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The Challenges of Managing a Team of Freelance Writers

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The Challenges of Managing a Team of Freelance Writers

Writing isn’t something naturally done in teams; it’s a solitary activity, even if the content isn’t deep. In any scenario, it is a way to stop, listen to one’s own voice and then put it on paper (or screen).
Trying to make a living out of writing is a whole different story; unless you’re talented and dedicated enough to produce best-seller novels, chances are that you’re going to end up as a part of a team of writers, employed by a certain company. Of course, you’re still writing your own thing, but you’re definitely not alone.
As someone in charge of a team of freelance writers, you’re going to have to meet some difficult challenges.

Writers are passionate

…and not only in terms of getting lost in their work; oh no, it works both ways. If you’re a leader of a team of freelance writers, proofreaders and editors are going to be a part of your team of writers.
Here’s a question for you: what’s more important, a team of experienced writers, or experienced proofreaders and editors? Although you may be inclined to say “experienced writers”, think about it: a team of adept writers will never worry about spelling and grammar too much, because every writer in the world has an editor and a proofreader to stand behind them, for many reasons.
Another reason why it is of the essence that you pay attention to your proofreaders is that your writers won’t tolerate taking a pounding from a professional who makes mistakes of their own, especially if they happen to wrongfully correct a mistake. Writers, freelance or not, are extremely protective of their work!

Cover the niches

Financially struggling freelance writers will eagerly accept every niche offer, even if they hate the subject in question. This will, in turn, produce lackluster results that, even though they are acceptable, are nowhere near realizing their creator’s true potential.
Make sure that your freelance writer team understand how important it is to choose the niches that they like – instead of offering raises for work done quickly, offer bonus payments for written content that excels above the sea of mediocrity. This will give your writers motivation to do what they’re best at.

Management

Managing a remote team is much different than being able to physically oversee contractors in a traditional office setting; you can’t respond to questions instantly or offer real-time feedback.
Firstly, you’ll need a centralized communication system – email alone is simply not going to cut it, so finding a perfect project management system for your needs is essential!
Secondly, you need to provide clear content strategy and guidelines. This means creating a strategy template that contains information such as an overview of the general content strategy for each of your clients, the content strategy that writers are obligated to follow, preliminary research to get your writer team started, as well as recommended headline structures for your writers to follow.
Of course, an overall editorial calendar with deadlines for each piece of content goes without saying.

Lax discipline

As a rule of thumb, writers aren’t really perfectly disciplined; and you can’t blame them, it goes with the territory. A disciplined writer doesn’t mean a disciplined employee, it just means that a particular wordsmith is more down-to-earth than her or his peers!
So, how to deal with this? Well, for the most part, you get over it. Think of writers as children, you can’t really expect them to be reasonable; so, instead of trying to change them, you should learn what to expect and how to deal with all the risks involved.

Managing a team of freelance writers is based on getting to know the particular nature of people in this profession. Make sure that you find a way to squeeze the most out of a particular writer’s niche, and that you learn that they’re passionate, that they lack in discipline and that you can expect a lot of management involved. Writers; you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them!

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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