Five Things Clients Don’t Seem to Know About Freelance Writers

Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging her this week. Enjoy.

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Freelance writing is a great gig. From what I’ve seen on discussion boards for freelance writers, most of us wouldn’t want to exchange our jobs for more stable ones because we value our freedom and enjoy what we do.

That said, we do come across some odd clients. I often find myself marveling at all they don’t seem to know about the people they’re hiring to create some presumably important content. Here’s my rant about things clients don’t seem to know – or care – about freelance writers.

1. We’re Not Robots.

That’s right. We’re human. We sleep and eat. We have families. We brush our teeth. I only mention this because some clients don’t seem to realize this. Unless it is a rush job for a fair price, why else would a client post a 12-hour order at 8:00 p.m.?

2. We Don’t Read Minds.

Sorry. I do try, really. I just can’t always guess that when clients say “white paper,” they mean, “blog,” and when they request “third person,” they often want me to address the audience using “you.” Apparently that makes them unsatisfied, but not embarrassed, because they have no problem sending the order back for revisions, so that I can write what they were hoping I’d write in the first place. It’s a breath of fresh air when the order instructions make sense and, when I complete the order, I find out that the instructions were in agreement with what the client actually wanted.

3. We Only Get What You Pay Us.

That’s right. I don’t work for any particular writing platform. I work through the platform. If you’re paying me $7 for an order that you send back four times for revisions, I still get $7. You may be at a salary job that lets you spend a week on this order while your paycheck keeps coming, but I am not. I get $7 even if customers ask me for help putting in the order and fixing their mistakes on it. Oh, and by the way, if I help a client and the client then sends that order to another writer, I get nothing.

4. We Take Pride in Our Work.

We may not care personally about a client’s company. In fact, many freelance writers often don’t even know who the client is when the writing platform requires anonymity. That doesn’t mean I’m going to plagiarize or give a client less than my best effort. I agreed to do the job, and I consider it my professional responsibility to deliver what the client requested. That is assuming, of course, the client manages to communicate what she wants (see item 2).

5. We’re Good at What We Do.

Some of us are better than others, and I’ll admit that I am not the best. Nonetheless, if a client is hiring me to write some content, it would be delightful if the client did not micromanage me. If clients feel that they are the only ones who can select the exact words for the piece, maybe it would be in everyone’s best interest if clients produced the content themselves.

Freelance writers are lucky in a lot of ways. We work hard, but enjoy freedom that many of our friends and family can only dream of. Our jobs would be a little easier, though, if clients could learn a few simple things about us.

Natalie S is has been a freelance writer for over four years. She enjoys trying to guess what clients are thinking, and gets excited when she guesses right. In addition to freelance writing, she works at a university, runs, and watches palm trees.


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