Writing Jobs From Hell Contest: Share Your Worst Client Horror Stories

Writing Jobs From Hell Contest. Makealivingwriting.comEver had one of those writing jobs that made you want to vomit, smash something with a hammer, or scream profanities into a pillow?

It happens. Just about every freelance writer has at least one horror story to tell about terrible clients, deranged editors, ever-changing demands, slave-labor wages, or maybe even no payment at all.

What’s one of your worst writing jobs?

If your blood pressure is on the rise just thinking about it, hopefully you learned a thing or two from the experience. You know what I mean: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

If you do your part to find great clients, you’re a lot less likely to work with the kind of crazy-making clients that give you nightmares months after you severed ties and swore off working for them ever again.

But before you cut up that worst-writing-job assignment into tiny little pieces, douse it in gasoline, and laugh maniacally as it burns to ashes, we want to hear about it.

Share your worst client horror story for a chance to win. Here’s what you need to know about the “writing jobs from hell” contest:

Remember one of your worst writing jobs?

Every freelancer has a worst writing jobs story. If you don’t, you’re either not working very hard, you’re brand new to freelancing, or your day of reckoning is imminent. Need something to jog your memory?

  • Maybe you’re on the crazy-train right now with an impossible client, wondering how and when you’re going to escape.
  • Maybe you’re so sick of the excuses about getting paid, you’re about ready to show up in person, bust through the doors, and demand payment.
  • Or maybe everything started out great, and now the whole project is unraveling. And it’s eating up valuable time you could spend on marketing or writing for better clients.

My worst writing job: I’ve had a few crappy gigs over the years. But the one that still gets me fired up was for a trade magazine for the tow truck industry. Not my niche. But when the editor reached out for help to salvage a poorly-written cover story by another writer, I figured I’d use my journalism chops for an easy $500.

Basically, I had to start from scratch with interviews, research, writing and rewriting. I turned the assignment in on time and waited a reasonable amount of time for payment. Then excuses started rolling in. Then they stopped returning my emails. Then the site went down and the trade pub folded, and that five hundred bucks and a few hours of my life were gone forever. Oh Ffff…iddlesticks!

Contest rules: Share your worst client horror stories

What’s one of your worst writing jobs? We want to hear about it. Share your worst client horror stories for a chance to win. Here’s how:

  • Post your worst client story in the comments below
  • Only one entry per person.
  • Contest ends: Sunday, June 16 at midnight Pacific.
  • We’ll review all the submissions and announce the winners here and via email in about a week.

Prizes for the worst client horror stories include:

Grand prize: A one-year membership in the Freelance Writers Den.

Runner up 1: A one-month membership in the Freelance Writers Den.

Runner up 2: A copy of the book: Start Here: 40 Freelance Writers Share How They Find Clients, Stay Motivated and Earn Well Today.

Good luck, everyone! And here’s to great clients to come.

And the winners are…

Grand Prize: Rhiannon D’ Averc

  • Lesson learned: Never, ever, under any circumstances, work in an actual content-mill sweat shop for room and board and low pay.

1st Runner Up: Courtney Ralls

  • Lesson learned: When it’s time to negotiate rates, stick to your guns, and never accept anything less than your minimum.

2nd Runner Up: Paul Haluszczak

  • Lesson learned: If you don’t have a contract, defined scope of work, agreed-upon rates in writing, and you’re getting the assignment from your client through a sketchy interpreter, you’re better off walking away.

What’s your worst client story? Tell us about it in the comments below for a chance to win.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline, or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultramarathon

Get more writing jobs - free PDF: 8 Ways To Get Editors Emails

 

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28 comments on “Writing Jobs From Hell Contest: Share Your Worst Client Horror Stories
  1. Tom Bentley says:

    A saga still ongoing: I wrote some property descriptions a while back for a fellow running some specialty Airbnbs. All straightforward stuff, with friendly exchanges between all. I’d never had any contact with his wife, when I got a recent phone call from her, many months since I’d heard from him. She asked me to write a GoFundMe page for her, to pay for a big fence on their property so she wouldn’t have to see the neighbor’s dogs.

    They and other neighbors had had trouble for a year with these marauding dogs and the dogs’ owner, but the most recent incident had the neighbor bringing the dogs onto her property, and one attacked and killed her dog. Their property is rural, and large, so the fence would be substantial, and require a lot of money, thus the GoFundMe page.

    Gruesome, but I understood the assignment, and agreed to it. Then she began a long story of how she and my original client had split up, over many complications, the dog’s death being one. I won’t go into the details, but it was convoluted, with many specifics you shouldn’t be telling a stranger, one you were hiring for the first time.

    OK, a flag there, and not just red, but burning. But I’d said I’d write her page, so I was going to hold to that. But I was unsettled.

    Two days later, her husband, my original client, called me. He immediately went into a long, rambling disquisition on why his wife and he had broken up, including the fact that he’d signed over the rights to their property to her, under great duress, in a quitclaim written by weaselish lawyers, that she’d been having an affair with an older man (80!) and a bunch of other things I shouldn’t have been told. But he said I should go ahead and write the GoFundMe page, because it had been his dog too, and she should be shielded from seeing the neighbor’s murdering dog.

    Multiple flags burning now.

    But I did write the page for her. Several days later, she called and asked me to send her the original copy for the Airbnbs, saying her husband was blocking her from using them and she was going to repost. Gong! Finally, I woke up, and said I couldn’t do that, and that I couldn’t be in the middle of the dissolution of their marriage, and didn’t want anything to do with work that was part of that.

    Two days later (you guessed it), I got a call from him, saying he was going to have to involve some private investigators, perhaps even the FBI, because she was violated his trademarks (and was trying to steal them) for another company he owned, and she had hacked a website he owned. He wanted me to write a long statement that was a summary document for the lawyer he was going to engage on these issues.

    I had to tell him the same thing that I told her, which was that I couldn’t write anything that was kindling in the fire of their flaming marriage. After many apologies (and more meandering details), he hung up. I still might—I’m stupid that way—write something for him on a different, innocent subject altogether, but it’s a Voldemort—she cannot be named or involved while discussing any writing to come.

    Perhaps not so much the client from hell, because they were mostly bedeviling each other. More like two clients from purgatory wanting me to join them. I’m not answering any Evites.

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Oh man. Nothing like being caught up in the middle of an actually Jerry-Springer-Live situation. If they’re paying you on time and decent rates, I guess you have to decide if it’s worth it to stick around and just say “no” to projects that are part of the drama instead of strictly business.

  2. Wendy Strain says:

    My ‘writing job from hell’ is an ongoing project at the moment. I feel the ‘come to Jesus’ call coming on already. The project started as a basic ghostwrite for an emerging personal coach. He had a MASSIVE manuscript already and wanted help trimming it down to size and filling in the gaps so he could use it to boost his credibility and for back of the room sales to help him book speaking engagements. We discussed what he had, what he needed (specifically the need to cut the manuscript down to no more than 80,000 words to compete in the mainstream space and to make it legible without all the word decoration – think italics, bold, underline, and quote marks in some combination on every other word, wish I were kidding or being hyperbolic – this comes into play later, I promise). He was thrilled with my proposal, we drew up a contract, met in person and had a decent personal connection (he is QUITE proud of his ideas which should have been my big red flag), and got started on the work. About two months into the project, he made it very clear that my cuts were too extensive and he didn’t want to change the content to such a great degree, and yet still expected the project to adhere to the proposed timeline as if all the extra work could somehow be squashed into the original anticipated time frame without any adverse impact (talking the difference between a 5,000 word chapter and a 100,000 word chapter here!). During our weekly 90-minute calls, he constantly talks over me, interrupts me when I try to answer any of his questions, and continues to demand that I deliver what he wants in the time he wants it without any consideration for the amount of work that entails or offering fair compensation for the scope change. At this point, I’ve already performed and delivered the amount of work promised under the original project scope even though it represents less than a third of his concept and he’s two months behind on his payments. He argues that he shouldn’t pay because we aren’t in keeping with that stupid proposed timeline (even after I pointed out that it is a ‘proposed’ timeline and it’s even labeled that it is subject to change as the project progresses). The contract also specifies that payment is expected on the first of each month and in advance of work delivered. We even discussed, in detail, the problem of the scope change back when he made it clear that he wanted basically an insanely long vanity book instead of a mainstream business book. My thought at the moment is not to deliver any more work until he’s caught up on payments and to try to have another frank discussion with him about the extensive scope creep from the proposal and contract assumptions.

  3. Danielle says:

    My worst client story involved a past relationship. My boyfriend and I decided to partner up because he was good at finance, while I was great at developing content. His job was to make us more money by studying the writing market in our country. Our goal was to start a writing business together with me as the first writer. We were referred to a real estate client and I had already prepared the proposal with a fair retainer fee. I was supposed to populate their real estate website with the entire country’s listings. Sounds like an awesome gig, right? I was new to the local market, so I did my best to offer a reasonable rate from an unknown entity. I was competitive, but my offer was still attractive. Here’s where it gets crazy. I presented the content strategy and they loved it. We then got to pricing. I offered a suitable amount with room for negotiation. Unfortunately, the client kept cutting down the strategy to lower the price as well. I agreed, so long as it was still in the realm of my minimum allowed rate. Still, I was being backed into a corner. This was my first face to face negotiation with a client. I knew that I shouldn’t budge because I knew the worth of the work they were asking for. The clients then started that thing they do, where they get quiet and keep looking at the same piece of paper, playing freelancer chicken. Suddenly, finance ex-boyfriend spoke up and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. I offered a three-month retainer. The ex counteroffered with a 50% slash and a longer retainer contract. They sealed the deal while I was still in shock. When we left the client’s office, I asked my then boyfriend, WHY??? He said that’s how services are priced here in our country. If we didn’t offer that, they would have never accepted, he said. I told him that it wasn’t true – that I made ten times as much for easier projects. He convinced me that it was good for our business portfolio. We already signed the contract because I was too embarrassed not to. That was the beginning of the worst six months of my life. I had to work full time for them for scraps. Here’s the kicker. When they launched, they didn’t even use any of the copy I gave them. They decided to hire an on-site copywriter. The lesson I learned here is that rate culture will kill you. The people you trust will make big mistakes that you will pay for. I was young back then and held on to the belief that this is a great addition to my portfolio. We’ll be racking in international clients once we get this done. Now, I can’t even show the site because none of my work was used there. Fast forward two years later, the client contacted me and asked for the same work and I gave them the increased price citing inflation and market rate increase. I know, it was BS. But that’s the only way people here understand why rates increase. I knew they wouldn’t go for it and I told them I’d find someone else willing to do it. Big surprise. No one wanted it. It’s a long story, but let’s just say my country is messed up when it comes to writer’s rates. Aside from getting swindled out of $5,000 from a previous client(a boring story compared to this one), it was my biggest lesson to date. Since then, I’ve avoided clients like that and I kicked my ex out of future negotiations. Side note: We didn’t break up because of this. However, he did learn a lesson in freelancing and that is we should never accept rates like that ever again, even with the promise of continuous work. I already had clinical depression and I relapsed because of that project. My ex understood and acknowledged that I love the work I do, but not like that. That project made me hate writing. Now, I love it again because I make my own rules and choices.

  4. K. Wright says:

    My worst client experience also happened to be one of my first when taking a step into the world of freelance writing. I wanted to be published with an online publication besides my own blog to build my portfolio, and a friend connected me with her brother who worked for an online magazine.

    We corresponded and agreed that I would write 12 articles for the magazine, one per week. The work was unpaid, which I was okay with since I was mainly looking to gain the “experience,” but he did mention that if the magazine liked my articles, they would consider paying me once the “trial” period was over.

    I diligently wrote the articles and submitted them on time every week. (And I use the phrase “on time” loosely since there were never any real established deadlines.) The editor gave very little feedback on the first couple pieces I sent in, then stopped responding altogether whenever I would notify him that the most recent article was ready to be published.

    After completing the 12 articles, I contacted my friend’s brother about the potential to continue working with the magazine, but on a paid basis. After a few days, he offered $25 per weekly article. By this point, I was beginning to realize the value and time that went into my work and I politely declined.

    I recently discovered a bonus to this whole ordeal when going to their website to save some of my work for future reference. They had switched out my byline with another contributor’s for one of the articles I wrote! I would say unbelievable, but after the poor business practices I experienced with them, it’s actually very believable.

    Let this be a cautionary tale for any new freelance writers: ALWAYS get a contract for any work you do, DO NOT work for free (the exception should be one or two unpaid articles if you need to build a portfolio, not 12), and save your work right away should any shady client plan to steal it later down the line!

  5. Mel Francis says:

    I was employed by an NGO/non-profit organisations to produce them copy for a fundraising website, and to develop a campaign to promote the site. The NGO in question had been used to asking for a bit of money from enthusiasts of the particular kind of wildlife they dealt with. The brief was to increase their audience, and to enable them to reach out to, engage with, and ultimately fundraise from a much wider audience.

    In my response to the brief, I outlined the action pyramid, that took them from outreach to cold audiences right through to how x% of this new group will click through to read information , and that of these people to expect only y% of people to actually give some money in the first instance. I also outlined a funnel to keep reminding people they were there, to provide engaging content, and how to keep giving people calls to action up to and including donating money. I was very clear in interview, but not in writing, that I was not a web designer, and that if they also wanted the website designed that I would be able to recommend other professionals, but that I would not be able to undertake that myself. In hindsight, a big mistake.

    They seemed very happy with my proposal. I spent a while in the office to get to know the subject experts. Their expertise on their chosen subject was impressive, but definitely bordering on nerdy, with lots of acronyms and in-jokes.

    Anyway, I really slaved over their copy, outlining the issue, and highlighting interesting facts about certain species, to help engage new audiences. I felt, and still feel that the issue was important, and had much broader impact than the simple preservation of their key species. So I included a lot about what their habitats do for humans in my initial landing page, and in some e-mails I produced.

    It turned out that the team I was working with also expected me to be able to develop the back-end platform through which they could receive payments, despite several reminders of our agreement, and actually offering them contacts of people in my network who could help them. In the end, in order to be able to get on with my writing, and still meet immovable launch deadlines I Googled ‘best WordPress templates for fund-raising’ and sent them my results. By which, I mean I sent them the URL to the Google search and told them that [template name] seemed to have the best reviews and that they should make sure that it was suitable for their needs. They went with my ‘recommendation’ with no further research. They complained when I couldn’t do much more than activate the template, and talk to the producers via their support system (e-mail based).

    Then came their edits to the copy. As well as being used to writing everything by committee, they had not really grasped the fact that they wanted to engage with a much wider audience, so they kept feeding back things like ‘this is far too basic for our current donors’, ‘everyone will know the information on this page, why is it necessary?’ and many similar things. They also wanted me to edit the landing page – where I was supposed to be outlining the issue to a non-expert audience – to two sentences. They told me the one I had written was ‘boring and condescending, everyone knows this’ and wanted to insert a whole load of scientific data without much explanation into the whole text willy nilly.

    We had a crisis meeting, where I checked the brief, and that the important part was that they wanted to reach out to new audiences. I thought I had finally got through to them. I had to bring all of my conflict resolution and mediation skills to bear in this meeting. I finally thought they understood why I needed to explain things and I found a compromise on how to present their data in a way the new audiences could manage.

    We signed off the work. The only good thing about this process was that I was paid.

    Six months after I had delivered the work, I got an angry call from the Executive Director. She had just had a very difficult meeting with the Board of Directors, who were demanding to know why the website had not shown an increase in the funding. She also yelled at me about the WordPress template having been too difficult to use, so why did I recommend and set it up, and a lot of other stuff about why should she be held to account for my poor work (which she had signed off on). During this call, I logged onto the fundraising site to try to explain something, only to find that what they were using was not the copy I had delivered them at all. Someone had changed it, so that it addressed their usual audience, and contained all the inaccessible data I had strongly advised them against using in the format in which it appeared. It turned out that they had changed it shortly after launch, but I was somehow still responsible for their lack of results.

    So I have learned to be much firmer on not agreeing to anything to do with web design. I’ve also really firmed up my process, so I get organisations to agree that the time for them to input on content is at the ‘detailed briefing’ stage, where they can say what information to include. After this, I will write the copy, making sure the content is delivered with a ‘common voice’ to avoid audience confusion. After that I don’t allow substantive edits without renegotiating the price (both of these tricks I learned via some online seminars offered by Carol and guest lecturers). I am still at a bit if a loss about how to deal with being the scapegoat if they don’t use my copy, but still want to yell at me for their lack of results.

  6. Courtney Ralls says:

    My worst writing job was my first one as a freelance writer. I took the leap and started a content writing agency and I was placing ads everywhere – including the dreaded Craigslist. I put up an ad for $5 advertising my expertise in writing for businesses and I got a bite back from a man who branded himself as a financial literacy coach and life coach.

    Well, we met up the first time at a Starbucks because he refused to email me the work details he wanted completed, which I should have taken as the first red flag. He wanted his entire website content re-written to clearly state his personal story and how he can help others with money and real estate investment as income. I was pretty confident I could perform the job because he already had existing content on his website it was just very poorly written. After our meeting I promised a first draft of his website content.

    Fast forward to sending him the first draft, he received it and immediately fired back with remarks about how I didn’t do much to change the copy. He said that my work was not up to par with others in his industry although his website was riddled with incomplete sentences, punctuation errors and all around didn’t make sense. Even though I was steaming I agreed to let him write a draft and I use that as a second draft for him. He did not use email so he wrote out what he wanted the website to say and I took it home and typed it up, refreshed it for SEO and grammar purposes and met back up with him to show him.

    The second draft was still not to his satisfaction. After I sent him the invoice he told me he was wary to pay because I simply did not write anything I just wrote what he gave me (which is what he asked for). After meeting up with him several times and accepting and transcribing his notes of his website content he ended up paying me half the amount I asked for. I just chalked it up to my first experience and moved on.

    I haven’t used Craigslist to advertise since.

  7. Nora King says:

    My first professional writing project was with my local free healthcare clinic.

    (Prior to January 2019 in Virginia eligible persons were those with no insurance options, even excluding those with Medicaid. Since January 2019 Medicaid clients are served there too).

    I live in a rural community and it has been difficult to find an opportunity to work face-to-face with a client while learning the craft of copy writing.

    I volunteered for this project after the clinic published an article in the local paper, featuring a volunteer who was celebrating 10 years with them. I thought I too could volunteer to do a project to get copy writing/marketing experience.
    This was in June 2018, a year ago.

    The director there was very excited with my proposal and stated she wanted to send a fundraising letter. She showed me one they had sent several times before. The quality of it, including the graphics, was so poor I would have been embarrassed to send it. We talked about what we could do and both of us were excited to get started.

    She told me up front that she would be away for several weeks, so I was not surprised when I did not here from her for a while. I made myself busy by conducting two case studies, one was with a former client and one with a member of the Board of Directors. I completed the rough draft before she returned and had it ready to submit when she returned.

    This is when the fun began. I sent an email with the draft in a .pdf attached. Then I set another email.

    Then another.

    And another.

    This went on for several weeks.

    I then received an urgent phone call from her. She had a board meeting scheduled for that very afternoon and needed the draft “ASAP”. I sent it to her again.

    I did meet with her at least twice after this time.

    During these 1-1 meetings I stressed that we were approaching the last quarter of the year and that this is the time when the United Way starts their annual fund raising campaign. I reminded her that the United Way asks’ it’s recipients not to conduct their own fund raising during this time, as this would likely prove ineffectual for all campaigns being conduced.

    I also provided other feedback that I thought was important for her to know and volunteered to do another project, but she expressed little interest. This feedback was that the clinic’s stationary/letterheads were old copies of what had originally been colored copies. They were now gray/black/scratchy and difficult to read.

    I offered to create new Windows 10 copies with original greyscale graphics and using the cliniic’s new logo, this because black/white copies they make on a daily basis would be cleaner and so they could do away with the scratchy logo on the stationary they are currently using.

    Not interested.

    I also stressed the importance of having professional-looking letterheads to use for client-related documents, such as release forms, etc…

    Keep in mind that I was not charging anything to do this.

    Her primary interest now was that I volunteer to provide counseling services. (I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker turned copy writer). She informed me that a grant the board had applied for some time ago had come through but that they still need volunteer counselors and case managers. It was after the board meeting that she lost interest in the copy writing project.

    I believe I created some anxiety in my feedback to her, this because I asked if the agency was providing adequate malpractice insurance for professional volunteers, this among other things.

    I could go on, but I’ll say that I disbanded the project in December after having sent another series of emails in which I received no response.

    As noted, the clinic started seeing Medicaid clients in January 2019. In order to be in compliance with the federal government and with the state of Virginia, the Board and the director would have had to find someone to meet and exceed my recommendations to her.

    During the winter I saw the lady I had interviewed for the case study in the grocery store, this the member of the Board of Directors. She asked me “Where have you been? You just disappeared”. I told her of my efforts to stay in touch. She told me she would “…have to check into this”.

    Lastly, and just a couple weeks ago, I was in the clinic for another reason. The director came into the lobby where I was sitting. She literally tip-toed in front of me, avoiding me while going to see someone else. she stayed just a few seconds then spun on her tip toe and back out the door again.

  8. My worst writing job was actually my second ever – and I put a lot of it down to the fact that I was so inexperienced at that time.

    I was headhunted out of uni by a culture and tech blog who wanted me to write for them. One of my fellow writers there also worked for an SEO company that was local to where I had been studying, so I ended up getting a job there.

    The boss was a penny-pincher from the start. Accommodation was included in the job, so he didn’t have to pay as much in wages (the flat was really poorly maintained and there were up to six of us living together at any given time – all employees of the company; at one point he even converted the living room into another bedroom to squeeze us in). He also had us all on “freelance” contracts so he didn’t have to pay as much in taxes – knowing what I know now, it was definitely NOT freelance work!

    I went in there being told that I would have to write about 10,000 words a day. That was really daunting, but I gave it my best shot. The work was easy, but mind-numbingly boring. 500 words on ‘best online casinos for poker’; 500 words on ‘best casinos for online poker’; 500 words on ‘top online casinos to play poker’ – you get the drift.

    Over and over and over again, poorly-chosen keyword stuffing in articles that were always too short to make any real point but so long it felt like they would never end. I would get to the end of each day feeling like my brain was melting.

    I was so eager to impress that I ended up doing an average of 14,000 words a day during my first week. Guess what? That became my new minimum… for no increase in pay.

    By the time I decided to leave, I was doing a minimum requirement of 18,000 words a day and when I asked to bring that figure back down a bit, he insisted I take a pay cut. I moved in with my partner, went on holiday for two weeks with my family where I was supposed to be working remotely, and while I was there, sent him an email saying I was quitting.

    Since he had me on a freelance contract I was able to leave immediately. I got my tiny bit of revenge by leaving him in the lurch without anyone to do my work.

    These days I average around 4,000 to 10,000 words a day depending on what I’m working on. I still can’t believe I was typing that much every day. I kept a running count and I was well over a million words when I left them!

  9. Janet Rae-Dupree says:

    I’ve had my share of writing gig nightmares but the absolute worst was the cover story from hell.

    I was thrilled to be commissioned to write a cover story for what had been one of the leading business publications in Silicon Valley. Sure, it had fallen on hard times after one of the tech bubbles burst, but it was still churning along, raking in cash from conferences and publishing fat magazines every quarter. They promised $3,000 for a 2,500-word main story and 500-word sidebar with a $250 bonus thrown in if I could hustle and get it done — including edits and approving page proofs — in the three weeks leading up to Christmas.

    I dropped everything to focus exclusively on this package. I endured three rounds of edits, took phone calls on weekends and nights, huddled at the back of Cub Scout meetings, stepped out of other meetings, was at their beck-and-call (and I didn’t do any of my traditional Christmas prep) so that I could get this puppy done.

    Everything was approved on Dec. 22 and I eagerly awaited seeing the magazine in January.

    And I waited.

    And I waited.

    I invoiced them, of course. The response?

    Crickets.

    February rolled around. No sign of it. So I invoiced again and left gales of voice mails.

    Crickets.

    March came and went. I invoiced a third time, called repeatedly, left voice mails for editors up and down the chain of command.

    Nothing.

    At the end of March, I heard through the grapevine that they had been evicted from their offices for non-payment of rent. I tried calling again. All of the office phone numbers had been disconnected.

    But I had the primary editor’s mobile phone number. I dialed and prepared to leave yet another voice mail. But he picked up.

    “Oh, yeah, hey, sorry to have been out of touch. Yeah, there was a cash-flow issue that cropped up and so we’re looking for new offices, but don’t worry. We’ve got an investor stepping in next week and we’ll be able to publish and get you paid.”

    I’m glad to hear that, I told him, but if things don’t work out there’s still time for me to take back the story and sell it elsewhere to cut my losses — but only if I can get it placed by the end of April. The news hook will go stale after that.

    “OK, yeah, great thinking! Let’s talk next week!”

    A few days later, I (and the rest of the subscriber base) got an e-mail containing a snazzy digital version of the magazine. There was my cover story in all its digital glory. The e-mail announced that the printed version would follow shortly.

    It never did.

    Of course, now that the story had been published digitally, no one else would buy it.

    I invoiced again, and all of my e-mails bounced back as undeliverable. That editor’s mobile phone number? Disconnected.

    When I went to the courthouse to check into filing a small claims case, I discovered 17 or 18 summary judgments already existed against them over the previous year. Seems they never bothered to send anyone to respond to those filings.

    Did I learn anything from all this? Yup. Never, ever give up Christmas or family time to work.

  10. Lacy Pierce says:

    Just several months after I first became an SEO writer, this one client invited me to write orders on his team. As you can probably guess, I was more than happy to accept.
    From the first order of his that he completed, he did almost nothing but criticize my work. Initially, it was subtle, like lightly getting onto me for not being quite concise enough. When he showed me his first two edits, they were actually quite vague. Then it escalated when he asked me to revise an order without telling me the specifics that needed to be improved. When I asked him, he just made the excuse that he was too busy to read over it again. Then I took an order about ADHD and what could be done to alleviate it. I actually know a lot about ADHD because my best girl friend has it at the moderate level. So I wrote it in a way that emphasized medication last, and in a rather clinical tone. That was what I was still familiar with as I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. My father has a Master’s degree in it and tends to talk in a clinical tone as well. I will admit that I did make the mistake of not researching for it.
    To my utter shock, the client took a very high offense to it and threatened to throw me off the team if I wrote another one like it. I told him about my friend with ADHD but he only said that my friend “would have been appalled”. As if he was pretending that he personally knew my friend and about the my relationship with her! I threatened to report him to the site staff if he talked to me any further and exited his team right then and there.
    I have since had only one remotely similar problem with one other client. The hyperlink box, for some reason, doesn’t always work on the site. It was one of those times so as I usually do, I let the client know and copied the link letting them know where I’d used it in the message. Most seem to really appreciate it when I do, too. But this one, for some reason, got VERY angry and rude with me, blaming me for making the mistake on “my” article. He also coerced me not to write the last order of his I already had in process. That time, I didn’t hesitate to report him to the site staff with all of the evidence I had.

  11. Jerome says:

    My worst writing gig so far.

    I was one of the contributing writers for an expat niche related magazine. I worked on three articles that were supposed to run for that particular month.

    However, lady boss some how found it wise to pay me for the only one article, for reasons best known to her. I trusted her from the beginning, sicne she is one particular client I have worked for without need of a binding contract. It didn’t cross my mind that she would ever go against her ethics and principals. But this time around, she showed me “whatsup”. I played it cool and let go.

    Moral of the lesson, depending on who it is, relative, friends etc always have a binding contract signed. Because people change when it comes to money.

  12. Paul Haluszczak says:

    This contest could not have come at a better time. My story began on February 11th, 2019 and ended on June 3rd, 2019.

    tl;dr — Always draft and sign a legally-binding contract.

    It all started with an ambiguous email from a client who has reached out to me off and on over the past two years. The requests have always been small in scale and easy to complete with payment always provided within hours of submitting my work.

    The first email I received in February stated (note, English is the client’s second language):

    “Hope you are doing well.

    Please let me know how much would you charge for a sales copy e-mail with business offer for cooperation to translation agencies / companies. There’re no particular requirements as to the word count, etc. The purpose of the e-mail is to offer cooperation (i.e. outsourcing translation work they get from their customers to a different company – of course, at a lower price that they currently pay, with quality guarantee or full refund, etc.) to both big and small companies in U.S. translation industry. For the start, to the ones located in or near Los Angeles, CA.

    P.s. Please let me know if you have any questions. Please feel free to text and/or call me.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you soon!”

    Of course, I needed more details to offer an appropriate quote, so I requested as much:

    “I’m not completely clear on the request being made.

    What I understand is the customer requests a translation from Business A. Then, Business A outsources that to Business B and pockets the difference.

    The email you would like me to write would be from Business A to Business B offering this partnership?

    Are there any particular talking points Business A would like included? It’s a bit difficult writing such copy without any background knowledge.”

    The conversation went cold until May 20th when he reached out again saying:

    “Could you please provide me with a quote (price & timeframe) for copywriting texts for the website.

    There’s no fixed number of words – approximately +/- same volume as currently they have. I will provide key points that need to be mentioned.

    Looking forward to your response.”

    I was on a work trip at the time and was unable to reply before the client, less than 24 hours later, sent another email, expressing his urgency:

    “Please let me know whether you’d be able to write texts for said website as mentioned in my yesterday’s message and e-mail? If Yes, please let me know approximate price and time frame.

    Your timely response would be highly appreciated.”

    I reiterated what I expressed in February:

    “There is too little information for this project to quote you an appropriate price.

    In general, I have adjusted my pricing given an increase in clients I’ve taken on this year. I’m now charging $X per 500 words.”

    His response (from a different email account oddly enough):

    “Thanks for your prompt response.

    I’ll get more information from client and will get back to you with more details on word count, etc.

    Quick question. Is your new rate just for copywriting or rewriting, too?”

    My quick response:

    “All of the above. I’ve discovered rewriting takes just as much effort as the original copy provided is normally too low of quality.”

    The client responded (now from a third email):

    “Sounds good. I’ll get back to you as soon as I have more information from the client.”

    After not receiving a response for six days, I received a phone call from the client who wanted an update on my quote and said the work needed to be completed as quickly as possible.

    Now the story gets fun. I told him I didn’t have enough context and he reemphasized I had free reign and could suggest any pages/copywriting I deemed appropriate. He showered me in praise for previous work and said to simply provide a quote and I could get to work. I told him I was uncomfortable moving forward with so few details, so he set up a three-way call via Skype with the individual who wanted the work completed.

    Acting as translator, my point of contact connected me with a Russian-speaking client he was serving. Through what seemed like rough translating done by my point of contact, we all agreed on a price that included copywriting, design, and keyword research—a total of four hours of work.

    I said I could turn around the work in 48 hours and he was ecstatic saying “you are saving my ass.”

    During the afternoon the next day, my main point of contact calls me via Skype once again with the Russian-speaking client on the line. We have the same exact conversation, agree on the same exact price, and I move forward with the work that evening.

    Once the work was completed, the Russian-speaking client didn’t like my suggestions for the website design and requested edits be made, which added two hours to my work—which I added to the original quoted price. I submitted my final work and invoice to then receive the following email:

    “Thank you so much for your great work…as always…quality is amazing.

    I’ve forwarded your email to the biz owner. Everything is great, however, he has a question:

    As you e-mailed me before (and I’ve forwarded your e-mails to him), $X for 500 words, if I’m not mistaken.

    1st doc is 476 words

    2nd doc is 671 words

    Total for two (2) documents, i.e. word count, is 1147 words. If we multiply this by $X per 500 words, we get $Y.

    If the biz owner is correct, please re-issue the invoice for the correct amount. If he is not, I’d appreciate if you could elaborate.

    Thank you for your great work.”

    Here comes the fun stuff. I respond:

    “This work was beyond the scope of basic copywriting, hence the price. In total, I spent six hours on the project, since I had to research ideas, keywords, and webpage structure.

    Please let me know if there are more questions.”

    This was unsatisfactory according to the Russian-speaking client, who had my point of contact communicate the following:

    “I’ve talked to the business owner. He said that he placed this order based on your quote, i.e. $X for 500 words, and on my recommendation that I like how you do your work (I had to convince him since he said that $X for 500 words is still a high price). According to his calculations based on your quote the price should be $Y for 1147. He also said there was no mentioning of any additional expenses like hourly pay and if he knew you wanted to charge extra $Z, he would have gone elsewhere.

    The good news is that he needs more texts (for some he has specifications) and if you are willing to write them for $X per 500 words, he’ll place his new order and will be ordering in the future.”

    I know not to continue relationships like this, so I didn’t really care about future work and responded with the following:

    “I specifically said during our conversation on the phone and over email that I would do the project for $Z. There should be no confusion on that price point.

    This was not a per word project given the ambiguous nature of the request.

    You asked me multiple times to confirm the $Z.

    The added work after the client decided he wanted to keep the old website structure for Example is a burden he chose to bear given his lack of specifications.

    I’m willing to negotiate the second submission, but the $Z is what needs to be paid for the first round.”

    Naturally, the next response I received was less than positive:

    “I’ve talked to [Russian-speaking client] and he said he is willing to pay $Z. However, he also said that since you never mentioned word count for the $Z project and he did not think it’ll be by 860 words less than originally quoted (which is almost two (2) times), you’ll need to make some adjustments and corrections to the texts you submitted based on his guidelines.

    He will also submit his new order as soon as we can confirm price per word and no extra fees.”

    I was having none of this, so I responded with the following:

    “[Point of Contact], this has nothing to do with what I communicated. It’s what you communicated to him from me. We agreed on $Z for a project that had zero specifications other than “increase my quote requests.”

    There was no word count in the project and writing only consisted of half of the work I had to put in. Once again, the $Z doesn’t even cover the full work.

    This is why I originally urged for more details to be laid out before starting. But, I mistakenly trusted to move forward thinking we could all honor our word here.

    Let’s do the $Z and move on.”

    The breaking point for me was finally reached with this monster of an email, which contained all of these complaints about false information and misrepresentation when I was given zero context to work from. Reminder, I never received a word count, testimonial requests, keywords, etc. All of the information below would have made for a wonderful assignment if provided at the beginning:

    “I’ve reached out to [Russian-speaking cleint] and here’s what he said (he clearly mentioned he contacted some other copywriters):

    (I) Texts for Example

    1) Text for certain website sections is missing (and in the phone conversation he specifically mentioned he wanted text for all website sections and pages)

    2) Concept of Boutique is absent in your texts

    3) Services are misrepresented (FT are just doing translation and nothing else)

    4) Prices sections is inconsistent and misleading with current information available on the webiste

    5) Testimonials – one of reviews misrepresents services (FT does not write sales copy)

    6) Testimonials – missing one (1) testimonial which is available on current website

    7) About Us – mistake in the last sentence 2nd word (supposed to be are instead of our)

    8) About Us – he considers this an average text, which needs to be re-written in a more unique way and he has some thoughts

    (II) Texts for Example2

    1) 120+ words (from the doc you submitted – total doc wordcount is 476) are not text for the website, i.e. more text is needed for the website

    2) Text for certain website sections is missing

    3) Testimonials are missing four (4) more testimonials (in our phone conversation he said he mentioned he wanted seven (7) testimonials for this website in total)

    4) About Us – he considers this an average text, which needs to be re-written in a more unique way and he has some thoughts

    (III) Due Diligence

    He said – QUOTE: “Tell Paul not to consider me a fool. I know he wants more money for less work. When we discussed project price over the phone he did not say that he would want to charge for 860 words (at $X for 500 words) that he would NOT write. And $X for 500 words is much more expensive than competition. And this is not reminding of the extra $Z (when original invoice amount was $A). He also did not say what will be done for $Z – so a reasonable person would assume he’d write appropriate number of words at a quoted price of $X for 500 words. If he originally said that I’d get what he sent, I would never agree”. He also stressed out that he decided to go with you regardless of high price ($X for 500 words) since I vouched for you (I said you will do a high quality, very unique, written in a language like no one else work, and that no extra fees and/or surprises would come from you).

    To summarize it all, he offered two (2) options:

    1) $Z provided that all of the above is complied with (I.e. (I) and (II), including more text (including for website sections that are missing in submitted texts) and rewriting of About Us for both sites and, if applicable, other website sections as mentioned above).

    2) $Y (i.e. for current word count at $X for 500 words as you quoted). He also mentioned that in this case he’ll have to correct submitted work at his own expense or completely replace it with somebody else’s work. He also said that if his clients are ever unhappy about any service(s) by providing reasonable arguments like above, he always corrects them for free.

    Please let me know which option words best for you and we’ll go from there.”

    I threw in the towel and said:

    “New invoice sent. If there is any work moving forward, it will require signed contracts.”

    I expect to never work with this client again, which is a huge relief. And, I’ve learned a valuable lesson in the process. Never do work that is unspecified or without a written contract, regardless of the amount being paid, which in my case was rather insignificant, but enough to demand the appropriate amount.

  13. Heather says:

    SO, when I was looking for work-from-home jobs and before I knew what kind of writing I wanted to do, I started trolling Upwork for jobs. *GASP* The horror, right? I was hired by a husband and wife writing team at $8 for around 1,000 word articles. As if the pay wasn’t bad enough, they needed a part-time editor and many of their clients loved my writing so they hired me. Well, the husband was like me, retired law enforcement and we got along well but I don’t think the wife was thrilled with me. Essentially, they would load me up with work for meager pay ($700 a month) and she didn’t like my editing because she expected me to know all the knowledge in her head and edit exactly like her. It got so the ding alert of a email message made me cringe because I knew it was her. I ended up getting hired by a print and online media company who was going to pay me $.05 a word. (I thought that was hot stuff!)I wanted to give them plenty of notice so I gave them a months notice and she got made and told me that that day was my last day. They didn’t believe that I was getting a whopping $0.5 a word and said that was the highest I would ever be paid. (Now that’s laughable.) They left me high and dry with no income for a couple of weeks and I had already quit my other job. Needless to say, I learned a valuable lesson from all of this like don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. They honestly thought that they were paying their writers well.

  14. Tamara says:

    My worst writing job

    When you are a writer, nothing goes as smooth as you want it to be.You will have plenty of amazing and beautiful experiences, but you will also have a few horrifying experiences, or if you are a lucky one none.

    As any writer out there, I have had a bad freelance writing experience.
    One time I was working for a very demanding client that made me even hate my job at some point.
    I was helping him to write a story. I worked for weeks, day and night, I was getting too little sleep and too much headaches.
    But I had that thought in my mind that it’s gonna be worth it…
    But,no it wasn’t!
    After we were done I was so happy and proud of my work.
    He was happy with my help too, he said “The payment will be in your bank account in no time, my assistant is headed there right now. ”
    I waited for a whole week and no word from him.
    I emailed him, but no reply.
    I called him but his phone was off.All the time.
    He gosted me!
    I was so confused and frustrated at the same time.
    I hated him, my job and myself.
    Afterwards, I just gave up.
    If he wasn’t good enough person to appreciate my work, I wasn’t gonna get on his level and make a fool of myself.
    I found another gig and moved on.
    So if u were in my position you know how I feel, but if you weren’t, don’t worry when something like this happens,
    It’s just a part of the life.
    Nobody said it was gonna be easy, but I say one day it is going to be great, and you will deserve it.

  15. Dipo Shennaike says:

    I had this seemingly great client that hired me for a series of articles, mostly product reviews. I enjoyed his patronage for about a month until the day he gave me a special assignment. He wanted me to write a 5,000-word article within 24 hours and he attached an irresistible pay to it. First off, I had to postpone other assignments. I could not also go for a friend’s wedding because I had to finish the job within 24 hours.

    In this part of the world, power is not stable so I rushed to buy some fuel for my generator. I got the job at around 10am on a Saturday and sent it to him around 8am the following day. He didn’t get back to me on it until the fourth day and that was unusual. His feedback has been the worst email I have received this year!

    It was a killer one-liner. “Am sorry, the management no longer needs the article because our marketing plan has changed”. My brain stopped coordinating momentarily. I stayed glued to the laptop for about 5 minutes not knowing what hit me. I don’t know how many times I refreshed the page hoping the words will change. I kept checking my mails throughout that day, hoping that I’ll get another email from him telling me to disregard the first one. Such email never came. I lost appetite for the rest of the day.

    I had already planned how I was going to spend the proceeds from that job. I wasted a considerable amount of money to fuel my generator, I wasted more than 12 hours because the article took a lot of research, and I missed my friend’s wedding. It demoralized and destabilized me so badly. Before then, I had heard that freelance writers face a lot of rejections but nothing could have prepared me for that knockout. A couple of days later, I sent an email to him asking for compensation. He never responded. I tried to chat with him on Skype but he didn’t respond either.

  16. JoAnne Garries says:

    I have had a lot of bad ones, too. This was a recent one through Upwork … I know, but it’s much easier to say no when you have food in the house. It was for comedy writing for a woman who is a keynote speaker who wanted to ‘punch up’ her speech. The talk is all about her escape from poverty and war in her African country. Hilarious. I gave her a great couple of jokes in the beginning and then tried to ‘punch up’ some of the material, but it was not an easy subject. She was not an easy client, either.

    She was to speak in Australia and I had used a lot of topical material, local quirky words and sayings and some well-known reference. Plus, I made jokes about them and her not understanding, because clearly, she didn’t.

    Why would you take a beautiful dish of Crocodile Dundee and then just throw it at your barbie?

    She was the expert on what was funny and when I told her she would be fine, to just trust the joke and let the audience decide, she said ‘they don’t like it either’, even though she’d never met them.

    I rewrote them several times, but the material wasn’t lending itself to humour. ‘Hey, how about all that female genitalia mutilation?’ Ha ha

    We went back and forth for several days and she did finally pay me but she took the fun right out of my funny.

  17. Frank Phillips says:

    I absolutely hate writing for payment when published. There is a national religious printing house that pays that way … if they pay. I know, we shouldn’t submit to those places but you live and learn, right? One time, I submitted a story about Paul Harvey, the broadcaster, making an appearance at a men’s convention in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma. They used my information in brief and I don’t think I got paid. On another occasion I spent hours doing a piece with photos on a man from England who decided to go to college in the States. He had worked for a utility over there and save his money for years just to go to college for a year over here. The magazine never published my story. The editor said the ms. got lost in a drawer. “Sorry.” Yes, I was sorry, too.

  18. Marcela Kogan says:

    I pitched a story to Miss Magazine about a singer Ferron, soft rock lesbian performer. I had to pull strings with Ferron’s lover, also doubling as her agent, to get the interview. I agreed to submit questions for Ferron’s review and run the story by them before turning it in to Miss Magazine. I have to admit here that I was a Ferron groupie and would agree to do anything to meet her. Wanting her to like me I asked her questions that would highlight her relationship with her lover and wrote about how she became a singer and how her life was great. I felt important going to her concert that night and wanted to show off that I had interviewed her and looked forward to going back stage after the show to greet them. I am appalled thinking back because I wrote then and still do now for business magazines about controversial topics. The story was a puff piece, as a friend called it after reading it. But I couldn’t change it, especially after getting compliments from Ferron and her lover. I submitted it to Miss and got a reply that the story did not meet their editorial standards. I felt ashamed at my unprofessionalism when I think about that interview. But I learned to do interviews with celebrities without being vested in how they viewed me.

  19. Bob McCarthy says:

    My start in freelance writing was video scripts for training, marketing and public relations. I would meet with the Subject Matter Experts, interview them, research related company materials and then transcribe my interviews and write a script using the three-column format (Scene Number, Narration and Suggested Images.)

    At one point, I contracted to write a script on the process of disassembling, inspecting and re-assembling the gas turbine engine for a helicopter. My daily drive to the plant to meet the SMEs was 90 minutes round trip. It took me four hours a day for a week to interview them and then another ten days to write the script.

    When the script was completed, the producer and I met with the SMEs who had their own copies. We spent the better part of a day in a conference room as the SMEs nick picked over punctuation and assorted minutiae, all the while the producer reminding them that this was a video script, meant to be spoken and not a novel, meant to be read.

    I never knew if the video was made.

  20. Maria says:

    I began freelancing by editing novels for an Australia-based editor. We had a great relationship to begin with. At first, it didn’t bother me that I was getting half a cent per word. I’m India-based and of European origin and just to be earning was great. As time went on, I noticed that the jobs were getting worse. Horrible spelling and punctuation didn’t begin to describe it. Plus, whenever I found a piece of work from a nice client, I didn’t get asked to work with them again. The clients sent repeat work, but I noticed that the ‘Ed’ had a stable of freelancers and someone else would get the nice work next time. One day, the ‘Ed’ informed that she had recommended a client to work with me exclusively. I was thrilled. But there was no change in the rate. I worked on several novels for this writer but I couldn’t understand why the rate hadn’t gone up from when I was working on the ‘Ed’s’ behalf. Then I discovered that my editor friend was being generous to her own friend. With my time and skills. She normally charged a cent per word and took half of my fee so I’d get half a cent per word. But in this case, she’d foregone ‘her’ usual fee as her friend was having hard times. This was very upsetting. I felt so abused. Meanwhile a copywriter in Mumbai got in touch for work, paying me a better rate for copywriting, but requiring a quick turnover. I decided to do the Mumbai client’s work immediately and do the editing work when free. Unfortunately, the last novel I returned to the client was a nightmare. She’d decided to call me in on my so-called lateness. We’d never had a contract, so I’d worked at my own pace. She sent me back my completed work saying ‘I don’t want this’. She’d sent her novel to another editor as she’d decided I was lousy. The novel was already up on Kindle. I contacted our mutual editor friend asking what the heck. She retorted by telling me that our writer friend had had enough of my slow replies. She also had the audacity to demand that, after not being paid for a full novel, that I should render a ‘heartfelt apology’ for putting the novelist through this agony. She never got her apology. I was tired of being a cheap option editor, paid lousy money and getting all the difficult work to do. Next time I sourced a client, I prepared a contract and demanded half payment in advance before doing any work. At least I can say I learned from this experience. Never again!

    • Sara George says:

      Hello Maria,
      I read your story about writing. Your story is really inspiring, and you have done a good job by making your career in freelance writing. These days a lot of writers are willing hard to get online jobs, but they become tired at very earlier stage. You are an inspiration for them. Thank your for sharing your career story.

      • Maria says:

        Thank you, Sarah. There is something to learn from every expetience. And if sharing our experiences helps others, it’s a bonus. I appreciate your comment.

  21. Kelly Martin says:

    This story still gets my blood boiling. A client from a freelancing site hired me to edit her resume. She claimed it was decent and that she just wanted someone to proofreading and small edits. I charged her a lower price since I was not going to do a full resume. Once I was done making it nice for her, she decided she wanted to do a whole different format. I told her it would cost a little more and she agreed. Keep in mind that because this is a freelancing site, the money is funded but not paid until the client approves the work. So, I redo the whole resume with a nice clear, concise and professional look. She requests a few small changes and I do them. Now the best part – I put in for approval of payment and she denies it. She writes on the denial that she had hired a “whole bunch” of freelancers to do the resume and chose the best one. She never told me this! I told her that because she had me do all that work and never told me she had hired someone else that she should pay me. She was furious! I ended taking the loss and closed the job out. Oh, but it gets even better. She then proceeded to go and leave me horrible feedback on my profile. Worst job ever…

  22. Crystal says:

    I was hired to write a number of articles for an issue of a magazine owned by a hospital group. I went from having to make the editor happy to having to please 12 other people (twelve!) at the group who all made edits and had different opinions and objectives.

    They often edited each other’s edits of my work before it even got back to me. It was bizarre.

    Then, I had to have the individual subjects themselves approve of the things written about them. (So, more than 12 approvals now.)

    I was asked to do so many revisions, the work was unrecognizable from my first draft. So, during a last round of edits/rewrites, I turned in MY ORIGINAL DRAFTS. They didn’t remember them, and they loved them, were all enthusiastically approved, and used in print.

    I could not believe it.

  23. My “best” example happened a couple of months ago: I’d been writing regularly for this small hospital close to three years, and for the first two of those years they were a great client. Then along came new management, budget cuts, repeated payment delays, and one change in the rules after another: I was going nuts. I finally told them I was quitting, and they begged me to reconsider, even agreed to a one-year contract with set terms as a condition of my staying.

    Three weeks later … you guessed it, another shift in policy, this time a decision to discontinue all use of freelancers. It wasn’t a total loss, though: I not only got paid for all the work I actually did, I got a 50% kill fee for the last batch of assignments I hadn’t started on yet.

    Incidentally, another of their former freelancers emailed me a couple of weeks later, looking for someone who could tell her where her project-assignment liaison had disappeared to without a word of explanation. Moral of all this: get a long-term contract whenever possible, preferably specifying advance payments, kill fees, and anything else that will keep you from getting burned if the client reaches a point where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I don’t blame anyone in particular for the above fiasco: it was mostly the confusion of too many changes (not least staff changes) too fast. From some of the reviews I read online, their clients were as frustrated as their contractors.

  24. Matt Robare says:

    A few years ago I was approached at an event by someone who followed by writing already and asked to write about local real estate development and construction for their startup. After turning in one or two articles I asked about payment and they started making excuses.

    They said they loved my writing, they asked me to make a presentation for an event they were putting on for the development industry and they said they loved that, too.

    At first I had some other work to keep me going, but eventually it became clear that despite their resources for their office and events they had no intention of paying me. So I stopped working with them. To add insult to injury they then advertised for a content writer at $50,000 a year. I still don’t know why they decided to treat me so terribly.