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A cheat's guide to engaging a freelance writer

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Sometimes the thought of doing something can be more overwhelming than actually doing the task itself.


So if you’ve thought about outsourcing work to a freelancer, but never actually gone ahead with it, perhaps this is the reason why.

How to brief a freelance writer
"How does it work? Will it be difficult? Is it time consuming and complicated?"are all common questions I get asked.

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you might assume that it’s easier to just do the work yourself, no matter how busy you are, rather than take the time and the effort to outsource it.

The good news is that working with a freelance writer can be much easier than you think, and once you begin working with someone consistently, it only gets easier.


How to brief a freelance writer


I’d be lying if I said that us freelance writers have ESP and, without giving us any information at all, we’ll write exactly what you’re after.


And it’s true that the more information you can provide, the greater the chance that we’ll get it right first time around.

But there’s a happy medium in between, and essentially, there are just five key pieces of information you need to provide:

  1. Who is the audience (eg. prospects, existing customers, businesses, consumers)?

  2. What is the topic?

  3. Where will it be published (eg. your website, newsletter, social media)?

  4. When will it be published?

  5. Why is it being written? (eg. what you want the audience to do after reading?

  6. How long should it be?

Beyond that, writers are pretty good at asking questions to get any additional information they require, and in return all we need is for you to be responsive – returning our calls or emails promptly will help move the process along.


In the spirit of making your life easier, you might find your freelance writer has a content commissioning form (or similar) they can send you, which details all of the information they need to complete the job, simplifying the briefing process even more.


And after working on a few pieces together, you might discover your freelancer is starting to develop ESP, which is really just a sign that they're paying attention, and are becoming familiar with your business, your customers and your goals.


Here to help


If you’re ready to take the leap and start working with a freelance writer, contact me today for a copy of my content commissioning form and email it back to: michelle@michellebowes.com.au.

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