How Can a Writer Find Legitimate Work from Home Jobs?

by WorkFromHome on September 13, 2011

If you want to turn your penchant for writing into a part-time or full-time income, you may be wondering how to find legitimate work from home jobs for writers. There are many firms online that pay a meager wage, and still more who will never pay you at all. You may even be wondering if there are any legitimate companies out there looking for writers. Of course there are! Separating the real companies from the scams and low-paying runaround sites is something all fledgling writers go through. Here’s how to find the right companies for you.

Start Searching

Using a search engine, type in phrases such as ‘work at home writing forums’ or ‘content generation writers’ to bring up a list of hopeful sites, you’re not looking for the sites themselves just yet. You’re looking for what other writers are saying in public. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. Use one column to jot down sites that other writers are espousing as legitimate writing jobs and use the other to note sites with several complaints against them. This will give you an idea of where to start.

Check Out Individual Sites

Once you have a list of eight to ten sites with good reviews, start at the top and go back to your search engine. Type in the company name and some other watchwords like ‘scam’, ‘not paid’, or ‘complaint’. In another tab, open up the site offering work and read its terms of service. While a lot of the complaints will be from those who simply did not understand the website’s terms, others will be genuine. For example, if a website usually pays on the fifth and didn’t pay until the seventh due to a holiday or weekend, you can disregard the complaint. However, a writer that can’t get a response from the website and has been waiting weeks for their money should be taken more seriously. Use your own judgement when it comes to the veracity of a complaint.

Go to the Site Itself

Once you have a site in mind that might work well for you, spend some time checking it out. How long have they been in business? What does their terms of service say? Will work be published under your name or the client’s name? Be sure you fully understand and agree with the rules of the site. Don’t be seduced by a flashy website. Some of the best, most respected writing sites on the internet have simple, clean sites.

Pay very close attention to the wording on writing-for-pay sites. The tone should be helpful, but not self-aggrandizing. No legitimate work-at-home site trumpets that you will make thousands of dollars a month with little to no effort. A legitimate site will want a writing sample to see if you’re a good fit for them, and will also ask for a method of payment to be set up. They will never ask you for money to work. All legitimate sites will, however, require your Social Security Number (SSN) for tax purposes. Some won’t ask for this until you’ve made money on their site, but asking for it upfront is completely normal.

Apply and Write

After going through the application process, you will gain access to the site itself. Most sites have a forum or message board system, so be sure to peruse it. Write a few assignments and then stop until you receive payment, even if everything looks legitimate. Once you’ve received full payment, feel free to write as much as you like according to the site’s guidelines. Don’t hesitate to contact the site administrators if anything goes wrong. Legitimate sites will always respond within a few days. Congratulations, you’ve found a legitimate site!

Branch Out

No matter how awesome or well-paying a writing site is, you will want to have more than one. After all, the site could close tomorrow. Any site can fold. As freelance writers online often have a list of favorite sites, ask other writers to steer you to other legitimate writing sources. Apply your healthy suspicion to new sites as well, no matter who recommended them to you. Never depend on a single site for your entire income.

Writing for the web at home can be a very fulfilling career or a part-time job, but it is largely what you make of it. Finding legitimate work from home sites is largely a matter of practicing due diligence and having a healthy amount of skepticism. This process will help you find the right sites for your talent.

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