What are the best ways to identify and avoid freelance writing scams? Our guide outlines all the red flags and warning signs so you don’t get cheated.
There are many freelance writing job scams. Within a few years of looking for freelance writing jobs online, you can quickly sort good, evil, and ugly. However, if you are just starting out in the freelance writing industry, there are a couple of red flags to consider when choosing freelance writing jobs.
Avoid Freelance Writing Scams: Red Flags
- Mega Dollars: If you are promised thousands of dollars a day / week / possibly even a month, go easy. Sure, there are freelance writing jobs where writers charge thousands a month, but these opportunities will come from networking and contacts rather than accidental, anonymous publication.
- Little or no experience needed: Ok, there may be freelance paperwork with little experience, but refer to number 1 before you go on.
- Spammy Ads: Employers don’t really have to beg to get employees.
- Pageviews and exposure! New Company!: Okay, this may not be a scam in itself, but it’s probably an equally risky use of your time. If a new company, webzine, or blog network can’t pay anything ahead, keep going . This is not the place to “make your fame”. You cannot pay your lighting bill with “exposure”. If you are only paid for the traffic generated for your items, be careful.
- Fuzzy math / fuzzy details: regarding the above, do not be satisfied with a potential employer who is not dealing openly with you. Fees and responsibilities should be discussed in advance and openly.
- Fuzzy identity: No potential employer that is on the rise will hide behind the net. You should be able to gather information about the company, the people it serves, and what it does in a few emails.
- ‘Send us samples‘ request: some samples are required – But a request for many, many samples are a sign of a scam. You should also not create custom samples. What you could say about this potential employer: “I might be able to give you a paragraph on your topic, but I just don’t have the time to write an unpaid article for the opportunity to hire me.”
- Bad reputation: You should be able to get a feel for what other freelancers think about the company with a little research. Check out your favorite blog communities and author forums. Ask around.
So where are the good jobs, you ask? There are many creative recruitment agencies and offers online. Over time, you’ll find the most trusted sources.