A standard operating procedure (SOP) according to Wikipedia is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex, but routine operations.
You may be thinking, yes, but writing is not that complex of an operation so why would SOP’s be necessary for managing a writing team? SOP’s can be used for pretty much any operation or set of tasks regardless of their complexity.
SOP’s help maintain efficiency, improve productivity and increase output in businesses. They are particularly important when building freelance teams where the team members will be working remotely.
It’s easy to correct the mistake of an employee who sits in the same office as you. It is however more challenging to both correct and coach that employee from making the same mistake again if they’re working thousands of miles away.
Needless to say the creation and implementation of a broad range of different SOP’s has played an integral role in the success of our freelance writing team. Below is an example of a top level SOP essentially showing who does what and when they do it for a client writing project.
Let’s take you through some examples of SOP’s we created for our freelance writing team.
Firstly, we always shared our writing guidelines SOP with all new writers to ensure universality when it came to writing format, style and structure.
Below is an example of our writing guidelines:
The following rules must be followed when producing a piece of writing for Contentellect.
Font type: Arial
10 for body of text
12 sub headings
14 for main headings
16 for article heading
Paragraph structure: All paragraphs must be between 2-4 lines of text
Line spacing: 1.15
For “Content Creation” pieces the name of the document should be the article name
For “Link Building” pieces the name of the document should start with the writer name followed by the client name. E.g. “Megan_Client1”
British English unless notified otherwise
All content must be written to a maximum range of 20 words within the word count provided in the “Content Creation” doc.
If an SEO keyword is provided the writer must aim to ensure the density of this keyword is between 1-2% within the copy.
Once the article is completed the writer must put the actual word count of the article in the “Actual Word Count” column
For invoicing we also created an SOP to ensure that we had uniformity when it came to invoicing. This is what our invoicing SOP looked like.
PayPal invoices need be billed to <insert PayPal email address>
Each article you have written in a given month needs to be listed in the invoice using the article name. To decimalize the price use a comma or full stop – It depends on your account. See example on page 2.
Please email a link of your PayPal invoice to <insert email address> The subject line of the email must be: “<Month & year> Invoice – <your name>”.
Example: October 2018 Invoice – Megan Smith