Well said, James! Great list.
So, just thought I'd point out a few mistakes that I see with new folks trying to write for money (and I'm a small time employer). IF you have additional ones or disagree, please contribute.
1 - If you agree to produced a review copy for free or a discount, actually produce it. 25 % of the new folks that I try out never, ever turn in 1 draft of the job...
2 - If you are part of the 75% who do turn it in, please use spell check...
3 - Please don't ask anyone to pre-pay you for writing work if you can't show a good number of iTraders on big forums (ie Nb or bigger). I've had enough pain with this, Struat is the only person I'll prepay for any work.
4 - If you can't manage to put up your own blog or write for any of the number of pay you for view/adsense impression sites, create a few writing samples to provide if asked. Better yet, if you post a sales thread, include these. It is more profession to have URL's for your samples, or URL's to provide on request.
5 - You should be able to produce content based only on a keyphrase or title...and make it relevant.
6 - If you're going to steal content to turn in for your own work, please don't be stupid about it. Of course when hiring, most/all of us prefer original work, but if you're going to be shady, don't pull the classic copy + paste of someone else's work...especially Wikipedia. Your reputation can get trashed quickly.
7 - If you say you are a "writer" then you should be able about any topic, end of story. If there are off-limits topics such as XXX, gambling, politics, etc, that's fine. But "I can't write about brown trees in Botswana because I don't know about trees or that area" just doesn't fly in the age of Google/Bing. If you can't Google research and spin a decent article, maybe you should freelance program...
8 - If you can't deliver content on time, keep the lines of communication open with the person hiring you regarding the matter.
9 - Better yet (ref point 8), if you tell the person 72 hours to complete the job, finish it in 48 or less to make a good impression.
10 - There's a fine line with follow-up for additional work, and turning someone off from hiring you again permanently. If you ask me every single hour that I'm on Google via chat for more work, and I tell you no every hour, then I really, truly don't have work for you. By the 10th time you ask me, I will probably never, ever ask you again.
That's it for now. Happy Easter for those who celebrate the Holiday.
Well said, James! Great list.
about your point#8 If you can't deliver content on time, keep the lines of communication open with the person hiring you regarding the matter. , i am afraid i will loose the work if i show to the client i am not able to meet this. Please state how to communicate on this sensitive point ? i mean, should we openly say to client as i am not comfortable with this topic or demand for more time to complete the article?