Using Spreadsheets to Track Projects
Spreadsheets are outstanding for tracking small projects, but once you hit a certain size you are going to need to graduate to a project management tool. Have you ever tried to manage 15 writers across 300 topics using a spreadsheet? It can be done, but you’re causing yourself a ton of useless grief and here’s why:

  • Spreadsheets can’t send emails when items are late.
  • Spreadsheets don’t reassign topics when your freelance writer tells you she took a full time job.
  • Spreadsheets do a poor job of conveying project status to senior management.

Find a tool to manage writer projects, we think highly of this one, read more about it here 🙂

Using Email to Communicate With Writers
Email is an effective tool for communication when it’s an A to B relationship. When you need other people to be cut in on A to B communications, email starts to break down and you’re better off using project management software. This is especially important when you are working on a large number of documents on a regular basis. Here are 2 more examples of why email isn’t the right tool for writer management:

  • Email is cumbersome for handling document revisions.
  • Email isn’t equipped to handle automatic status notifications. 

Not using a Content Calendar
If you aren’t tracking deadlines for each of your deliverables you are doing it wrong. When you are managing documents, writers and deadlines you need to put all the information into a content calendar. There are many content calendar tools available and finding the right tool will come down to your style and the platform you are working on. We found this list of 18 content calendar tools to be very useful 

Paying Your Writers Via Paypal
Don’t tell me you are paying all your writers via Paypal! That is a bad practice for quite a few reasons:

  • Paypal takes 3% of every transaction, so your writers aren’t getting the entire amount owed to them.
  • Logging in to Paypal daily or weekly to make writer payments takes a lot of time and is an activity that you need to automate.
  • Tracking payments made via Paypal is an arduous process, it can be difficult to remember if you paid writer X for 27 documents last month or 28, now multiply this times 30 if you have that many writers to manage.

You can always set up your own process for paying out writers, but why not use a platform that doesn’t charge writers transaction fees, doesn’t require you to manually make each payment and tracks it all for you in one place.

Not Tracking Writer W9s
W9’s are mandatory for all writers that earn more than $600 in a year. It’s your responsibility to collect each W9 and report to the IRS the money that you paid out. This a non value add, compliance activity that can eat up your time. When you sign up with Content Runner we will track all your writer W9’s and create a report showing you which writers earned over $600 and make the writer’s W9 available for you to download. No more time spent collecting and storing W9’s for your writing projects.