3 Hints for Giving Value With Your Writing


A common misconception is that freelance writing means typing a lot of words in exchange for money. Most of us know this isn’t the case at all. The majority of people who hire us, do so because they expect something of value in return for their payment. Our clients want us to sell or promote with our words. They’re not looking for sentences as much as they want bang for their buck. Our clients want results.

All writing has a purpose

If you’re going through the motions with your writing, you’re producing an article or a bit of copy, but that’s not necessarily a result. To give true value, a writer needs to provide a return on a client’s investment. It makes no difference as to what type of writing you take on, without some good ROI action, you’re not providing value.

  • If you’re a blogger, your client hopes to build up traffic and community and possibly earn advertising revenue or sell products.
  • If you write for newspapers or magazines, your client hopes to sell copies.
  • If you’re a copywriter, your client hopes to sell a product or service.
  • If you’re writing for the church newsletter your client hopes to promote good will and reach the congregation.

Are you sure you’re doing all of these things for your clients?

Taking the time to learn if your clients are receiving a good return on their investment will help you to learn if you’re providing value. If your projects aren’t producing the intended results,  you’ll want to work on what you need to do better to help your clients achieve their goals.

3 Questions …

Do you think about giving value in the work you do? It’s a no-brainer, really. Taking the time to understand your clients needs and projected results can go a long way in ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership.

Do you:

  1. Understand what your client wants from you? Too many freelancers shy away from picking up a phone or getting on Skype and giving projects a thorough discussion. This can be a big mistake. Most clients prefer answering numerous questions to wondering if you know enough about their business, their mission and their philosophy. You can’t adequately handle any freelance writing project without knowing who you’re working for and exactly what is expected of you. Don’t automatically assume your client gave you all the details in the job description. The onus is on the freelancer to make it his mission to find out exactly what is expected – and then exceed those expectations.
  2. Understand your clients intended result? Whether it’s sales, traffic or advertising revenue, knowing what your clients hope to achieve with your writing will help you to write with the proper perspective. For example, you wouldn’t write a magazine article the same way as a blog post or SEO copy. If you’re selling you’re using a different voice than if you’re preaching or teaching. Asking your clients about their expectations and goals will help to prevent rewrite and  revision requests.
  3. Keep in constant communication? All successful business people are good communicators. They have no problems  with regularly picking up a phone or dropping a few lines to give progress reports and ask questions. Your client will be pleased to learn how the project is progressing and offer necessary feedback. This will ensure there are no surprises as the project nears completion. Good communication also means following up after the project to make sure everything is going as expected and to see if you can help in any other way.

Your clients want to be sure their investment (you) is paying off. Take the time to know your client and his expectations. Don’t assume you know everything about the project until you’ve had the chance to discuss the project from start to finish.

Meeting expectations is fine, the writers who exceed expectations are the ones who really stand out.

How do you give value with your writing?


  1. Phil says

    Amen to No. 3…I find it so frustrating when clients/prospects don’t return calls. Had one just this week who I did a $500 project for that they liked, admitted they wanted more, but it took nearly three months to get the go ahead for something to be turned around in a day. If they had just communicated it was going to be a couple of months, I wouldn’t have been making calls, sending e-mails, etc., nearly weekly.

    In addition to No. 3, depending on the client, I’d recommend No. 4: Look for opportunities for the client to grow that may or may not involve your services. This is mainly if you’re dealing with smaller clients. I don’t have many that fall into this category any more, but this was important when I had a much smaller and a more local client base. But even somewhat larger companies appreciate it if you pass along a pertinent news item, a potential client (e.g., a small business looking for accounting services that you pass along to the accounting firm that you write for), or something similar. I always keep my ear to the ground and eyes to the wires to see if I can find opportunities for some of my smaller clients. I know as they grow, my business with them will grow.


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