Outsourcing content to freelancers is important for ensuring we can manage peaks in content requirements that extend beyond the team’s capacity. Here’s how to outsource successfully so that work comes back to spec, within the deadline, and as expected.
Step 1 of the process
Consult with the Operations Manager once having recognised the need to outsource content, then the content strategist should open the Content Brief template. Clone this template and complete it working from the Writing a Content Brief process.
Step 2 of the process
Next, the content strategist needs to find a freelancer. Please review the ‘freelance writer spreadsheet’ for a list of suitable contacts.
Step 3 of the process
The content strategist should reach out to the freelancer with a brief overview of the task. Enquire after their interest in the project, their availability and their current rates. Attach the completed brief to give the freelancer a clear idea of the project.
Step 4 of the process
If the freelance writer expresses interest in the project, the content strategist should confirm the deadline, reiterate the two-revision policy we support with our clients (the writer should be open to editing their content) and get final confirmation that they have accepted the task. If there are any contractual obligations/forms to complete, do so now.
Don’t forget to update the content entry in the content calendar with ‘IN PROGRESS’.
Step 5 of the process
The content strategist should review the content that comes back in the same way they would review an internal content writer’s work. If they have any revisions, they can either ask the freelance writer to implement these or edit the content themselves.
The content then enters the normal editorial process. If extensive revisions are required by the client, the freelance writer should complete these. If minor edits are suggested, it is usually much faster for the content strategist or an internal writer to make these.
Step 6 of the process
When the content is signed off, the content strategist should feed this back to the freelance writer. The freelance writer spreadsheet should be updated by the content strategist to reflect the date on which you’ve most recently worked with the freelance writer. The content entry in the content calendar should be updated to show ‘APPROVED’.
Step 7 of the process
If the freelance writer breaks any commercial agreement, delivers work late, delivers work below the standard expected or delivers plagiarised content, they should be blacklisted. Update the freelance writer spreadsheet to show that this freelance writer should absolutely not be approached or worked with in future.