My Blog Client Wish List

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/02/my-blog-client-wish-list/

~ By Jennifer Chait

James, from the tea blog job wrote a post for Deb earlier today about what bloggers / writers should consider before applying to a job. I read it. I highly appreciate that a hiring party would take the time to provide feedback to readers (applicants) – that’s rare and pretty cool.

Parts of the post astounded me. Are people really applying for blog gigs, saying, “I love blogs” yet, they don’t actually write for a blog? I can’t wrap my mind around that one. James also noted, “Don’t tell me that you’d never thought of blogging before, never realized people got paid to blog, etc.” Huh? Come on. Seriously, the kind of stuff above is such a waste of time for everyone. On the off chance this was you, read: How To Land Your Dream Blogging Gig

Overall it was a good post. Still, it was a long request list. Not that James is unique. Many blog editors or clients I’ve worked with have had just as long, if not longer lists than James’ about what they want in a blogger. Because I’m a little cranky today, the post mainly got me thinking that I’d like a client wish list. If clients get a list of what they want in bloggers then I want a list too.

My wish list – otherwise known as my advice to blog clients who act totally obnoxious:

Quit asking for so much: James wrote a long wish list – however, his job offer actually paid a fair blogging wage, so while I didn’t agree with all of it, I do feel he deserved his list. I’m sick of blog clients asking for the moon and stars when they offer wages that suck. If you want to pay $100 for 60 posts a month, guess what; you shouldn’t even have a wish list. Honestly you should just be writing your blog yourself.

I’ve applied for blogging gigs in the past, where no wage was offered in the ad. You contact them, because the job sounds cool, and ironically said client will send you a 10 page wish list and then say, “How’s 0.02 a post sound!” Yippee! Um, no thanks.

Provide your bloggers with spam control, or quit whining about the lack of comments: As a blogger I understand the importance of comments. I naturally assume that managing comments will be a part of any blog gig. But here’s the thing; I’m not shifting through 2,305 comments to find the 30 real ones. Not unless you pay a lot me to do so.

Help me to help you: Being sneaky about blog stats is bizarre behavior to me and something I’ve recently been dealing with. I can help your blog to be more successful if I have stat information. I can learn when readers visit, what they like, what they hate, and the keyword searches people are doing. I can get sponsors to run contests and see who is linking to the blog. Without stat info, I’m kind of shooting in the dark. I suppose that’s fine if you want a less effective blog. Still, after I’ve told you all of the above, and you still refuse to give me stats, don’t ask, “How come you don’t post at high traffic times?” Lord.

Email me back: I rarely email blog clients. I’ve been doing this a while now. There’s not much I run into that’s blog related, that I can’t handle alone. That said, assume that when I email it’s actually important and email back.

Pay on time: Why I even need to have this on my wish list is beyond me. Plenty of blog clients have paid me late though. If I get the work done well, and on time, it’s nice to get paid.

If you think I’m an idiot, why did you hire me?: I ghostwrite some blogs. As such, I’m not supposed to tell anyone that it’s me, Jennifer, writing the blog. Know how I know? It was in the blog contract. Please refrain from ending each email you send with stuff like, “Hey, remember you can’t tell anyone that you write this blog…” or, “You don’t have this blog linked in your sig line at forums do you?”

Quit sending me PR: I like to get some news and links from clients. I don’t mind if you send me a news clip and say, “Please post about this.” What I do mind is when you send me twenty + emails a day that have all my daily topic links and PR news. Odds are, if I’m writing about RVs, I’m already on all the RV mail lists. I’m already following RV news. This means you’re sending me news I already know. That’s a waste of my time. Plus my email is crowded enough. If you don’t think I have the ability to write the blog without a babysitter, fire me, and find someone else.

Be a blogger: Oddly my number one piece of advice to bloggers looking for work is also my number one piece of advice to clients looking to run blogs, or clients who hire for blogs. It’s extremely hard to work as a blogger for a non-blogger. Bloggers understand stuff about blogs that a non-blogger never will.

The worst blog clients I’ve ever had are non-bloggers. These are the clients who call “posts” “blogs” and don’t get why I’m upset when my text font and link font are identical in color. These are the clients who ask me if I’ve heard of “This nifty new thing called Digg.” I’m dead serious. If you want to be an effective blog client – get a blog.

Anyone else ever deal with obnoxious blog clients? What would be on your client wish list?

Oh, and just to be perfectly clear, I have, and have had many blog clients I adore – I’m not always so cranky.

Among other places, you can visit Jennifer Chait at Offbeat Homes, Slices of Green, 7 Babes A Blogging, and Tree Hugging Family.

Comments

  1. Thank you, so much. Every client out there should read this. I’m rethinking some jobs that do just what you describe. Too many posts, social networking, and other hoopla for much to small of a rate.

  2. Oh god, this was beauty. I’ll add one to your wish list:

    You hired me because I know what I’m doing. Therefore, it becomes silly to continually send me emails that say, “I don’t know if you know this, but…” I can blog with my eyes blindfolded. Yes. I know this. I know more. I know a damned lot, which is why I offer my services for a living. I didn’t start working for you to train me. Sheesh.

    (Needs more coffee)

  3. Ha, James. I haven’t had any coffee since yesterday morning. Any wonder my comments haven’t been little rays of sunshaine lately?

    Now for a client that sends coffee and Stok coffee shots, I’d do quite a bit.

  4. I think coffee shots, java drops and chocolate-espresso chunks should be required terms of agreement for any job.

  5. I think caffeinated beverage should be tax deductable for freelance writers!

  6. Oh, what a great post. I would add:

    Subscribe me automatically to comments on posts I write.

    Give me access so I can edit a post if I spot something I need to change.

  7. I would add: don’t throw me into the job without a clear idea of what I’m actually supposed to be doing. I’ve received some of the most inane, unorganized instructions from blog clients who didn’t seem to realize what they wanted and just kind of expected me to figure it out/ read their minds. They seem to think blogging is a secret club and if I am a blogger, I can just do a great job without any idea what they want. Every “blogging job” is different depending on the purpose of the work. Clients need to be abundantly clear on expectations, and be available for questions. I’m smart; if I’m asking questions, it means you didn’t explain clearly enough.

  8. Robin,

    Not just for freelance writers. I never had coffee til I started newspaper work (on staff in college, then 13 years in “the real world.”).

  9. James ~ The dreaded, “I don’t know if you know this, but…” I get that too. :(

    Brenda ~ Good one. Long wish lists can be frustrating but so can super short lists. Like, “Blog about books” huh? Some clients could be more clear, and they always get so worked up if you ask them to be clear.

  10. All I can say is, “Amen!” I’m especially in agreement with “Email me back” and “Pay on time.” I believe clients should display the same degree of professionalism and punctuality they expect from us.

    I actually like to pay my bills and eat every now and then. Clients who communicate with me and pay on time help me to achieve this ideal.

  11. Great post. I highly agree with everything – especially the communication part. If communication is bad, the rest (like pay and sanity) sometimes begin to slide as well.

  12. I can’t believe the lists of qualifications and requests that some people have when they are offering to pay $2 per 500 word post. Get real! At that rate, you deserve a chimp with a word processor.

  13. Excellent list.

    Here’s a good story. Three years ago, when I was working full time, I went to our IT department to say I wanted to start a company blog. Their response? “What’s a blog?”

    That was when I began to realize why some parts of my job were so difficult…

  14. @ John – Three years ago? I still get that today! lol

  15. Thanks for all the useful comments everyone!

    Paul ~ Glad to hear it’s not just me getting paid late. I actually had a client pay me late at Christmas this year. That’s so not amusing when Christmas might be canceled. I think many blog clients don’t realize that I don’t take every job I’m offered. I set aside enough time for the jobs I do have, so that I can do a good job on them. But, then I am expecting those jobs to pay me. Thus when one pays late it can really set me back.

  16. @ Jennifer: Loved your rant and especially the point about $0.02 a blog post. What troubles me is the way we get undermined from 3rd world writers who are happy to work for $3 an article because they only need that much to pay their bills.

    Come on clients of the world, wake up and start offering decent rates when you want all these things full filled.

    The funny thing is that those who post them think they actually pay very well.

    @ James: were are you, I need a coffee too.

  17. Two Words: Well said. Thank you and of course a thank you to Deb, as well.

  18. Great post, and very useful as a list of things to think about when applying for blogging gigs and working as a paid blogger. I have so much to learn :)

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