Why should freelance writers check their spam folders?
There’s one obvious answer: sometimes a legitimate e-mail gets dumped there.
The Great Freelance Writing Project Sitting in My Spam Folder
So I’m scanning my spam folder a couple of months ago and –bam! – I see “possible project with *specific company name*.” Well, it turns out that the specific company is a higher education textbook publisher I’ve done many a project for over the last 15 years.
And the sender of the e-mail? She’s an independent developmental editor hired by that company to manage a project, and she needed freelance higher education writers like me.
The project was interesting and it paid well. We quickly worked out the details and I was off and running.
Plus there’s a strong possibility of more work with her in the future.
How To Scan Your Spam Folder
There is one key technique that will save you a lot of time: only look at the titles of the e-mails. The titles are enough to let you know whether or not a particular e-mail may have been inappropriately booted into your spam folder.
I skim down very quickly (a very useful speed-reading technique), with just light level of attention. I instinctively know what could be a real message and what could be fake.
Definitely do not look at the names of the senders. Many will sound vaguely familiar. Hmmm… Laura Peterson — didn’t I go to high school with her?
How Often Should You Check Your Spam Folder?
I check mine once a day, twice tops. Don’t let it be something you check every couple of hours; that will just distract you from your freelance writing projects and marketing activities.
I get maybe 30 spam a day in my main Yahoo mail account, and 5-10 in my Gmail account (although the Nigerians recently found my Gmail address, so that daily count is rising).
And There Could Be Other Important Things in There
Yes, I found an important work e-mail from an editor, but I’ve also found e-mails from friends, and even information from my own WordPress blogs (like comment notifications). You want to read these, of course, but you also want to mark them as “not spam” so e-mail from those people (or your own blog) goes into your inbox.
Inevitably you’ll occasionally check a spam e-mail, perhaps because you think it could be legit or perhaps because you think it might be funny.
Important: don’t click on links in spam! Just clicking the link could load a nasty virus onto your computer.
Often the bad guys will try to trick you into thinking a link is legit. You can see the true link by hovering over it with your pointer, but unless you’re really savvy about web addresses you can still be fooled.
Do you check your spam folder? Have you ever found anything important in there? Any advice to share?