A content writer answers your questions
What will a content writer ask For?
“What do you need from me?”
This is a question I get often. In most discovery calls, in fact. I’m going to start with a statement that’s pretty general, but works.
Every content writer is different, and their businesses are different. When it comes to obtaining information from their clients (or from potential clients) things vary. One may request a five page questionnaire to get to know you as a client. Another may get the information they need over the phone and via email.
To give some clarity around this issue, I’ll give you the information that I know and trust. Basically, I'm outlining my requests to all of my clients. I’m not pitching anything, but giving you what people can expect from me.
I ask for four different types of information and documents
As a content writer, it’s important to me that I get all the information a client has for me, and in terms that are as specific as possible. It can seem like a lot, but I find that asking for all of these things up front helps me to create the content my client is looking for, with (hopefully) minimal issues later.
I ask for: any background information people can give.
This includes any drafts of content they’ve started, lists of topics they want covered in the set of blogs that I’m writing for them.
I ask for: information on their ideal client/target audience.
If a business owner doesn’t know who they are hoping to draw in with their blogs, or who they’re trying to sell to, I tell them (usually during the discovery call) that I don’t think they’re far enough along for me to be the right content writer for them. This is because clarity around these things is so important. Without that knowledge, the blog posts I write aren’t going to be effective. Most likely, the client won’t be happy with the final product.
I ask for keywords and keyword phrases they want to use.
Keywords are some of what search engines use to rank your blog and your website. It’s extremely helpful if business owners know which ones they want to use. If not, a content writer can often do the research to find specific keywords and keyword phrases that will work.
I ask for anything else they’d like me to read.
This is usually where content writing clients have the opportunity to show me blogs and content they are inspired by, and things that light them up. This is an opportunity for a potential client to show me who they are and others in their field that they admire. In the case of links to other blogs, then I find it helpful to see if there’s more that I can add to a client’s blog post to help them stand out.
In the next blog post, I’ll dive into the process of working with a content writer; specifically what happens after a content writer like me gets the information referenced above. I’ll also dive into the signs that you’re ready to outsource your content creation, and signs that you’re not. It’s going to be a busy month here!
Have questions on specifics in the process? Stick with me this month and you’ll find that information in my blog posts. If you don’t want to wait, feel free to send me an email and we can have a discussion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
April Bamburg, Content Writer
My business is Writing Unfiltered. Writing is what I do. Unfiltered is the type of life I aspire to have.
I’m a little different from most people I know, partly because I find research delightful. I love learning about new topics in order to write about them.
Anyone you ask will tell you I drink too much coffee. They might also say I’m out of touch when it comes to pop culture. I definitely don’t jump into trendy topics until the buzz has died down. I like music people have never heard of, or is no longer popular. (Seriously. I just binge-watched Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and Parenthood this year. Don’t expect me to get into Game of Thrones.) But, I stick with what I like (New Kids on the Block will ALWAYS be on my playlist.)