Marketers everywhere understand the importance of having a blog on a business website, either for SEO purposes or to provide a valuable information resource for customers and prospects, but one of the biggest barriers to business blogging is finding the time to come up with content and write copy.
Copywriting for a consistent business blog requires time – something most businesses do not have in abundance. Even marketing agencies are often so busy looking after customers, including writing copy for their client’s business blogs, that they don’t have time to update their own. It’s not easy! But it is possible with a little help from a freelance friend.
A great solution for the time-poor is to employ a freelance copywriter. They offer a cost-effective solution to generating consistent copy for your business blog, and the flexibility to tailor a solution to your business. But what do you need to think about before you take this step? What do you need to have in place before employing freelance help?
Implement one point of contact
To get the most out of freelance support, appoint an in-house contact to manage the process. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming role, in fact with the right freelancer it shouldn’t be, but there does need to be one consistent person to liaise with. And only one! Too many and communication could get messy. With one internal person liaising with the copywriter, all ideas from within the company can be managed and filtered to ensure clear priorities are passed on. It also means the copywriter is clear who they need to supply the finished work to and who to direct any questions to.
Work out an internal process for managing the freelancer
Following on from the idea of having one individual for freelance support to deal with in the company, there should be a clear process in place too. Who is going to come up with the ideas for the blog – internal staff, the freelancer, or both? How will this process be managed – who will the ideas go to and how will they be prioritised? What will happen to the copy supplied? What will the approvals process be and how will you let your copywriter know their work has been signed off? These are all things to think about prior to engagement.
Set communication preferences
It’s worth considering how you want to work with a freelancer before you hire one too. Do you prefer to speak to people on the phone, or would it suit your other commitments better to interact mainly by e-mail? Thinking about this up front will help establish a better relationship and might even help you find the right freelancer for your business in the first place. Clear communication channels are a must for any successful business relationship, and interacting with a freelance copywriter is no different.
Talk about the money up front
As well as considering how the relationship is going to work day-to-day, it is also worth thinking about the payment process up front too. If you want regular work from your business copywriter, you may be able to agree a monthly budget and regular invoicing system for work completed in the previous month. If, however, you are looking for a one-off project, you can expect to pay a deposit up front, with the rest of the payment due on completion. (Read more about ad-hoc Vs consistent blogging here). Whichever path you choose, it’s important to think about your needs, the freelancer’s requirements, a budget for the work you want completed, and discuss payment terms openly before embarking on a relationship to avoid any difficult conversations further down the line.
Employing freelance support of any kind can require a bit of a deep breath if you’re used to doing everything in-house, or if you haven’t used external resources in this way before. But with a little forethought, utilising a flexible third party to pick up the slack from your busy workload can be hugely successful.