Be a Realistic Freelancer — MiddleMe


I believe I have touched on this topic before in one of my earlier freelancing articles. As I advertised and hired freelancers either for my own business or on behalf of my clients, I came across unrealistic freelancers who demands. Yes, you heard it right, demands. Here are some of the ridiculous requests / unrealistic claims from freelancers.

Disclaimer: Mind you, I am a freelancer as well, and I know how tough it is to protect yourself and still remain competitive, but some of the below requests just made my jaw drop.

“I am inexperienced as a writer, but I have been blogging all my life. I think I deserve a rate of USD$25 for a 500-word article.”

First of all, there is no such thing as you deserve a certain amount because it is all about demand and supply. Even you think you are good enough to command a certain amount, please don’t tell it to your clients’ face in your cover letter. Rule of the thumb, if you don’t demand in your CV to a real world potential company, you don’t demand as a freelancer as well. At least not until you crossed the first interview.


“I love writing. I have been blogging for many years. No, I don’t have any samples to show you, and sorry I can’t reveal my blog because it is personal.”

I prefer freelancers to be upfront with their work samples. If you are as passionate and as good as you claim you are, you will not worry about showcasing your work to potential clients. In the freelancing world, you need to know how to sell yourself and without your showcase, how would clients know what they are paying for. In the business world, it is so competitive out there, there is no time for trial and error.


“I owned several mobile phones, and I always change my iPhone once every year. I am the most suitable person to write a technical article for you.”

This is the same goes for statements like I recently got married, so I qualify to write for wedding articles, or I love travelling so I can write great travel articles. Loving something doesn’t mean that you can be a writer or even auto-qualify you as a great writer. It is great that you have passion on the topics that you write, it also means that it not a chore to you but this does not justify high pay demands.


“I am e most prolific writer in my school, and I has win a lot of award in xx and yy. I thot yr blog is wonderful and i hope you gave mi a chance to write for u.”

Good for you! I love to give new writers a try as long as they come with the right attitude. However, as mentioned earlier, submit your cover letter to me as for how you will present your resume to a potential employer. That means your English in your cover letter, and email will be judged by me. No slang, no spelling mistakes, no grammar errors and no short forms or abbreviations. It just shows how contradicting of your claims to be an award-winning writer versus your use of the language.

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“I can only submit 5 articles per week, and if you have any urgent work needs to be completed, it has to be less than 500 words, with a given deadline of at least 48 hours and extra charge of USD$10 on top of my usual fee. I can only be contacted during 9 am to 3 pm (my time) otherwise, your replies will only be attended tomorrow. Your payment needs to be within 12 hours of my article submission. Otherwise, I will refuse to work with you further. Don’t waste my time if you are not looking for a serious writer.”

Freelancing is all about flexibility for both freelancers and clients. It is not hard to vision that we will not be able to collaborate well in the long run. Don’t put yourself out there as desperate but don’t make it impossible for us to hire you either.


“I ghostwrite for Forbes, National Geographic, New York Times, Vogue and Esquire. I will write for you for USD$50 every 500 words. Please do not waste my time to negotiate my fees.”

Great that you are upfront about your fees being non-negotiable, it saves me time from guessing your rates as well. That being said, I don’t think you are that good a writer as you said you are because if you are a great writer, the companies that you claimed you are ghostwriting for, will have hire you to be in their team of permanent writers. USD$50 is not a realistic amount for a general writing genre when anyone can hire 5 freelance writers with that amount or even better, a professional writer sitting in our office. Unless you specialised in rare topics such as medicine or law or botany that require in-depth knowledge of the subject, I’m afraid your rates are out of the league with genres like romance, travel, IT, fashion and lifestyle. FYI – these are the genres that generate most work.

What are your thoughts on the above? Please do share them in the comments below.

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via Be a Realistic Freelancer — MiddleMe


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