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Allena Tapia

Freelance Writing Jobs: Avoid Craigslist?

By February 24, 2009

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So, we're chatting below about freelance writing job scams that we've come across, and I'm seeing a couple of patterns. One name that keeps coming up is Craigslist. For those who don't know, Craigslist generally functions as a semi-free classified ad site. I've used it successfully for several personal reasons, such as buying used exercise equipment, or advertising classes that I'm teaching in my community.

Now, I've also used it to find freelance writing jobs. I went through my old freelance writing spreadsheet, trying to glean which jobs have come from Craigslist, and this is what I recall:

  • A book review for a start up magazine (about $250)
  • Proofreading a longish business proposal for an established company (about $200)
  • Complete rewriting of a study aid for the bar exam ($450)

So, you can see that there are some legit freelance writing gigs on Craigslist. But, there's obviously some scams, too. Just keep an eye out for the signs of freelance writing job scams, and you'll be ok. Please let your fellow writers know if you've got LEGIT jobs from Craigslist- leave a comment.

February 25, 2009 at 10:58 am
(1) Wendy Wells says:

I posted an ad on Craigslist offering “Copywriter, Editor, Ghostwriter, Proofreader” services and I did get one legitimate job. A doctoral candidate in need of an editor for her dissertation has hired me for an ongoing, yearlong project. I actually sold myself short since I gave her an academic discount. However, I am hopeful that she will pass my name along to other students and give me a high recommendation.

I am going to repost an ad, although I have had a number of emails from “Steve, Chris, Jennifer, and others” saying that no respectful employers look for help on Craigslist. The gist of the email is that I’m making myself look bad by advertising on Craigslist, and I should go to the employment site they recommend. It’s allegedly from where they hire their employees all the time.

This leads me to wonder: if it is so taboo to be on Craigslist, why are they on there in the first place, and how would any “respectful employer” know whether or not I’d advertised my services there to begin with? The email addresses are blind and no names are placed in the ads. This technique is a sure sign of a scam simply trying to generate traffic to a recruiter website.

February 25, 2009 at 12:58 pm
(2) JSwindell says:

I’m careful about using Craigslist for opportunities but they were helpful in getting my ‘zine started.

I’ll start with the not-so-good. A couple of yrs. back, a lady advertised a ‘No exp.nec’ writing gig. It was an ongoing copywriter project that paid very little and had deadlines of less than 24 hrs. The 1st assignment was a nice workout but she stiffed me about a $1 (via PayPal) and was a little beligerent about assignments I was willing to take. Last year, there was another woman requesting short stories for an anthology who gives me the okey-do when I inquire about the status of the book. I’m thankful my submission was only about 400 words.

When I request samples for my ‘zine, I send th prospectus a free sample (2-3 pages) and welcome all the questions they want to shoot my way.

February 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm
(3) Lindsay says:

I’ve found two great gigs on CL. Both have been ongoing and pay well.

I think you just need to be choosy and careful about what you apply for. I never do spec samples anymore. What a waste of time.

March 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm
(4) Deborah says:

I just got a gig from Craigslist that pays $750 for about a week’s worth of work. But, I must say, many times I apply and get no response. YOu have to trust your instinct.

March 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm
(5) Anne says:

I’ve had good luck with Craig’s List, in fact, one of my best clients (and most loyal referral resources) came to me via CL. I have, however, also run across some icky scams there.

I have a few unbreakable rules for my CL searches:
1) Like Lindsay, I NEVER write spec samples.
2) While I’m willing to be flexible about my rate, I make sure I’m realistic about my acceptable minimum. (That rule alone eliminates most of the ads from consideration, making my search process easier!)
3) I always listen to my gut. If my Spidey sense tells me something’s off, I move on and don’t waste my time. (If an ad is obviously a violation of the CL terms of service, I do my part for all the other users and flag it.)

It’s also a good idea to check the list consistently and often. Good posts can disappear quickly!

March 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm
(6) stacey says:

I use the CL as well and most of the time I’ve had bad experiences on there finding work as a freelance writer. A lot of times most of these companies do not pay you or want to do the “revnue” sharing thing which is basically the more traffic you bring to your site, the more money you make. So, if no one comes to your site, you make no money. I was just let go by a sports blogging site after a week because I wasn’t blogging on my sites enough for them and because I was asking for help too many times. Keep in mind this was not a paying site either and I had just started. So, you have to be careful and be selective with these people. Make sure you get paid for the work that you do.

March 2, 2009 at 11:53 pm
(7) Yani says:

Freelance writing on Elance is working well for me. I started getting jobs when I started working with this Elance guru.



August 24, 2009 at 9:09 pm
(8) sara says:

Gizelle Fashion Content is a good place to find quality work. Instead of going through a freelance site or third party, Gizelle Fashion Content is an actual writing agency. I have written for them a couple of times and receive many writing projects. I did one business plan for a client and I also did a short story for a sci-fi site. They are pretty good if you want consistent work with good pay.

They also need SEO writers, article writers, editorials, novelist and much more. To apply to become a writer, go their site at http://www.Gizellefashion.com

They got a huge client base, so you can never really run out of work! Peace :)

January 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm
(9) Dorine Lester says:

So reading this was very helpful, i am looking for some freelance writing jobs. this is my first time doing this and could use some help, in finding some jobs in my field of creative writing.

January 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm
(10) freelancewrite says:

Dorine- as of this writing, one of my breakdowns on this site is “making money from CREATIVE freelance writing.” Did you find that particular section? You’re not alone, many writers want to write the creative stuff only.

February 20, 2014 at 2:19 am
(11) Arundhathi says:

I found very good clients who assign me regular work. Craiglist is good. But scam posts do really cause a+lot of financial loss.

February 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm
(12) freelancewrite says:

I know, Arundhathi, it is very hard! Best of luck to you though!

May 3, 2014 at 5:35 am
(13) Daiya says:

I need a writer for several projects.
Please contact me at:

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