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Freelance Writing Job Ads: Warning Signs to Look Out For


Many writing gigs are advertised daily on job boards such as problogger, freelancewritinggigs and Craigslist. Though many of the adverts are legitimate, there are some employers who use such platforms to take advantage of ignorant freelance writers. Here are some of the red flags you need to look out for when it comes to writing job ads:

1. Numerous adverts on a daily basis

It is normal for a client to advertise the same job on several job boards every week. However, when job boards are flooded daily with adverts from the same client, it should raise a red flag. Why are they so desperate for writers? Are they paying very little? Do they keep losing writers every day? Take time to carry out some research on the client before sending in your application.

2. Too many exclamation marks

Quite often, you will find adverts such as ‘Work at Home!!!!!!’ or ‘Live your dream!!!!’ When you find an ad with too many exclamation marks, it is probably a scam. This is why the advertiser is trying so hard to get your attention. However, it could also be a genuine client who is just trying to be dramatic.

3. Promises ridiculous earnings

It is true that there are many freelance writers making a decent living working from home. However, some job ads will promise you earnings which are unrealistic. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Asking for money

At times, you will come across ads which require you to pay some money before getting the job. When you come across such, run and don’t look back. Clients should be paying for your services, not you paying them. However, there are some genuine job sites which require you to pay for membership. Take time to establish the legitimacy of such sites before parting with your hard earned cash.

5. Vague ads

When you find a job ad with very little information, it probably means that the employer has something to hide. In such a case, proceed with caution. However, having vague details doesn’t always mean that the advertiser is up to something fishy. Some genuine clients might do this on purpose to prompt interested parties to visit their site.  

6. Free samples

Some clients ask applicants to submit free samples first before being considered for a job. In several cases, this could be a genuine procedure to establish if someone is a good fit. However, for some unscrupulous people, it is simply a way of getting content without having to pay for it. Before submitting a sample, ask a few questions. What happens if it not accepted? Will you be able to submit it elsewhere?

7. Quantity over quality

Some job ads will mention that they are more concerned more about your ability to write many articles than your skills. Such employers that don’t care about quality are most likely low payers. Working for them will not only earn you peanuts, but have a detrimental effect on your reputation.

 See also: Freelance Writing – How to Stay Revitalized

These are just some of the warning signs you need to look out for. Take the necessary precautions to avoid falling prey to scammers.

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