Programmatic Buying If you’re on the hunt for content, you’re likely trying to track down an experienced freelancer to help you. Like most marketers, brands and content editors, you’re probably looking for http://blog.ebyline.com/2014/01/keep-client-freelancer-relationship-healthy/a no-fuss relationship that results in top-notch content that’s on … "/>

Seven Questions To Ask A Freelancer To Get Killer Content

Programmatic Buying

If you’re on the hunt for content, you’re likely trying to track down an experienced freelancer to help you. Like most marketers, brands and content editors, you’re probably looking for a no-fuss relationship that results in top-notch content that’s on time every time. How do you make that happen? It helps to ask freelancers the right questions before you begin a project.

We asked three experienced content editors what questions they ask freelancers to make sure they get the five-star content they want. We’ve broken their questions into two sections: before and after establishing a relationship with a freelancer.

Bringing A New Freelancer On Board

Bre Hartel, the editor and chief of RedHot40.com, an online magazine for women over 40, has hired dozens of freelancers and says she whittles a pool of freelance applicants down by asking three questions:

 

  • Is English your native language?
    Freelancers live all over the world, but Hartel suggests working with a freelancer who grew up speaking the language. This will cut down on the number of grammatical mistakes and errors that an editor needs to correct. 
  • Do you have writing samples?
    Next, you’ll want to look through the freelancer’s writing samples and make sure the writing reflects the kind of voice and content you’re looking for. 
  • Are you a trained news writer?
    Hartel says this question isn’t a requirement but news reporters are trained to turn quality content on a deadline and that’s the golden rule of publishing, she says.

 

Getting The Most Out Of An Established Relationship

 

Victoria Garment

Victoria Garment

Victoria Garment, the content editor at Software Advice, a site that links businesses with software, oversees a team of freelancers and guest bloggers. Even after working with a freelancer for some time, she asks:

 

  • What questions do you have about the assignment?
    Even if you’ve worked successfully with writers before, each assignment is different and presents its own unique challenges, which is why Garment asks this question on every project.
    “I don’t expect a writer to be an expert on every topic I assign to them, but it’s critical that they understand what we want the article to cover,” she says. “If they don’t understand something, they need to speak up before they get started.” 
  • How much bandwidth do you have for this project?
    Freelancers juggle more than one client to survive, so it’s important to ask if he or she has the time to get your project done within a certain timeframe, Garment says.
    “Turnaround times can drag on if a freelancer has a lot going on, so I need the writer to be completely honest about how much time they’ll be able to spend on the project so I have a clear idea of when we can publish it,” she says.
    Lynda Bekore, the managing editor of SmallBizClub.com, a resource site for entrepreneurs, has her own set of questions for [her] freelancers: 
  • Does your piece contain actionable content?
    The SmallBizClub site specializes in advice-driven articles that give consumers specific tips, not general overviews, which is why this question is critical for Bekore to ask a freelancer. Without asking it, she runs the risk of getting generic content. 
  • Is there a clear distinction between your opinion and sourced material?
    Writing high-quality content centers on attributing information to sources, Bekore says. In some cases it’s okay for [your] freelancers to offer an opinion but readers need to know where that opinion comes from. The same holds true if a freelancer references a study or quotes an interviewee. The source should always be mentioned. Readers expect reliable information, which is why Bekore expects nothing less from her freelancers. 

Are you a content editor? Feel free to add the questions that you ask freelancers to ensure quality content below.

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