Copywriting Commentary

Onboarding a Freelance Writer: The Magic is in the First Week


I have an obsession with Copyblogger. If you haven’t heard of it and you’re in the business, shame on you. In Aaron Orendorff‘s article “6 Steps for Writing Simple Copy That Sells,” he comments on when to invest the most time with your freelance writing hire:

Whenever I start a new freelance gig, I tell the client, “The most profitable time we’re going to spend together is week one. I’m probably not going to produce much, but what I will do is ask, inquire, question, and basically be annoying. For those first few precious days, I’m going to be an outsider. Soon enough, I won’t be and that’s when I’ll start writing. But while I am, listen to me. That’s when what I say will count the most.”

He’s right. Initially, you’ll need to invest a good amount of time bringing your freelancer up to speed with current brand initiatives, messaging, voice and brand guidelines, objectives, and so on. And it’s worth taking the time to do it well. After three months, working with your freelancer should be like a well-oiled machine. After 6 months, they’ll be a part of the family (if they’re good) an extension of your full-time team.

Have a question about working with freelance writers? Comment below and I’ll answer in an upcoming post.




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