by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Part of succeeding in your web writing career is knowing when a potential client is one you should avoid. There are many scammers out there. You need to know how to protect yourself. As a long-time career freelance writer, I’ve picked up a great deal of experience on sorting out the legitimate clients from the scams.
Ask for a percentage of pay upfront.
This is extremely important to making sure that you get compensated for every piece of content you produce. I generally ask for half of the pay before starting the work and the other half when I complete the project. This is protection both for myself and for the client. If a client decides to stiff me, at least they have paid me something. Also, it helps reassure the client, knowing that they do not have to pay the full amount until I finish the writing.
Never pay for work.
You’ll often see ads or websites claiming that if you purchase a service or product, they’ll give you work. The majority of these are scams . Unless it is a legitimate contracting service, and sometimes not even then, it is best not to pay anyone for work. There is plenty of work out there and you are the one providing the service. You should be the one getting paid.
Get all project and payment details in writing.
Before you even begin the work, discuss the details with the potential client. Then, create a contract and make sure you both agree to it. Even if you are not familiar with professional contracts, this is still possible. As long as all the terms are laid out and parties are documented agreeing to it, that will be enough for a legal agreement.
Watch out for fancy calls to action.
This is a common pitfall for potential writers and others looking for work at home positions. Usually, if you see something that uses terms like “get rich quick,” “easy money fast,” “Sign up and get paid today,” and the like, run far, far away. There are cases in which people may use similar terms for legitimate offers. But most of the time, that is not the case.
Know where and how your content will be used.
This is very important. There are people out there who will pay another writer to do something that is legally supposed to be written by them. Many content sites require the writing to be 100% created by the person who is submitting it. Never produce work for someone if it is going to a place like this or if you don’t know what they will be doing with it. Otherwise, you could unknowingly be part of a scam. This goes back to the contract issue. Make sure the contract includes what will be done with your writing. This way, if the other person does something illegal with it without your knowledge, it is documented that you sold the content for other reasons.
Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
Often people ask me why I don't always give reciprocal +K on Klout.com. How come if someone gives me +K, they don't always get it back from me right away or ever? Am I just being mean, stubborn, or unfair? There are a variety of reasons intended reciprocal +K giving is a bad idea.
+K should be about true influence. If I give +K to everyone who does the same for me, it's possible I could give it to them in a topic they haven't even influenced me in. For instance, say John Doe gives me a +K in Education on Klout because I wrote a homeschool article he enjoyed. That's a good example of a +K given correctly. But then, what if I turn around and give him a +K in any random topic on his page just to repay the favor? That is not the correct use of the +K on the Klout website. It should always be about true influence.
I give +K when I have actually been influenced. If I haven't read your recent material or received advice from you in any of your influential topics on Klout, I'm not giving you +K. Harsh? Hardly. It's simple honesty. The whole point of Klout is to measure influence. That ruins the system when people give others +K if they haven't actually been influenced by them yet. Even if you are my friend, I am not giving you +K unless I have learned something from you recently in one of your influential topics.
Let's get to know each other. When I get a +K from someone new, I like to take the time to get to know them and what they do. If you are a new +K giver toward me and I learn something from that, don't be surprised if you get a reciprocal +K. But it isn't likely to happen on the same day you have given me +K. I need time to learn about everyone in the same boat, not just you.
Why do I then put out requests for +K? Klout has a feature that allows you to request +K in the topics you wish and post those requests onto social networks. Do I do this? Yes. Do I expect people who have not been influenced by me to give the +K anyway? Of course not. In fact, I would hope that they do not. To keep the system as accurate as possible, please only give me +K in a topic you feel I am actually influential in.
Don't game the system. As with any other program out there, if you game the system, everyone loses. In order to keep the system working as intended, people need to be honest with the +K recommendations they give out to others. Are you giving out reciprocal +K recommendations on Klout just because someone gave you the same? Think about the consequences before continuing that strategy.
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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