3 Things Clients Tell Freelance Writers and What They Actually Mean

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I never knew what it was to be a freelance writer, until I became one. Over the past 5 years of my freelance writing career, I have worked with clients from almost all corners of the world. They speak different languages and belong to opposite corners of the globe, but there are certain traits common to all of them.

I am feeling quite nostalgic today (blame it on the out-of-season showers experienced here today) and I have been ruminating over my freelance writing experiences for most part of the day. Anyway, that was where I sourced the idea for today’s post. Hope you all enjoy this one.

# 1- I Need a Sample before I Can Hire You

Asking for samples is nothing out of this world in freelance writing. But I am referring to a special category of clients who want to see only those samples that are specifically written for them.

Like for example, the project requires 15 articles of 600 words each to be done on ‘make money writing’. Now this client will ask for at least 2 samples. Moreover, he / she will promptly declare something like this in bold “Bids without samples will be ignored. I want uniquely created samples and I am not interested in your portfolio”

What this Client Actually Means: I want free work and I am here to fleece you freelance writers of your deserving money. I will take 2 samples each from 8 freelance writers and use it without bothering to even replying to any of them. As soon as I get the required number of free articles, I will close the project and conveniently disappear from the scene.

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# 2-I Will Escrow the Project Later

Most of the professional freelance writing job sites provide an escrow service for the clients to fund the project when it is awarded. The general agreement terms are that the freelancer is not supposed to begin any work on the project, until client funds escrow for first milestone.

Fraud clients like the ones mentioned above may also use this ‘fund the escrow later’ bait to trap gullible freelance writers. Professional freelance job sites have a strict policy against clients asking for free / unpaid samples. Freelancers are even provided the option of reporting such clients and getting their profiles banned.

What this Client Actually Means: The ‘fund escrow later excuse is usually used by these fraudsters to circumvent the banning. What they do is get the work done by the freelance writer by setting a very short deadline. The freelance writers have no option but to start work and submit it because they will not be paid for late work. As soon as the client gets the work done, he / she will either disappear or complain of poor quality of work submitted.

#3- Agree to Work for Less and I Guarantee Long Term Projects

When freelance writers apply / bid upon a project, they place an amount for which they are willing to work. Say the project is 5 articles of 500 words each and the freelance writer places a bid of $ 150. The crooked client looks at the samples, portfolio and feedback reports of this freelancer and finds him/ her to be perfect for the job.

So this client will contact the freelancer with a message that reads like this, “I feel that you are a perfect match for my project. But your bid is 10 times that of my budget. I have received many other bids from freelancers who are equally qualified and willing to do this project for $ 15. If you agree to work for $15 I guarantee you long term work because I have bulk work.

What this Client Actually Means: I do not have any bulk work, nor have I seen any bid lesser than $ 30. Also none of the other freelancers have the qualification and expertise that you possess. I am only trying to get the project completed by the best freelance writer at cheapest rates possible.


Most of the freelance writers fall for this trap. The worst part is that majority of them actually jump into the trap, despite knowing very well about the wretched intentions of such clients. Well, they do this because they have a flickering ray of hope that maybe this client will turn out to be different than the last one who said the same thing and cheated them of their work and money. Please check back to read about useful suggestions for freelancers in tackling such clients, as I plan to write a post on it soon.

Author: Dr. Kavita

Dr.Kavita is a Professional Blogger, Digital Content Specialist, Digipreneur, Coach, Doctor and a Certified Digital Marketer. Her favorite digital marketing strategy to maximize ROI for her clients is Inbound Marketing. She is the Founder of Blogela.

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