Application, Freelancer, How To

Finding the Right Wordsmith

It can be difficult to decide if you’re choosing the right person to edit your work or provide writing services, especially if you haven’t gone through the process of hiring a freelancer or contractor before.  Changing contractors midway through a project is a hassle that delays the final product and adds to the overall expense.

Here are some tips to make sure you get the right person on the first try, whether you are seeking out writers or editors via a web search or catalog, or if you’re using a freelance platform service like Thumbtack, Profinder, Upwork or Fiverr:

  • Give as much information as you can in your quote or bid request, but don’t exaggerate.
    • If you’re looking for editing of a fiction novel,  include the genre so you get professionals who have that particular area of expertise.
    • For editing of non-fiction, identify the content.  Is it history, an instruction manual, a travel guide?  This ensures a better match of experience.
    • If you’re developing internal instructions or procedures, identify the field.  An engineering writer may not have the vocabulary for your clinical manual.
    • Don’t promise millions of dollars on your screenplay if we just trust in you.
  • Summarize your vision or goal for the project.
    • If it is not that well defined, provide a general overview, and note if you’d like help defining the scope.
    • If you have a definite idea of what you’re looking for, make sure that’s clear.
  • Include any deadlines you have, especially the hard and fast ones.
    • It’s no good to find the perfect writer or editor only to learn they can’t fit your project into their schedule
  • Be prepared to discuss a communication plan to keep up to date on the progress of the project.
    • How – e-mail, meetings (live or virtual), shared cloud-based documents
    • Tone – formal, informal, casual
    • Frequency – daily, weekly, at key points in the project
  • Include your biggest concerns about the project, if you have any.
    • Total cost can be a legitimate factor, be prepared to discuss it.
  • Include any follow-up the project may require or benefit from.

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