Craigslist. It’s as popular as apple pie. A movie was made about it. It gets over 50 billion page views per month. It’s translated into 12 different languages. There are over 700 local Craigslist sites in over 70 countries.
But, as popular as Craigslist is, many writers despise the website as it can be a hotbed for scam activity.
While this is true, I found and landed many jobs on Craigslist, and some of the clients I had for more than a year at a time. So, in this post I will teach you how to get the most out of Craigslist while helping you avoid the scams that threaten unsuspecting writers.
This post, which is part 2 of a 3-part blog series will instruct you about Craigslist and how it can aid you as a freelance writer. Part 1 explained how there is life after content mills. In this blog, we will discuss another avenue to earn income so you do not feel “stuck” in content mills where there is a ceiling on your earnings.
How can Craigslist help you as a writer?
Craigslist can help you find and land valuable freelance writing gigs. Craigslist posts more than one million job listings each month…what’s that I hear? Cha ching!
In part 1 of this blog post, I touched on Craigslist briefly. But, knowing the potential for writers, I had to visit Craiglist one more time in this blog post.
Who is “Craig” anyway?
In 1995, Craig Newmark had an idea that a free site with local classified ads and forums could be very successful. He was right! Craigslist caught on immediately.
Since then, Jim Buckmaster became the CEO (Craig is lounging on a beach in the South Pacific I’m sure), and the site makes money. Lots of money! It also helps other people make money, for example, writers like you!
How Craigslist Can Help Freelance Writers
When I began my journey into freelance writing, Craigslist was my pal. We spent a lot of time together and I became familiar with the site. I always thought Craigslist was for buying and selling products until I took a closer look. I discovered there are several areas where writing jobs are posted.
If you’ve never used Craigslist, initially, it can be confusing. But if you take the time and follow my instructions, you will understand how easy it is to navigate and apply to posts where companies are seeking freelance writers.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Initially, you will land on the Craigslist home page, which consists of lists of cities and states… and lists and lists and more lists.
Since I live in Los Angeles, this is my Craigslist home page.
If you want to change the state, click here.
What if you live in New York? Click US states (screenshot above), then click New York.
Now you’re ready to choose your town. For example, let’s click The Big Apple, New York City.
Perfect! You’re in your local area.
If you glance down the right-hand column under “jobs” you will notice “writing/editing” near the bottom of that list.
Click that and you will find hundreds of listings for writers. There, you will find ads for bloggers, copywriters, comic book writers, editors, SEO writers and the list continues on and on.
Since you have to choose a specific area of the country to view jobs on Craigslist, it’s easiest to view ads from your own geographical area. However, you can also search other cities. I would go through all of the major cities and then branch down to smaller cities. Sometimes, those smaller cities offer golden opportunities because many writers do not drill down that deep into Craigslist to find jobs.
Craigslist has another great perk – telecommuting from anywhere in the world.
As a freelance writer, you can telecommute from anywhere, so the world is your footstool. Even if a business seeking a writer is located in Hong Kong, London or New York, you can still apply for the job if they are looking for remote writers.
As you peruse the job opportunities, you will notice that some listings include the words “telecommuting okay.” This means that it is a “remote” position and you can work from home. Yes, in your pajamas if you want.
Here is what it looks like:
There are “covert” jobs on Craigslist!
If you’ve exhausted your search under writing/editing, don’t stop there! Click on “part-time” as well to find some other writing gig opportunities.
There’s still more!
At the bottom of the jobs column you will see “gigs.” There are several sub-categories that you can check for writing gigs, which includes, creative, talent and writing. These gigs tend to be one-off jobs, but they can still provide some nice income.
Don’t forget the discussion forums!
Craigslist forums are listed in alphabetical order so writing discussions are near the bottom. As you read through the writing forums you will gather bit of information on other job listings and websites as well as find clients looking for freelance writers.
Some Craigslist “tricks”
Use Google to help you find more jobs on Craigslist. I query Google to return search results related to writing jobs on Craigslist. You can even set up a Google email alert with this query and Google will alert you with any new results. Cool, right?
I will walk you through this so you understand…
Type into Google “writer” site:craigslist.org
That tells Google to give you all the results from Craigslist that includes the word “writer.”
Query Google with other words as well such as “freelance writer,” “telecommute writing,” “blogger” and the list goes on and on.
Go to Google.com/alerts, and set up a Google alert to email you every day with new results from your query. Just add your email address and set the timing you prefer and you’re good to go.
Now Google is doing your work for you. Can’t beat that!
Let’s have other sites work for us too!
There are two websites that compile a list of writing jobs. The first one is www.searchcraigslist.org. This is a free service that taps into all the writing jobs everywhere in the world that are on Craigslist.
The second free website is www.adhunter.com. This is the same as searchcraigslist.org. You can search all of Craigslist jobs by city using writing related keywords.
Have you downloaded my Free Strategy Guide to winning high-quality clients yet? I compiled all of my proven client-winning strategies for freelance writers into this free eBook. It also has a large section on how to land high-paying jobs on Craigslist and avoid scams. Get it here now!
Finding Writing Jobs on Craigslist – Avoid the Scams
Craigslist scams keep writers from enjoying what could be some decent jobs. So, I would be amiss if I didn’t add a bit of wisdom from my own experience with these scams.
I do love Craigslist. It helped me pay my bills, but its use has also resulted in several sleepless nights.
Because although Craigslist can be your best friend, it can also be your worst enemy. Hidden among the many honest posts and job offerings, are scams that appear legitimate.
As a new writer, I was excited about my freelance writing future. I discovered Craigslist and realized I found gold! I applied to every ad that had the word “writer” in the copy. Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know…and in my eagerness, I believed I could write anything for anyone.
Normally, I’m the “turtle” type. I don’t dash off the starting line and scream through the race. I’m more thoughtful and contemplative and very careful. This time, my blind passion got the best of me and I ran head first into a writing scam.
Several ads asked for a 500-word writing sample on a specific topic. I was more than happy to give them exactly what they wanted. “I could land these gigs,” I thought.
I spent the next couple of days perfecting the writing sample for several companies that requested them. I emailed them. Days went by. Nothing. No response. I wrote to them. Still nothing.
I was scammed. People like this ask writers for unique samples on all different topics. They use those samples for their personal use on their website or sell them and never hire anyone for jobs. Only legitimate companies will pay you for unique samples, or they will ask you for your previous samples.
Yes, I was furious when I discovered what happened. But, I’m happy that I can inform you so you will now be more prepared than I ever was.
Here are some more tips on avoiding freelance writing scams:
- Research the company on the web. Check the Better Business Bureau and “Google” the website. A lot of scams hail from people who are not part of actual companies so be careful of job advertisements that are short, and do not include information on a company or individual requesting the work.
- Beware of job advertisements that include a link to sign up for a service, especially if they require payment. You should never have to pay for a writing job.
- Look for contact email addresses sent from companies, rather than free addresses like yahoo.com or msn.com—which are often used as disposable contacts for scams
- Run an online search for the company or client’s name and the word “scam” to see if anything comes up
What does a scam ad look like?
I perused through Craigslist today and saw these job advertisements:
This ad screams “scam” to me! It requires you to submit a story to them with “hopes” of making money. It also does not list a company, website or any profile information.
Do not reply to ads that are elusive and do not give you specific instructions on what the poster requires writers to do.
Here is one more:
First, if you see an ad in all caps or dollar signs ($$) and it includes spelling errors, run for the hills!
Second, the ad does not mention details about the company. The poster is probably waiting for you to reply to the ad where he will most likely send you a link to a scam website. Could this ad be legitimate? Possibly, but with all of my experience sifting through these ads, I highly doubt it is real.
Thankfully, the scam ads are easy to spot if you are looking for them. Now that you are more aware, you should have no problem noticing them. If it doesn’t feel right to you, go with your gut!
It’s Your Turn
I hope you now realize all of the writing opportunities available on Craigslist and you will take time to search the site for some nice writing job opportunities. And, if you get a feeling that something isn’t right about an ad or it seems to look similar to some of what I discussed here, it’s not worth your time. Move on. There are plenty of legitimate opportunities available.
Do you have any tips on finding jobs on Craigslist?
If so, please share your tips in the comments section below!
ALERT: Don’t miss Part 3 of this Freelance Writing Jobs post series. I teach you more tips on securing jobs! Isn’t that the most important part of your business?
Check out my other posts about freelance writing jobs.
For even more tips on finding freelance writing jobs visit The Ultimate List of Freelance Writing Jobs and 100+ Paying Websites.