Blogging is all about communication. While you might think I'm belaboring the obvious here, stick with me. Clearly, the entire point of having a business blog is to communicate with your audience. But are you communicating with your blogger?
We professional bloggers want to be just that - utterly professional. But our clients can make this easy or pretty gosh darn hard. Let's take a look at a couple of things that any writer-for-hire worth his or her hourly rate wants you to know.
Ways to Seriously Annoy Your Blogger
First and foremost, the biggest way you can annoy a blogger is not to pay them. This also has the effect of shortening any working relationship you might have. By the way, I'm not just referring to simple non-payment; late payments (weeks or months after work has been delivered) make us pretty ticked off too. Sure, everyone runs late or misplaces an invoice occasionally, but if you make it a practice, you'll be short one writer in no time.
Right up there with non-payment is leaving your blogger out of the loop. Blogging is part of your larger social media and marketing picture. So keep your blogger in the picture too.
As a rule, in larger companies I work with marketing directors, social media managers, and the like. While I may not have any input on their plans, I at least get to deeply understand their audience, goals, timelines, and campaigns. I learn what keywords they want, what performs well for their business, and how my posts work in the overall picture.
I like this.
The opposite is also common. I'm given a list of topics and keywords and told to have at it. While this may seem like absolute freedom, it actually slows me down. I find myself formulating my own target audience, trying to build my own reasonably effective campaigns, without any background or feedback. I have no idea if anything I write is effective. It's working in a vacuum, and we know nature abhors a vacuum. This goes double for anyone involved in the quick-change, analytics-driven world of content marketing. I compare it to driving around aimlessly in a car, hoping you'll stumble on the right destination - without knowing what that destination is.
How to Keep Your Pro Blogger Happy
Keeping a pro writer happy isn't hard. Remember, we're information junkies, or we wouldn't be in this field. I have never ever heard of a writer saying 'My client gave me way too much background on this job!'. Here are a couple of things you can do to nurture a good relationship with your writer of choice:
With common sense and common courtesy, you and your professional blogger can have a long and happy working relationship.