A lot has been written on this and other writing related blogs about what makes a good content writer, but discussed less frequently is what makes for a good writing client. Whether you are a writer looking to identify the type of people you want to work for, or someone who is thinking of hiring writers and wants to give them the best chance of providing exactly what you want, considering the kind of behaviours that the best clients to work with exhibit can be helpful. Being clear about what you want, and understanding the amount of work that goes into creating good content is important, as are more practical things like prompt payment. However, in this article we have decided to take a look at the flip side of the coin – what are the kind of behaviours that make a client or potential client really bad to work for?
(Shockingly) Unrealistic Budgets
Thanks to the prevalence of cheap content farms staffed by non-native English speaking writers a couple of years ago, some people looking for writers have a badly skewed idea of how much they should expect to pay for the level of quality they want. These cheap providers still exist but are used a lot less frequently now that there is a bigger understanding of the negative ways bad content can affect a site, and changes to Google that mean only good, original content is rewarded in SEO terms. In spite of this, most writers will at some point have been approached by someone who believed they should provide them with work of the standard of a broadsheet journalist for 50 cents an article. This is not even an exaggeration. Good writers do appreciate the kind of budgetary restraints businesses have to work with, but when someone wants the proverbial moon on a stick and seems to have no budget at all, it is impossible to work for them.
Writers should be willing to accommodate their clients requirements, and it goes without saying that part of providing a good service is being responsive when your client wants to ask you something or needs an update on progress with their job. Sometimes, however, people make weird demands when they hire you along the lines of ‘you must be available via Skype at all times and respond to my emails within three minutes.’
Being contactable is one thing, but it is very difficult to actually write if you are worried about constantly fielding messages or calls about the thing you are trying to work on. Writers should be happy to communicate with clients during a project, particularly a large one with a longer deadline where status updates could be helpful, but overly demanding clients in this respect can be very hard to work for because you simply can’t focus on writing!
Good working relationships are of benefit to everyone – the clearer and more organised a client is, the easier it is to give them what they want. Clients who are great to work with make doing this job a real pleasure, so here’s to all the good ones we have encountered!