Craigslist, for me, is a great resource. Not only do I buy and sell stuff on it, but I also find writing and other creative gigs through Craigslist on occasion. There are a few ways to do this.
My first experience with Craigslist was during my years at university. I was actually a music major, but I took a lot of English courses for my minor, and pursuing Craigslist one night, I found a student that was looking for someone to rewrite their entire essay. Now, I didn’t mind making a few bucks for writing an essay I’d written the year before. I knew all about the subject, and the student wasn’t quite smart enough to realize if the thing was very good or not. It wasn’t, but this introduced me to the idea of finding contract work on Craigslist.
The kicker? I didn’t try again for over three years, after moving across country with almost no money, no job prospects, and a really scary realization that I was on my way to being homeless if I didn’t make freelancing work for me. I suppose that this type of stress had a lot to do with my success, because I’m still at it and I make more money now than I ever have working in kitchens.
Now, if you are in a bigger city, you will see plenty of job listings for writings under the Gigs > Writing sections. In smaller towns, you may only find a handful of jobs, most of them reposts of the jobs from yesterday. In either case, you should pursue this relatively often. One of the great things about local clients is that it’s really easy to get paid in cash or actually sit down with them and talk about their needs. It can even lead to lasting relationships, which means more work for you in the future.
I’m in a little city now, and what I do instead of browsing my local Craigslist, I go to the largest cities on either side of me and put in bids on people’s projects that way. If you’re in a larger city, start at home first.
Now, it’s important not to get scammed on Craigslist. Whoever you work with, make sure to Google the company or person, and try to find out if they seem legitimate. If the project is small, it might be worth the risk of trusting them, but if the project is a huge book, you better make sure they pay at least part upfront or otherwise have a solid track record as a business or individual. Avoid anything that sounds way too good to be true; it almost always is.
You’ll also find a lot of people looking to publish your work at no price. Not all of these are scams, but this is more for the sake of getting your name out there than anything else. Sometimes this publication credit helps get you jobs later, though, so if you like the publication soliciting submissions, it might be worth your time and the ego boost to try to have them publish your work.
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