I got an email overnight with the subject: I am looking for an experienced article writer.
The message said:
I am impressed by your writings and the content you post on your blogs.
I was also looking for a Quality Technical Writer who may provide me similar quality articles.
I can provide you the content which you have to write in your words.
I need an engineering manual written on Mechanical Engineering subjects for which I am willing to spend around $100 to get these 100 pages written.
If you are interested, you may just Apply your Bid on the project posted below:
On successful submission of first assignment, I may offer you more such jobs ahead.
This email turned me off from the very start and I knew I wouldn’t be taking the role. The answers are in my response back to this person:
1. You addressed this “Dear Friend” which indicates you’ve sent this to a lot of people, not just me. You probably harvested addresses from a website or two.
2. I set the rates – you don’t. I’m the service provider, you’re the client. You don’t tell your doctor how much you want to spend do you?
3. You don’t indicate the currency you’re talking about but I expect you’re looking for cheap labour which isn’t what you’ll get from me. IF I was to do this job I would be charging considerably more than $100 as it would involve research to ensure I am writing factual information irrespective of the content you may provide.
4. 100 pages will take me a lot more hours than what your $100 can buy.
Mind you, it’s not a topic I know anything about so highly unlikely I would take it on anyway. And I am not a technical writer. But I wanted to highlight this email in my blog today because I’m pretty sure there will be others who receive it, either Virtual Assistants or other bloggers who may be wondering if they should take the job.
Had this been a genuine enquiry (which I doubt this was) I wouldn’t have responded this way either but it did get under my skin a bit. Generally clients will make contact to find out if you can do a particular job and how much would you charge? How long do you think it would take? And do you do anything like that? Had I been asked those questions I might have taken it more seriously, and particularly if the email was addressed to me personally, or not even addressed at all. But ‘dear friend’ when this person doesn’t even know me?
I thought this might help anyone new working online to know what to look for or how to look at an email like this if they are approached.
Have a great day!