Freelance writing comes with its own issues and problems. New writers stress over copyright, getting paid and the price of freelancing. Experienced freelance writers stress over . . . the same issues for the most part. No matter how long you are involved in freelancing, these situations will arise. The difference often comes in how the situations are handled.
In the past I have been approached with “great” opportunities that fizzled out before the first check cleared. I have also been approached with “great” opportunities that started the same as the others but that took off like a rocket and exploded into even more opportunities. Sometimes there is no way to tell how a project will end until you get your feet wet.
Tips for Finding Freelance Jobs that Pay
1. Be wary of promises that seem too big. A company that offering a freelancer a job big enough to pay a year’s salary should be checked out thoroughly. Even if the company looks like a legitimate prospect, proceed with caution.
2. Freelance writers should never – NEVER – provide large amounts of content without some history of payment. A project that calls for a large number of articles needs to be broken down into smaller sections and payment issued as the content is provided.
3. New clients should always be presented with a first draft article. Even if the writer and client share a dozen emails it is possible that they are not on the same page. Offering one article before tackling a large project may save both parties headaches and heartbreaks.
4. Clients that change job requirements in mid-stream without offering additional compensation may mean trouble. Sometimes it just means they are new to the business. Either way, it is a good idea to request that payment be due when the product is delivered and keep each delivery as small as possible.
5. Never write new content for samples unless the client offers to pay for that new content. Provide previously published material and be sure to state that it is published. If the job offer was just someone fishing for free content then you saved your time and your content.
6. Approach a new project like you would lend money. If you cannot afford to lose the money then you better keep your wallet closed. Only take on a new project if you can afford to spend the time and not get paid. That means you should not put off other clients (that have a history of paying) until the new clients proves reliable.
Every freelance writer and independent contractor has faced the job that did not prove real. Limit the cost incurred from these dead ends by wading in instead of jumping in with both feet. Take the time to understand the job, the client and the cost if it all falls through. You will begin to develop the sense that lets you see the scam before it steals you blind.
What are your favorite tips and habits for finding new clients without getting burned by those people just out to get free content from unsuspecting writers?