How To Easily Uncover Freelance Writing Job Schemes
As you continue your journey as a freelance writer, no matter where you are located, you will eventually come across job scams. Over time as you get used to searching for writing work online, you'll also get used to the tricks that less reputable sites use.
For those of you that are new to the world of freelance writing, we'd like to help you immediately learn some of the biggest red flags to look out for when searching for freelance writing jobs.
1) Promising a Large Payday
The first thing to be careful of is companies that promise you will earn large amounts of money every week or month. Plenty of freelance writers do earn a significant amount of money. However, that is after building a career as an established writer and finding better opportunities through a network of contacts. If you are a new writer, then it is very unlikely you will earn thousands of dollars a week or month when first starting out.
A company offering new writer's high levels of pay is at best overselling the opportunity or at worst a scam. Investigate thoroughly before doing any work, they may still be legitimate to work for, but the pay may be far less than advertised.
2) No Experience Needed
Everyone must start somewhere and that means we all had no writing experience in the beginning. However, some freelance writing jobs that require no experience may be taking advantage of your situation.
If a company is seeking inexperienced writers, it could be a sign they treat writers poorly (which established writers wouldn't stand for), or perhaps the pay is low. Whatever the reason do your due diligence before committing to undertake any work.
The freelance writing industry is extremely competitive. This means there is an abundance of writers of varying quality. For this reason, most employers don't need to spam potential writers with multiple messages to work for them, essentially begging. Any company that is constantly messaging you to work for them may need further investigation.
4) Exposure Doesn't Pay The Bills
On occasion, you may be asked to write a piece and not get paid for it upfront. Quite often new ventures may do this to save initial setup costs. Instead, they offer you to be credited so increasing your exposure as a writer or some will offer payment based on the traffic that your article has generated.
Although not really a scam, doing this type of work won't help pay the bills. If you feel the opportunity is worth it, then go ahead. However, try not to do this too often or spend too much time on these projects as in many cases you won't earn anything. If you decide to "write for free", check out the RWJ Resource "Should You Write for Free" before making that commitment.
5) Vague Conditions
Two things any employer in any industry should be clear about is pay and responsibilities. If you are negotiating with a potential employer and they are evasive about these questions, then it is probably not worth pursuing.
Legitimate companies will be transparent about who they are, where they are, and what the opportunity entails. Their website should allow you to easily see all this information. If it is hidden or not shown at all, this is an indication they may not be reputable.
Sending in samples of your writing is perfectly acceptable. Writing samples become unacceptable when the company asks for numerous samples or entire articles to be written. Keep in mind the time you spend doing samples is unpaid.
With that in mind remember one sample should be enough for any potential employer. If the employer insists on more or on whole articles, you may need to investigate them further before continuing with the application process.
8) Check Reviews
Before working for any company search online for any reviews. Other freelance writers will write about their experiences either in forums or blog communities. Look for these reviews and use them to help formulate an opinion about the company.
Freelance writing jobs are popular and there are many sites offering work. Let's reduce time lost on work that may never materialize by keeping these tips in mind.
Concentrate your efforts on legitimate writing work and become an established freelancer. Need help? RWJ has you covered with some important resources to get you started on the right foot. Explore the RWJ Blog Digest by category each month for the latest tips and advice.