Freelance Writing for Graduates: Don’t Fall into Traps of a Scam

We all know why you are here: you are a graduate who has spent thousands of dollars for education and who starts thinking of recouping all that cash.


Freelancing seems quite a good idea, doesn’t it? It becomes even a better idea when you start thinking about freelance writing jobs: being a student, you have a rich writing experience thanks to all those papers, essays and other assignments you are asked to complete in college. Moreover, thanks to the Internet and many online job resources it’s not difficult for a graduate to find a freelance writing job today.

Here are just some of them for you to try:

They can be used for creating a portfolio, finding a database of clients, posting your writing projects to let clients find you, and making others hire you. If these options are not enough for you, you can always try to use your writing skills for:

1. Blogging

Many cool blogs accept texts from guest contributors and are ready to pay for their writings. You can always check and find them on the Web and offer your services. If you consider yourself creative enough to start your own blog – just do it! It can help you build your online reputation, and you can use your blog’s posts as writing examples of your work for potential clients and future employers to estimate your writing skills when needed.

2. Editing academic papers:

You are a student and you are definitely good with writing academic papers; so, you can use this skill and choose online writing jobs where you’ll help other students deal with their writing assignments. But get ready to complete many different tests to be selected for this kind of online job.

3. Taking part in different writing contests

Many websites and communities organize contests for writers from time to time. You can enter and win it! It will help you get some money to make ends meet; plus, you will have something to mention in your resume now.

Finding freelance writing jobs is not difficult today, but you should remember that not all online writing jobs are GOOD actually.

We live in a cruel world. Yes, man. And the ugly truth of life is, many “businessmen” use such young and naive fellows as you are to take your work and make some money for giving you nothing instead. They are scammers. Scammers who look for inexperienced freelance writers, and there are thousands of them online.

How can you protect yourself and not fall into traps of a scam? Signing up for freelance writing jobs online, take these details into consideration:

Unsplash / Pixabay

Do not pay anyone to teach you write!

You are new on this market, so there is nothing wrong with the fact you are unsure about your writing skills. You may have some doubts if you can deal with that exact task, so you don’t see anything wrong with the situation when they (clients) ask you to go through some “trainings”. You pay some money to improve your writing skills to find out… you are still not qualified and they can’t accredit you to such an important job.

C’est la vie. Just do not ever pay anyone who promise to teach and hire you afterward. You are a freelance writer, and it’s NOT YOU who pay clients. They pay you.

Never send them a complete sample!

Sometimes a client asks you to complete a writing task and send them a full article as a sample “to get a better idea of your writing style”. That’s a trap! Big chances are, they will use your completed task as a ready work without paying and saying “thank you”. Even bigger chances are, you will never hear from this “client” again.

Never do your writings for free. Refer clients to your portfolio or your blog (if you have one) to check your writing style. Isn’t it still enough for them? Well, it’s time to say goodbye to such clients and never work with them again.

Ignore vague clients!

Some clients are so mysterious! They do not provide you with clear information about the task itself, they are not in a hurry to give you their websites, physical contacts or business names to prove their existence. Such a behavior can be explained the following way:

• they believe, the less you know about them and their business – the better;
• they are new to this online market too, so they just do not know how to represent themselves and explain what they want from you.

Whatever the reason is, run! Such clients will definitely become your headache, as you will not understand what they want from you exactly. Plus, such a mysterious behavior is the first sign of a scam.

So, what are the scam signs for you to be on alert?
  • A client asks you to send a full article to check your writing style.
  • A client doesn’t want to provide you with clear information about their business names, physical address, official website, etc.
  • A client promises to hire you after you’ll finish some courses or trainings to improve your writing skills. Sure, it’s you who should pay for these courses.
  • A client who promises to pay you only after they’re satisfied with the quality of your work (usually, it’s impossible to understand what quality will be good for them actually).
  • A client who promises to pay TOO MUCH money (be careful if some unknown Mr. Smith is ready to pay you $200 for your 300-word text).
  • A client who asks you to send your personal information just after you’ve said “hello” to each other. Don’t become a victim of fishing!

More signs of scammers needed? Check these 9 tips to make your freelance writing job safe.

Author’s bio:

Alex Strike is a graduate of New York University and a freelance writer honored to be a contributor to many cool blogs, including Thesis Whisperer, Uloop and Lifehack. He writes on topics of education, career, writing, inspiration and lifehacks. Meet Alex on Twitter or contact him via Google+.

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