If you’re asked for samples of freelance writing by a potential client, do share published samples. These can be samples you’ve published on your own – on Medium.com, on your blog, on your website. Or, they can be samples of published work completed for your clients.

But whatever you do, do not provide free samples for a potential client written specifically on their chosen topic.  Any company serious about hiring pays a small stipend, even a fraction of the actual cost, to show good faith and good will to freelancers.

If you’re a company considering writers, please do not ask them to do a test article or sample for free. Why? Watch this video.


Samples of Freelance Writing: Asking for Free Samples Is Not Industry Standard

Writers, companies hiring for freelance work do need to see samples of your work. But they should not ask for free samples of freelance writing. I have had ‘samples’ published by such unscrupulous companies.

Instead, provide samples as follows:

  • Your own website and blog – yes, it is okay for you to write your own blog and use that as a sample
  • Published works – anything published with your byline is great! Do share it.
  • Samples of client projects (with their permission)

Paid test projects, on the other hand, are fine. If a client asks for a sample of your freelance writing work and is willing to pay even a small amount, that is acceptable.

Here’s a more in-depth article I wrote about “writing on spec” – a term which means writing on speculation, or with an eye towards future work. It never or almost never works out. Professional writers, do not write for free on speculation or in hope of getting an assignment.