Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Dec 03

What Clients Need to Know About Freelance Writers

On the heels of the post where I show off my brand-new business cards that advertise that, yes, I am a writer and blogger, and it is real enough to print on paper, I have a post detailing the things I’ve learned that clients need to learn when working with freelance writers.

Yep, this is about right.

Yep, this is about right.

Have realistic expectations
Fortunately, many clients realize that the piddly price they’re paying for word isn’t enough for us to research a project, add HTML to their specifications, add images and promote the content. Do as much for the writer as possible to get a faster return rate and higher-quality writing.
We do what you tell us to
So tell us exactly what you want — the first time! Don’t send something back because we didn’t meet expectations that you didn’t tell us existed. It’s no fair, and it wastes both of our time. Don’t write the entire article, unless you’re looking for a rewrite, but give us enough information to produce what you want. Assume that writers know nothing about the topic at hand.
Differentiate between suggestions and guidelines
If you want us to write like Wired.com, tell us. If you want us to use the exact same points in what is, essentially, a rewrite of an article from Wired.com, tell us! Lots of clients provide suggestions and examples, and some people want something a little closer to the source. We can do either, but we need to know what you want, first. Similarly, don’t tell us to cover specific points if you actually want those to be the headings.
Your article might be one in a stack twenty high
You get just as much priority as the next. You might even be going through dozens or hundreds of articles submitted from writers yourself, so you can probably understand.
Web content/copywriting isn’t like writing a book
Blog posts are casual. They use slang. If you ask for a blog post but reject articles because they’re too casual, then you aren’t asking for the right thing. If you’re outsourcing chapters for your written book, then using writing broker sites doesn’t make sense. It will be a poor fit.
Writers don’t always see the same thing you do
I see this all the time on certain broker websites. I send HTML, it breaks. You send a link, it gets cut off. You add a note, but I can’t see it. I might not be able to see your name, client number or even the article I just submitted. When in doubt, send a message.
Don’t be afraid of being communicative
At best, we’ll ignore you or opt out of your messages, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Enough with the damned keywords already
We’re sick of adding 16 instances of the same keyword in 200 words. It’s not readable, and some of your phrases are impossible to work into an article grammatically. Let writers use connecting words or, even better, focus on quality instead of search engine optimization.
Not everyone knows HTML
Yes, you’re using this content on your website. No, your writer isn’t responsible for adding all the tags. Many writers aren’t also bloggers. Markup is your responsibility, and just because I happen to be a writer who knows HTML doesn’t mean that I will do your job.

So, writers, what do you have to add to this list?


May 17

Cell Phone Culture

I have a cell phone. Most people I know do. Some of the folks who will read this contact me through my cell phone and that’s cool. I do like having people close at hand, so to speak.

But I’ve got to say, we need to adhere to some cell phone ettiquette, people! And, no, I’m not just talking about the people who ignore cashiers cause they’re too busy on their phones. Or people who don’t turn off their phones in movie theatres or even those people who look crazy cause they’re talking on blue tooth in the middle of Wal-mart.

No, I’m talking about the people who call and call and text and text and leave multiple voice mails (or none at all) and get all butthurt when you don’t answer the phone right-that-very-second. The people who expect you to have your phone on you at all times, to answer no matter what.

News flash!

You’re rude. Just because I have a cell phone doesn’t mean I have to have it on or have it on my person. I don’t have to answer or reply to your texts, not in a timely manner nor at all. And if you keep bugging me incessantly, I will probably not want to answer you.

And there are certain times I might turn my phone off or put it on silent. Like during movies or when I sleep. If I’m on a date, spending time with loved ones. They are more important than you at those moments. If you want to be the more important person, make time to spend with me. Don’t expect to be important simply because I have a cell phone that I could be using 24/7. I just won’t.

Don’t call more than once in a 5 minute time period. Don’t call 4 times and leave 0 messages. On the other hand, don’t call 4 times and leave 4 messages. 1 will do, thank you very much.

And don’t send me more than 3 texts at a time. If you can’t sum things up shortly, save it for e-mail or IM or an actual phone call or to say to my face. It can probably wait. I promise.

You see, that’s the thing. These people act as those the conversations cannot possibly wait yet the conversations are more useless than ever. They can wait. You can wait and I will make you wait whether you like it or not.


Jun 02

Thank You India

..actually, thanks for all the birthday wishes. A lot of people surprised me by remembering. At least, I like to assume they remembered as opposed to Facebook reminders. ;)

I did nothing but go to Petsmart and Target but since I had no expectations, I wasn’t disappointed. I usually expect more on my birthday and that usually leads to disappointment. I guess low expectations are a good thing.


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