Need More Accountability? 3 Collaboration Techniques for Freelance Writers

Need More Accountability? 3 Collaboration Techniques for Freelance Writers

Confession: Sometimes I’m jealous of freelance web designer and developer partnerships.

The way these two professionals can partner to deliver a client an amazing website, together, is the part that I envy.

The collaboration is both natural and necessary, and seems to offer the best of both worlds. You’re still a lone wolf working on your own stuff, but you also have someone to work with when you need to talk through ideas.

Plus, freelancing can be lonely, and that kind of working relationship makes it less so.

When I first saw that type of partnership in action, I couldn’t think of an equivalent for freelance writers who wanted to work with other creatives. At least, not immediately. Nothing seemed super obvious, other than writing their website copy.

But I wanted it, so it stayed in the back of my mind for awhile. Then when I joined a mastermind with other types of creatives last year, I started learning so much more about what other freelancers are struggling with.

Guess what I found?

There are collaboration opportunities all over. It actually was super obvious: words are everywhere, and not everyone’s great at writing them. I could pick any project I wanted to work on and come up with a way it needed a writer.

Here are three ideas for collaborating with other freelancers, even other writers.

1. Add copy to design and development

This one was the most obvious of all. Why didn’t I see it?

I was jealous of freelancers working together to create websites. And you know what websites need? Copy!

Content is just as crucial to any new website as the design and development processes. As writers, we could even argue it’s more important, and that would be one well-written argument.

If you rock at writing website copy, you can approach a design/developer and offer to write client copy, turning their dynamic duo into a terrific trifecta.

The need is there.

I’ve seen so many designers and developers complain in Facebook groups and other forums about their client’s copy. Either it’s awful, it’s written off as something the client will throw in later, or they’re expected to write it themselves.

Jumping in with a solution will be sure to get you a big “welcome” wave!

2. Write copy for designers’ printables

A really popular way for designers to create passive income right now is by creating and selling printables, be it art and wall decor or planning sheets and shopping lists.

Just a quick look at the printables market on Etsy can show you the wide variety of what’s selling.

And some of those designs are pretty text-heavy, especially planners and other resources. For those informational or educational printables, copy is crazy important since the customer needs to be able to clearly follow the prompts, know what info to fill in, etc. There’s also no room for wordiness.

Designers may not want or know how to write all of it themselves.

At the very least, they need help with editing and cleaning up copy before hitting the “for sale” button.

3. Split projects with other writers

This last one can be more complicated, but it’s become my absolute favorite way to work with other freelancers.

Working with other freelance writers lets you geek over the things you love with people who get it, while still getting work done for your client.

There are a few ways that multiple writers can work on one project. A few that I’ve tried included:

  • Planning copy for a marketing campaign, where there were two of us writing copy for multiple channels. We worked together to develop the voice and messaging, brainstorming away, then broke off to customize it for each of our platforms.
  • Repurposing other writers’ blog content into email sequences and lead magnets. It can require working with them to make sure the new topics and headlines. you develop from their original content is in line with the overall goal.
  • The more traditional approach of just splitting up the writing of original content — dividing and conquering the writing, if you will.

Another amazing perk of collaborating with other writers is how much better it makes your craft.

When you’re talking through content plans and ideas with your client, it’s just not the same as brainstorming with another expert.

Having that sounding board will make your work better, I promise.

Taking on collaborative projects the past few month has been the perfect breath of fresh air my freelance writing business needed. It gets you out of your shell, work with new people, and explore new types of writing – without making the bigger commitment of working for someone else or a permanent business partner.

Have you ever tried collaborating? Tell us about what you worked on!

Filed Under: Freelancing

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4 comments

  • What great ideas! Thank you for sharing those.

    As a freelance copywriter, there is one collaboration I’ve seen that I envy. It involves two former copywriters — Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. They ditched writing copy for clients (a secret desire of many copywriters, including myself) and teamed up with a guy named Dave to write books. They start by brainstorming ideas together. Then, they split out the work. Someone writes the outline… someone writes the book… and someone edits. They have self-published an amazing number of books this way — mostly fiction series, but also some non-fiction about HOW they do it.

    This would be a DREAM for me as a writer. Being part of such a team would provide that companionship and accountability so many of us writers crave.

    • Barb Ross says:

      This sounds like the perfect partner, partnerships to have a group of people loving exactly what you love yourself.
      What a great concept.
      One of those moments when one says ,
      “I wish I’d thought of that”.

  • Betty R Andeson says:

    I am a beginner, but I like the ideas that you took time to share with us. Remembering the partner projects I was involved in, when I was in college, made me want to take time to thank you for such wonderful and sound ideas.

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