Here is what you need to know
I will do detailed, actionable posts that are worth reading and sharing.
- I prefer to work with clients long-term.
If you only need a handful of posts, that could be arranged. I, however, think of my gigs as “content partnerships”.
- I prefer regular work.
For most of my clients, I submit one blog post every week. Occasionally I’ll do one post every other week. This helps me keep on schedule.
- I value prompt payment.
Clients who pay promptly are given priority over clients who don’t. “Promptly” is within ten calendar days of receiving an invoice. Payment is via check or direct deposit.
- I write about a wide range of topics.
- I’m ok with signing a contract or a non-disclosure statement, but I get itchy when clients ask me to not work with anyone else in their industry.
Occasionally a potential client will be concerned about who my other clients are. They worry I might have a conflict of interest.
As a subject expert, a limitation like that would cripple me. I am happy to sign contracts that state I will not share or even mention business secrets, research, or proprietary techniques. And if you have a short list of specific competitors you do not want me to work with, I might agree to that.
This is my typical process with clients:
1) The Client and I confirm our needs match. Basically:
- They need regular content in my area of subject expertise
- They accept my rates and payment terms
- I have space in my schedule
2) The Client gives me an idea of what their goal/s for the posts/content is and how long they want the posts to be.
Their goals would include things like:
- Is this for lead generation or is it “just” to build brand reputation and awareness?
- Do you want me to mention your products/services in the content, or not?
- Who’s the audience? Is this for “micro”/small business owners, CMOs? Existing customers?
- If it’s a guest post, where is it going to be published (or at least what kind of place it’ll be published)?
3) The Client gives me a short list of their primary competitors. This helps for idea generation, but more importantly so I don’t mention those companies or their research in your copy.
4) I send about 15-25 article ideas/headlines. I’ll include each headline’s score from the CoSchedule headline analyzer. If the Client has specific topics they’d like covered, I am happy to riff headlines for those topics.
5) Clients pick which ideas/headlines they like best.
6) We set a schedule for the posts.
7) I deliver the posts via email, with a Word doc as an attachment and with the images for the posts in a zipped file. Set up in WordPress is $40 extra. If the files are unusually large I’ll post them to Dropbox and send you a link.
8) Your post will have been run through the Hemingway App until it is at no more than a 7th-grade reading level. I will run it through Grammarly after that.
9) I’ll include ten possible/alternate headlines and 2-3 meta descriptions with the post. I will also add 3-5 interior links in the post to other content resources on your website. Occasionally I’ll add a link to a product page.
10) I will almost always include at least one graphic, example or screenshot. A typical 1,500 word blog post will have 2-3 graphs or charts from research plus 1-2 examples. I aim for about one image per every 300-500 words. I try very hard to cite recent research – something that’s been published within the last two years. I will also spend about 30-45 minutes looking for examples to illustrate what’s discussed in the post. Usually, that means I’ll be able to find at least one good example. If you want to send me a list of companies/clients/customers you’d like me to check to example research, that’s great. If you have a specific size you want the images made at, I’ll do my best to deliver them at that size.
12) I promote the posts:
- 5-15 tweets
- LinkedIn share
13) I usually reply to any comments the post gets, but reserve the right to not reply to some comments.
PS: Inspired post by Pam Neely, still editing it to suit my style