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16 Sep 10 Freelance Writing – Confused about samples?

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The worst part of a freelance writing career is uncertainty. A freelance writer, unlike a staff writer, has to search for gigs every now and then, and each time he needs to show some samples in order to get the work. And this is where problem starts, and contrary to common perception, the more experienced you are, the more jitter the idea of showing samples give.

What samples to show and what not to show, and how many to show? These questions often haunt a freelance writer, more so because there is no one right answer to this. Every client is different so is there demand, and so is the solution to that.

The question is then how to decide what to show and what not to show? As said, there is not any definite answer to this question, but I can tell you about what I do when it comes to hunting writing gigs. That will help you devise your plan of action.

How to decide which sample to show

What clients want?

The first step in the process is to see what client is asking for, as sending relevant samples is what you should do. Sending a sample of how-to article to a client who wants a sales page will do no good. Similarly sending a sample of an article to one who is asking for a press release will also not get you the job.

Have you written on the topic?

If you have written on the topic related to project advertise then send that sample, but while doing so do keep the following tip in mind.

When did you write that one?

This is very important. We all grow one article at a time, so sending a sample that you wrote 2 or 3 years back will do more harm than good, as it will not demonstrate you current style. Do not mistake in thinking that writing style is static; rather nothing is more organic than writing style. The more you write the better you become. You should, therefore, send the samples that you wrote in last month, or last to last month. Do not send any sample that you wrote more than 6 months back.

How many

As many as required to get the work. This is a judgment call you have to take. If the work advertised is going to last long than I provide more samples and if it is a small project then I do not send too many samples, or too many types of samples. It also depends on what a client is asking for.

This is how I decide on what samples to send and how many to send. I hope this will help you decide as well.

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Tags: 3 Years, , , , , , , , , , Relevant Samples, Staff Writer, Uncertainty, Writing Samples,

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