This is another guest post by Rachel Jackson, a mother of 2 beautiful boys. Rachel loves to hike and write about traveling, education, and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Bizset.com – an online resource for relevant business information.
One of the best parts of my writing career has been meeting all of you–the extraordinary men and women who form the writing community. Some of you I have met in person; others I’m unlikely to ever do. I have collaborated on a number of projects with you and am part of a number of writer groups. We follow each other on social media and support and cheer our efforts.
At the same time, most of us are fiercely independent and protective of our work. As a result, forming a well-functioning team of writers can be a bit of a “herding cats” challenge. It is this teamwork that is the focus of Rachel’s guest post. Once you have your mind set on working with other writers, how do you ensure you have formed the perfect writing team? Read on and find out!
How to Build and Manage a Team of Writers
Writers are unique creatures. Building and managing a team of writers isn’t the same as building and managing an IT team, or a marketing team, or a social media team. Writers, even if they’re writing technical content, need to be resourceful, independent, and creative. These kinds of people need the right balance of teamwork and independence, and their working environment needs to be conducive to their productivity. Here’s your best strategy for building a killer writing team.
Really Meet Them All
Writers do their best work when they’re passionate about the subject matter. Even technical writers need that passion. If you’re trying to create an excellent blog for your website, you want to make sure the writer you hire will be able to do dominate in at least one category. It’s important to have a clear sense of a writer’s background. Some people are jacks of all trades who can write about virtually anything, but everyone writes their best when their personal interests are involved.
Get a Variety of Talent
If every single one of your writers is meant to do the exact same thing, you don’t have a team. You have clones of an individual. They’ll find it hard to work together because they all bring identical experience to the table. You need a diverse team. Your goal is, more or less, to give everyone a slightly different job title based on their personal expertise. If you have to decide between similar candidates, pick the one you get along with the best. You want your team to boast a wide variety of abilities and experiences.
The more instructions you provide, the better off you’ll be. Provide your writers with tons of examples of what you want. If you need something written in brand voice, or you want to experiment with new styles and tones, give your writers some inspiration. Show them blogs you like, and personalities you’d like for them to mimic. If you aren’t specific enough, you mind find that the vision of your writers is much different from the vision you had in your head. Ideally, you’ll want equal parts of empowerment and management to keep your team going.
Make it Easy to Communicate
A lot of people hire writers to work remotely or allow them to work from home even if there is a centralized location for everyone. Don’t let distance limit communication. Your writers need to be able to communicate with you and with each other when you’re all working in unison to achieve a goal. Communication, whether you do it in person, by phone, or online, needs to be frequent. You also need to be able to provide your writers with the feedback they need, and the more often you provide feedback, the smoother things will be.
Keep Them Happy
Writing is a surprisingly stressful job. It has the potential to be creatively draining and time-consuming. Writing a complete piece can be at least as difficult as writing an important paper for a college class and striving for a perfect grade. That’s why it’s so important to reward your writers, let them know how much you appreciate them, and encourage them to take a few days off once in a while. Repetitive work with few breaks or rewards has a tendency to lead to burn out, and burned out writers can’t keep creating amazing content.
Don’t forget to ask your writers what they need from you. The more you can provide them with, the better they’ll be able to perform. Writers who have a good relationship with their leaders are more likely to like their jobs – be a leader they’re proud to have.