How to define legitimate freelance writing jobs

The fact that the word legitimate is used in the title of this article suggests that there is some doubt about the authenticity of some freelance writing jobs. What does this mean? Well there are different basic areas in which we can consider the legitimacy or otherwise of a freelance writing job.

  • Will the freelancer be guaranteed a payment?
  • Does the job really exist?
  • Does the employer really know what they want?
  • How is the job being advertised?

Of course there is always the possibility that the freelancer will provide a poor standard of work. Who decides whether or not the work is a poor standard is something that needs to be considered but assuming, for arguments sake, that this is the case, why should the freelancer be guaranteed payment for their work? Many would argue that they should not receive payment until the standard of quality of their work passes muster.

But if you are working through an agency, they will operate a financial system known as an escrow account. This is akin to a solicitor’s trust account. The employer pays the agency the agreed fee for the freelancer and the agency holds the fee in safekeeping. Once the work has been accepted by the employer, the fee is paid. This type of operation is certainly one way to define a freelance writing job as being legitimate.

There are scams in all aspects of business online. Freelance writing jobs are no exception. If you follow the basics as outlined in this article, you greatly reduce the chance that the freelance writing job you apply for is a scam.

The job may be legitimate but can still go pear shaped because the employer does not really know what they want. This is an experience which every genuine freelancer dreads. They read the brief for the job and make application. They win the bidding war and complete the work. However, the employer is not happy and points out the mistake or mistakes in the freelancer's work. The freelancer scratches his or her head because they simply do not understand the criticism. It may be a legitimate job but that doesn't mean that the employer really knows what they want.

One of the best ways to test the legitimacy of a freelance writing job is the source of its announcement. If it appears on a well-established, reputable website, a legitimate freelance writing website, chances are it is a genuine writing job. The reputation of the freelance agency is just as important to the agency as it is to the freelance writer. Both have a vested interest in seeing scams and dodgy jobs being eradicated.