By in Writing

Before You Accept a Freelance Job You Should...

Freelance writing can be fairly straightforward, but it can also present some grey areas that call for closer attention to be paid to key aspects of writing for money. Some of these concerns are raised in this series and it is certainly a good idea to have a look, especially if you are new to the industry.

Make Sure You Understand the Project

You may think that you have a clear idea of what the requirements of the project are but it is better to be absolutely sure than to have to spend time on rework that cannot be billed for because it was due to a misunderstanding on your part. It is always better to ask questions and confirm any assumptions before you get started on any writing project. You may be unclear of the style you should use, the number of keywords necessary or even if HTML tags are expected in you finished version. Clear up any questions at the start to avoid having to spend additional time on old projects.

Image Credit » diamanti

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Lemark wrote on October 22, 2014, 6:18 PM

Thank you for this series. I am interested :)

Feisty56 wrote on October 22, 2014, 7:27 PM

You've pointed out what is the crux of the agreement between a client and a freelance writer. I always re-state my understanding of the project back to the client in an email to make sure we are on the same page. This gives the client a chance to make changes or add more details as needed.

I have learned to avoid clients who are vague in their expectations of the project because without their explanation, I am left to do what I think they are asking. This is not good when you turn in the final project and the client wants one or more revisions.

paigea wrote on October 22, 2014, 10:38 PM

If I want to learn to be paid to write I need to back up even further than this and learn about HTML, SEO and I don't know what else. Is there a resource you would recommend for these basics?

nataliajones wrote on October 23, 2014, 9:19 AM

Thanks Lemark ! I'm happy people are interested.

nataliajones wrote on October 23, 2014, 9:20 AM

Exactly... clients that are vague tend to be the most trouble, too bad it's all part of the learning curve to get to your point and avoid them completely... hopefully people reading this thread can learn from our experience!

nataliajones wrote on October 23, 2014, 9:21 AM

Hi paigea I have a few posts about that lined up but I learned mostly on the fly so not from one source really.

Lemark wrote on October 23, 2014, 9:33 AM

HTML is nothing really difficult. It is about using tags of a kind to 'bracket' your text with some effect or function. Of course, this is a simplified explanation for writers only emoticon :smile:
You have lots of free html editors available.

SEO is in my opinion overrated. Google changes its indexing criteria regularly and all SEO experts are then jumping to the sky happy that they can teach and charge for 'new stuff'. It you stick to the basics - keywords and relevant content - you are more then OK.

Ruby3881 wrote on October 23, 2014, 9:57 AM

Outlining the expectations before beginning work really does help the writer avoid misunderstandings with the client. If a client is still vague about anything at this point, it's a good thing to address concerns before starting work. A client who doesn't respond at this point, probably should be avoided altogether.

paigea wrote on October 23, 2014, 11:25 PM

Thank you for the input. I'll have to check out free html editors.