What makes a good freelance writing client?

Different freelance writing clients have different needs - and every freelance writer has a different definition of what makes a good client, what makes a bad client, and what type of client you should run from.

Across the freelance writing board, though, I think there are a few things that all freelance writers can agree make a good client:

  • pays on time
  • pays the right amount
  • doesn't argue about why you should write more for less
  • understands the value of what you're writing
  • isn't disdainful of the fact that they need a freelance writer
  • has a product or service you can get behind
  • provides enough information to allow you to write effective documents
What's your definition of a good client?

In my book, bad clients:
  • think writing good copy doesn't take any effort (why are they even contacting a freelance writer?)
  • don't want to sign a contract (I won't work without a contract... so I turn 'em down immediately if they don't agree)
  • don't want to pay a deposit for my freelance writing services
  • talk down to me or behave rudely
  • don't pay on time and have to be reminded after I've sent them an invoice (this has only happened to me once, but it was a pretty substantial invoice, so I was really mad and won't work with them again)
  • they change the terms of a contract by asking you to write something entirely different than what they'd originally wanted - after you've already started work
What's your definition of a bad client?

I often read the "freelance writer wanted" ads, and there are some I wouldn't dream of replying to:
  • they want an unreasonable amount of copy for a small amount of money
  • they appear condescending toward writers (if you don't want to hire a writer, write it yourself)
  • they ask for you to write a custom sample (for free, of course) so they can determine if you're a "good fit" or not
What about you?  What ads are you more inclined to answer?

Please share your comments, and feel free to include a link to your own site or blog!