Many people who hire freelance writers are looking to have the freelancer complete one piece of a larger project. If, for example, you are hired to create five articles about a particular service, it may be used for a new website being created. Understanding the big picture of the project can help you tailor the writing to that specific use. You can also attempt to make sure you’re not duplicating the work of someone else they are working with by getting more information about the project.
Another example of how this could be useful is if you’re writing content for an existing site. If you are able to look at the articles that are already posted, you can attempt to match the same general style, so the site flows better. You can also avoid writing on the same topics that were already covered by a previous writer.
As with all questions you ask your customer, this will also show that you’re not just interested in a quick paycheck, but that you generally care about his or her success. This can lead to referrals or additional writing opportunities with that customer.