What turns you off when hiring a writer?

76 replies
I took a break from writing for private clients, but now I’m back and “starting fresh.” I’ve spent the last few days tweaking my freelancing website. And I'm driving myself crazy.

The problem is trying to guess (and second guess) what might turn a potential client off. I’ll add something because I think it’s information a potential client would want to know. Then I start to worry that it’s tacky or unprofessional, and take it back out. Then I worry that I was wrong to take it out and wonder if I should put it back.

I finally decided to just ask some people who actually hire writers.

Will seeing certain things on a writer’s website (besides grammatical errors and such) turn you off and make you decide not to hire them?

For example, I can write articles with a certain keyword density if that's what a client wants, so I mentioned that on my site. Then I took it back out because I don't want people to think my content is keyword-stuffed garbage. But maybe that's something certain clients really want to know. :confused:

So, does anyone have any "writer turn offs?"
#freelancer #ghostwriter #hiring #turns #writer #writers
  • Profile picture of the author MP80
    Hi, it bugs me when they don't have any clear prices on their site.

    I realise this is probably an unpopular statement, as many writers don't seem to like discussing their rates publicly, but I also want to be honest. If your site asks me to submit information in order to get a quote, then I would probably move on to the next site, due to the added barrier. Sometimes I am just throwing a few ideas around and, at that stage, have no interest in discussing my plans with anyone/getting quotes.

    Of course, if I was at a different juncture, and/or was already interested in you as a writer, then it wouldn't be a problem at all. But (in my mind at least) for casual, drive-past traffic it is a turnoff.

    I will be interested to hear what others think?
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Z
    I don't think adding that you can do keyword-rich content is tacky at all. I'm sure there are alot of clients that want to know if you know about SEO/keywords/marketing/etc or are a writer who doesn't know about all that IM stuff.

    I think you should just list what kind of content you can do, and then you can say that you can work with the client on whatever needs they have. State clearly that the more info you get from the client regarding what they are looking for, the better your delivered content will be.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan Martin
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author gaptruck
        Adding to Ramo above, if you use voice to text, please proof the final so an "employee break" is not an "employee brake" for example.

        Also, as a sales-copy writer I can tell you that pointing out your SEO abilities (or other) is not "tacky" if it could be related or important to the customer. Just stick with the features/benefits model so the prospect follows the pitch. Maybe even ask as questions:
        "Need SEO? Send me your keywords and desired percentages for maximum results."
        "Turn-around time important? Add your requirements for a quick reply."
        etc, (I think you get the idea).

        Just pull ego out of the presentation and focus on being the buyer.

        Your sales letter or landing page should be as long (or short) as it needs to be, and not necessarily as long as some ebook or guru says it should be, and still maximize conversions. You might rewrite the whole thing several times to get your right fit.

        Good luck..
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        • Profile picture of the author deejones
          I've been reading through this thread going, "Hey, I do that!" Or, "Oh no, I didn't do that."

          I think I'm going to use the suggestions here as steps in my never-ending site tweaking process.

          Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post

          Content writers would do well to study copywriting tactics
          This is something I've definitely been doing.
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      • Originally Posted by Ramo View Post

        I think I have hired too many horrible writers because this post gets me all fired up! . The last writer I hired outside of a company like Iwriter completely stopped responding after I sent him $400 for articles. I actually heard from someone on the WF he went to work on an oil rig which seems extremely odd to me. Writer to oil rig worker? Anyways, I won the PayPal dispute so all was well. Good luck!
        He'll probably come back and start a WSO: "Let Me Show You How To Dominate the Lucrative Oil Rig Niche."
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    Their profound inability to write.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    EXCUSES.

    "Sorry, for the delay in getting back to you, Ive been really busy"
    "Sorry, I wont be able to get those articles to you as promised, my dog died"
    "There's been a terrible flood here, so I've had no internet connection"
    "My husbands got terminal dandruff, I wont be able to finish this project, sorry"

    In the 3 years Ive been hiring Ive heard them ALL.

    Right from heart attacks, to natural disasters and computers apparenly blowing up.

    If you arent prompt and efficient, FORGET IT.

    Get a job instead.
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    • Profile picture of the author RyanJohnson
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      "My husbands got terminal dandruff, I wont be able to finish this project, sorry"
      C'Mon... gotta give them SOME credit for creativity... lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Simmeon
    Poor writing style. Quoting for work. No samples.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnWiz
      Great share so far, here's one of mine...

      I cringe when writers say they normally charge clients $1,000's, but now they'll do the same work for $100... just because "I'm CRAZY, and you must take action now before I come to my senses!"

      Really, that's not a very good reason why.
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by JohnWiz View Post

        Great share so far, here's one of mine...

        I cringe when writers say they normally charge clients $1,000's, but now they'll do the same work for $100... just because "I'm CRAZY, and you must take action now before I come to my senses!"

        Really, that's not a very good reason why.
        LOL. It IS crazy to write for hundreds when you are accustomed to write
        for 1000's. Not that I use that selling angle but when I write for warriors
        I normally give them a break and let them know what they are getting
        for sure. So it's not such a far-fetched reason as you may think.

        I don't mind selling a product I created at a deep discount but my
        time and writing talent is another story altogether.

        -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author Jnelson
      Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post


      As with every business site, make your copy user-focussed... it's not about you, but what you can do for your clients.
      I think this should be the essence of every business site...since its a writer's page..firstly it should be in flawless language that comes easily and perfectly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Asante
      Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post

      I don't recommend displaying rates because it limits writers to lower-paying clients. If, however, that is your initial target market, then encourage buyers with Buy Now buttons and offer article-pack deals. (Just make sure you can deliver on time!)
      Marianne, rather than the lower-paying clients you refer to here, what type of client is willing to pay a higher rate for quality work?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I had a writer that I hired from here...(I wont disclose any names)

    I was informed that work was behind due to ongoing unexpected delays, which I accepted as this happens to all of us. No big deal.

    What I didnt appreciate though, was realising that the person I hired was ACTIVELY POSTING ON THE FORUM! For DAYS on end!

    I wasnt impressed, and certainly wont be hiring that person again, let me tell you.

    Some people just dont think.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    They don't/barely speak English.

    -Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Backlinks Guru
    It turns me off when a writer doesn't deliver what he/she promises. I think that's the biggest disappointment in hiring a writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I want to see the prices right out front
    I do want to see that you can write with the right amount of keyword density
    I want to see samples that are actually representative of your writing
    I want to see the turnaround times and actually get the articles within that time
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by deejones View Post

    For example, I can write articles with a certain keyword density if that's what a client wants, so I mentioned that on my site. Then I took it back out because I don't want people to think my content is keyword-stuffed garbage. But maybe that's something certain clients really want to know.
    In the long run, those aren't clients you want to attract.

    I would take it out and leave it out, myself. You have fair more to gain than to lose, that way. One "better client" is worth 10 or 20 "article directory level" clients.

    You don't need clients who are going to use your articles primarily for SEO, because they'll pay only $5/$10 for an article. In that market there are more article writers than clients. And there's a reason for that: the clients don't survive and keep returning: if they imagine that article marketing is "a method of SEO", then their own businesses typically aren't going to survive for the long term. So they keep disappearing on you, and you're constantly advertising/promoting to replace them. You need to aim at better clients than that, right from the start. Your business is only as good as your clients. Just my perspective ...
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Your business is only as good as your clients.
      Indeed!

      Maybe I should start a thread, "What turns you off when accepting a client?"

      John.
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  • Definitely bad grammar. I hired someone on Odesk once, and her articles were so bad I couldn't actually use them. I felt so bad for her, I still paid her for the job, but decided not to use her again after that.
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    • Profile picture of the author deejones
      Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

      Definitely bad grammar. I hired someone on Odesk once, and her articles were so bad I couldn't actually use them.
      I've had clients ask me to re-write articles like that in the past. The few times I did it, I realized it was easier just to write brand new articles than to try to fix the poorly-written ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Griffin Smith
    This is a great thread..As a writer myself and someone who outsources larger writing projects to other writer's I gotta say:

    1. Plagiarism
    2. Run on sentences
    3. No clear thought or expressed idea coming through in their writing
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  • Profile picture of the author goldenlogos
    Ask the writer or the employee to make a test article on a subject, and check out the quality of it, it's as simple as that.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by goldenlogos View Post

      Ask the writer or the employee to make a test article on a subject, and check out the quality of it, it's as simple as that.
      Or check out the quality of the prepared samples they will happily provide you with?

      If someone asked me to write a special test article, I would tell them to go away and never come back. I do not need that type of client.

      John.
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      • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
        The lack of examples. Whether it be an article writer
        or a copywriter (salespage). Everyone talks about
        how good they are... then the piece enters my
        inbox and I'm like "WTF?"
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        • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
          Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

          Everyone talks about
          how good they are... then the piece enters my
          inbox and I'm like "WTF?"
          You don't mention what price range the piece is in.

          If it's in the $2 to $10 range, then I'm not too surprised, but if you still have that reaction when you receive a piece commissioned in the $30 to $200 range, for example, then certainly, something is very wrong.

          You get what you pay for, I guess.

          John.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

        If someone asked me to write a special test article, I would tell them to go away and never come back. I do not need that type of client.
        Likewise, here. That's not something I was ever willing to do, even in my first week. I was perfectly happy to show clients a couple of things I'd written recently (and I had a couple written, for that purpose, before I started online).
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

        If someone asked me to write a special test article, I would tell them to go away and never come back.
        Your entitled to that, as we are as employers, to ask for it.

        If you're not comfortable my hiring process, then thats fine.

        Ill cut you from the shortlist and continue working with those that are.
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        • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          If you're not comfortable my hiring process, then thats fine.

          Ill cut you from the shortlist and continue working with those that are.
          Thanks! I'll cut you from my shortlist of potential clients.
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          • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
            Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

            Thanks! I'll cut you from my shortlist of potential clients.
            Thats great John.

            We've just saved wasting each others time
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          Your entitled to that, as we are as employers, to ask for it.

          If you're not comfortable my hiring process, then thats fine.

          Ill cut you from the shortlist and continue working with those that are.
          That's the cool thing about the internet. There are so many clients and service providers that we can all eventually find the match we are looking for.

          I do a lot of things "wrong" when it comes to writing. I don't have a website, only work via word-of-mouth, and sometimes ask for more information before giving a quote, and insist on 100% payment up front.

          On the other hand, my grammar and spelling are proficient, I'm a native-borne English speaker, I often do "emergency" assignments, and I keep a backup of all the articles written just in case a client loses them (this has happened more than once).

          That may not work for everybody, but it works for me and my awesome clients.

          All the best,
          Michael
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          • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
            Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

            That's the cool thing about the internet. There are so many clients and service providers that we can all eventually find the match we are looking for.
            Great positive outlook Michael
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          Your entitled to that, as we are as employers, to ask for it.
          Nobody's suggesting you're not entitled to ask for it, Johnny.

          My own opinion is that it's actually a mistake to do so: its outcome can only be that you end up employing a writer who is willing to do it. Respectfully, I strongly suspect that you're missing out on a lot of better writers, collectively, that way, than the ones from among whom you end up employing one. Just my perspective, and I apologise if it's an unwelcome one ...
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          • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            Nobody's suggesting you're not entitled to ask for it, Johnny.

            My own opinion is that it's actually a mistake to do so: its outcome can only be that you end up employing a writer who is willing to do it. Respectfully, I strongly suspect that you're missing out on a lot of better writers, collectively, that way, than the ones from whom you end up employing one. Just my perspective, and I apologise if it's an unwelcome one ...
            Dont apologise! Its all good

            As a freelancer of 10 years myself, I totally understand everyone's point.

            However, having been through the process of hiring freelance writers over the past 3 years or so, unfortunately I've been let down and dissapointed more times than I care to remember.

            This is the very reason behind my hiring process.

            I make it clear from the beginning what my expectations are, along with my hiring process, and if the applicant isnt comfortable with that, then thats fine.

            Too many times, Ive deviated away from my hiring process, only to find myself regretting it later.
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        • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          Your entitled to that, as we are as employers, to ask for it.

          If you're not comfortable my hiring process, then thats fine.

          Ill cut you from the shortlist and continue working with those that are.
          Testing a provider's capabilities is certainly acceptable and actually encouraged within online outsourcing. Its request, of course, should be reasonable and even compensated when particularly difficult. I think you'd be hard pressed to find an experienced outsourcer, in fact, who didn't require some sort of testing prior to hiring.
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          • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
            Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

            Testing a provider's capabilities is certainly acceptable and actually encouraged within online outsourcing.
            If a writer provides prepared samples, that is all you need. Special tests do not encourage trust.

            Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

            Its request, of course, should be reasonable and even compensated when particularly difficult.
            You mean, the writer may not be compensated? Even if the test is not "particularly difficult"? No writer should write without payment on the off chance that they may be hired. It's a simple matter of showing respect.

            Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

            I think you'd be hard pressed to find an experienced outsourcer, in fact, who didn't require some sort of testing prior to hiring.
            On the contrary, an "experienced outsourcer" will understand why a portfolio is offered for their perusal.

            John.
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            • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
              Banned
              Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

              If a writer provides prepared samples, that is all you need. Special tests do not encourage trust.
              There are certain phases within the vetting process where trust isn't an issue, but qualifications are - especially when a project requires specialized knowledge. A content provider, for example, may write with perfect grammar, spelling, and logic (and provide samples that demonstrate such), but those samples are a moot point when they don't address a specific topic.

              Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

              You mean, the writer may not be compensated? Even if the test is not "particularly difficult"?
              If we're talking about something as reasonable as a paragraph or two, which is what I always recommend as a free limit, then yes. It's nothing to get excited about.

              Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

              No writer should write without payment on the off chance that they may be hired. It's a simple matter of showing respect.
              It can unfortunately be a requirement for some types of work. As a writer, you have to determine what your limits are, and how those limits will work for or against you in each situation. Immediately shunning work opportunities because someone asked for a specific sample (instead of negotiating the situation, establishing how the work will benefit your career, etc.) is shooting yourself in the foot before you get out the door. I think you might have experienced this consequence first-hand with ramone_johnny.

              Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

              On the contrary, an "experienced outsourcer" will understand why a portfolio is offered for their perusal.
              As mentioned, a portfolio full of irrelevant work isn't going to get anyone very far, especially when it's accompanied by a stubborn freelancer. The portfolio that is skillful enough to have raised interest, and is accompanied by the right attitude, however, not only satisfies a client's curiosity, it facilitates appropriate hiring decisions.
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              • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
                Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

                Immediately shunning work opportunities because someone asked for a specific sample (instead of negotiating the situation, establishing how the work will benefit your career, etc.) is shooting yourself in the foot before you get out the door. I think you might have experienced this consequence first-hand with ramone_johnny.
                I choose my clients very carefully. Some writers are not largely at the mercy of those who will hire them. That is not how I operate.

                I did not experience any adverse consequence with ramone_johnny, as you suggest. I consider his hiring process to be demeaning and unnecessarily controlling, but I also accept that he is fully entitled to conduct his business as he chooses. I certainly did not shoot myself in the foot, as I would not ever dream of putting myself through such a process.

                Some writers are in full control of the work they accept, the clients they choose to work for, and the pay they choose to receive. This thread seems to assume that most writers are scrambling for crumbs magnanimously offered by all-powerful clients. It isn't so for me at least.

                John.
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                • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
                  John, just out of interest....

                  Wouldnt my hiring process, at the very least, demonstrate a level of professionalism on my behalf in terms of how I operate within my business?

                  Wouldn't this then make you feel a bit more comfortable in knowing that you're likely to receive ongoing work, with prompt and efficient levels of communication and payment?

                  ...Just askin'

                  Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

                  I choose my clients very carefully.
                  Out of interest, how do you determine who you're interested in working with? You must have a system in place, yes?
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                  • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
                    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

                    John, just out of interest....

                    Wouldnt my hiring process, at the very least, demonstrate a level of professionalism on my behalf in terms of how I operate within my business?

                    Wouldn't this then make you feel a bit more comfortable in knowing that you're likely to receive ongoing work, with prompt and efficient levels of communication and payment?

                    ...Just askin'

                    Out of interest, how do you determine who you're interested in working with? You must have a system in place, yes?
                    Yes, indeed, it does demonstrate a level of professionalism on your part. I never intended to suggest otherwise.

                    It's just that there seems to be too many controlling hoops to jump through for me. I've done all that kind of thing in the past, but I no longer want to. It's as simple as that.

                    I don't really have a "system in place" to determine which client I will work with, or not. I will work with anyone I feel comfortable working with, and who is willing to pay what I charge.

                    I need to feel I am an equal partner in the arrangement. Yes, the client is the one who pays out the money, but the writer is the one who delivers the skilled work.

                    I feel that a client who requires a writer to jump through too many hoops is simply not worth the trouble. Perhaps I am lucky, in that I have all the work I need, but again, I feel I created my own luck in that respect.

                    John.
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    • Profile picture of the author deejones
      Originally Posted by goldenlogos View Post

      Ask the writer or the employee to make a test article on a subject, and check out the quality of it, it's as simple as that.
      I lot of good writers don't do free test articles because they often get burned when they do.
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      • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
        Banned
        Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

        Your entitled to that, as we are as employers, to ask for it.

        If you're not comfortable my hiring process, then thats fine.

        Ill cut you from the shortlist and continue working with those that are.
        Originally Posted by deejones View Post

        I lot of good writers don't do free test articles because they often get burned when they do.
        We mustn't forget that any type of work, including test work, can be contracted. Terms can be negotiated, prices can be set, anything can be amicably accomplished when approached in a professional manner.
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        • Profile picture of the author deejones
          Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

          We mustn't forget that any type of work, including test work, can be contracted. Terms can be negotiated, prices can be set, anything can be amicably accomplished when approached in a professional manner.
          That's why I put "free test articles" in my post. A lot of clients will pay for a test article, especially when the writer usually works in batches, but the client doesn't want to pay for a whole batch just to see what they can do.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
    Bad grammar and missed deadlines.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    I think the biggest turn off is lack of mentioning of time needed to complete a project. Specify how much time you take per article so that the employer does not have to ask too many questions. I think there is nothing wrong with having too much information on your website (provided it is written in a clear and grammatically correct manner) as opposed to having too little information and causing potential trouble.

    Sorry, I forgot to mention you should put out a lot of writing samples. That way they'll be able to see your articles are not weird combinations of keywords, rather they are properly written SEO friendly articles. Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
      To add to the good tips that have already been posted, references. I get the run-around about references. Privacy, this and that. I'm sure as a freelance writer you can find 1-3 clients who are willing to vouch for your services.

      If you're just starting out, that's cool just be up front about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author deejones
      Originally Posted by YasirYar View Post

      I think the biggest turn off is lack of mentioning of time needed to complete a project. Specify how much time you take per article so that the employer does not have to ask too many questions.
      I think it's hard to put on a website, "I'll have your content ready in 48 hours, guaranteed," or something like that, because the writer might be working on content for other clients too. So how long it takes to complete a new project will vary depending on that writers current backlog.

      But a writer should definitely give the client a delivery date, based on their schedule at that time, when an order is actually being placed.
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  • Profile picture of the author lisakleinweber
    Flowery magazine-type, third-person writing. hate it. Can't use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sylviane
    I have never hired writers being a writer myself, however, usually, people asking me to write for them all have had some bad experiences with writers they have hired in the past… such as the person stopped responding, the quality of the articles has decreased, etc…

    I think that the clearer you are about your service, such as, price, keywords density, delivery time frame, contract, etc… the better it is. On the other end, too many minus details might confuse your potential customers rather than helping them. Such secondary details can be discussed once the potential customer shows interest in hiring you.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketwarrior06
    Banned
    at first i take a look at their offers. in most of the cases you can short out the bad writers. the people who can't write an attractive offer which can't attract me, can't write my content
    Actually i hire people to write articles for my link building projects. so i don't care about the quality. i just take care about the uniqueness and size and of course the $$$!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author MrDay
    Something that turns me off is if they don't have at least a few real testimonials and actual examples of what they've written. This basically let's me know right away if they have the type of writing skills I am looking for.

    Also, if they don't offer free revisions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    When they send me copyrighted material and ask me to rewrite it.

    When they ask for a "free sample".

    When they offer to pay me a lower rate now, and IF they like it, to pay me more for future writing.

    Oh...wait...it said "hiring" not "being".



    Just saying that it's a two-way street.

    All the best,
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Drizlek
    Besides grammatical and spelling errors there isn't much I don't want to see. Like many people have said here, the most important things to show is pricing (within reason), turn around time on work and available examples of work. Things like pricing a turn around time is all relative though depending on the work and your current work load.

    One thing I will advice you against though (And this is a true story --- happened to me) is if you should get work you cannot complete and you send it to someone else to do and it come back poorly written... don't tell the person you are working for that someone "broke into" your email account, did the work for you and then sent it back as an excuse. To this day I still tell people about that and it makes them laugh. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Originally Posted by deejones View Post

    I took a break from writing for private clients, but now I'm back and "starting fresh." I've spent the last few days tweaking my freelancing website. And I'm driving myself crazy.

    The problem is trying to guess (and second guess) what might turn a potential client off. I'll add something because I think it's information a potential client would want to know. Then I start to worry that it's tacky or unprofessional, and take it back out. Then I worry that I was wrong to take it out and wonder if I should put it back.

    I finally decided to just ask some people who actually hire writers.

    Will seeing certain things on a writer's website (besides grammatical errors and such) turn you off and make you decide not to hire them?

    For example, I can write articles with a certain keyword density if that's what a client wants, so I mentioned that on my site. Then I took it back out because I don't want people to think my content is keyword-stuffed garbage. But maybe that's something certain clients really want to know. :confused:

    So, does anyone have any "writer turn offs?"
    I'd add your keyword writing as an option.

    To be honest, by the time someone gets to your site they are probably coming from another page where they were "presold", at least to a point.

    Other than a really ugly site, it would be hard to come up with "turn offs", other than a writer telling me about SEO.

    Instead, focus on what will convince me to hire you:
    Honest
    Dependable/trustworthy
    Affordable

    Your sales and presales pages will only get you this far. If you want to be rehired, in addition to the points I made above, I want to LEARN something from your articles. Something. Anything. Come up with at least one thing it's unlikely I already know.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    The 1st post and many of the follow-up posts do a great job of illustrating the difference between writing content and writing copy.

    I think a lot of clients assume that if a person can write, then they can write anything. So, at the very least, I would want a writer's website to tell me what kinds of writing they do (or maybe even won't do).

    If a writer claims they can write "anything", and they do not have a team of writers, then I would personally question the validity of that statement.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author deejones
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      I think a lot of clients assume that if a person can write, then they can write anything. So, at the very least, I would want a writer's website to tell me what kinds of writing they do (or maybe even won't do).
      I definitely don't claim I can write about everything. And there are things I can write that I'm not going to mention on my site until I have samples of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jra
    Consistency.
    I love writing and do it for my career and it has caused me to become quite picky. Some people I have hired to help alleviate my workload write a great article one week and a terrible one the next week.
    It almost drives me as nuts as their/there/they're and your/you're errors!
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by Jra View Post

      Consistency.
      I love writing and do it for my career and it has caused me to become quite picky. Some people I have hired to help alleviate my workload write a great article one week and a terrible one the next week.
      It almost drives me as nuts as their/there/they're and your/you're errors!
      Perhaps you would feel better if you held their writing to the same standard as you hold your own.

      ~M~
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      • Profile picture of the author Jra
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        Perhaps you would feel better if you held their writing to the same standard as you hold your own.

        ~M~
        I feel like I do... I hire kids from a local college named "The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism." Guess the name influences my expectations too much, haha.
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
          Originally Posted by Jra View Post

          I feel like I do... I hire kids from a local college named "The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism." Guess the name influences my expectations too much, haha.
          ...and that's the way it is!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    For anyone thats interested, heres my HIRING PROCESS.

    Be mindful that I only apply this when Im looking to hire someone long term. This isnt a method you'll want to implement if you're only after a few articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
    I am a writer but I do not write everything so sometimes I hire writers and what I can't stand above all is plagiarism, or keyword stuffing or bad grammar. In short I can't stand 'writers' who can't write! If I have one advice for writers? It is to communicate. Don't go silent on your client it hurts your credibility.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I hired a writer once that sent me an email stating...

    "Sorry, I can't do anymore, I've got writers block"

    WRITERS BLOCK!!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      I hired a writer once that sent me an email stating...

      "Sorry, I can't do anymore, I've got writers block"

      WRITERS BLOCK!!!!
      LOL...that absolutely made my day! Writers block

      I once hired a writer who went silent for two weeks then wrote to ask for more work. I asked about the previous work and he said sorry, his mother died and he had to go bury her. I didn't know what to say to that so I just told him I didn't have any more work for him. I don't know why, but I didn't believe that story. Call me a cynic. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author RySpencer
    The biggest turn off is a sales page with poor grammar and terrible spelling.

    Believe it or not, I recently saw a sales thread here on WF offering writing services. There were 4 spelling mistakes on it.

    This shows that either the person can't spell, or don't proof read their work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by RySpencer View Post

      The biggest turn off is a sales page with poor grammar and terrible spelling.

      Believe it or not, I recently saw a sales thread here on WF offering writing services. There were 4 spelling mistakes on it.

      This shows that either the person can't spell, or don't proof read their work.
      I find it ironic that you have at least the same number of errors in only a few short sentences. I don't necessarily have a problem with that, but you should be careful in which direction you throw stones.

      It may not be perfect, but in the spirit of helpfulness, allow me:

      The biggest turn off is a sales page with poor grammar and terrible spelling.

      Believe it or not, I recently saw a sales thread here on the WF [you would say "the Warrior Forum", so using the definite article here makes more sense] offering writing services. There were four [while this is a stylistic preference, most guides suggest spelling out single-digit numbers when used in this sense] spelling mistakes in [you make mistakes in a thread, not on it] it.

      This shows that either the person can't spell, or doesn't [don't is short for do not, which is improper grammar] proofread [one word, not two] their work.
      Always happy to help.

      All the best,
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author cmorrow
    When your ideas and rough draft work turn out to be better than their finished products
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  • Profile picture of the author vlada111
    1. DELIVERY TIME - I really hate it, sometime I wait for 2+ weeks until I get my articles -.-

    2. Quality of the article - Both grammar and interesting writting

    3. SEO of an article
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    • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post

      @JOSourcing - you make a strong case for vetting. But I can assure you that if you are looking to hire a writer capable of tackling "specialized projects", a genuinely qualified professional will have the portfolio/cuttings/client list to prove they're up to the task.
      Not necessarily. An example is when a person's portfolio seemingly focuses on a single topic, despite that person being qualified to write about another, and despite that person having little to no relevant portfolio material that addresses a hidden qualification.

      Another example is when a person who's qualified to write about a specific topic exercises his or her creative license in programming, composing music, or electrical engineering rather than writing, and therefore, has little to no writing samples to put in a portfolio. Yet at the same time, this person is the only one who's actually qualified to discuss a topic.

      In both examples, requesting a small sampling is appropriate and required - in one instance, to verify knowledge, and in the other, to verify writing skills. Either way you look at it, the test requirement remains valid, and both the freelancer and client should exercise some iota of common sense, respect, and ethics when addressing it.
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      • Profile picture of the author deejones
        Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

        In both examples, requesting a small sampling is appropriate and required - in one instance, to verify knowledge, and in the other, to verify writing skills. Either way you look at it, the test requirement remains valid, and both the freelancer and client should exercise some iota of common sense, respect, and ethics when addressing it.
        I can see two ways to deal with this issue.

        1) Ask. All it costs is the two minutes it takes to send an email and ask, "Hey, can you write about this?"

        2) Pay for a short sample article. If you're unsure about a writer's ability to tackle a certain topic, pay them to write a single, short test article for you. If they usually only work in batches, point out that this is a test and, if they "pass," you'll order more articles from them.
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        • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
          Banned
          Originally Posted by deejones View Post

          I can see two ways to deal with this issue.

          1) Ask. All it costs is the two minutes it takes to send an email and ask, "Hey, can you write about this?"

          2) Pay for a short sample article. If you're unsure about a writer's ability to tackle a certain topic, pay them to write a single, short test article for you. If they usually only work in batches, point out that this is a test and, if they "pass," you'll order more articles from them.
          That about sums it up. Personally, I've attracted a lot work this way despite having a plethora of writing samples already in existence. Outsourcing can be a complex experience, so even the slightest accommodations are helpful.
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      • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post

        :confused:

        I see you are an authority on outsourcing. Nevertheless, your scenarios are bizarre, one-sided, and I maintain that you, as a client and outsourcer, have got it backwards. By not looking for a specialized writer to tackle your specialized subject, you're not vetting properly. (Or perhaps you're imagining possible exceptions through bidding sites only - something that won't apply to many, if not most, professional writers.)
        Looking for a qualified candidate isn't part of the vetting process. Vetting occurs after an outsourcer has received responses to request-for-proposals, so I can't make much sense out of that part of your comment.

        Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post

        If a writer's portfolio focusses on just one topic, wouldn't you surmise that they're an expert in that particular field? Why then would you be looking to hire them to write about something entirely different? And how exactly would you divine that they might have "hidden qualifications?"
        When freelancers respond to an RFP, they state why they think they're qualified for a particular job. And by doing so, they may reveal a skill or talent that may differ what's available from their portfolio.

        Example: An outsourcer sends out an RFP for writers who know something about playing in a stringed quartet. One of the bids comes from a freelancer with a portfolio full of nothing but articles and tearsheets about watercolor paintings. Because this freelancer is a violinist, and plays in a quartet within her community, she felt compelled to place a bid. If her knowledge about music is substantial enough, and if she communicated that in her bid, the outsourcer would feel compelled to giver her a try.

        Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post

        If you're hiring a non-writer with specialized knowledge, that is an entirely different matter and irrelevant to writers.
        I'm sorry, I don't know how to respond to that.
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  • Is a bit difficult to read and actually understand the contents of something if it has serious spellings and grammatical mistakes. It therefore an issue that can lead to lose of a client.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    There are so many opinions in here, and I feel like I've just got to chime in and add mine

    I think a big part of the problem that people have with hiring writers is that they expect filet mignon at hamburger prices. If I walk into the most glamorous restaurant in town, I know I'm going to get a staff that's going to cater to my every desire and a meal that's going to be nothing short of exquisite. However, if I walk into McDonalds, I may or may not get the pickles removed from my burger like I asked, my fries may have too much salt on them, and my burger may have sat around for an hour before someone reheated it and tossed it in my order bag. But, really, what did I expect? I paid $5 for a value meal... a far cry from the $50 steak I ordered at the fancy place.

    It's the same with writers. For the most part, you can't expect to log onto odesk, elance, or the sort and find the quality you're looking for - because the truly talented writers aren't wasting their time there (and, yes, I know there are exceptions, but for the most part, it's true).

    John's right - a talented writer who's got the smarts to create/grow their own professional writing business is going to be offended when a potential client wants "samples" written for free or wants to conduct a grammar test before placing an order. And, Ramone_Johnny, I think you're awesome, but I didn't have to jump through nearly as many hoops to get into college or get my first job in TV as you put your writers through! :p

    So, what should clients expect from professional writers?

    Content that's chock full of facts, interesting to read, has some personality injected to it, and delivered in a timely manner. Professionals don't need to be prodded to work, or told to submit daily status updates, or jump through hoops, or threatened with non-payment. If they're good, they pride themselves on a job well done.... and, really, at the end of the day, isn't that what you're all looking for???
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    • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
      Banned
      Originally Posted by NicoleBeckett View Post

      Professionals don't need to be prodded to work, or told to submit daily status updates, or jump through hoops, or threatened with non-payment
      Just so you know, these issues occur across the spectrum of outsourcing venues, from overseas manufacturing all the way to the online bidding site.
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      • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
        Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

        Just so you know, these issues occur across the spectrum of outsourcing venues, from overseas manufacturing all the way to the online bidding site.
        Of course they do. It's certainly not limited to writers or even online freelancers. However, if you hire better people in the first place, you don't have to waste your time checking up on them or setting "rules" for them. This is the business world - not preschool. The more time you're devoting to "watching" your freelancers, the more opportunities you're missing out on as a business owner.
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