Avoiding Fraud with Online Writing Job Websites

Many freelance writers for the web are surprised to find the amount of time spent searching for online writing jobs. With our current economy the competition for any job is fierce and online writing jobs for money is not an exception. There are tons of legitimate online writing jobs available around the web. However, with legitimate employers fraud can also be found. These are tips on avoiding fraud with online writing job websites around the internet.

Freelance writing jobs that pay can be found through several sources. One of the most frequented source for freelance writing jobs are found through websites that offer to connect employers or clients searching for freelance writers to hire.  The website offers the services of a middleman with the writer and the employer.

Online writing jobs with writing websites
Some of the best online writing websites such as Odesk or Freelancer are several of the safest avenues to locate legitimate online writing jobs. Clients searching for a writer will join the site and submit their writing work request and writers that have also joined the site will generally bid for the opportunity to work with the client for an agreed upon amount. There is generally a flat fee or percentage paid to the website for making the connection. However, even with the website acting as a go between you can still be ripped off and fraud can occur for writers that are caught unaware.

Many freelance writers will assume that a client has been vetted or checked out by the website, but this may not be the case for all websites that offer these middleman services. There are thousands of clients as well as thousands of writers that use these sites. A client may represent themselves as one thing to the site and another to the writer. These are several different ways that fraud jobs with online writing job sites can occur;

Asking for a sample of your work
A client may ask that a sample of work be presented to them before selecting which writer will receive the job. The actual job may be great for a large sum of articles, but a sample of work is requested. With many job opportunities 20 or 30 writers may bid for the same job. A reasonable sample of work is a paragraph or two. At most a half of page of quality work can reveal all a client may need to see for a connection with a writer for a job resource.

There is a way for fraud to occur with client’s that request samples of work. Say a client needs 30 different articles written on the fundamentals of Headstart in early education. The client may need 30 different articles written for the entire job which he can get without hiring anyone for the job.  If 30 different writers send in an entire original piece of work for a client’s sample request the client has achieved his goal and won’t hire anyone. The 30 different unique and well written articles are his to keep free of charge. A client will receive some of the best quality work since each writer is vying for a job that requires some of their best work put forward.

Red Flags to watch for; the client is retaining the rights to publish the work, the same job is posted several different places around the same site, the work order is found on more than one site, the client will only accept original and unique samples of work on the subject of their choosing

Ways to avoid this fraud with online writing jobs-
Advise the client that if the sample work is submitted you retain the rights to publish if you don’t get the freelance writing job.

Advise the client that you have other samples of your work around the web and provide the URL of another similar piece of work from your writing portfolio

Work with a client that has built a good reputation and credibility with the website

Work with a website that posts which writer won the bid and the job. Their name or pen name will be published after the client awards the job for most websites.

Work with a website that has a good reputation and credibility.

Many of the best websites connecting clients and writers will have an avenue for voicing any complaints writers may have against a client that has pulled this stunt.

Asking that you work with them outside of the website
Clients that request that you work with them off of the job website to save money may be legitimate. However, work with them for a couple of jobs through the online writing job website first. A client that is disreputable may pay you for a small job on site and offer to work with you off site for a larger job, but working off site won’t offer the same protection a reputable site can if he takes the work and skips out on paying you.

Red flags to watch for; working outside of the site the client wants a large job, but will only pay at the end of delivery. Wants to immediately work with you outside of the website

Ways to avoid this fraud job with online writing-
Don’t submit a large body of work without getting payment. For an example, if a client is requesting 20 pieces of work or articles written offer to have payment every five articles or after half of the project is finished. You can have the payment coincide with the finished product. Payment for half of the articles after half are finished or payment after each article is completed is a good way to go.

Complete a couple of jobs with the client on the websitebefore working off site.

Ask for references. Clients have references just like writers. A great resource for references is LinkedIn. This is a website that provides references as part of a member’s bio material. Many people working in the freelance writing community are members of LinkedIn. Many of the websites that connect clients and writers have references and reviews for clients as well as writers that are members of the site.

Many great client relationships have been built by meeting on these websites. Personally I have found clients that I have worked with for years meeting through websites that connect freelance writers with clients. I have worked with these clients over time and instead of giving a portion of both of our money to the site we worked together on and off site and I have earned a pretty penny. However, I have also been burned by some that offered me work off site. Putting in hard work for no pay is not the way any freelance writer wants to go. Though, taking the chance to work with a client off site can put you in a predicament where this can occur.

These are a couple of different tips to avoid fraud with online writing jobs. Take this advice and pay heed. Freelance writing for the web can be an enjoyable experience where there is tons of money to be earned, but there are disreputable clients on the web that will take advantage of unsuspecting writers offering wonderful quality articles. Be aware when searching the web for writing jobs of what to look for and ways to avoid losing your hard work.