1. Dispense Advice to People With Zero Experience
A lot of people think that the Internet makes them instant experts. It doesn’t. Years of working in a profession or studying in a school does. Don’t call yourself an expert on anything because you’ve read a Wikipedia article on it. People will find out and they will hate you.
2. Give Tips on “Getting Around” People
One oft-repeated phrase I heard in the theatre industry was that you met the same people on the way down that you stepped on while you were on your way up. This is applicable across all professions. If you are trying to “get around” a person for any other reason but their proven incompetence, you’re pulling a dick move and while karma may not exist, the memories of the people that you screwed are long.
3. Use Illnesses to Garner Sympathy
Most freelance writers are there for a reason, whether it is through sheer talent, not being able to deal with an office environment, or a serious illness. People with a serious illness never play that card unless they really have to. For example, they are in the hospital and are having their family members phone their clients because they are that ill. Chances are good that you bid against a lady with breast cancer on chemo to get that job – don’t use the flu as an excuse for being late.
4. Get Stale on a Long-Term Gig
Nothing bothers your clients like a quality slide. We’ve all done this. You get so used to a job that doing it comes to you like clockwork; the only problem is that it feels this way to your readers after a while as well. Switch up your stuff now and then by changing your voice, introducing some new twists and generally keeping it real. The longer term the gig the more effort you should put into it.
5. Outsource without Telling
Probably the biggest douche move that you could pull as a freelance writer is to outsource your work without telling your clients. The right answer when you have too much work, always, is to call each of your clients and discuss how you can best schedule your deadlines. You may find that some of them are not as time-sensitive as you think and will understand if you have one client that needs something done right now. Just make sure that you go the extra mile for the clients that cut you the necessary slack.