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10 Questions Freelance Writers Must ask Before Beginning a Writing Project

 

There is no denying that to excel in the field of content writing a writer must possess genuine writing talent, focus, foresight and an uncanny ability to read the client’s mind! Often, businesses hire content writers and copywriters to create their company website or breathe life into their existing dull and boring website.

Things become difficult when clients themselves lack clarity and are unable to communicate clearly their expectations from the writing project. In such a scenario, the writer lacks a sense of direction. Unable to understand the requirement, the writer ends up producing a piece that is far different from what the client needed. Since not all customers are thorough with their briefing, it is imperative for the content writer to respect the uniqueness of each project and ask relevant questions so that he / she can understand the scope of the project before beginning work.

As a freelance writer, you must understand that the client’s expectations are always going to be high. In case the business owner does not provide enough background information, it is up to you, the writer, to ask the right questions and gather sufficient information so that you can give a unique voice to the content and create killer content / copy.

Here are 10 Essential Questions Every Writer Must Ask the Client before Beginning a Writing Project –

 

 

1. Tell me about your Business / Company - Who are you? Answers to this question should help you understand the company and its functioning and core values. Company specific information provides valuable insights into the enterprise’s operations. Some specific queries include - when was the company / business founded, etc.

2. Define your Prospective Customers - Who is your Target Audience? - The million dollar question, one that requires a clear and precise answer. Ask the client to give you a profile of the target market (age group, gender, location, preferences). Knowing who you are writing for is essential for producing content that gets the desired results.

3. Define your Core Values - What are your short and long term goals? Every company or business has a vision of the future. Understanding their short and long term goals, their core beliefs, values as well as their mission statement will help you in giving a distinctive voice to their website and communication channels.

4. Describe your Products & Services – What do you sell? Ask the client to provide you with a comprehensive description of the products they sell and the services they offer. Your job will be to present these services and products in the best possible light.

5. What are the Benefits of using your services / products? How do you solve your customers’ problems? What defines a good product or service is not its features, rather its benefits. As a copywriter, it is your job to inform the customers about the advantages they can derive from using the product or service, in question. Ask your clients to define how their goods or services can solve the customers' problems and assist them in improving their lives.

 
 

 

6. Define your Competitors – Who are you competing against? Knowing what you are up against is good practice. Hence, ask clients to profile their competitors. Once you know who they are, study their websites to find out more about them and how they operate.

7. Tell me about your company’s USP – How are you different from your Competitors? Take steps to analyse how your clients score over their competitors. Understand the business's Unique Selling Proposition and concentrate on projecting this through your web copy. Give readers clear reasons why they should buy from your client.

8. Describe your Strengths - Why should Customers buy from you or do business with you? The clients need to explain the top reasons why prospective customers should use their services or buy from them.

Some of the reasons may include – their reliability, dedication towards delivering on time, their active task force, high-end machinery, international standards, etc.

9. Define the Purpose of this content - What is the objective of developing this content? Whether you are writing an article, web content or rewriting existing copy, it is useful to find out the client's goals for getting this content developed. The goal may be image building, achieving higher turnover or giving a fresh perspective to what is already said. Whatever the reason, knowing it will help you to tailor the content accordingly.

10. Please provide me with a detailed Sitemap - Do you have a word count in mind? If you charge for content writing on a per word basis, it is good practice to discuss the word count per page before beginning work. Some clients will leave it to you to decide how much to write per page. However, there may be others who want you to be extremely succinct. It is best to discuss this beforehand.

To make your freelance writing career successful you must start every project the correct way - ask relevant questions, gain an understanding of the project and then give it your very best!

Also read - 5 Mistakes Every Writer Must Avoid

Contributing Author:  Team of writers, www.contentwriter.in

Content Writing Services, India  

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