Sunday, March 30, 2014

How To Avoid Scams When You're A Writer


[photo courtesy of jonfeinstein]

 As a writer, it's not unusual for me to come across scams as I look for work. I've little doubt in my mind that we've all been swayed by people who claim they can give us the world. You want work - any work - so badly that you're willing to take chances with shady characters. How can one be cautious when the wish to succeed is so strong?

1. Make $$$$$

I won't lie - some writers do make big bucks. However, you aren't going to make what you want right away. Some companies try to lure you in by offering you truckloads of money, or "$$$$$." If you see a post with a line of dollar signs on Craigslist or a similar site, stay away. This is probably the most obvious clue that the job offer is not kosher.

2. Online Interviews

Staying safe as you look for freelance writing work includes watching out for online interviews. This is a big scam across the board - it doesn't refer to writing exclusively. You might be contacted by a person who wishes for you to install Yahoo! Messenger on your computer. The idea is that you will talk to a person through a chat room at a set time. Legitimate companies will want to talk to you in person or over the phone. Don't give them your personal information! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, stop and notify the police.

3. $3.00 For 500 Words

This isn't a freelance writing scam in the sense that somebody is trying to trick you - be that as it may, it's still something to look out for during your search. If you take on jobs that pay poorly, you're going to exhaust yourself. If you have to write ten articles a day just to hit the ten dollar mark, you're going to lose out in the long run. The quality of your writing will suffer, and you may give up before you've had a chance to grow.

The life of a writer isn't wrought with hazards on every corner, but you shouldn't let down your guard. When you look for your next gig, think before acting.


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