Being a student, you are clever enough to understand how expensive your college education is and how much money you and your parents have spent on it. Certainly, you try to find some job to recoup that money somehow; and the best variant that comes to your mind is… freelancing.

Why not actually? Thanks to the Internet, it’s quite easy to find freelance jobs and earn some money for study and living. Moreover, you start thinking about freelance writing because you have some writing experience thanks to all those essays, papers and other types of writing assignments you’ve been asked to do in college.

It’s not a problem for a student to find a job online: many resources, such as oDesk, FreelanceWriting, Studentgems, Guru, or eLance for example, welcome young people who look for a writing job; here you can find a database of clients and create your online portfolio to make others find and hire you.

Looking for other options to try?

  • Become a pro blogger: you can start working as a blogger and write posts for websites ready to pay their contributors (they are easy to find online). Or…start your own blog and build professional relations with other bloggers who can help you find new blogging opportunities.
  • Enter writing contests: take part in some writing contest online and win them to get some money and something to mention in your portfolio.
  • Use your paper writing experience: you are a student and you know all secrets of let’s say, write my papers. Join some writing services online to get a chance of earning money, helping fellow students reach their academic goals.

As far as you see, students have enough options to find freelance writing jobs online. But the big problem is to find a GOOD job: unfortunately, there are so many unfair clients and scammers who choose young and inexperienced people to do writing jobs, but they are not going to pay for these writing services. Moreover, working with such “customers” might have a bad influence on your reputation as a writer, preventing serious clients from working with you.

That’s what freelancers tell about such cases. The information has been taken from ClientsFromHell.net, a website where freelancers share their stories and experience of working with unfair and “weird” customers:

Or:

One more real-life story has happened to a woman in Kauai when she looked for her dream job on Craigslist. It was a work-at-home position; the company sent her a check for almost $4,000, asking to keep $200 and give the rest back to their account. Doesn’t it sound weird and suspicious to you?  The whole story had been published at the FBI’s website, and the ugly truth of life is such stories are not unusual…

So, what to do and how to protect yourself from such unpleasant situations? Rhonda Campbell told about the most popular scamming schemes in her article to help freelancers avoid those traps. Let’s make a long story short here:

1. A vague client is not your client.

Never agree to write anything for a client who seems vague and who does not provide (or does not want to provide) all information for you to understand this job clearly. If you see that a client does not give his business name, website address, physical contacts, or even a city where his business is located – be on alert! Such a mysterious behavior can be a sign he is a simple scammer.

2. Never send a complete sample.

Some clients ask to complete a writing task and send them a full article to “get an idea about your writing style”. Never do that: big chances are they will just take this sample and use it as a ready work without saying “thank you” (as far as you understand, they will not pay you; moreover, you will never hear from this client again). Your resume, portfolio and writing samples mentioned there are quite enough for a professional to see whether your writing style meets their expectations.

3. Don’t pay money for trainings.

You are a novice writer, and it’s ok you are unsure about your writing skills. So, you can’t see anything wrong when your client offers some kind of training to improve your skills: you pay them to do some tasks and practice writing before getting a real job, but… suddenly you appear to be not good enough. Remember: they pay for your writings, not vice versa! Never pay anyone who promises to hire you after their career trainings.

4. Ask for money.

Being a novice writer, you can’t ask much money for your work: you have no portfolio, no regular clients who could give you recommendations, no skills; but as soon as you’ve got them, don’t be afraid to ask for more money: if you are a good writer, you will definitely find clients ready to pay you.

More tips needed? Check these 9 signs of a scam to protect yourself and make your freelance writing job safe.

And two last things to pay attention to:

  • Clients who promise to pay only if the quality of your work is good: usually, they do not give you any exact instructions, and you can’t understand what quality will be good for them;
  • Clients who promise to pay TOO much money: yes, there are some top clients on the Web who will do that (as a rule, they do not have to advertise themselves), but if some Mr. Jones promises to pay you $200 for a 350-word text – be careful. Some guarantees would be great here (upfront payments, contracts, etc.)