What to Say When They Ask for Samples You Don’t Have

There’s a common catch-22 that many writers get caught up in.

The scenario goes like this: You’re ready and willing — eager, even — to take on paid projects. But you can’t land a paid project until you have writing samples to show. And you can’t get any good writing samples to show until you land a paid project.

In today’s article, I’m going to share Steve Slaunwhite’s strategy for dealing with the dreaded request for samples when you don’t have any samples to show … or when you feel like the samples you do have are either too old, not relevant, or in some way not up to snuff.

But before we get into his simple, 3-tiered strategy, I want to challenge your thinking a little bit … 

Tear Down Your Own Obstacles

I want you to take a good, honest look at whether or not you’re really having a hard time moving forward because you don’t have samples or if the fact that you don’t have samples is providing you with an excuse not to move forward.

I suggest this because many freelancers who are just about to get started, or who are about to start something new (like exploring a new niche), find ways to put obstacles between themselves and their goals.

People do this naturally because it provides a safety net. As long as you can point to an obstacle that’s holding you back — like a lack of samples, for example — then you don’t have to face the real question of whether or not you can make it as a freelance web writer.

The longer you put off starting your new business or your new web-writing venture, the longer wild success remains a possibility.

Once you start putting one foot in front of