How to Ask for Edits on a Freelance Writer’s Work

Businessman taking notes to give feedback to a freelance writer.

When freelance writers prepare articles for publication in newspapers and magazines, they expects edits to be part of the process. As such, the editor reading their work expects to be able to communicate any desired edits to the writer. When businesses are hiring a freelance writer for content marketing purposes, this process may be a little less clear. In fact, clients who are unaccustomed to working with freelance writers may be unsure of exactly how and when to ask for edits. If you’re considering hiring a freelance writer and wondering what to do about edits, these tips will help you get the adjustments you need in a productive and efficient way.

Discuss Edits Up Front

If you haven’t already closed the deal with your freelance writer, it can be helpful to discuss how to handle edits upfront. Many freelance writers will include a specific number of revisions or edits in their pricing for a project. Two is a typical number, but you and your writer can negotiate for an appropriate number. By creating this kind of agreement upfront, you can feel confident in the knowledge that the writer you are hiring expects edits to be part of the project. This will make it easier to go to him or her with your requests.

Be Specific About the Changes

Frequently, edits and revisions are tied to a misunderstanding on the writer’s part about the initial assignment. They may not understand exactly what you’d like to be included in the work. You can reduce the chance of going back and forth with multiple edits by being as specific as possible about changes you want to see. For example, state that you’d like 100 more words about a specific topic or a specific section to be removed. The clearer you can be about your needs, the more pleased you are likely to be with the edits that you receive back.

Stick to a Timeline

Freelance writers juggle the needs of multiple clients at once. Because of this, they may not be able to accommodate your requests for edits if you send them two months after the initial piece was submitted. Try to send editing requests within a few days of receiving the initial submission. Be sure to give the writer a realistic amount of time to turn the edits around. Most writers can complete edits in a day or two. However, if you are asking for significant changes, adjust the timeline accordingly.

Recognize the Difference Between Edits and Rewrites

A freelance writer should provide quality content that meets the specifications of the assignment. A normal part of this process will include making edits that the client requests. However, once you see a finished piece of content, you may realize that you should have designed the assignment differently. As a result, you may need the writer to substantially rework or expand the piece. Most freelance writers can easily accommodate this request, but these kinds of changes go beyond edits. They instead involve a complete rewrite of the piece. If you request a rewrite because you want to make changes to the original assignment, be prepared to pay extra for the additional work.

Don’t waste your time with subpar hiring a freelance writer who can’t produce the kind of content you need. On Writers Work, you can browse the profiles and samples of our talented team of freelance writers in advance. Then, you can approach them directly about your projects, solving the problem of sifting through stacks of unqualified applications. Our Writers Marketplace is always free for clients and businesses, so see what our members can do for your brand today.

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