This morning I received this question from a reader who is looking to become a freelance article writer. Because article writing is a great way to earn extra money in a tough economy and generate additional shoring of revenue, I thought I’d share my response.
Question – “I was recently contacted to write articles for a website. The offer was $15 per 400 to 600 word article. What do you think and are there any tips you can share with me?”
My Response – This looks interesting. Here’s some tips to make the most out of this engagement:
- You might want to create a general working agreement that states payment terms (agreed upon payment rate, timing of payment, payment method), number of revisions, expected turn around time, etc.
- There’s a huge difference between a 400 word article and a 600 word article and they’re probably not worth the same $15. See if you can negotiate a per word rate or make each article a certain maximum length plus or minus 10 words. I think this will work out best for both parties.
- Ensure expectations are clear for each project. You may want to request a written document which details the requirements for the project. This includes things such as tone, style, reading level, purpose of the article, length of the article, and keyword usage (if the article is to be used for SEO purposes). You may also want to clarify the format of the article – should the articles have headings and sub heading, bullet points, etc.
- Make sure there exists clear lines of communication between you and your client. It is important to be able to ask questions as you’re working on the project, but don’t overdo it. Too many questions can cause your contractor to doubt your abilities. Also, know which forms of communication – email, telephone, instant messenger – are acceptable. At the same time, you should respond promptly to your client’s questions. Be professional and notify your client of any hurdles that may delay completion of the assignment.
- You should have some of the level of research required to complete each article. For example, if you must do five hours of research before you begin to write, you may want to bill for that time too. Just be sure that you have reached an agreement with your contractor beforehand.
- See if the contractor is willing to give you a recommendation upon satisfactory completion of your assignments. Although you’re being hired as a ghostwriter, many contractors will be more than willing to give you a raving review.
- If it makes sense, consider using a third party to administer the freelance relationships. Outsourcing broker websites such as Textbroker.com and eLance.com might provide an additional sense of security for both parties.
- Lastly, I think you should try to over deliver in terms of quality and not quantity. For example, a 400 word article that addresses the topic in a clear, precise manner will make your client happier than a 600 word article that is off-topic.
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