Freelance Writing: Simple Tips on Complicated TopicsSeasonal Update for Freelance Writers

Freelance Wriitng Updates from RWCAs the “high season” is coming up, the Quality Assurance Department has voiced a number of concerns regarding the way some of our freelancers handle business.

They appreciated the fact that, in a previous article, I highlighted their concerns about how writers conduct their communications. Just consider this article a follow-up, to get you ready and “in shape” for the upcoming high-season “ordering madness”.

A major concern for the QA folks is that many writers who have experienced a high season now consider themselves fully prepared to take on more orders than usual. So do many new writers – they see a plethora of available orders pouring in faster than they can apply or complete them!

Of course, for many writers, their main concern is how to make the most possible during this season of abundant work.

However, keep in mind that the information in the Available Orders merely constitutes the tip of the iceberg. You have to be so careful! You cannot predict precisely how each order will shape up. Think for a moment – how many possible pitfalls await you on any particular order?

Consider these critical questions before you bid:

• Are the instructions clear, consistent, comprehensible, reasonable, and feasible?
• Are all the materials called for in the order instructions properly and retrievably uploaded to the website?
• Are there additional resources called for? Can you get access to them?
• Can you understand the materials?
• Did the customer upload personal samples of their own writing? Are you going to be able to capture their ‘voice’?
• If the customer has been in communication with you or other writers, do they sound reasonable? Can you rule out them being confused, demanding, inaccessible, oblivious, too illiterate to appreciate your insight, or picky?
• Is the deadline reasonable? Is the writer being asked to do a semester’s worth of reading and writing in one night?

If you cannot answer YES to all of the above, then this could be a problem child, a nightmare assignment that could blow up in your face. You will spend more time clearing up issues and obtaining materials than actually writing and researching. You can’t be sure of completing such orders on time.

This is why our QA Department strongly recommends that our writers who are taking on orders by themselves be VERY careful about which orders they take.

Even more importantly, they discourage taking on multiple orders – quantity is usually inversely proportional to the quality of the finished product.

It’s logical – the fewer orders you take on, the more time you can devote to perfecting the research and writing on each order.

You really, really need to take an objective view when accepting any order, and/or applying for any job. This issue is an important one for the QA staff, and they would really appreciate your taking a very serious attitude towards this topic.

Another important issue QA wants me to mention is the fixed deadline. The term seems self-explanatory, but at the same time, somehow many writers are unable to understand its essential meaning. “We are constantly “bombarded” by writers asking us to extend their deadlines on orders, orders that clearly state that the deadline is not flexible” – says Ann Grimes, one of our experienced support representatives.

We realize that there might be certain issues, like natural disasters or personal situations that require you to take more time for your order. However, such circumstances can’t possibly hold true for every writer asking for an extension.

You need to evaluate, carefully and thoughtfully, your ability to complete any order you accept by the deadline. Of course, if the customer did not provide instructions on time or any other untoward occurrence took place, things that are not your fault – we will move mountains to provide you with more time.

However, fundamentally, it’s your primary responsibility to plan your time more carefully. More time management tips are available in this article and we can offer more in the future if there is interest on your part.

Good luck in the busy season!


  • Jacob
    November 5th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I like it when I read through such a coherent and informative piece of work!Keep it up!

  • November 6th, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Thank you very much! Your comments are the best praise for our team! :)

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