to a goldmine of useful reference materials. Industry reports, magazines, newsletters—all of these are useful. The Powerpoint slides from your last presentation? Check. That webinar you worked on two months ago? Checkity-check.

The more materials you provide your writer, the less research they’ll need to do. Of course, the nature of your work may mean that some documents are confidential because they contain trade secrets or other sensitive information. You can likely work around this by providing your writer with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to sign. Keep in mind that the more research and digging is required, the more scrappy and resourceful your writer will need to be and will charge accordingly.

 

3. What do I want the workflow to look like?

When it comes to your management style, are you hands-on and involved in each task? Or do you prefer to delegate and are looking for a writer with independence? Either way is great—but it’s important to know your collaboration style. Then you can offer your writer clear expectations.

Figure out your management style by asking:

  • How and when would I like my interviews to be held?
  • What specific parts of each project do I want to be in charge of?
  • Do I want a writer who will write the entire piece on their own, or do I want to be involved in the writing process?
  • Do I prefer to do all reviews on my own or do I want to discuss them with my writer?
  • How many edits and reviews do I want done to each piece?
  • Are there any other details I can think of?

 

Although a seasoned writer will likely bring their own workflow to the table, answering the above questions will determine if their approach meshes with yours.

 

4. What qualities are important to me in a writer?

Your writer is going to play an important role in your professional life. They are the guardian of your ideas and the artist that transforms your thoughts into masterpieces. You will be spending a considerable amount of time communicating with your writer. So naturally, it’s important to hire someone you actually like and will enjoy working with.

Take a moment to think about what personality traits you value. Patience? Humour? Technical prowess? Identify your priorities and keep them in mind while looking at potential hires.

Knowing yourself will help you figure out exactly what kind of writer you want to hire and will make the entire hiring process a whole lot easier. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out.

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