Articles, advices and tips for professionals in the United States of America


Earn at Home

While the appeal is great and the benefits equally as great—if you can find them—earn at home gigs must be closely investigated and carefully considered.  First, telecommuting writers know how lucrative and lovely working at home can be.  We have freedom.  We are our own bosses.  We can work from our territory, empowered by the comfort of our own private spaces, coffee and cigarettes and TV as we work, and, yes, the joy of wearing whatever we want, including pajamas.

But a few caveats are in order for contemplating the earn at home option as one that is all good, all frills.  Of course, you will want to avoid the earn at home scams: any company that advertises you can make money working for it but then charges you a fee—a one-time fee, a materials charge, an application fee—is not to be trusted.  You are working to earn money, not spend it.  No “employer” should charge you anything, especially not to apply.

One earn at home possibility includes taking surveys.  Again, do not pay even a sign-up fee.  There are hundreds of survey companies that are free and that offer points, prizes and drawings, and even a few dollars.  I do mean a FEW, as for example, one survey is worth ten points and you get $10 for every 1,000 points earned…so you do the math (taking into consideration time spent per survey = how many dollars—or cents—per hour).

Another popular trend is the pay-per-click game.  I call it a game as in this case, you hire on to get paid for clicking.  You get one cent for each click, and each click requires you stay on the page/ad you click on for a minimum of 30 seconds to a few minutes.  So…one cent per minute is, yes, sixty cents an hour.

More advanced is the earn at home gig that is a writing project.  These are typically taken by/offered to writers (as they should be), but if you have yet to write for a company and think you might want to, might be good at it, pay heed to the way the ads (soliciting work-at-home folks) are worded.  As Angela Hoy, of Writers Weekly, has thoroughly researched and reported in her article, “Red Flag Phrases to Avoid in Freelance Help Wanted Ads,” a number of indicators should make you be wary:  if the company is a start-up, stating it cannot pay now, that it pays in exposure, or that it may offer stocks, think twice.  If you seek to earn money, you wouldn’t answer an ad that asks you to work for no money.  And “exposure” is gotten not by the company that has no exposure itself yet (whose website is not seen by anyone looking for writers, usually) but by your own advertising methods, by your years of publication and by contest-winning.  As Hoy also explains, key phrases such as “trial period,” “interns needed,” and ads with grandiose promises are offers for you to do free work until they approve of you, do free work for the term of the project, and do free work on the promise that you will one day get royalties, shares, or lots of pay, respectively.  Clearly, all of the above are unacceptable to the one who wants to work at home, but work, nonetheless, for money to pay those who also expect money for theor work—the editors, publishers, start-ups, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, waitresses, and  store clerks.


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