How to Communicate and Foster a Relationship with Your Freelance Writer(s)

Many businesses treat their relationship with a freelance writer like a casual date. They kind of get to know the writer and don’t really see the value in growing the relationship.

That is fine if you own a business that somehow only needs the services of a freelance writer once ever, but that is rarely true.

The average business will need the services of a freelance writer a few times a year, a few times a month, or evenly on a weekly basis.

For that type of business, it is much better for the relationship between business and writer to be more similar to a couple that is going steady. And much like a true relationship, the secret to keeping your relationship with a writer strong is proper communication.

Be Available

The biggest complaint I here from our 2,200+ freelance writer network is that clients aren’t available to answer questions about instructions.

The first and foremost rule to communicating well with a freelance writer is to be available to the writer. If the writer has questions about your instructions or goals, and you aren’t available to answer those questions, the writer simply has to guess what you want.

Often this results in unnecessary revisions or content that doesn’t meet your expectations. The best writers will not only ask questions, but will also give you suggestions on how to make the content better meet your goals.

Hint: if you’re using Crowd Content to connect with freelance writers, utilize the instant chat.

Image showing instant chat

Make Instructions Easy to Read

Note the line breaks and sub headers in this article. They exist to make it easier for you to read the article and process the meaning of it.

Your instructions to freelance writers should be similarly formatted.

When instructions arrive as a huge block of text that is written in a stream of consciousness format, your writer will find them difficult to follow.

Most likely either you’ll be forced to reiterate most of the instructions in conversation or the writer will unintentionally ignore parts of the instructions.

If You Don’t Know Want You Want, Your Writer Won’t Either

All too often, clients provide instructions for freelance writers like this:

“Write something that will interest car lovers.”

That is ridiculously vague. Many car lovers will probably love an article about a new synthetic oil that only needs to be changed every three years.

However, if that oil only works in cars made after 2010 and your business sells cars made before 1980, that article didn’t really help your business

Try to be specific when making requests, or, if you’re like me and want to give the writer more leeway, at least explain the value of the content to your business so the writer has a better sense of the goal of the content.

Remember, writers are hired to write. Not to read your mind.

Offer Feedback

After you receive content from a freelance writer, provide meaningful feedback. Saying “Thanks” or “Great work” isn’t the most useful feedback.

Detailing what the writer did particularly well helps ensure the writer continues to provide excellent writing in the future.

communicate with freelance writers

Similarly, if you aren’t fully satisfied with the writing, explain why.

Good freelance writers will accept your criticism professionally and make adjustments next time.

A little feedback can help prevent a potential breakup.

Why it All Matters

When all is said and done, you want freelance writers that make better content. Unfortunately, the best freelance writers are those that are most in demand.

Because they are in demand, they can afford to refuse assignments.

If you aren’t providing clear and helpful instructions, available to answer questions, and providing feedback, those writers will simply refuse to work with you, which means you’ll be forced to use less skilled writers for your projects.

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Helping manage over 15,000 clients from over 80 countries, Nissa works with the customer success team at Crowd Content. Her goal is to help clients create unique and relevant content for their digital strategy. Originally from a small town in the mountains, Nissa moved to Vancouver Island to satisfy her curiosity about sociology, and complete her degree in it. When she takes a break from clients and content, Nissa spends time with her partner and her dog, Tickle. She also loves to embroider, paint and draw.

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