I’m a freelance writer. You may wonder what that means, and that’s fair enough; it is a rather broad job description. In my case, freelance writing mainly involves writing online content such as web pages and blog posts. If you’re considering engaging someone like me, here are some common questions I get asked that you might find helpful.

1: How much do you cost?

Here is a common pricing inquiry:

“Hi, can you tell me how much it will cost for you to write blog posts for my business.”

I HATE this kind of email because it is impossible to answer. It takes a conversation for me to provide an accurate quotation. By having a chat, I can determine the scope of your project.

I want to know the following:

  1. How many words will your posts to be?
  2. What industry are you in (some industries I avoid)?
  3. Do I need to do research?
  4. Do I need to conduct interviews?
  5. How much information can you supply me?

You also need to know what you’re getting; otherwise, why use me when you can hire someone from overseas at a fraction of the cost?

2: How do you work?

I like this question; we are having a conversation. Using blogging as an example, here’s my process:

Get information

The first step is to gather information for the post. There are three ways I do this:

  1. The interview method: Once we have established a topic, I prepare some questions and talk to you, usually via phone or Skype or sometimes in person. Though I always have questions prepared, an interview is just a conversation, and it is amazing what ‘gems’ we can uncover. To ensure I capture your language style and don't miss anything, I record all interviews on my iPad.
  2. The brain-dump method: You email me your thoughts on a topic in bullet points. This method is suitable if you can't find time for an interview. .
  3. Research method: You advise me of the topic, and I get all the necessary information myself.

Write

Using the information gathered, I go ahead and write. Posts are usually at least 400 words long. They include keywords (if required), headings and subheadings, a call to action (If you enjoy this post, please join our mailing list, etc.) and meta titles and descriptions.

Edit

Anything I write is in your name, so you must be happy with the finished product. Once I have written your post, I will email it to you for review. At this point, you can make notes and suggest edits (Microsoft Word Track Changes is useful).

Publish

Once your post is finished, it is time to publish. Usually, my clients do this themselves; although, some provide me login details to their websites.

Do you do SEO?

I am not an SEO expert; however, I can carry out keyword research, and I take search engines into consideration.

Here’s what I do from an SEO perspective:

  • Keywords: I include keywords in the meta title, headings and sparingly throughout the post. I do not use keywords to the detriment of the writing; the reader always comes first, and Google agrees with me.
  • Meta titles and descriptions: These are what people see in search engine results pages (SERPs). Don’t underestimate them; they are like billboards to entice people to read your post. A meta title and description will  be persuasive, like a mini advertisement, and include a keyword.

So, there you have it: three common questions people ask me. If you enjoyed this post, please share.

  1. How much did you say you cost again Andrew? 🙂 No doubt your prices for a series of blogs will be different from a one-off, which will be different from web copy etc. I understand how clients feel though, they want to get a measure on whether they can afford your services or not and are afraid that once they engage it becomes more difficult to dis-engage if they’re shopping around. I think it’s called ‘social cost’ — no easy solutions. Have you got four or five questions to get a more accurate brief that you can quote on? No doubt the subject of another blog!

    1. Hi Colin. Yes, of course, clients want to get an idea about price. I’m the same when hiring a service. All I’m saying is that pricing isn’t black and white; it takes a conversation. Thanks for your feedback.

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