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To my fellow writers proving sample articles for free: Thanks a lot!

nhansen
Community Leader
Nicole H Member Since: Nov 15, 2007
21 of 38

I've been applying for writing jobs lately that are in my area of expertise. I send samples of work I have done for other clients on similar topics. That should be sufficient for a legitimate client to determine if my skills are what they are looking for.

lindseyhgregory
Community Leader
Lindsey G Member Since: Jul 28, 2015
22 of 38

I would report this client, and then move on. 

marcyscreed
Community Guru
Maria Marilyn M Member Since: Oct 27, 2010
23 of 38

I used to provide free samples when I was new since I really needed to prove that I was worth hiring but when you have already proven a reputation through your work history here, there is no need to do that. You can mention that you will need a trial contract in order to provide the sample. 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
24 of 38

@Maria Marilyn M wrote:

I used to provide free samples when I was new since I really needed to prove that I was worth hiring but when you have already proven a reputation through your work history here, there is no need to do that. You can mention that you will need a trial contract in order to provide the sample. 


That's a myth, though. I don't blame you for buying into it--many writers do. But, you don't have to give away your work to prove yourself. That's what actual samples (as opposed to doing part of the job) are for. In fact, giving away your work as a "test" is unlikely to help you establish yourself to any useful degree, since if it wins over anyone at all it will be junk clients.  

marcyscreed
Community Guru
Maria Marilyn M Member Since: Oct 27, 2010
25 of 38

Tiffany S wrote:

 

That's a myth, though. I don't blame you for buying into it--many writers do. But, you don't have to give away your work to prove yourself. That's what actual samples (as opposed to doing part of the job) are for. In fact, giving away your work as a "test" is unlikely to help you establish yourself to any useful degree, since if it wins over anyone at all it will be junk clients.  


 I didn't know any better back then. In fact, I've also been scammed (hundreds of dollars of unpaid work) too since I was new and too trusting. The samples were somewhat a desperate move. I'm happy that I've learned a lot as I gain more experience. I wished I read forums like this before I got screwed. Now, I try to help others to not be scammed the way I was through social media groups and blog posts. 

karlgray
Active Member
Karl G Member Since: Mar 13, 2016
26 of 38

I would never provide a free sample based on the clients needs.  If they want a sample with specific content they will have to pay for my time to write it for them.

 

They can judge my writing by my portfolio examples which I am happy to provide upon request.

 

If you don't have examples of your work,  Don't do jobs/samples for free.  It would be better for you to create fresh work as portfolio examples which you can use again and again.  

 

I would advise writing 3 blog posts/articles.  A 300 word short form,  a 1,000 word longer form then a full blown article of at least a couple of thousands words.   Make sure these are tidy, expertly edited and show your best work. You will keep the copyright for these and can use them without asking your clients for permission to use them in your portfolio.

 

I have only taken one writing job on Upwork because I don't consider myself a writer.  However that turned into a big job long term job.  If I was to look at writing jobs in the future I would decline clients who want the cheapest job, or clients who want free samples purely because they obviously don't value me or my work.  That is not the basis for an ongoing partnership.

datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
27 of 38

I realize this thread was posted a while ago...

 

But, thank you for posting it.

 

I was just hit up by a client asking for a free, tailor-made sample.

 

In return, I asked what they thought would be a fair milestone for the sample? 

 

They're a new client with no payment verification.

 

Woman LOL

davidd1008
Community Leader
David D Member Since: Jun 8, 2016
28 of 38

I have no issue providing samples to clients on past projects.

 

BUT.... they're all watermarked, in PDF form, and with any client/specific info redacted. 

 

I suggest all writers do the same.

 

Select 3-5 representative articles, blogs, etc you've written to use as samples and watermark it, put it in pdf format, and redact any information that is client-specific. 

davidd1008
Community Leader
David D Member Since: Jun 8, 2016
29 of 38

To address the issue of the post, however....

 

Whether freelancers want to provide free samples or not is really not the issue. I agree, in theory, that they can run their freelancing business that way if they WANT to...

 

...but we're on Upwork. And asking/demanding free work as a term of employment is a violation of their rules. So we can argue until the cows come home over who's hurting who but the fact is it's a violation of the terms of this platform and clients who ask for it should be reported. 

 

I had a very similar exchange with a prospective client about a month ago. I politely informed him that what he was asking was a violation of the rules. And he responded by telling me sorry, it was one of the requirements of their process. In short, he didn't care. 

 

Shrug. I moved on. But I did report them and will continue to report any and all jobs or clients that try to break the rules. 

hashim_inshira
Active Member
Inshira H Member Since: Dec 9, 2019
30 of 38
This happened to me recently. Infact currently happening. The client wants a sample of 1000 words research based article. I don't think he will pay for me since his budget is 10$ for the actual work,which is 1000 words on a daily basis. It is like some kind of exam we have to sit for inorder to get qualified. When I mentioned about the effort and work load I have to put he/ she had an attitude which I think is really rude. He said he doesn't care about my day,well I do. Some clients pay very less for a high work load, sometimes even nothing like what you had mentioned for a free sample.
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