Freelance Writing Jobs for Wednesday, October 29, 2008

by Jodee Redmond

Good morning FWJ Friends! It’s been snowing overnight and I woke up to everything looking like it has been covered in white frosting! I’ve divided up today’s leads between ones that specify that they are telecommuting ones and the ones that mention a specific location. Only a couple of these look like they are on-site opps, and these employers may be open to hiring someone other than a local candidate.

I found this wording in the text of an ad I saw this morning and thought it was worth mentioning as an example of a red flag to applicants: “Make sure to include what you’re currently doing now, how much time you can dedicate to this job every week, and how you’re planning on surviving if we don’t pay you for a couple of months.”

Would anyone apply for this? Feel free to share your thoughts….



Site Specific


Good Luck!


  1. Ann G. says

    I have an employer who sent a check three weeks late, but really spelled my name wrong and the bank refused to accept it, so I had to send it back two weeks ago and still haven’t received the replacement.

    There’s no way I’d go for a job that plans to pay when they want rather than on a schedule.

  2. shellsW says

    @Ann G. I understand that feeling and have gone through something similar. Now that I have learned my lesson *sigh*, I am very cautious on applying for things unless details are said up front when they get back to me.

  3. Ann G. says

    @shellsW – thanks. In this case, it is an employer that I’ve done work for on and off for four years, so the mistake seems abnormal to me.

    I found and read the ad Jodie mentioned. There are many things in the ad that I don’t like. Things like “No guarantees of pay for six months,” “Best if you have a full-time job (you hate),” “be online from 9 to 5 Pacific Time” and finally they have a list of 8 sites where you must or it is highly recommended you have established profiles before they will consider you.

    More over, I actually was once hired to be a writer for this site when they first launched. They only paid for the articles you wrote if they “chose” yours. They posted a list of articles they wanted and then had you write them. If you were picked, you were paid, otherwise, you’d wasted your time. I never bothered.

  4. says

    Haha, I love how it’s been tagged onto the end there, like, “Oh, and by the way, let’s say – hypothetically – that we couldn’t pay you for an indefinite amount of time. Cool?”

  5. Kristen says

    One ad mentions that candidates must be able to type and spell. Well, I sure hope so given that you are looking for a writer.

  6. says

    I tell these folks who want all this work for nothing to learn the business of writing. “Be a writer for a two weeks and see if your offer is fair.” They must think we can turn an article in a matter of minutes.

    I have established some awesome working relationships through the Internet of people I have never met in person. This is what I have determine if they are legit:

    1) Contract
    2) Training Session or Phone call (I have even been paid for these.)
    3) Payment right away through PayPal to keep me blogging or writing articles.
    4) Conintued working relationship
    5) Most important: Are they vague,lack professionalizm at the very beginning, communicate to you like you are a number not a person or the instructions are confusing.

  7. Chris says

    On the job ad–that ad sounds really off-putting, not sure how they’re planning on attracting any qualified candidates with that. Let me guess–they don’t offer any details that the writer would be interested in like compensation, scope of work, etc. but expect every last detail from us. At least they’re honest and up-front about not paying you on any particular schedule–better than just wondering where in the world the check is. I can’t say that I really should need to justify how I’m going to work around not getting paid, while commiting to a given amount of work for the company who’s not making any effort to pay me.

  8. Sally says

    I need some advice for just getting started into writing as a career. A lot of jobs need to see writing samples and I have only one writing sample for which I have actually been paid. Is it appropriate to submit pieces that I’ve written for which I haven’t been paid? Also, I have no idea how to come up with ideas to write just to build up a sample portfolio or blog. Any advice on coming up with good articles? Are there some good websites or books out there for getting started? Even some journalism graduate programs want someone with experience. My bachelor’s degree is in history and I am really finding myself a little clueless trying to make the transition to writing full time.

  9. says

    “How you’re planning on surviving if we don’t pay you for a couple of months”

    …that sounds like a couple clients that I have right now… only they don’t warn you at first! Good grief!

  10. anon says

    Hi Jodee and everyone,
    I just got hired for one of the jobs posted here a couple of months ago and wanted to thank you for all the leads you post on a daily basis. It is appreciated.

    Now, I wonder if anyone might be able to help me out with the process of negotiation. The client asked for my per-word rate, and I said 50 cents per word. He countered with a rate of 35 cents per word, which I am willing to accept. My question is: How do I accept without making it look like I am too eager?

  11. says

    @Jodee: Thanks so much for the job posts, Jodee!
    @Sally: I started with minimal experience also and no writing samples I had been paid for as all my work was in storage.. hiding from me.. somewhere. :) After two months of posting and very few writing jobs, I just signed a three year contract last night for a video-game company as Level Design and Character Creation and have an intern with a fashion magazine.
    The best advice is to keep checking Jodee’s job listings, write up some clippings (unpaid is fine, tho blog links would be better as they are published and can’t be easily stolen) and start a blog.
    What do you feel you have expertise in? What do you enjoy writing about? After writing casually on my blog about just anything, I found out that the link to my blog was actually what drew my current employer to consider me further.
    As far as ideas for clippings? Pick a topic that you are interested in.. Maybe you or a friend has a baby with colic? Google and research tips on how parents can survive this difficult time in early parenting.
    And above all.. Don’t give up. Keep reading other’s blogs, research success stories, and keep writing those cover letters.. No matter how tediose it may seem! :)
    Good luck Sally!

  12. Chris says

    @ Anon–My advice would be to split the difference and make a counter offer. I would assume that the employer would be prepared for this and may agree. If not, you can still accept his rate of 35 cents and avoid looking over-eager while being more confident that the 35 cents was the best he could do.

  13. Cynthia says

    Anon – depending on the subject matter, I’d say .35 a word is a good price. And I don’t think you’d sound too eager by agreeing – someone has to in a negotiation.

    What you might want to do is accept with a qualification for future work or an up front fee. So, I’d take .35 a word if we can raise that to .40 after four articles/ months (assuming it’s an ongoing job.)

  14. says

    Jodee, I’m glad you were able to force yourself to give us some job leads. If I were in your shoes, I’d still be curled up in bed, with my eyes closed. Lol.

    But I’m still glad it doesn’t snow on my side.

    Thanks for the job leads!

  15. says

    @ Sally: For one thing, yes you can send samples that haven’t been published/paid for! That’s how I started. I had next to no published work, but I just started writing, and writing well, to demonstrate my skill. And I started working at a small local newspaper, too. (Even when building, always write quality work because you never know when you’ll need it!) Go to a website like Helium[.com], pick topics you like, and amp up your life experience and interest in the subject when you submit yourself to jobs. That means custom cover/application letters – be vague when it helps, specific when it helps, and make sure you, as Donny Deutsch once noted in quoting a guest on “The Big Idea,” “Put all your chips on talent.”

    The author of Six Figure Freelancer (great book, highly recommended) had only TWO published samples when she started submitting herself to work. Just write, good articles/samples, and good application letters.

    Good luck!

  16. says

    *Oh, and I wasn’t big on a resumé of my writing/freelance work.

    I would say “Although I am in the process of building my resumé, I have had experience in….” and go from there. And then you can mention your interest or life experience in a topic. You can even perhaps say something to the effect of “I would like to do more/break into more writing on X, and I hope to do so at (name of publication/magazine/newspaper/company/blog).”

    Someone will notice your skill through your attached samples or embedded links to samples, and they’ll take a chance on your talent and work ethic and communication skills (etc. etc.)… and especially if they like your ideas (hint: include ideas! Even a brief mention or sentence pitch, it makes you more valuable). Make sure you believe in yourself, work hard, and go for it, and someone will see your talent (because you did “put all your chips on talent,” of course!).

  17. says

    (*wasn’t big on a resumé of my writing/freelance work WHEN I STARTED that is. I could be now, but eh, I’m still not really. I prefer to write a little bit about myself, and then get to the application/cover letter specific to that job.)

  18. says

    I think ad may be a demonstration of the awkward/inappropriate humour they are looking for. Only none of us seem to think it’s funny. The crazy thing is that they may get a response or two to the ad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

CommentLuv badge