As a freelance blog writer and ghostwriter, experience forced me to learn the hard way. The following terms and conditions were put into place not only to make my life easier, but also to ensure the best balance of quality and price to you, the client.
Why these terms?
As a client, you are entitled to the best possible quality of service at the best possible price. As such, anything that could negatively impact the quality of the writing (or other services) you order, or which could cause me to have to raise my rates, should be avoided at all costs.
Quite simply, it was done in order to ensure that as much of my time as possible is spent writing and/or working, and providing the best possible service for my clients – while minimizing the risk of not getting paid (it has happened in the past). Being able to focus for longer periods (without distractions) not only ensures better product quality, but it also allows me to be more productive, which in turn allows me to maintain my low rates.
Selling my time means I am selling a limited commodity – and as such, as little as possible of it should be wasted.
Sorry if any of these terms come across as harsh or blunt – but experience is a brutal teacher.
1. Payment terms
50% deposit in advance – regardless of the size of the order. Larger projects can be broken down into sections, and payments/deposits for each section can be handled separately. The remaining balance is payable upon satisfactory completion. If no request for fixes or changes are made within 48 hours of delivery, it will be assumed you are happy with the content, and the final payment will be due.
NOTE: If you expect to be en route or unavailable at the time of delivery, please let me know beforehand so that we can arrange accordingly.
Payments for services are accepted via PayPal. if you don’t have a PayPal account, a payment link can be emailed to you – which you should be able to pay with a credit card.
If you prefer, payments can also be made – using a credit/debit card – into a local (South African) payment processor.
2. Time frames
Depending on the size of any specific batch of work you send to me, and my current workload at the time, we will agree on an acceptable time frame for completion.
Work will commence once the deposit has been paid, and all the necessary information has been supplied. Please don’t send any deposit until you have supplied all the relevant information. For a normal blog post, this can be as simple as a title or topic, a keyword(s) and expected word count. For copywriting work, it will depend upon the scope of the project – which will be discussed beforehand.
3. Fixes and re-writes
If any item of writing is unacceptable for whatever reason (it doesn’t happen often), please return it to be fixed ASAP while the job details are still fresh in my mind.
NOTE: Before starting any ebook project, we will agree on a framework for the content. Alterations outside the scope of the agreed framework cannot be seen as “fixes”, and will be subject to additional compensation.
4. Research material
Depending on the niche and the depth of what has to be written, you may be required to provide research material (if the information isn’t freely available on the internet).
When your credibility depends on the quality of the content you put out, it has to be good. If it falls outside my area of expertise, it can only be as good as the research material you provide.
5. Unacceptable projects
Creating anything that will harm other people in any way is unacceptable. Ponzi schemes (real network marketing is fine) and snake oil remedies are out. Fiction, religion and politics as subjects or topics are not accepted. The desire to become a target for some extremist hacker (it has been known to happen) or aspiring terrorist eludes me. Lastly, please don’t try to hire me to write your college assignments.
On the one hand, speedy communication is essential. If I happen to have questions or suggestions, having to wait for a day or more for an answer is not good for either of us. Yes, I can work on something else while I wait for a response to an email – but jumping back and forth between subjects and niches isn’t good for the quality of the final product.
On the other hand, please don’t hire me if you are a micro-manager – the type of person who expects me to spend more time communicating with you than I spend writing your project (unless you are willing to pay me by the hour, including the time spent on communications). Communications take up time – and my writing fees aren’t calculated by the hour. If you feel you need to send multiple emails per day (after we drew up the framework), and/or continuously make changes on the fly, please find someone else. In order for me to maintain sensible prices, consistent momentum is essential.
7. Services NOT included
The following items made the list partly because of the time consuming distractions they cause, and partly because of limitations in my capabilities (regarding graphic design).
Adding content to websites.
Hunting for images.
Content planning and keyword research.
If you require (2), (3) or (4), we can negotiate fair compensation – depending on your exact requirements.
8. No arguing with clients
While constructive criticism and/or advice will be offered where it can improve the outcome of your project, your right to ignore it will be respected. You have the final say over your project, and it’s your prerogative to make your own choices.