Is Your Technology Marketing Writer an Asset, or a Pain in the . . .

Annoying things that writers do

What are the five most annoying things your technology marketing writer can do to you?

5 annoying traits of marketing writers

Here’s a shortlist (unencumbered by research but underpinned by years of dealing with writers):

  1. Ghost you. How about those writers who “run silent, run deep” and don’t reply to your calls or e-mail? Then they have the gall to pop back onto your radar one day when you least expect it. Are you relieved to hear from them again? Um, no.
  2. Undo your edits. You spend two hours redlining your writer’s first draft and changing text, then send it to the writer to check. And what do you get back? A final draft that’s missing the changes you made, with no explanation from the writer. Who needs that when you’re on deadline?
  3. Pull an end-run on you. Maybe the writer contacts somebody else in your department without your knowledge, or sends e-mail to one of your customers without copying you. That is felony-dumb behavior.
  4. Tell you your business. You and your team have decided how you want to use the content you’ve hired the writer to produce. The writer may suggest additional options, but only a bad writer will tell you that you’re off the mark or missing opportunities. That’s what marketing consultants and content strategists are paid to evaluate.
  5. Avoid discussions about money. You’re in the business of publishing content, but you also have a budget and a boss and a finance department on your back. It’s not helpful when your technology marketing writer can’t deal with you professionally about things like statements of work, hourly rates, fixed bids and Form W-9. Sure, not everybody is a financial whiz, but serious marketing writers should understand something about business. You want to work with people who make that stuff easier on you, not harder.

These and other sins generally boil down to two factors: communication and professionalism. Writers who have mastered those lost skills of business are an asset.

The others are a pain in the . . .

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Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”