When you use a writing marketplace you will get out of it what you put into it. If you follow these steps you will be on your way to getting awesome content from your writers.

1)      Come up with a Novel Idea

You can’t expect great content if you don’t start with a good idea. So many people skip right through this step and it’s the most important! Get the juices flowing by doing a mental brainstorming session and start asking questions: What is something that I think will happen in my industry in 3-5 years? What are 2 business ideas no one considered combining? What do I do on a daily basis that others might find interesting?

If you are still stuck, then consider using Google Trends to help you find what’s hot and what people are searching for. You can also use Google search and find blog posts about what other people do to generate ideas. If all else fails, go for a walk, talk to a friend, play a game or read a book – taking your mind off idea generation might be just what you need.

2)      Create Meaningful Titles

With the idea in mind, think about the title of the article you want written. Avoid short and vague titles such as: “Auto Insurance”, “Housing Markets” and “Book Clubs”.  When you use short titles you don’t give your writers a clear indication of what you want written and you will end up disappointed. Use longer titles like: “How to Use Less Plastic in your Everyday life”, this will help the writer key in on the specific information you want to convey.

3)      Include Clear Instructions with each Article

Expound on your title by adding 2-3 sentences of clarifying language to explain to your writer exactly what you want out of your article. It also helps to include URL’s of web pages that you think would be useful background information to read prior to starting the work. The more time you put into your instructions the more you will get out of your writers.

4)      Create a Style Guide to Ensure Consistent Formatting

Without a style guide you can expect to get a hodgepodge of formatting. Every writer that submits an article back to you will do it their very own style, which will include different fonts, single or double spaced lines, no section header when you expected them and much more.  Here is an example style guide:

  • Unless otherwise instructed by the assignment,  keep the language and tone of your article as professional as possible.
  • Use and cite official sources to support your information (official source= .gov, .edu, or any media outlet. Any article referencing Wikipedia, about.com, ehow, or commercial sites will be sent back for revision).
  • Use section headers to break up your article.

5)      Be Upfront About your Deadlines

If you need something written in 2 days, let the writer know immediately and pick another writer if they can’t accommodate your time frame.  If you have 2 -3 weeks to get an article completed, you can be choosy about who you want to write for you and it’s ok if the first version isn’t completed in 48 hours.

6)      Clear Feedback

When the first draft is submitted, don’t be afraid to give constructive, actionable feedback to your writers. If you want your article to include hyperlinked sources let your writer know. If there is too much “fluff” writing, point out the sentences you don’t like so you can get a revision. Spelling and grammar issues are obvious issues that need to be addressed and don’t be afraid to point them out.