How to Vet Potential Freelance Writing Clients Online

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How to Vet Potential Freelance Writing Clients Online

Paid freelance writing is a growing sector that has attracted millions of young people worldwide. A profitable venture, the industry is experiencing unmatched growth. Kenya alone hosts more than 500K academic writers. While the number is rising and scammers are becoming more tactful, how do you vet potential freelance writing clients online?

Here is how I do it in 10 ways.

Verify credentials

It begins with knowing whom you’re about to work for. I always ask myself, does this person have a verifiable phone number? What do their emails look like?

We may not tell precisely whether an email address or phone number belongs to a scammer, but some are easy to flag.

For instance, once I see an email that looks like from someone who claims to be John Richards, I know that’s a scammer. So, I don’t commit to the deal.

In short, assess and verify the potential client’s credentials before committing to an offer. Invest your time in researching the person’s reputation.

Look for reviews

Reviews are my favorite tools for determining whether a potential freelance writing client is genuine or fake. Before working with anyone, I would look for reviews on them.

Why look for reviews? Because you want to learn the person. You want to know what people say about them.

I would engage and learn from the experiences of writers who might have previously worked with this potential client. If the person scammed other writers, why would they spare you?

Check social media

Another way to vet a potential freelance writing client online is by evaluating their social media profile. Search on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or other social media networks.

Is the person visible on social media? How old is their profile? What information do they make public for the online community? Does the lady or gentleman have genuine connections? Who knows them? 

Legitimate clients are well visible online. They also have verifiable social media profiles complete with a clear profile picture, contact information, and other important personal data.

Evaluate online presence

What do you notice on the potential client’s Facebook timeline? What kinds of posts do they put on Twitter? What do others say on this person’s page, website, or blog? How frequently do they post?

Notice that complaints on the timeline or any suspicious information and a general online absence are all red flags.

Study T&Cs

You’ve done online or offline research and think the person is genuine. Don’t rush. Require the client’s terms of work.

My earlier post below defined the purpose of T&Cs. They are what guide your relationship with the client.

Approach the client with skepticism if their work policy fails to stress your responsibility to provide only quality work to be paid.

Communication trend

Does the person communicate candidly and reliably? Do they reply to emails consistently and authentically?

Avoid potential clients who avoid tough questions. If they’re not ready for a phone conversation, think twice.

I’ve learned that most online scammers avoid direct calls from their target!

Realistic promises?

Be cautious of unrealistic promises. People who make unrealistic promises are mostly dubious. Let’s put it into context.

If a client promises unusually high pay rates, that is a red flag.

On the other hand, do the promises emphasize quality, time management, writing proficiency, and attention to detail?

Feel free to be rude

A legitimate client will not be verbally abusive. By contrast, fake ones fume with anger on learning you’re becoming a difficult target.

Therefore, if the person turns abusive, feel free to be rude.

Seek referrals

As a remote ghostwriter, I vet potential freelance writing clients online by relying on referrals. Getting recommendations can be challenging, but I try to refrain from working with strangers.


Online writing is not the industry to jump into and collect money without doing your homework.

You’ve to find and deliver value to the right people. If you can deliver exceptional quality, genuine employers will respect you.

Denish Aloo

I'm a tech enthusiast with a deep-rooted passion for digital technology and an interest in entrepreneurship. I see endless business opportunities in the modern digital revolution.

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