When you asked to submit a writing sample should you write a new article?
Is it ok to use an article that has had some success?
It depends on the guidelines. Typically a sample just means something you have already written. If they want a topic specific sample it may involve writing something new if you haven't previously written on that subject.
Always avoid providing a new article for an unpaid sample. Some people will solicit samples from thousands of writers...and not hire any of them.
If they can't judge your writing from what you already have, be wary. If they want to be 'given' the free sample article to use...then they are either scammers or trouble in some other way.
If you DO write a new sample, make sure it's something you can re-use and make it clear they are not getting the rights to it. Using a previously published sample is the best if possible.
If you are asking with reference to a freelancing gig. I would say only one word. "AVOID!"
As a matter of fact, I just declined the same request by a client this morning. It is just a wastage of your precious time and resources to write an unpaid sample.
On the other hand, use a portfolio type website (like Hubpages) to showcase your written content. If the client is not even bothered to pay a visit to your given link, how do he suppose us to write an unpaid sample article?
Beware of people who ask for unpaid samples. There are many who ask writers for free sample articles on specific keywords. If you feel they are genuine, you can always write the article and publish it in Hubpages and send them the link. If they are genuine, they will accept this. If not, you will have one more article here. Good freelancing sites like Elance have barred this.
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