Old But Gold: Freelancing Scam – 7 Tips to Spot a Potential Scam

Original article – Freelancing Scams – Equipped Yourself With These Tips (Jan, 2009)

Second article – Signs of Freelancing Scams (April, 2011)

Third article – Identifying Freelancing Scams (Nov, 2012)

 

I have written about freelancing scam back in 2009, 2011 & 2012 and it is never too late to have an update and recap.

Here’s 7 tips (updated) on how to spot a potential freelancing scam:

  1. Your instinct. Believe it or not, this is actually very important and also the easiest way to detect a potential scam. If it feels too good to be true, then it is probably 99% scam.
  2. Vague or unclear job description in a job ad. I don’t trust any potential clients who are not willing to spend some time explaining the job with all the important details.
  3. Paid to get paid – it means you are being asked to pay in advance in order to score a job.
    WARNING: Never pay anyone in advance for a job that you don’t even know if you will be hired / paid. It is even better if you don’t pay anyone for any job at all! Remember, you should not be paying money in advance to get a job. Sites such as Elance (aka Upwork) and Guru charge a certain fee (usually around 10%) but that is only after you get paid through their Escrow payment system.
  4. Free samples (most common for jobs related to writing and design).
  5. Attempt to avoid Escrow – this is common on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork). They will do everything they can to persuade you to use a different payment method.
    NOTE: If you are on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork), you are not allowed to use a different payment method. If you insist on using a different payment method other than through their site, you are held responsible for your own action. They would not be able to do anything if you are being scammed (i.e. not getting paid).
  6. Paid samples – sounds good right? No! Although not all jobs that require “paid” samples are scams, it is best to be cautious! This might be a trick to “fish” you into providing them free content. Beware! If in doubt, refer to tip #1.
  7. Contests that require you to sign an IP Deed, probably asking you to hand over your IP rights to the organiser, so make sure you do a background check before entering any contests.

BONUS TIP

Look out for these words or sentences –

“Very easy data entry job…”

“Native-speaking english writers…”

Any additional tips? Leave a comment!

Freewriting: What is Freewriting

Have you heard of freewriting?

What is freewriting?

Free writing is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. (Free Writing, Wikipedia)

How?

Free writing is when you:

  • write non-stop
  • don’t correct your writing
  • keep writing, even if you have nothing to write, just to keep the flow of writing (imagine writing something that means nothing)
  • don’t judge or censor your writing

Why freewriting?

  • It helps to generate ideas before expanding
  • It helps to gather information before rearranging
  • It helps to unblock “writer’s block”
  • It helps to get comfortable with writing
  • Just for fun

Freewriting is the best way to start your writing, especially when you are suffering writer’s block. It helps to get into the writing mood.

You can free write when:

  • you feel that ideas are flowing in your mind
  • you have nothing to write and want to write something
  • you feel angry or sad and you want to let it all out on paper (or typing on your computer)
  • you want to sleep but cannot sleep

Example of freewriting:

1. http://web.mst.edu/~gdoty/classes/concepts-practices/free-writing-example.html

2. http://home.earthlink.net/~khatzi/essay/freewriting.htm

Resources on freewriting:

1. http://grammar.about.com/od/yourwriting/a/freewrite.htm

2. http://www.wikihow.com/Freewrite

30 Ways To Love Writing

As the title suggests, let us explore 100 ways to fall in love with writing. Some of these might not even make sense but who cares? Might as well give it a try.

I work so hard to put this together. However, I do not guarantee that you will 100% fall in love with writing by trying any one of these recommendations.

Read at your own discretion.

  1. Write a sentence a day about yourself.
  2. Learn a new word and make a sentence out of the word every day.
  3. Write a journal of your life – diary (online diary or a book diary).
  4. Write a short story from your imagination.
  5. Read something fiction and write a fan-fiction about it.
  6. Write your own autobiography.
  7. Write about someone you love (family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend)
  8. Write about your pet (cat, dog, anything else related)
  9. Read about authors.
  10. Visit bookshops and get something that you like.
  11. Get a book about writing your own novel.
  12. Get a magazine to inspire you to write for that magazine.
  13. Knowing the fact that you can earn money through writing.
  14. Join Triond.
  15. Join Bukisa.
  16. Join Squidoo.
  17. Join Hubpages.
  18. Explore Writing.com if you are interested in fiction.
  19. Learn about style guide.
  20. Listen to a podcast on writing – Grammar Girl.
  21. Listen to an audio book that you like.
  22. Get a writing prompt.
  23. Get a notebook and a reliable pen.
  24. Bring your notebook and pen everywhere.
  25. Be sure to write new ideas when they pop in your head.
  26. Search for [ “writing” “tips” ] on Google for more ideas.
  27. Start a blog and blog about your interests.
  28. Submit a guest blog post to any blogs that accept guest blogging.
  29. Join NaNoWriMo if you want to write a novel.
  30. Read Writing Consultation – this blog!

To Stressed To Write

Isn’t the title sounds so familiar?

Yes, sometimes, we are too stressed to write / too tired to write.

We can even be too tired to think about writing (what to write about…).

However, if you are stressed, try these tips to help you get back to writing easily.

1. Listen to music

2. Take a shower

3. Call a friend

4. Watch TV

5. Read a book

6. Play a game

7. Clean your room / clean your work table

8. Exercise (walk / run / jog)

9. Read jokes / watch funny videos and laugh

10. Go outside and take a walk

If none of these work, get a nap (or sleep for a long time).

Self Learning as a Writer

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  ~Clay P. Bedford

I am learning all the time.  The tombstone will be my diploma.  ~Eartha Kitt

When the student is ready, the master appears.  ~Buddhist Proverb

[via Quote Garden]

******

You don’t need to have degree in order to become a writer, that’s for sure. However, the most important thing you need to have is self learning. Self learning never takes a holiday. So, it means you should be learning something every day, even if it is just a new word, or a fact about something that interest you.

Learning is define as acquiring new knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, preferences or understanding, and may involve synthesizing different types of information.

The internet is a place suitable for self learning.

With so many sites available to discover new stuff, you can learn a lot of things from the internet alone.

As a writer, self learning is important because the world is changing and no matter what you are writing, you will need to keep updated with the latest trend – to make sure you survive in this industry.

I would suggest you to use StumbleUpon toolbar to discover new sites and interesting stuff every day.

Apart from that, here is a list of the resources you can explore in order to learn more about anything at anytime convenient to you.

Learning Communities

Learn Hub

Wikiversity

Gather

Free Books

Gutenberg

Read Print

Bartleby

DailyLit

Online Books Page

Scribd

Google Books

Audio Books

Librivox

Reference sites

Dictionary

Wikipedia

University Open Course

Yale

UC Berkeley

Online courses

Free Course Directory

Distance Learning

Search Engines

Google

Windows Live Search

Yahoo

Scour