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Why I (Still) Use craigslist For Freelance Writing Jobs

freelance writing q&aHi Anne,

The one thing, however, that still puzzles me, and I mean this with all due respect, is why you keep listing so many Craig’s List (sic) ads.  Many of the ads listed look questionable.  That, not withstanding, we all know Craig’s List is out there, so why not try to list more ads from other sources that perhaps we don’t know about?  There are also about 10 other job sites that link to the same Craig’s List ads.  I don’t get the point, it’s like having a bunch of auction sites all link to e-Bay…why not just go to e-Bay?

I think finding non-Craig’s List ads would be a far greater benefit to writer’s looking for work, especially now that Craig’s List is losing credibility with each passing day and each new story of some con job or crime related incident.

Thanks –

Good job nonetheless.


Hi MR,

Actually I do search beyond craigslist – you’ll find a list at Freelance Writing Jobs – Where I Search. And yes, there are other sites that also post jobs from craigslist – as far as I know, however, mine is the only free site site that chooses only true, work-in-your-pjs-from-home writing jobs.

The reason I use postings from craigslist is three fold:

  1. I occasionally find writing gigs there – yes, ghostwriting for books shows up on craigslist, so do what I turn into opportunities for writing coaching.
  2. I get emails every week from people who land paying freelance writing or editing or translation jobs from my list.
  3. I aggregate content from craiglist – that is, I do the looking in each city so you don’t have to – it’s designed to save you time.

In other words, craigslist works more than it doesn’t. Incidentally, when you find a scam on cl you can report it to them. If it’s also here, post in comments. There may come a time when I drop those listings, but not yet.



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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • About a year ago I discovered a horrible housing scam on Craigslist–2 or 3 different people were actually running the same con job, which is how I found out it WAS a con job! I alerted the powers that be at Craigs, and never heard anything from anyone again. I really wanted to get these guys, esp. since I did tell one of them I was onto him, and he sent me a very rude, obscene email in return. He wasn’t even worried! That killed me.
    Marcy Sheiner recently posted..Love and Other IllusionsMy Profile

    • Sorry to hear that, Marcy – I know of other situations where they’ve responded. I think reporting to some law enforcement agency would be more effective… not sure exactly which one, but calling your local cop shop might have surfaced the right one.

  • Sarah

    Also, if I recall correctly, there was nothing about realwritingjobs.com in the original posting. If there had been and I’d looked at their site, I wouldn’t have wasted my time. The site looks scammy, if you know what I mean.

  • Sarah

    I received an emailing confirming receipt of my application two days after I sent them my resume. The second email offering me the work on a provisional basis came today, a week and a day after I originally contacted them. The emails were actually decently well-written, but I realized a few minutes ago that they were sent from a gmail account…which concerned me, as they’re claiming to be a company. (Of course, my work email isn’t through a company domain, but that’s because I’m so new to all of this!) Lots of red flags here.

  • Sarah

    Okay, quick…and seemingly unrelated…question here. About a week ago, I applied for a proofreading job that was on your list (and, incidentally, off of Craigslist). Today, I got an email saying that I’d received the position on a trial basis–basically, that the company wants to work with me on one or two projects to see if it’s a good fit. The editor instructed me to sign up with Realwritingjobs.com, as that’s the agency that they work with/pay through. Yes, there’s a registration fee, which the editor listed as $2.95 but which may be more if various review sites are correct. So…is this a good thing to pursue? I’m concerned about anything that asks me to pay in order to get work… Thanks in advance for your help!

    • yikes… no, it’s not okay to pay for jobs… and realwritingjobs.com is in the business of charging money not getting people jobs. I’ve had more than one complaint about them so my suggestions is don’t. I wish I knew how to avoid posting those… maybe I’ll make a statement at the beginning of the posts… how long from your app did it take them to get back to you?

      I’m sure these people are or used to be freelancehomewriters or some such – I wrote about them at: https://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2009/07/cautions-concerns-about-freelance-home-writers/

  • I’ve also have received good results from Craigslist, but you have to do your own due diligence, just like you would for any client from any source. Anne, you’re wonderful for providing this service for free — and I really appreciate it. But I figure the rest of the work is up to me. With all due respect, your poster needs to do her own due diligence — it’s part of the job.
    netta recently posted..Ten With A Flag – Fabulous Fiction FridayMy Profile

  • Debra

    It’s definitely a “mixed bag” out there. My question would be to the individual who posed the question to Anne: if you don’t fancy her methodology why don’t you do your own culling of leads and bypass CL?

    As always, thanks Anne.

  • One of my best clients came from Craigslist. I don’t routinely search it, but I do go check it out from time to time. Once you get the hang of what are the red flags, you won’t end up wasting time on those ” go nowhere” postings.
    Cathy Miller recently posted..Why Polite Spammers Are the CruelestMy Profile

  • When I freelanced, and searched for freelance gigs, I never wrote off Craiglist. It had a bunch of clunkers and scammy types but there were also gems listed. It was worth unearthing them.
    Deb Ng recently posted..How Foursquare Rocks ConferencesMy Profile

    • Deb, so good to see you here. And you’ve got some great tech stuff on your blog…

  • I have gotten a couple of decent clients of Craigslist as well. It’s hard to just totally count them out.
    Carol Tice recently posted..Mailbag- How Can a Writer Find PublicationsMy Profile

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