Craigslist: A Remote Writing Job Scammer's Paradise—or Is It?

Craigslist (CL) should win this year's award for "The Most Writing Job Scams Ever Known to Man". Howbeit, there's no such award ceremony—yet.

Meanwhile, it's up to us—the resolute remote writers—to sift through the frauds to find the legitimate remote writing job ads. Thankfully, we have platforms like RemoteWriterJobs.com that do the leg work and present some of the valid CL freelance writing gigs and post them alongside their own clients' verified ads. Gotta love 'em for that!

For this reason, thousands of remote writers have a love-hate relationship with CL. It's a daunting task, sorting out those bloodsuckers.

As a fairly experienced CL users, I've nabbed quite a few writing gigs from the site, but not without encountering a plethora of headaches. I'd like to turn those headaches into safeguards that you can use for yourself.

Let's dive right into some quick tips.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

BE CAREFUL WITH THE FOLLOWING CL HEADINGS:
  • "Make $50 per article. Sign up today. Start today."

  • “Earn up to $2000 a week writing blog posts!”

  • “Hiring hundreds of top-notch writers immediately

  • “Writers needed ASAP! No experience needed!”

Never reply to ads with hyperbole. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Plus, what person or company will quickly hire you without seeing how well you write? Which brings us to my first point:

Do Not Work for Free

If they ask for a writing sample on a specific topic and by a rushed deadline, you're about to get scammed. A genuine company will ask for general writing samples with no rush involved.

Protect Yourself

Do not give out too much personal information. Verify the job details, company name, or website. Some job posters like to remain anonymous at first—they receive a lot of spam and solicitors, which slows down their workflow. That's understandable. But, until you can identify the person you are emailing, don't sacrifice too much of your own identity either.

That includes your résumé or CV data.

Job Ads with Poor Grammar

We've all seen it. Not just on CL, but other job post websites. Bad sentence structure, missing words, or overall impolite tones that make you say, "Why would I even want to work with you?"

Avoid like the plague.

There's Light at the End of the CraigsList Tunnel

On the contrary, there are many great opportunities on CraigsList that you don't want to miss—especially if you are a new remote writer and need the experience...and cash. Use discernment, trust your gut, and always research the company name if one is provided.

While CL may be a scammers paradise, it can turn out to be a great platform to connect with startups and small business owners who sincerely need inexpensive writers for a short- or long-term gig. So, practice these basic precautions and proceed with care.

Charlene is an instructor, event planner, "forever student of life", freelancer, and Contributing Writer for Remote Writers Work.

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