Recently, I went through a ton of writing leads with still quite a few to go. I like to mix up content companies with private clients so as some are changing or going under. Anyway, there are a few companies that have been around for a while buuut...
there is something that should not be overlooked. Free work.
Now, everyone should have clips, even if the work is unpublished or rejected (you can always revise for the next set of eyes). I, personally, don't have a problem sending a prospect a 100-200 word sample.
Anything else is a waste of your precious time!
Article Marketing, BKA Content and Scripted may operate on the up-and-up but I will never know because they want samples of 500 words or more. No bueno!
In the near future, I will add to this list of people/companies to avoid.