elance - bad first impression

24 replies
I hired a writer to create 50 articles for me and once he completed 2, he let me review them to make sure they were formatted correctly.

Now, before he even started, I clearly explained how I wanted the articles written. I even pointed him at a free pdf download explaining the style of articles in great detail, asking him to read a specific 5 page section of it, to understand what I was looking for.

The 2 he had me review, were nowhere near what I requested. I tried to explain in even more detail, how they were wrong, and what he could do with these 2 to make them better. I was not being insulting, just very clear on what I wanted. (he didn't even create content relevant to the titles he came up with!)

Anyway, the next message I got back was "Refund and cancellation of project has been submitted".

ummmm.. was I being too hard to work for? I'm not experienced in writing articles, but even I know how to optimize an article for a single keyword, and create relevant content suggested by the title.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with elance writers? am I being too hard to work for? Any suggestions for good writers?
#bad #elance #impression
  • Profile picture of the author bigslamgyrl
    From everything I understand about Elance, most of the writers are wonderful. There are a couple of 'bad eggs' in there though.

    Did you get a chance to really check his feedback? I would suggest checking far back in the feedback history and also looking at the 'repeat client' stats - this gives you an idea of how many people return to a particular writer. (I personally don't use Elance, so I am not sure if it would actually be labeled as 'repeat client'

    My only other suggestion would be to possibly post something in the 'warriors for hire' section, there are a lot of great people here (as I am sure you know) who can more than deliver for you.

    Based on your post alone, it does not sound like you were overbearing or unclear on what you wanted. I think sometimes people just get overwhelmed --not an excuse for bad business practices but it happens.
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    • Profile picture of the author altoro80
      Why don't you try the Warriors for Hire section in this forum, i have ordered a few articles and reviews and i thought they were pretty good, i am not an expert when it comes to articles but i made money out of them so it worked for me.

      Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I had used Elance many times in 2007 in order to find editors for my articles and ebooks, and this was a very frustrating experience.

    If you want excellent articles written by real professionals you should purchase them from Constant Content.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I even pointed him at a free pdf download explaining the style of articles in great detail, asking him to read a specific 5 page section of it, to understand what I was looking for.
      A better way would be to locate an article online that uses the formatting or style you have in mind - and send him a link to that.

      Did you get samples from those who bid on your job? Were his samples acceptable to you? What price are you paying - there's a big price range at elance.

      There are writers there who can do almost anything you want in an article - but if you are choosing the lowest priced bid you may not choosing the best writer for your work.

      If you are looking for $5 articles, you won't find many people who can spend the time to read pages and try to learn the method you are thinking of. They need to get articles written quickly to earn enough with the job.

      I don't think you are asking too much (can't be sure because I don't know what you told the writer) but you may be asking too much of the writer you chose from the bids submitted.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        A better way would be to locate an article online that uses the formatting or style you have in mind - and send him a link to that.

        ...

        If you are looking for $5 articles, you won't find many people who can spend the time to read pages and try to learn the method you are thinking of. They need to get articles written quickly to earn enough with the job.



        kay


        Well said. Too many people want a $5 or less article, meaning the writer earns less after all the fees, and then has 5+ pages of guidelines for that 1 piece to write. Wow.


        Best thing in this scenario would be to order a batch and include a sample of what you want, to make it worthwhile to read all that info. Seriously.

        Think of yourself doing a project. What would you want? That often helps with getting the right mindset for hiring / outsourcing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dellco
    Originally Posted by skeetermcgee View Post

    I hired a writer to create 50 articles for me and once he completed 2, he let me review them to make sure they were formatted correctly.

    Now, before he even started, I clearly explained how I wanted the articles written. I even pointed him at a free pdf download explaining the style of articles in great detail, asking him to read a specific 5 page section of it, to understand what I was looking for.

    The 2 he had me review, were nowhere near what I requested. I tried to explain in even more detail, how they were wrong, and what he could do with these 2 to make them better. I was not being insulting, just very clear on what I wanted. (he didn't even create content relevant to the titles he came up with!)

    Anyway, the next message I got back was "Refund and cancellation of project has been submitted".

    ummmm.. was I being too hard to work for? I'm not experienced in writing articles, but even I know how to optimize an article for a single keyword, and create relevant content suggested by the title.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences with elance writers? am I being too hard to work for? Any suggestions for good writers?
    Just had an experience exactly like this. Writer gets offended(after I ask her to change a couple of things) and "regrets" bidding for my job (claims it was too low - and I was paying more than $15 per article), and asks for cancellation. From the start, this writer was problematic, taking days to respond to messages.....I guess I should have seen it coming.

    So when writer asks to cancel, I Dispute it. But after getting response from writer that she really doesn't want to continue anymore, I ask Elance to step in and cancel.

    Elance at first responded real fast, and said they will look into it, but now, no further response from either Elance or the writer.

    Been dragging on for days now, I still have my money tied up in there, and can't even cancel it now (once you dispute a job, it cannot be canceled by yourself anymore).

    I search up on Elance scams - And I get plenty. I was surprised to see Elance rated so low compared to their competitors. Now I can see why they have such poor ratings.

    I wonder what is the best thing to do now? Stonewall situation. Should I just wait and wait until someone from Elance comes round? They are probably too lazy to look at Dispute cases.

    Any advice, anyone?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I see a lot of buyer misconceptions in this thread -and the thread is six months old anyway. I'm going to point out some truths from a writer's viewpoint - it may help you in hiring in the future.

      Just had an experience exactly like this. Writer gets offended(after I ask her to change a couple of things)

      Did the changes add more work to the job or more detail not requested initially??? Were the changes due to writer error or you changing your mind after the fact?

      and "regrets" bidding for my job (claims it was too low - and I was paying more than $15 per article), and asks for cancellation.

      This would be the writer's fault if they bid too low on your work. It's your fault if you added extra provisions or requirements after accepting the bid.

      From the start, this writer was problematic, taking days to respond to messages.....I guess I should have seen it coming.

      Emails should be answered. Most experienced writer update you on occasion but expecting constant communication is not reasonable. When a writer is reading and responding to multiple emails - he's not earning money.

      So when writer asks to cancel, I Dispute it. But after getting response from writer that she really doesn't want to continue anymore, I ask Elance to step in and cancel.

      What are you disputing? If the writer did part of the work he should be paid for that portion IF that work met the initial requirements of the job you posted. If the work was not done, you'll get your money back.
      If the buyer keeps changing his mind, adding new details, etc - an experienced writer is going see trouble coming and move on. There's even a term for it - "scope creep" - when a job just keeps changing and getting bigger AFTER the price has been set. This includes adding new requirements or expecting constant communication.

      There are good and bad writers on elance and on the WF. However, when buyers are complaining about a $15 writer on elance, it makes me wonder what's going on. Someone who can get $15 on elance is not inexperienced and knows when a buyer is being reasonable and when he isn't.

      The "job" of a buyer is to explain clearly and completely what he wants in the job description he posts and then to choose an outsourcer and let the outsourcer do the work. There may be minor adjustments and that's expected.

      Elance isn't going to keep your money but they will make certain the provider is paid if money is due for work already done. You have drawn unwarranted conclusions about elance from one experience.

      I used to do a lot of work on elance (have a 5 star rating). I canceled only one time - and it was a buyer who offered me the work ($28/article) and then kept emailing with more requirements after that. He even sent an ebook for me to read "to see where I'm coming from". I saw where he was coming from so I canceled before even starting the work.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Dellco
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        I see a lot of buyer misconceptions in this thread -and the thread is six months old anyway. I'm going to point out some truths from a writer's viewpoint - it may help you in hiring in the future.

        If the buyer keeps changing his mind, adding new details, etc - an experienced writer is going see trouble coming and move on. There's even a term for it - "scope creep" - when a job just keeps changing and getting bigger AFTER the price has been set. This includes adding new requirements or expecting constant communication.

        There are good and bad writers on elance and on the WF. However, when buyers are complaining about a $15 writer on elance, it makes me wonder what's going on. Someone who can get $15 on elance is not inexperienced and knows when a buyer is being reasonable and when he isn't.

        The "job" of a buyer is to explain clearly and completely what he wants in the job description he posts and then to choose an outsourcer and let the outsourcer do the work. There may be minor adjustments and that's expected.

        Elance isn't going to keep your money but they will make certain the provider is paid if money is due for work already done. You have drawn unwarranted conclusions about elance from one experience.

        I used to do a lot of work on elance (have a 5 star rating). I canceled only one time - and it was a buyer who offered me the work ($28/article) and then kept emailing with more requirements after that. He even sent an ebook for me to read "to see where I'm coming from". I saw where he was coming from so I canceled before even starting the work.

        kay
        In my case, I wasn't piling on demand after demand. I asked her to do 2 very simple things, which although I did not specify 100% to the point in my job bid, was as clear as daylight, and extremely easy to comply. That is all.

        This writer had an attitude problem from the start, even during negotiation stage, she was just very slow to respond (talk about taking 2-3 days to respond to most messages).

        So I gather, she wasn't too keen for the job, but accepted it anyway (I'm scratching my head why) When a person isn't too keen on something, every little thing suddenly becomes impossible. She asked to cancel after the 1st article, and when the deadline was fast approaching (I gave her A LOT of time). I doubt she was anywhere near finishing it, and probably wanted to bail out.

        She has good credentials in her field of expertise, but her ratings were not too good. I went ahead with her because I thought everyone deserves a chance.

        I just never expected that even Elance would drag their feet on the dispute process. I've heard people blasting vWorker, but at least in their arbitrations, the arbitrators get on the ball fast (even if they don't bother to check the details) - and respond to both parties.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Advice? Well...my advice is to hire a writer from here on WF. But then I'm slightly prejudiced.

    Amanda, Zabrina, Beverly. All good. And I'm not bad either.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    Sorry to hear that, Skeeter. That's definitely a hassle that you don't need

    I definitely don't think you were being unreasonable. In fact, I think you were almost *too* nice. You gave your writer specific instructions on what he was supposed to do - and he, apparently, ignored them. Then, you tried to point him in the right direction *again* after he screwed up the first time. His behavior isn't just unprofessional; it's downright rude.

    Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've heard stories like this (and it looks like Dellco has a similar tale to tell). It may be possible to find a "diamond in the rough" on elance (or odesk, or something similar), but there are far too many stories about writers on there needing their hands held the entire time. Remember, in addition to giving you much better content than you could create yourself, a professional writer should also save you time - so that you can focus on other things, instead of writing. Sadly, this guy did neither.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Most people offering articles for $5 are not going to want to deal with special instructions. Honestly, I would try the Warrior for Hire section. I know that when I want content for my own websites but I don't have time to write it because I have a lot of client orders, I go straight there. You can easily see their quality through their testimonials and you can look at their post history to get an idea of what kind of person they are. You can see if they are here for quick and easy money or they actually have good work ethic and a knowledge of the writing business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dellco
      I also had no idea that Elance would also screw their customers like this. It's not just the writer screwing with me, Elance is screwing with me too!

      I guess it pays to do your homework first (which I didn't). The internet is full of horror stories about their shabby treatment of both service providers and buyers.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizbop
    I agree with many of the others here. Forget Elance as most of the time you will be paying close to double that of what you can get right here on WF. I finally used the warrior for hire and this particular writer has good customer service as well as a 3-5 day turnaround time for 17 articles. Not too bad ^.^ I guess I'll have to wait and see how the quality is though but from the reviews the quality is very good.
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  • Profile picture of the author derekad
    Originally Posted by skeetermcgee View Post

    I hired a writer to create 50 articles for me and once he completed 2, he let me review them to make sure they were formatted correctly.

    Now, before he even started, I clearly explained how I wanted the articles written. I even pointed him at a free pdf download explaining the style of articles in great detail, asking him to read a specific 5 page section of it, to understand what I was looking for.

    The 2 he had me review, were nowhere near what I requested. I tried to explain in even more detail, how they were wrong, and what he could do with these 2 to make them better. I was not being insulting, just very clear on what I wanted. (he didn't even create content relevant to the titles he came up with!)

    Anyway, the next message I got back was "Refund and cancellation of project has been submitted".


    Has anyone else had similar experiences with elance writers? am I being too hard to work for? Any suggestions for good writers?

    so have you got all money back?

    how does arbitration system works on elance?
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  • Profile picture of the author vanalli
    Sometimes writers don't like being told what to do. If you have a writer who kicks up a fuss like that, he/she isn't being professional and you should simply not use them in the future and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Russell Barnstein
    The OP DID place a batch order; the first two articles were done to ensure that the writer knew what they were doing. Clearly they didn't, and the OP protected themselves by stipulating a 2 article review process.

    Smart move.

    Imagine if the project had simply gone forward! 50 articles down the drain and weeks of arbitration.....

    Elance is a GREAT platform and one of the best rated sites of its kind. Some people have bad luck sometimes, but you'll find that anywhere. You do need to read ALL of a contractors feedback, look at the types of jobs they have completed and so on. I almost guarantee you that if you examine this person's profile more carefully you'll find plenty of reason NOT to hire them.

    As other posters have said, you'll get what you pay for. If you're on Elance paying less than $20 an article, you're going to get garbage or amateur work at best. New providers looking to build a good profile quickly may offer articles as low as $15.

    I've been doing this for a long time and I still make mistakes. I launched a massive hiring campaign for writers in November, including on Elance. I found one writer who could meet all my expectations, had great feedback and showed excellent samples. I asked her to proceed with a test job of 20 articles, submitted in 5 article batches over 10 days. She submitted the first 5 and I immediately cancelled the project: it was crap. I mean, total crap. The work was not the caliber of work shown in her samples, nor was it the caliber of work that warranted the good feedback that was on her account...

    ...except of course for the fact that some people pay for crap and don't even know that it's crap; hence her good feedback. And she probably either paid for her samples, or it just so happened that she had 5 REALLY good articles and the rest of her work sucked.

    Anyway, the point is that this is NOT an Elance problem- this is a WRITER problem in general. Too many people think they can just sit on their @$$ at home and write for money because it's easy and they THINK they have skills. Honestly, they're an embarrassment to the industry.

    Requiring those two initial articles was the best thing you could have done, so I'm going to guess that although you seem miffed by this interaction, you know what you're doing. So my suggestion would simply be better vetting of your writers. After all, when you find a great writer, you'll be using them again and again, correct? That means it's worth the time to really dig in and invest the time to choose wisely.

    Elance is fine- just try again. They're definitely the best of all the freelance sites. Keep your initial article test requirements at quantity 2, and stipulate in your project description that if the provider does not meet the expectations in the first test articles that the project will be cancelled.

    That way, Elance will have no choice but to quickly rule in your favor. Remember, all your terms need to be clearly spelled out in the project description, the PMB or in DOCUMENTS THAT YOU UPLOAD TO THE PMB.

    Never refer your writer away from Elance to explain requirements.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dellco
      Originally Posted by Russell Barnstein View Post

      The OP DID place a batch order; the first two articles were done to ensure that the writer knew what they were doing. Clearly they didn't, and the OP protected themselves by stipulating a 2 article review process.

      Smart move.

      Imagine if the project had simply gone forward! 50 articles down the drain and weeks of arbitration.....

      Elance is a GREAT platform and one of the best rated sites of its kind. Some people have bad luck sometimes, but you'll find that anywhere. You do need to read ALL of a contractors feedback, look at the types of jobs they have completed and so on. I almost guarantee you that if you examine this person's profile more carefully you'll find plenty of reason NOT to hire them.

      As other posters have said, you'll get what you pay for. If you're on Elance paying less than $20 an article, you're going to get garbage or amateur work at best. New providers looking to build a good profile quickly may offer articles as low as $15.

      I've been doing this for a long time and I still make mistakes. I launched a massive hiring campaign for writers in November, including on Elance. I found one writer who could meet all my expectations, had great feedback and showed excellent samples. I asked her to proceed with a test job of 20 articles, submitted in 5 article batches over 10 days. She submitted the first 5 and I immediately cancelled the project: it was crap. I mean, total crap. The work was not the caliber of work shown in her samples, nor was it the caliber of work that warranted the good feedback that was on her account...

      ...except of course for the fact that some people pay for crap and don't even know that it's crap; hence her good feedback. And she probably either paid for her samples, or it just so happened that she had 5 REALLY good articles and the rest of her work sucked.

      Anyway, the point is that this is NOT an Elance problem- this is a WRITER problem in general. Too many people think they can just sit on their @$$ at home and write for money because it's easy and they THINK they have skills. Honestly, they're an embarrassment to the industry.

      Requiring those two initial articles was the best thing you could have done, so I'm going to guess that although you seem miffed by this interaction, you know what you're doing. So my suggestion would simply be better vetting of your writers. After all, when you find a great writer, you'll be using them again and again, correct? That means it's worth the time to really dig in and invest the time to choose wisely.

      Elance is fine- just try again. They're definitely the best of all the freelance sites. Keep your initial article test requirements at quantity 2, and stipulate in your project description that if the provider does not meet the expectations in the first test articles that the project will be cancelled.

      That way, Elance will have no choice but to quickly rule in your favor. Remember, all your terms need to be clearly spelled out in the project description, the PMB or in DOCUMENTS THAT YOU UPLOAD TO THE PMB.

      Never refer your writer away from Elance to explain requirements.
      Hey Russell, thanks for your input. What I don't get is why Elance is ignoring me even though I sent them many emails asking about my case. I simply want to cancel now, and I think that's what the writer wants too.

      Why would they initially respond very quickly, and then zero for days afterwards? That's really bad customer service. They could at least tell me what's the next stage, or what's holding them up. Just complete silence from them.

      My money is still in their Escrow, and I want to take it out and move on. I don't know how long before I get to see it again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Russell Barnstein
    Also, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call Elance. They ALWAYS answer the phone during business hours and their customer service is surprisingly good. I never waited to contact them via email and wait for the dispute process to play out- there are pre-set delays in place to allow all parties time to...uh...idfk, think about it or whatever. If you pick up the phone and explain the situation you can often get very fast results. It's worked for me numerous times with both clients and providers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Russell Barnstein
    1-877-435-2623
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I agree with most of Russell's points and it does sound to me as it you were working with a difficult person. I didn't get that from your initial post.

      She has good credentials in her field of expertise, but her ratings were not too good. I went ahead with her because I thought everyone deserves a chance.
      The ratings at elance are some of the most honest you'll find online. They do monitor ratings so it's not a system that is often gamed.

      A provide with good qualifications can still be a bad choice if you can see a problem in ratings that carries from one job to another.

      On a freelance site - you EARN your chances by doing the work right time after time. There are some buyers who will rate everyone low - but a provider with a good history should have great ratings overall.

      I don't know what the delay is - but I would call elance. They are very helpful by phone.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Damani Tabor
    Originally Posted by skeetermcgee View Post

    I hired a writer to create 50 articles for me and once he completed 2, he let me review them to make sure they were formatted correctly.

    Now, before he even started, I clearly explained how I wanted the articles written. I even pointed him at a free pdf download explaining the style of articles in great detail, asking him to read a specific 5 page section of it, to understand what I was looking for.

    The 2 he had me review, were nowhere near what I requested. I tried to explain in even more detail, how they were wrong, and what he could do with these 2 to make them better. I was not being insulting, just very clear on what I wanted. (he didn't even create content relevant to the titles he came up with!)

    Anyway, the next message I got back was "Refund and cancellation of project has been submitted".

    ummmm.. was I being too hard to work for? I'm not experienced in writing articles, but even I know how to optimize an article for a single keyword, and create relevant content suggested by the title.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences with elance writers? am I being too hard to work for? Any suggestions for good writers?
    Hi... I can relate to that.

    Quality has gone south due to pressures from outsourcing locations where cost cutting takes preeminence over quality.

    Look at that, the guy did not even seem interested in the lost business Why, because he had others with lower standards than you waiting in the wings.
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  • Profile picture of the author DeborahDera
    Don't let your bad experience with a writer force you to form a bad impression of Elance in general.

    Unfortunately, there is tons of competition right now and perhaps your writer misrepresented himself as able to complete the job.

    What process did you use to choose a writer? Did you review portfolios and ask for samples of his writing? Did the writer have experience on Elance (or in general) that you could verify?

    Originally Posted by skeetermcgee View Post

    I hired a writer to create 50 articles for me and once he completed 2, he let me review them to make sure they were formatted correctly.

    Now, before he even started, I clearly explained how I wanted the articles written. I even pointed him at a free pdf download explaining the style of articles in great detail, asking him to read a specific 5 page section of it, to understand what I was looking for.

    The 2 he had me review, were nowhere near what I requested. I tried to explain in even more detail, how they were wrong, and what he could do with these 2 to make them better. I was not being insulting, just very clear on what I wanted. (he didn't even create content relevant to the titles he came up with!)

    Anyway, the next message I got back was "Refund and cancellation of project has been submitted".

    ummmm.. was I being too hard to work for? I'm not experienced in writing articles, but even I know how to optimize an article for a single keyword, and create relevant content suggested by the title.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences with elance writers? am I being too hard to work for? Any suggestions for good writers?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dellco
      For what it's worth, here's a really horrible story I just found on Google. I don't know whether it is true or not, but.........I hope it doesn't happen to me (seems to be happening though).

      Elance Www.elance.com | Rip-off Report: 418008

      Besides this case I'm facing now, I've also had a writer cop out at vWorker at the start (before it even began) of a project citing emergency reasons, but over there, they take these things real seriously, and really (seemed) like they wanted to penalize the writer......they kept asking me to verify that the writer wasn't faking anything.

      I ended having to defend the writer and assure vWorker that I really believed the writer, and to let her go....No "stonewall silence" from vWorker at all!

      Now, what a difference compared to Elance.....
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    It's like that everywhere ... not just Elance. There are good and bad writers, designers, programmers, etc.

    There's some great writers right here on Warrior Forum. I just hired one and he is amazing. I won't tell you who because his thread is already so successful that he's pretty busy and I want to keep sending my stuff to him.

    What I do with writers is test them beforehand. I send them 2 articles to write and pay for those. If they don't get the job done the way I want it done, that's all they get.
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