I work as a freelance writer. I took some time off from working for clients to pursue some other interests and now I'm trying to get back in the game.
So, I've been on some writer job boards and even some major job boards (Indeed, Linkedin etc). The other day I see this job posted, it's in a niche I am extremely knowledgeable about and the listing looks top-notch.
I go through all the hoops to send samples, attach my resume and answer their list of questions thoroughly. I feel good about this one. I've pitched and applied to 100 different things in the last month, but this one gives me a shot of confidence. "Nailed it" I think as I go about my business.
Yesterday I see that my portfolio has received many views - even better I think! Woohoo!
This morning, I sat down with my coffee and opened my email. I see a message from this company and I think awesome! I read the first paragraph. We are very impressed with your knowledge and writing samples and we think you will be an excellent fit for this job.
Woohoo - hearts soaring. We've had a lot of unexpected expenses lately, ill family and just a lot of stress - so I'm thinking fantastic, this will ease some financial stress.
Then I get to paragraph 2. "I'll be honest, this is an unpaid job but you can put affiliate links in all your articles ...... SNAP. Needless to say, my otherwise peaceful self then had a mini meltdown on this guy and told him off for not posting that the "job" was unpaid on the listing itself and that he's not honest he's a fraud and he is wasting the time and resources of people who need actual work.
If this was a one off thing, I'd just suck it up, but now these cretins are invading actual, big name job boards. If I wanted to be p***ed on for pennies I'd go to a content mill.
So, thanks for reading the long rant. I know many of my fellow hubbers also freelance on the side and I figured you'd appreciate my extreme levels of frustration. lol.
I've wanted to take a crack at freelancing for a long time, but stories like this are a big part of what stops me. Is it typically this much of a hassle to line up with a client?
Sorry you wasted your time. I hope something better comes along soon.
In all honesty, my best clients have been ones who have found and approached me. I've had a few through HubPages even. Back before UpWork took over Elance, I did find a few good paying jobs there too. Of course, you have to sift through a lot of junk to get to the good stuff and there is a great deal of competition.
What angered me in this situation was it was an Indeed job posting. People pay to post jobs there - but they can't pay people to work for them? I think job boards should be in trouble when they allow postings like this.
This person did not state that it was an "internship" or any kind of thing to make me believe it was unpaid. That's deception. I'd expect things like that on Craigslist, so I never use it, but on a major job board? That just really made me angry. I'm reporting it to them and hopefully they'll remove the post, but similar things have happened before.
I don't want to discourage anyone though from freelancing. If it's what you want to do, by all means go for it, but know that this is going to be a possibility. Also, it's much more competitive now than it used to be. I recommend targeting a specific niche to at least cut down on some time wasted searching. Also, I may go back to cold pitching, which I hate, but it seems to render the best results.
If this had happened to me, I would have reported the poster to Indeed.
I don't freelance, but if I did, I would try to find work with well known, credible writing venues such as magazines that have been around for a long time that you know aren't going to rip you off.
Writing is a tough way to earn a living, that's for sure. Good Luck.
Similar thing happened to me recently. A guy in Tokyo wanted people to send him useful travel-related articles and failed to mention he wasn't planning to pay people until after I'd sent him my portfolio and cover letter! It's crazy. There's nothing worse than telling artists and writers to "do it for the exposure".
I visit job boards every morning rain or shine. It is getting more and more difficult to find legit job offers. I have found some but very few and super far between. Blogs like HP are more appealing because I continue to generate money after posting and the article is mine.
With that, I suggest continuing to visit the job boards. The legit jobs are there but watch out for too many hoops and such. I avoid those. I have gotten a feel for the ones I think are legit. I have my own red flags. Someone here wrote a great article on watching out for red flags. For the life of me, I can't remember her name.
By the way, I have replied to those unethical snitches with some pretty strong emails. BOOM!!! They deserve it.
I used to find freelance jobs on elance and also until a few months ago on upwork. I had given up on freelancing a bit during the merger and when I got back to upwork it took me a while to get the first job, but after that I was being invited to jobs and had to keep rejecting offers due to the workload. GIve upwork a chance maybe?
Thank you for sharing your valuable experience on writing. Above all the frustration you had. This is a valuable information for me. Thank you again from Nepal
Congrats that you got positive views from your readers, I wish I would post something like you did and get some jobs online but never did. I don't have that talent
A lot of it is pure luck. Someone who had a niche site read an article of mine and wanted similar content so it worked out well for both of us. I know other hubbers have had similar things happen that turned into long-term gigs. If your hubs are top-notch, promote them. If they aren't, fix them up and then promote. It's more of a marketing yourself game these days then top-quality writing sadly.
Aren't most freelance writers working on Upwork (formally Odesk) these days?
The ones who want to sift through a lot of garbage to find decent pay rates. I don't like sites like that - the bidding drives down prices and I don't work for peanuts. I used to use Elance a few years back, but I found it tedious. Most of your better-paid freelancers are not using sites like these.
I have done some work there. It's okay. I don't go looking for jobs, they come to me. I turn down far more than I accept because many 'employers' seem to think writers are so desperate they'll work for peanuts.
Welcome to America - the first country in the world where I got offered a dozen jobs, asked about the salary, and told I wouldn't be paid.
My daughter heard the owner of a major, international IT corporation tell his senior staff to get ad many of their junior staff to work gratis. He said that the less they paid their staff, the more they would be paid. That was 2005.
So, yes, if there are people willing to work gratis to 'get experience' snd/or 'pay their dues,' why pay anyone?
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