Frequently asked questions

These are the questions clients most often ask. If you’ve got others, I’d love to answer them.

Is WriteStory an agency?

Nope; it’s just me, Patricia Winsten, behind the curtain. I’m not going to use the “royal we” and pretend to be something I’m not. Because I work from my home office, there’s very little overhead. Thus, I can keep my fees much lower than an agency.

But I don’t work alone. This is a partnership. In fact, many clients consider me an adjunct team member. When I’m working for you, I’m not just doing a project. I’m as committed as you are to enhancing brand awareness and reputation, enthralling your audiences, delivering solid results and growing your business. 

Is it cost-effective to hire a freelance writer?

In today’s gig economy, more and more organizations are relying on freelance talent as part of their management strategy. It’s the cost-effective choice. Why take on the expense of permanent staff when your workload and the specific skills needed fluctuate? 

Why not hire an advertising or marketing agency? 

Agencies are some of my best clients. Like you, they get swamped with work and need to call in the reinforcements. But I know how much they mark up my fee to cover their overhead. Sometimes an agency with a deep bench of diverse talent is just what you need. If I don’t think I can handle your project myself, I’ll tell you. I’ll also recommend topnotch agencies that will do a great job for you. I’ll even work with your agency team if you like, but as your writer, thus saving you a lot of money. 

Who do you work for?

I have a passion for health care and nonprofit organizations, whether a local social service agency, a national hospital system or a global charity. The stories that come out of these sectors are irresistible. Plus, I’m fascinated with ever-changing medical treatments and technologies. I also work for corporations, manufacturers and small businesses. For-profit companies have captivating brand stories too; they just aren’t accustomed to identifying and telling them. I like to help them do that.

What audiences do you write for?

Each audience and media channel requires different strategies and content. I write for diverse audiences, including B2B, B2C, nonprofit donors and funders, healthcare consumers, medical providers, shareholders and employees.

What kind of projects do you accept?

Just about anything, from blogs to extensively researched books. Magazine articles to the entire magazine, whether print or online. Website content, annual reports, print and e-newsletters, fundraising appeals, case studies and value propositions, brochures, video scripts, e-mail blasts … You name it; I’ve probably written it.

If you’ve already completed drafts of your content, I can copy edit and/or fact check to be sure it’s on-brand and on-target, clear, concise, meets your style guidelines and has a consistent voice.

Can you manage the entire project?

Sure. I’m adept at pulling together the right resources and keeping all the balls in the air. Over the years, I’ve developed a trusted network of professionals who deliver market research, design, photography, video production, voice-over talent, printing, mailing and other resources. Although I can coordinate all these resources, they work for you, not me, so there is no mark-up in their fees. We’ll get the job done for you.

Where are you based? Can you work at our office?

I’m in the Milwaukee/Madison area and an easy commute to Chicago. I'm as comfortable working from your place as mine and have worked onsite for clients from the Twin Cities to the East coast. Sometimes new clients like me to work onsite initially so I get to know the organization, absorb its culture and connect with its people and resources. I’ve worked onsite for as long as a year while helping a corporate client with a rebranding and launch of a new website. Most clients are comfortable with providing clear guidance and handing off the project. I’m a fast learner, a self-starter and highly organized, so you can be confident that I work well independently. 

How much do you charge?

Usually I charge by the hour rather than on a project basis. After we discuss the parameters, timeline and budget of your project, I’ll give you an estimate of how long it will take and what it will cost. I’ll keep you closely apprised as we move along. The only surprise you should ever have when we work together is how terrific an experience it is! 

Comparing writers’ fees is a bit of an apples to oranges proposition. When you hire me, you gain senior-level expertise, training and industry knowledge. That means I can deliver a superior product quickly and we don’t have to waste time (and money) with a lot of hand-holding or numerous rounds of edits. You gain not just a writer, but a strategist. Someone who can bring fresh approaches and new ideas to amp up your content and improve your business results.

How often do you invoice?

I’m flexible. For a short-term project, I typically invoice when the work is done. Ongoing or months-long projects are billed monthly. For lengthy, higher cost projects such as a book, I am usually paid 25% up front with the balance paid in increments as drafts are submitted and edited. 

Do we need a contract?

I don’t usually ask for one if you’re an ongoing client, were referred by a client or the project is small. For big projects like a book or creating content for a new website, a contract is often best for both parties just to be sure our expectations are aligned. Your company might require a contract or RFP. Whatever works best for you; we’ll do it.