The Writing Sample Scam

copyrightThe day isn’t over yet. I still have a bit of work to do, but a storm is about to roll through so I thought I’d try to get today’s thoughts out before I end up shutting my computer down for a while.

Do you use job boards like Elance and oDesk to look for work? If so, you may have noticed a rather alarming trend. From time to time you will see a potential employer request a writing sample within the job description.

I’m not talking about regular writing samples here. I’m not talking about the links from your own portfolio. I’m talking about specific instructions to write an article on a specific subject, with specific keywords – an article that would fit the client’s project needs. [Read more...]

Effectively Using Elance to Find Work

Every once in a while I get emails from freelance writers, or aspiring freelance writers, asking how to break into the field. Most of the time this question gives me huge cause for pause. There is TONS of information on how to become a freelance writer readily available on other websites (and soon on here as well). I’m happy to give some tips and tricks, pose ideas, and offer suggestions for sites to check out. At the end of the day, though, I have to let each of these people know that there isn’t a straight answer to that question. I clawed my way to where I am today, and I still have a long way to go.

One of my biggest pet peeves, however, is when the people I do share some information with immediately reject it or argue with me. They’re looking for a quick fix and I don’t often have one to give. This happens most frequently when I recommend job board sites – especially Elance. The main objection is the membership fee. [Read more...]