Tag Archives: freelance copywriter

The Five Clients a Freelance Writer Should Avoid

freelance writer clients that are like monsters
flickr photo shared by Erik Charlton under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

As a freelance copywriter, you’ll run into a diverse cast of clients, from big publishing companies to an average Joe who just wants you to ghostwrite his novel. However, no matter how big or small the client is, they may exhibit undesirable traits that should raise you a few red flags, and if you see the warning signs, run away if they’re not paying you enough. Here are the top five clients to avoid at all costs.

  1. The Penny Pincher

We’ve all met this one. They want quality, yet will pay you wages that are absurd even in the Philippines. While all clients have budgets, they can’t pay their writers slave wages, especially if they’re freelancing to make a living. If your potential client doesn’t want to pay you a living wage, back away. They’re not going to give you an increase.

  1. The Clinger

A client and a freelancer need to have good communication if they want the project to succeed, but there is such a thing as too much communication. If your client is constantly messaging you over Skype like an insane lover, demanding updates every other hour, wanting your personal Facebook, or threatening to cancel your contract just because you didn’t respond to them within a few hours, toss them. Freelancers have lives and can’t answer right away at some times. In order to prevent a clinger, tell them your contact hours beforehand.

  1. The Client Asking You for Free Work

Clients should never ask you to do work for them before you apply. Some may ask for you to write a small sample of writing so they can “see your style.” That’s what your portfolio is for! If they don’t have good feedback and are asking you to jump through hoops to apply, don’t bother.

  1. The Unreasonable Deadliner

Deadlines are important within reason, but as a freelancer, you’re probably balancing your client’s job with a handful of other projects. That’s why you should never stress over unreasonable deadlines. You can’t give your client a quality novel within a week, nor could you give them hard-hitting journalism in a day. Good quality takes a reasonable amount of time.

Granted, some clients are more lenient about their deadlines, but if your client isn’t, stay away.

  1. The Perfectionist

No matter how many times you submit your piece, it’s never good enough. Your client sends it back with a list of corrections, and once you fix them, the client then moves the goalposts by sending out more.

Are you their writer or their editor? If you are both, then skip this. But, reality is that most writers have a hard time scrutinizing their own work, especially on a limited deadline. Before you set the contract, tell your client that they’ll have to fork up extra every time they ask for unnecessary edits.

Granted, there are exceptions. If your potential client is your big break, but has an unfavorable trait, still work for them. However, for the average-paying client, say sayonara and move onto the next client, as there isn’t a short supply of them.

3 things you can do to get inspiration

No matter if you write in Spanish or in any other language, you probably have suffered some days that your brain is just empty. What could you do to put some ideas on?

  • Check social networks

Put some keywords in your favourite social network and see what you get. The goal is not to copy the fisrt post you see, but to get an idea about where the topic has a lack of information.

When you search on Facebook, Twitter or even in Google, it is common that you get some similar results in the top. Now you know what is there, try to think as a potential reader. What is missing? Answer this question and you have a great idea to write about.

  • Ask your children
3 things to get ideas and start to write
Crayola Lincoln Logs creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by laffy4k

Have you tried it? Children usually have an opinion about everything, and this opinion is probably a great and original way to start a post about something. In the end, you are a writer, you only need a nice and original point to start and the ideas will come. Let them try to help you.

  • Look at your old texts

One great idea is read again some of your old texts. You usually have a word limit, which means many texts have a central idea that is already developed and some tangential ideas that you could develop in your next post. Besides is an easy way to have an internal link for your site.

Do you have more tips? Share them in the comments!


How to Avoid the Freelance Writer’s Block

copywriter nightmare
NIghtmare by Lolocreative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Laurent Calatayud

Let me introduce you to the every copywriter nightmare: You’re on a roll with the story that your client wants you to write. Your fingers type faster than you thought was possible, and you’re at the scene where things start getting intense. Then, out of nowhere, you don’t know what to write about. This will happen to almost any writer. So how do you avoid it? As a freelancer, you have a few options for you to choose.

  1. Write an outline beforehand. Some story jobs provide you with an outline, but if not, you should create at least a bare-bones one that will highlight what happens in every chapter. Making the story up as you go can be fun, but if you’re on a deadline, then you may run into a few corners.
  2. Find inspiration. This is ideal if you don’t even know what the outline should be like. Go outside and take a walk. Look around and see if you can base your story on anything. Just start writing whatever comes to your head. Read a book and see if you can gather any ideas. There are quite a few ways that you can get a grasp on what to write about.
  3. Do another job. If you’re a freelancer, you probably have a few other tasks you need to do besides the one that gave you writer’s block. Sometimes doing another job and giving your brain time to rest from the other will make it easier to continue the story once you go back to it. Unless you’re on a tight deadline, this can be a good way to mix it up and avoid burnout.

Overall, there are many options when it comes to unclogging that writer’s block. As a freelance writer, it’s important that you take care of that as soon as possible and learn to avoid it in the future.