🐈 Community
» Forums » Freelancers » Beware of Requests for Sample Articles
Page options

Beware of Requests for Sample Articles

Hello everyone! This is my first post on the community forum - a very belated one at that. I finally managed to muster enough will power to make this post, which I should have made since last year.


Without beating about the bush, the main reason I'm posting this is to warn unsuspecting online freelance writers out there who may have to deal with requests for samples at one time or the other. You should turn down such requests, unless there is a way you can ensure your articles are not used without your permission. I was taken advantage of twice by agreeing to such arrangement in the last year.


If you submit sample articles and you're told they aren't good enough, do not assume the articles would never be used. They will very likely be used, but probably not immediately. I was able to trace two samples (perhaps, the only two full samples) I prepared last year to two different blogs several weeks after writing them. The first blog didn't look like a standard one and the individual that requested for the sample was new on the site, so I didn't take any action. When I contacted the individual that asked me for the second sample via oDesk, he claimed it was a mistake that the article was posted. We're talking about an article that had been posted at least since about two months earlier. The second article was eventually taken down after I threatened action against the individual.


The moral of the story is: be wary of clients asking for samples in addition to your past projects. Exercise due diligence always. Here is a good read I just came across: http://community.odesk.com/t5/Freelancers/Job-warning-signs/m-p/21467#U21467 . Hope this is helpful to someone out there.


Yes, I was caught out by that once as well when I first started. Sadly, it appears that there are many people who deliberately try to get inexperienced freelancers to do their work for them with the promise of a 'paid test'


It is actually an explicit violation of oDesk's policies for clients to request free samples.


Clients may request paid samples or paid test work.


Clients may be referred to the samples we have posted on profile in our portfolio.


But oDesk clients are told specifically to not request free samples.


There is no effective way for oDesk to block all attempts to do so, however. It is up to the contractors to be polite but firm about this.


This applies to all sorts of jobs, not just writing.  Freelancers should flag the ad of clients asking for free work.