Think long and hard before shelling out any money: Some work-at-home jobs will require you to purchase materials or equipment to get started, and while that doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate, it should be a red flag. If you are asked to pay for equipment, make sure you understand what you’re buying, and from whom. Also ask about the return policy for your equipment if your new gig doesn’t work out.
Kelly, I 100% agree with you about staying away from content mills. I would add staying away from Yahoo! voices too for the low pay along with some of the shady posts on Craigslist (although I do sometimes find gigs worth going for). I’ve also had some luck with Ebyline, and a string of luck lately approaching businesses directly about blogging for them resulting in multiple and ongoing work for at least $50 per post.
Many online job platforms such as Upwork.com also have their own system for recognizing and removing job scams. According to the site, many of them involve “employers” who try to pay workers outside the site’s payment system, and engage in some sort of check or money order fraud. For more tips on avoiding job scams on freelancing sites, read about it here.
While you don’t necessarily need much experience to become a researcher, earning the best pay comes from specializing in an area you have some expertise in. And while you may find the research easy, know that you will likely have a set of guidelines to follow. Get the details on my Get Paid to Be A Know-It-All post, and see if the following are hiring:

Hi Justin. I have lost count on the no of your videos I have downloaded on my laptop. I lost my job early this year and am looking out seriously for an online opportunity to cushion the effect on me pending the time I get another job. I am Adewunmi from Nigeria west Africa. But Justin I would like to ask you something which I have asked before but you didn’t reply or approve it. I will like to ask if you are aware of the numerous barrier of payment processing bedeviling we in Africa that engages in legitimate online business. Few years ago PayPal started operation in some African countries including Nigeria but it wasn’t helping for the fact that we can only send payments and not receive payments. So I will like to ask if you could help out on how we in this part of the world take the advantages opened for other citizens of the world. Thank you. You could also reach me via email. I sent Twitter at you sometimes ago also no response. Please try and always be of help because I believe that’s the reason you are doing all this. To touch and affect lives. God bless you real good. Cheers and I will be expecting a quick response.


I am so glad to run across fellow writers who value what they do and will stand up and say so. Far too often we get treated like the “red headed step children” of the creative industries and many of us allow it. I tried ODesk and was not only appalled by the pay rates, but by the attitude of many clients. One of them even said outright that we should be grateful to make five dollars an article (for well researched, 1,000 word pieces) and how their last writer was far too “uppity” for his tastes. Well now, I posted a response that I cannot quote in polite company. LOL. So, thank you, your voice is much appreciated.

[Job Description] Seeking an experienced writer to ghostwrite romance books about 20,000-35,000 words as well as a captivating description which will really entice romance readers. I will provide themes, keywords, details to be included as well as full plots in some cases. In other cases the writer will have to develop full story and well developed plot and characters independently. Books will need to be publish ready, fully edited and proofread. [Requirements] - Must be an experienced writer within the Paranormal & Shifter Romance genre. - Native English speakers with excellent spelling, grammar, and punctuation only. - Content will need to be very CREATIVE, HIGH QUALITY, and 100% ORIGINAL. - Available to discuss requirements through a live call in the Upwork Messages chat room. As a ghostwriter, I will retain all copyrights and your name will not appear anywhere on the work. (This is a contractual agreement that will need to be signed and returned). [Benefits] - Looking to establish a longterm relationship with a writer who will receive regular work over the longterm. - Creative license to pitch ideas and write the stories you love. Please include your per word compensation requirements, a couple of samples of your work in the genre, your favorite author to read, and favorite genre to write. I'm looking forward to hearing from you! less more
Like most work-at-home jobs, the amount of money you make depends on your experience level and any specialties you may have. According to Salary.com, annual salaries for technical support representatives range from roughly $29,600 to $43,300 with a median salary of $34,400 a year. That breaks down to about $16.50 an hour, but again this figure varies widely.
oDesk has put me under supervision based on negative feedback from clients even though my rating is 4.77. One client said that he already had 700 words. When I looked at what he wrote, it was on a sixth-grade level. No research, statistics, compelling copy, SEO keywords, etc. So I had to start from scratch. I ended up acting like a tutor. Another client loved my work but kept disappearing. I asked for her website address, information about her company, etc. She let another week go by then disappeared again. I could go on and on. I think that clients who use the content mills do believe that they can get stellar writing for peanuts. I believe these incidents are blessings in disguise. I’ve had my wake-up call. I follow top-notch bloggers and copywriters and hone my skills continually. It is up to the freelancer to determine his standards and ultimately his worth.

How to Get It: Sylvan Learning (Tutoring.SylvanLearning.com), Tutor.com, TutorVista.com and Tutorzilla (Tutorzilla.com) all offer a good cross section of the kinds of remote-based tutoring jobs out there, and they all have great reputations with students and teachers. Since you will be working with children, you can expect a background check before you are hired.
If you were not able to find luck with the list of jobs I have presented above, visit FlexJobs. This job site has been rated by the Better Business Bureau with an A+. They even provide a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with how they deliver their service. FlexJobs assures that every single work posted is hand-screened to check its legitimacy. This is a fantastic method to find legit home-based jobs without the worries of handling scams.

OK, if you’re really, REALLY hungry and need to make ends meet that month, and that’s all you’ve got currently, I’ll allow it. But otherwise? Your skills and time are worth far more, and there ARE clients out there who will recognize and honor that. Hold out for the good ones. (See: my upcoming article on how we writers need to learn to value (and insist on the value of) our own talents higher than we often do.) 🙂
Working remotely for an established company is similar to working a desk job except you get to work at home. Most jobs require you to chat with customers online or via the phone, but their biggest draw is the fact that you’ll earn an hourly wage and receive a (relatively) steady paycheck. You’ll usually be asked to work regular hours, but you can do it in your pajamas if you’d like. Even better, some companies might actually provide you with benefits.
9. Amazon mTurk – Amazon Mechanical Turk is the lion of microtask sites and you can find data entry work among their thousands of available tasks. Once you register with their site, you can select HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) that sound interesting to you; sometimes, you must complete a qualifier to land the task. You’re only paid if your work is accepted. There can be some shady tasks listed on mTurk, so be careful and don’t pick up any HITs that feel wrong. Payment is made via Amazon gift cards or through bank deposit.
I worked as a freelance academic writer for about 5 years and Uvocorp was one of the 7-8 sites I worked with. I totally agree with Norbert. Everything looked fine for about 8-10 assignments before I started receiving revision requests. I had them review their comments and remove fines for the first two revision requests. However, I just gave up when I got the next seemingly senseless plagiarism remark. I was not sure if it was unintentional from their part, but I felt annoyed and disappointed by then.
Thanks for this list. It is really helpful. I recently decided to try freelance writing, and I was accepted for an online writing gig site. This acceptance has boosted my confidence to much. Just to know they liked my writing sample and said yes means a lot to me. Now, I am sure I can apply anywhere, and even if it is a no from others, I still have my yes to hold on to that keeps me going. Great post.

At PrepScholar Inc, you can become an ACT and SAT tutor. The company offers picket-friendly and custom online SAT preparation help for students. The process of teaching starts with an evaluation of the student’s weaknesses and strengths to form personalized learning programs aimed at addressing specific areas of a leaner’s struggles. The learning is usually done via Skype or through a software of the same kind.


Thanks so much for reaching out to me! I’m so happy you are thinking about freelance writing! It really is a great way to work at home! As for your questions, clients won’t be bothered if you contact them in the evening. I work with clients in the UK, Germany, Tel Aviv and more! So, what’s my time is not their time! I would suggest though to try to wake up before you work to answer emails and pitch, even if for 30 minutes in the morning.


To get hired, you fill out an application and take an exam to test your knowledge. “If you pass, you go through a mock session with an experienced tutor who assumes the role of student and evaluates your creativity, empathy and teaching skills,” says Cindy Hamen Farrar, Ph.D., senior director of academic tutoring at Tutor. “We look for people who know their subject matter and who can break it down and communicate effectively.”
Ugh. I’m so sorry to hear that. You’re not the only freelancer to have gotten lured into one of those sites. My rule of thumb, even as a newbie, was never to accept less than $10 for every 100 words, unless it was a fantastic gig that would get me good exposure. Even if you don’t have a portfolio, you should only take on projects you’ll be proud to show to other people when they ask what you’ve done. It sounds like you are creating good work right now, but unfortunately, it’s for a client who totally doesn’t deserve it.

Thank you so much Elna for these 20 tips. I am new to freelance writing and have recently read Writer For Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger, and would recommend it to anyone, but was still feeling that I needed more. A quick google search led me to this blog post of yours which has given me the extra boost I needed. Many of my ‘How do I get started?’ questions have been answered. I am taking one of your free courses and am planning on taking your ‘Write To 1K’ course very soon. The price for your course is very reasonable and I can’t wait to start. A quick scan of your blog has assured me that I have found a goldmine of resources and I want to thank you again for taking the time to share your learning curve and your experience with us all.

What It Is: Think Mary Kay (cosmetics), Pampered Chef (kitchenware), or Rodan + Fields (skincare) — over time, you build a base of clients to whom you sell a company's wares. "There are several reasons why I decided to become a consultant," says Rodan + Fields independent consultant Debbie Royer. "I had seen how much of a blessing the business had been to a friend of mine and my sister-in-law. Plus, everything can be done from my phone, and being a mom to a preschooler and an infant I don't have a lot of extra time to be sitting at a computer."


6. The Smart Crowd – The Smart Crowd is part of Lionbridge, providing their registered workers a pool of available microtasks – many of which revolve around data entry. You work when you want and as much as you want. Pay rates vary and are advertised both as competitive and corresponding to your productivity. To work with them, register on their site for free: they evaluate you and then match you with tasks that fit your skills. Payment is issued once a month.
Hey Elna, thanks for all the advice and jam-packing this article with so many resources! Thanks for asking what I plan to do to start finding jobs! I’ve shared your article on FB while letting my friends and family know my endeavors and joined a few writer groups. I even cold pitched to my client today whom I’ll be catering a private event for! I plan to make use of all the tutorials and online courses you shared to learn me into a high paid freelance writer and will start free guest posting on blogs asap, peruse the job board sites and start making pitches. Right now I’m networking with other experienced freelance writers ;)!
I am also new to the work from home world but not that new. I have done some work with MCA and SFI. Neither worked for me well. But I am a young stay at home mother of four, all children being 5 and under. And I’m looking for some part time or full time work to support me and the kids. Phone or non-phone is great. I prefer non-phone work because of the kids. And non-writing as well. Thanks for your help. 🙂
×