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Hiring a Freelance Writing Assistant

I recently had a conversation with a fellow freelance writer who was in the process of hiring an assistant. While this is something that I have never thought about, having an assistant could be a good idea for many freelance writers. I regularly converse with writers who work with a part-time assistant, as well as a few who employ a full-timer.

What are the benefits of hiring a freelance writing assistant? This is a question that you need to answer before you decide for or against this.

1. If you are having a difficult time staying organized, hiring a freelance writing assistant may be the answer to this problem. Those who do not work as a writer find it hard to believe that there is so much information to keep organized. But as you probably know, nothing could be further from the truth. I spend several hours each week on administrative tasks such as accounting, clearing out email accounts, etc. As you can imagine, being able to pass these tasks off to an assistant would free up more time for writing.

2. Your freelance writing assistant may be able to act as the middle man between you and your clients. One of the writers I referenced above as having a full-time assistant never personally communicates with clients. Instead, she lets her assistant do all of this for her. I recently asked her if clients dislike this. Surprisingly, she said that none of them have an issue communicating with her through an assistant.

3. Perhaps the biggest benefit of hiring an assistant is that they can help with marketing related tasks. This can include everything from website maintenance and development to following up with leads to implementing an email marketing campaign. Although I do not have an assistant, this is one area that I wouldn’t mind getting some help.

Of course, hiring a freelance writing assistant is not all full of benefits. Here are three drawbacks of doing so:

1. When you have an assistant, you will lose touch with both the industry and your clients. I like communicating with clients on a day to day basis. It allows me to stay familiar with their wants and needs. Additionally, it is important to me to know what is going on within the industries of all my clients. With an assistant this would be quite difficult.

2. Anytime you hire somebody to work for you, it means one thing: you have to pay them. Are you willing to give up some of your profits in order to bring an assistant on board? This all depends on how much money you are making, as well as how you like to run your business. Of course, before you can make this determination you need to get a better idea of how much you would have to pay an assistant, either part or full-time.

3. Just as clients can burn you by not sending payment, an assistant could do the same. Unfortunately, it can be much worse when an assistant tricks you because they will be working from inside your business. They have access to your client base, accounting system, and much more in many cases. For this reason, you need to make sure that you trust your assistant 100 percent. If you do not, this type of relationship will never work.

So what do you think? Will you ever hire a freelance writing assistant? I never think too much about hiring an assistant, but can definitely see the pros and cons. At this time I am not having any trouble getting my work done, including administrative tasks. With that being said, my freelance writing business is expanding quickly and I am diving into other areas such as affiliate marketing. For now, I will probably work solo. But just like anything else, you never know what will change in the future. 

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3 Comments »Freelance WritingMay 16th, 2008

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