Woes of Freelancing

Good morning peeps,

Today I thought I’d share some words of wisdom with all of you about freelancing. There are days like today where it sucks terribly. You see, I have an account on a couple of websites where you can get freelancing work. Most of these sites are above board and tend not to be the problem. It’s the users that can be scumlords…

When I first signed up to one of these websites, I received a message from a random guy asking me to do a task. He didn’t introduce himself nor why he needed this work done. The man just said “do this for me” without having any sort introductory message. I promptly ignored this scammer for two reasons. 1) You never approach a freelancer without a proper introduction of some kind. If it were a situation of being part of a newsletter, an email back saying first, “I enjoyed your most recent newsletter post because…” Why? It shows your engagement with the writer. Only after that point would we, the freelancer, consider any future offers with you. 2) The guy didn’t have a picture or written profile. If there is no picture or profile of any sort, do not, I repeat, DO NOT blindly accept their offer! This is just common sense.

Someone read an article I did for a website a while back. She asked me if I would be interested in doing a piece or two for her magazine. I did my due diligence and looked at what types of content she produces, what the theme was, how likely it was to be a paying gig, etc… In the end, I responded back with a thank you for the offer and politely declined. With it, I cited my reasons, which basically broke down to the idea that I did not want to come across a person that believes in a particular topic. The woman responded back in the vein of ‘thank you for getting back to me’ and ‘perhaps in the future there will be something you might be interested in’. This kind of interaction left that door open for future projects without being an ass. It’s all about networking folks. Just because one offer doesn’t fit you, doesn’t mean there won’t be better-suited ones later on.

This brings just to the reason I titled this “Woes of Freelancing”. Last night, I thought I hit a boon. One of the websites that I look for freelancing work had a posting right up my alley. It was a request for a video game review. There was no picture. There were no mentions of the company they worked for nor what style of game. Naturally, I asked for the genre and what style of review they required (professional more neutral toned or with humour that gamers would appreciate). The ’employer’ reached out to me within 20 minutes. I found out the ‘new’ game that required a review, and the process needed to be completed in order to do so. This gave me a zillion red flags.

  1. The guy had no picture.
  2. He had the last name of Smith (I’m usually skeptical of such a generic name).
  3. The review is for a game I’m already playing (therefore NOT NEW).
  4. He hasn’t said what games journal he writes for.
  5. I shouldn’t need to make a new account in order to play.
  6. The posting said that people who bid on the project don’t need to have video game experience.

If none of that brings up red flags to you, let me explain why freelancers ALWAYS need to check things before taking on jobs.

  1. The game Warframe has been out for years as a free to play first person shooter. It is developed by Digital Extremes which is located in Ontario Canada. The developers JUST launched a new frame a few days ago (meaning they aren’t working on something new just yet). Because I know all of this, I knew that the link provided in the email was likely to be a redirect. Also, unless it was for new paid DLC content or a whole new version of the game, it would have been specified in the post! Since this person neither works for DE nor has shown any sort of credibility, it raised flag number one.
  2. I searched for the guy and his potential games journal. Since I have safe search off, I saw a number of websites that have no affiliation with the game or its developers. There were a number of porn sites that came up when I typed in “Warframe, game reviews, ‘persons name.'” Flag number two is glaringly obvious.
  3. The employer only has email verified and nothing written in his profile about what he does, what his skills are, or anything. He has no portfolio. If the person doesn’t provide some sort of information about themselves, that’s a good reason to be skeptical.

Needless to say, I retracted my bid, but I’m furious. While Warframe has elements that just outright anger me (like there is no tutorial in the game. So when I first started playing, I almost threw my computer out the window because I had no idea what I was doing.), the game has lots of potential. If Digital Extremes wants feedback on their game, I can tell them what I do and don’t like about Warframe. And I can do this in a manner that is well thought out and respectful. Seeing as I do write for games media, I make it a point to write articles from both sides of the fence. If any of you read my review of Secret World Legends you’d know that I like the new changes. If you went to see the reviews on the Steam page, you’ll see many people did not. That said, in my review, I talked about reasons why Funcom took the new direction, while still talking about the flaws it still has. Therefore, I’m not going to write some 1000 word review on a game that is already out, to a schmuck in Croatia who seems to have no affiliation to Digital Extremes or games media. I have more respect for video games than that guy.

So peeps, if you freelance remember some key points so that you don’t get stuck in a bind.

  • Always follow up with the people
  • Ask questions to protect yourself
  • Do your due diligence
  • Don’t automatically trust everything that comes your way. Err on the side of caution. This is the internet after all.
  • Don’t be sheep. Report the assholes.

That’s all I have for you peeps today. Be awesome and I’ll talk to you next week!

Also, Happy Belated Canada Day and Happy Independence Day Americans.




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