Thursday, May 14, 2009

Be wary of fresh samples when angling for a writing job

Craigslist may be a good place to find writing jobs. It's also, unfortunately, a good place to find scammers.

For writers, the most serious is when someone -- usually a blogger -- advertises for freelance writers and requests not samples of your previously published work, but freshly written samples on a specific target.

Often, these "publishers" are simply trolling for free content from gullible writers for their own sites. My rule of thumb: Never write new sample stories for anyone. Publishers should be able to tell by your previously published work if you're a right fit for their job.

I bring this up because yesterday, I received a bite from an online job ad. A publisher was looking for a freelancer to write for his home furnishings blog. He responded to my application to ask for a sample written specifically on platform beds, of all things.

I wrote back saying that I'd be happy to write the sample, but that I wanted to be paid the agreed-upon post rate for writing it. He wrote back once more saying that the sample had to be free.

This really seemed suspicious. I reiterated my position in a return e-mail, telling him that, yes, I'd write the sample, but not for free.

I have yet to hear back.

Is this guy a scammer? I'm not sure. My gut says he is, though. A legitimate publisher doesn't ask writers to write anything for free. Don't forget that.

No comments:

Post a Comment