Online Classifieds and Job Wires
As a professional writer, you're sure to be looking for job opportunities frequently. Unless you are working full-time at a newspaper or magazine, you probably consider yourself a freelancer. Thus, you'll have to find assignments on your own in a variety of places.
Two of the most outstanding options for freelancers searching for work are online classifieds and job wires. However, it's important that you remain cautious when agreeing to work for someone you may never meet in person, as you can get taken to the proverbial "cleaners" pretty easily by cyber cons.
Below, we look at a few ways to protect yourself and your original works while simultaneously getting the opportunity to write and even making a little dough in the process.
Watch Out for "Scam Speak""Make £500 a week writing press releases!"
"Quit your day job - we make freelancing easy!"
"Our freelancers made over £100,000 last year! You can, too!"
If it sounds too good, it probably is. But don't we all want to "get rich quick"? That's what online con artists hope.
When you're scouring online sources for writing opportunities, beware of people who want to pay you far more than the going rate for an article, press release, or other form of writing. Usually, they will take your creation and never pay you.
Instead of being a victim, make a policy to only deal with people who have verifiable identities, such as those associated with websites or companies of which you've heard.
Always Work Under Some Kind of ContractBeware the online job where the person demands your work "now", because it might be a scam. Though some keyword article writing does, in fact, need to be completed quickly, if you feel like you're being bullied, you probably are. Resist the temptation to write for anyone who seems to treat you without respect.
If you aren't careful, you could wind up doing the emergency work assignments, submitting them for consideration, then never hearing from your "editor" or "boss" again. To protect yourself, always request a contract (or a contractual email, which is usually binding and admissible during cases of litigation.) If the other party is offended or balks at the idea of putting anything on paper, skedaddle.
Don't Give Out Free SamplesYou're not a restaurant trying to entice people to try a new menu item; you're a service provider and you need to pay the bills. So if someone asks you to write a gratis "sample submission", find another editor to work with. Many of these people just take your works, close out their email accounts, and sell the pieces themselves.
Though some legitimate companies won't pay for your initial submission, most will or will at least return it to you without infringing on any copyrights. A good rule is to set up an agreement with your contact person that says he or she will purchase your work if it meets all the requirements. Then, when your work is accepted, ask for immediate remuneration via cheque or PayPal (and don't do any work until the payment clears.) Again, most businesses who are on the up-and-up will agree to this.