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Why Don’t You Screen Your Job Postings More Closely?

Hi Anne,

I get your M-W-F newsletter from you about writing jobs. While it’s good to have a source of such listings, I would like it better if it was less frequent and screened more carefully. A large percentage of these listings aren’t really jobs at all. For example, the first listing every day is for Suite101, which only pays you a percentage of revenue from ads.

Another site I applied to last week claimed they were going to be paying writers to do sports or movie reviews. After applying for this, I never heard back about my application, but started receiving promotional e-mails from them every day for various offers. And so on.

I know it must be hard to screen all these listings, but I’d prefer to have a much shorter, but higher quality list. Just my opinion, of course.



Hi CL,

I understand – it’s frustrating for sure.

Here’s the problem from this end. Yes, Suite101 does pay me when someone signs up with them – it’s one of the ways I can keep doing the jobs without charging for them. Since its first I think it’s easy to skip if you’re not interested; some people feel they have benefited from writing for them.

Although I’d love to be able to charge for the job listings I haven’t found a way to add enough value for it to make sense.

If I take time to screen the ads… that is email or apply and wait for a response, 9 times out of 10 or maybe 9.9 times out of 10 the job will be filled before I can check it out. I’d be spending way more time and offering you less. You’re only looking for one or two or so types of jobs… I’d have to look at everything. Won’t work.

Because the jobs are filled so quickly it almost makes sense to check daily – but I’m not willing to do that either because I have clients and a life. Three times a week seems about right for me.

Several sites have tried to solve this various ways including posting only jobs that pay say $50 or $1 a word, etc. It hasn’t worked well because so often the pay isn’t stated clearly, even on legit jobs. Digging around to find the few jobs that post this kind of rate is time consuming – you’ve probably discovered that.

If I could find an even fairly efficient way to screen in time to get info to readers I would, and that I probably would charge for – but no one’s figured it out yet. I’m wide open to ideas about how to do this.

About the only thing that really distinguishes my listings from other’s is that I try to be sure I post only what I call real freelance writing jobs – that is, gigs you can do from home or a coffee shop.

I’m sorry one of the listings I posted resulted in spam – it would be nifty if you’d post that info in comments – it at least warns others.

Now, I’m going to suggest you look over the category, How To Find And Get Freelance Writing Jobs, and see what might apply to you and make your life easier and job searching work better.

Thanks for taking time to write and I’m going to paraphrase your letter and use it as a Q&A or something because it’s time I said this all again.



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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • We live in strange times where keywords like ‘work at home’ and freelancer’ seem to be two of the most abused keywords and phrases online. With the already burgeoning industry getting more meat everyday, it is obvious that unscrupulous people tag along for the ride.

    I was planning to look for jobs and set it up on my site too, but I found out that screening all of them would be a lot, especially when it would be silly to charge for something that one could find out for themselves if they really wanted to – having time is a relative term.

    The best way then, of course, would be to set up a forum where people could sign up and the jobs would be posted on the forums – no strings attached. That way, everyone can check them up and screen themselves, and point out that a particular one is a stinker. So, it decreases one person’s work, and allows some of the angels around to point out the stinkers – that’s me bringing the cloud technology to everyday life.

    Hope this helps.
    Roy DSilva recently posted..Getting Traffic to your Blog I- The BasicsMy Profile

    • Ron, why would a forum be better than a blog where people can comment… like here?

  • My feeling is that if you don’t want to do the donkey work, don’t then moan that you don’t like the results.

    Bloggers like Anne who post job listings for writers are really doing it as a favour (okay, and for the page views too, lol), so it seems a bit on the nose to then go and complain that they haven’t tried hard enough. Why not take the time to go out and find your own damn jobs, then?

    I don’t really use these listings any more, mostly because my timezone means that they’re often gone by the time I see them, and because I’m focusing on my local market (much easier being paid in the same currency!) but I confess that I’ve never noticed any Suite101 ad here so it can’t be too hard to ignore.
    Lucy Smith recently posted..Winter viruses- none shall pass!My Profile

    • Lucy, I gather you once used my lists… and that’s my real goal other than to be too rich and thin and famous… to help writers learn how to make a real living with their writing.

  • I think CL is looking for Morning Coffee — you can get them as a weekly email. Most of their jobs seem to be pretty legit, and many pay well. One caveat — most of their jobs seem to be in the copywriting area. Or if you’re a specialist in healthcare or business finance you could get a Gorkana alert weekly.

    I’m basically fully booked these days, so I don’t have time to look daily or even three times a week at listings, so these kind of weekly job boards are good for me. I’m not interested in the kind of jobs that are filled instantly, anyway.

    But I’m glad Anne does hers, and that there are a variety of choices out there in looking for online jobs! I checked the ads here religiously for a couple of years there, until pretty recently, and found the jobs mostly pretty solid — though of course you do have to skip over that Suite101 listing. But as Anne says, that’s not hard to do.
    Carol Tice recently posted..Lessons From A Blogger’s VacationMy Profile

  • good idea about the email Lori… and yes, writers can do their own screening.

    I post jobs for two reasons – it drives page views and I regularly get email from readers telling me they get jobs and they like the postings.

    • That’s it, Anne. People are having success from it. I still marvel at the amount of time you spend doing it. It’s not easy! 🙂
      Lori recently posted..How Low Do You GoMy Profile

  • The thing is there are unscrupulous people who are intent on spamming you everywhere. It’s impossible to tell from an ad that the “job” isn’t a real job but an attempt to get your email address. That’s why I use a generic email account for applying to such jobs (and have it all forwarded to my main account). It’s easy to mark it Spam in my Gmail so it never reaches my main account.

    I think writers can do their own screening to a large extent. There are key words and phrases that raise red flags – pay attention for those. Ann has a free service here. She puts a lot of unpaid time into these ads. I think it would be impossible for her to screen every one.

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