Guest Post By Michelle Bordage
Being a fairly new Freelancer myself, I’d like to shed some light on what’s out there lurking in Freelancer land and yes, I said lurking! By all means, there is some very legit and prosperous writer/Freelancer work out there in the land of web, but…….
The no contract deal:
You have found an ad on the net somewhere, let’s say Craig’s List for an example. The add is looking for a Freelancer. The pay is not what you would hope to make on this new endeavor you have ventured out to do but you have this fire inside of you to write so you inquire about the ad.
The administer of the ad gets back with you a day or so later and through a few more emails you’re hired!
Oh, happy day!
You’re ready, coffee, research, and in a few hours or so, you have created a masterpiece! Filled with the confidence of a gold medalist, you turn your work in.
You check your PayPal account in the morning because that was the arrangement made, nothing… You then send an email requesting payment, nothing. You my friend, have been scammed.
It is sad that in this day and age we are unable to take someone’s word at face value or (web value), but it can indeed happen. My suggestion for a new Freelancer in this sort of situation, seek a down paymen, such as half now, half upon submission prior to submission of your work.
You pay now, I’ll pay you later:
Surely by now, looking for Freelance work, you have stumbled across this get work scam.
All you have to do is sign up with said company and you are guaranteed work!
You end up spending a good hour filling out all your information, create a bio, why you would be a good fit for said company, the list goes on and on. You finally complete all they ask for and hit that beautiful submit button!
Well it’s not complete, another page comes at you and states for $32.99, (now) you can work for this company!
Do you see where I’m going with this?
There is a lot of this out there and I have noticed it starts to make you think, should I do this? Am I doing something wrong? Is this how this field is played? My answer (through experience) is no. You must weed out your garden to let the roses grow and this is one in the same, weed out the bad, (scams, hustlers, bogus companies) and search on, it’s out there!
Writing contest submissions:
Make sure to read all of the fine print (normally on the very bottom of the page itself).
Some may ask for a reader’s fee which is money to the guy/gal editor who will be reviewing your work. You may also see an entry fee as well. Keep in mind if you win, wonderful but your money will be kept either way, win or lose. One more thing to watch out for in the (fine print) of a writing contest is if it states, “In the event that there are not enough signed up for the contest (entries), prizes will not be awarded”.
Don’t get scammed, look for the fine print.
Watch out for cybercrime!
Above I mentioned (fine print), I can’t state this strongly enough!
Be very careful handing out your credit card information!
There is a ton of spyware out in web-land, and these thieves are professionals just waiting to jump on a (newbie) opportunity! If you feel that something does not look right, read right, move on. Believe me, this is not a chance worth taking.
Send me 2,000 words explaining a certain topic for review:
I’ve seen this one a few times. You might get a gig/job with this company if you (for free) write a said amount of words for some subject or another for their review and then, (they will let you know via email if your writing works for them).
Talk about giving away free content!
Don’t be pulled in with this work for free scam.
What you can do:
There are many Freelancer groups on Face Book, get involved, ask questions, some of the members of these groups know the ropes very well and most love discussing their stories of “the good, bad and ugly”.
The Freelancing world is a vast one with many needed services. Remember, the (good, legit) gig’s/jobs may take some experience and knowledge. Learn by research, in this day and age everything is at your fingertips on the web. It’s all there and a lot of the knowledge is free if you’re willing to take the time to learn, for example, a grant writer will make more of an income than a blogger in most cases.
Look, there has to be a bottom line here, and it is mostly reading the fine print, (on the bottom line). Emails you receive with offers, Craig’s list, and companies that want your hard-earned cash to (let you in), don’t care that your desire is to be a Freelance writer, they (know) you do!
They prey on the weak and inexperienced and sleep very well at night. Don’t let this be you!