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Dead Freelance Writing Leads

One of the biggest issues of a career in freelance writing is finding new jobs. Not only can this be difficult due to the competition, but many of the leads that are floating around are “dead.” What is a dead freelance writing lead, you may ask?

I categorize a dead lead as one that has been posted for several days, and really offers no hope of converting into a job. Even though you may still want to apply for a job a few days after going live, your chance of getting a response is quite low. The reason for this is that most freelance writing job posters get bombarded with emails within minutes of adding their job to a popular website such as Craigslist or In the past I have posted smaller jobs on these sites, and over the course of two to three days received more than 50 emails. As you can imagine, the pool for the hiring party to choose from is quite great. This is why I say that a lead is as good as dead after a couple days.

Unfortunately, there are some leads that start out dead because the person posting the job has no intention on hiring anybody. If you visit a bidding site such as GetAFreelancer, you will see this time and time again. One of the oldest tricks in the book is for somebody to ask for a sample on the topic that they are going to “hire” you to write about. This allows them to get samples from several writers, in many cases 10 or more, and then never hire anybody. In turn they can collect a large number of unique articles without having to pay for them. And since every freelance writer is trying to win the job, the quality of the samples are usually good. There is nothing wrong with sending a past sample, but writing one just to have a chance at a job is a bad idea. More times than not, those asking for these types of samples are trying to get articles for free.

There are a lot of dead freelance writing leads floating around the internet. But remember, this does not mean that all leads are a waste of time. As you become more comfortable as a freelance writer, you will be able to quickly determine which leads to follow up on and which leads to ignore.

Comments OffFreelance Writing, Freelance Writing JobsOctober 16th, 2007

How to Weigh a Freelance Writing Job Offer

Being a freelance writer does not mean that all I do is write all day. While I wish this was the case, it is far from the truth. I spend a lot of time on administrative tasks, and of course, trying to locate new jobs from time to time.

There are two ways that I get new work. A client either comes to me via my website or a referral, or I find them in one way or the next. But no matter what, I will have to work with them in order to come up with a mutually agreed upon price. The best clients are those who ask for my standard rates, and then do not attempt to negotiate them. Unfortunately, this does not always work out.

Weighing a freelance writing job offer can be difficult for a number of reasons. While payment is always something to consider, there are other factors that should go into your decision.

1. When it comes to payment you need to be careful. There is nothing wrong with taking a lower paying job if you have the time for it, but you do not want to find yourself in this habit. Remember, if you complete one low paying job for a client, they will expect the same treatment for each subsequent project.

2. Does the client come across as difficult to work with? If you get a bad feeling about a client from the start, you may want to walk away instead of accepting the work. Of course, make sure that your concern is valid. In the past few months I can think of two occurrences when I went against my gut, and then ended up burnt by an unruly client.

3. Anytime that you take on a new freelance writing job, you need to have time to complete it as specified. Even though an overloaded work schedule may sound like a dream to some freelance writers, take it from me when I say that this is not the case. I have done this to myself in the past, and the result has been 10 to 12 hour work days.

When you receive an inquiry to complete a writing job, use the tips above when deciding whether or not to accept.

4 Comments »Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing JobsSeptember 6th, 2007

Don’t Always Turn Down the Small Jobs

There is no denying that a few big jobs make up a large part of my monthly freelance writing income. But guess what? I also believe that smaller jobs are every bit as important. Sure, I would love to work on high paying jobs only, who wouldn’t? But the reality of the freelance writing industry (at least for me) is that this is not always possible. For this reason, I always think twice before I turn down any small jobs that I am offered.

What does a small freelance writing job mean to me? First off, when I say “small” I mean small in the way of payment. But when you add three and four small jobs together, you end up with one big job. This is why taking on small jobs that will not consume a lot of your time is very important.

Take for instance one specific pet related project that I work on every morning. This project consists of one article per day of 300 words or so. For this, I receive $10/day. That may sound small on the surface, but by months end this has added up to $300; which is a nice sum to bump up my monthly total.

When I finally get to a point where my workload has become too much, I then start to cut back on the smallest of small jobs. But of course, I only do this when I am completely out of time. In the example above, it would be foolish for me to leave $300 on the table when it only takes me about 15 minutes a day to complete one of these articles.

I read a lot of blogs, and one thing that other freelance writers always touch on is that you should get paid a solid wage for your work. And while I agree with this, I think it is foolish to pass by a project just because you are not being offered $.20/word or more. This is especially true if you are new to freelance writing, and are simply trying to get in on the ground floor.

Simply put: do not always turn down the small jobs. Several of these could add up to more money than you ever imagined!

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6 Comments »Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing JobsAugust 30th, 2007

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