Freelance writing is a lonely business. Our daily work sticks us in front of a computer bricked into a mental hole. Besides emails to clients or maybe a social media conversation, our daily companion is the silence around us. Unlike office-based copywriters or journalists, an Editor or supervisor doesn’t review our work. The only way to judge how we’re doing is if we get data on how many people are reading our blogs or leaving reviews on our work. As a ghostwriter, that’s rare.
Here’s a secret. Writers dread and welcome feedback. We dread it because in the bottom of our hearts we always want positive affirmation. We welcome it because we know it’ll improve our writing and help us better tailor copy to our clients needs.
We understand sending a note to your freelance writer is probably one of the last things on your mind. If you have a chance, please do give us some feedback, like:
You liked the blog or some idea in it
Positive feedback massages the ego and benefits our work with you. Why? Whenever a client tells me something they like, I try to do more of it. That’s a win for you.
The tone/voice/style isn’t working
Especially in the early stages of a working relationship, feedback is crucial to a writer’s understanding of what you want. Tone is tricky. Often times I’m told a client wants one voice, but over the course of a few drafts it becomes clear they want something else. The feedback is what helped pinpoint the tone.
When you’re working to nail something like tone, voice, or style, the key is to highlight specific areas. Tell us a paragraph that’s working or point out a paragraph that isn’t working. Instead of just saying I don’t like this paragraph, think of why it’s not working for you. Do you think it could benefit from a specific example to illustrate its point? Do you think it’s too wordy? Do you think it’s too formal sounding? Are there some redundancies inside the paragraph?
Wrong topic for your audience
Choosing ideal topics that appeal to your audience is a fine art. When a delivered draft isn’t what you expected, do tell the writer specifically why. There may have been a different understanding of the topic and/or target audience. One feedback I received once was the topic was too similar to another technology in real estate post, and so new material needed to be added to differentiate the content.
Getting the format right
Communicating how you want your copy set up should have been done early in the process. Still, sometimes your style changes and you forgot to let your copywriter know about it. A common example is changing how you refer to your company or a new boilerplate with in-link. Maybe you’re completely overhauling the style of your blogs.
A copy style guide is helpful to creating a standard for your marketing materials. If you have multiple people working on your content strategy, it’s even more valuable to have the document. Luckily, any issues in formatting are usually quickly fixable.
The best way to foster a working relationship that requires small tweaks from you is to hire someone whose work fits into your current style. Tweak it as they start working for you. If you generally like what your writer is doing, but there are some early speed bumps, feedback lets them know more of what you’d expect going forward.
Looking for a copywriter? I craft all types of copy for real estate professionals and other industries. Let’s chat!