Considering working from home? Don't get scammed!
While the unemployment rate continues to drop, more people are searching for additional ways to make money. Many are turning to online job searches to find more traditional brick-and mortar jobs while others are searching for work at home opportunities. One of the challenges of course is sorting out which jobs are worth pursuing and which are merely multi-level marketing opportunities or worse yet, someone trying to separate you from your money.
While it is true that not all money-making opportunities that require you to pay up front for registration or other fees are scams, there are a lot of them. In most cases, it is wise to steer clear of any opportunity that suggests you should be paying for the opportunity to earn money. Here are some simple ways to find legitimate work at home jobs with no upfront fees.
Heed the following tips and warnings:
What You Need for Success
- · Computer
- · Internet Connection
- · Resume
- · Patience
- · Understanding what a scam looks like
Tips & Warnings
- · Not all sites that require payment are scams
- · Carefully review terms of service for all sites
- · Find out how and when you will be paid
- · Use caution disclosing personal information
Increase your odds of finding work at home
There are some things you can do to get yourself ready to work from home. One of the first things you will want to do is prepare your resume. While working at home is not the same as working for a company, you will still need a resume. Your resume may be either a typical resume or may be posted on a blog or other site. Highlight your top skills for best results.
Search for freelancing sites
There are several websites that offer freelancing opportunities. Do a search on Google for "online freelancing sites". Sites like Upwork, Fivver, Freelancer and others are available for finding good opportunities.
- · Do your homework — Before registering at any freelance website, search for problems. Type Scam: Name of site into Google before you register. It is important to remember that nearly any site that has been online for any length of time will have a bad review or two so make sure that you read each user's issues very carefully before deciding.
- · Research always helps — Check out the Better Business Bureau website for complaints against freelancing sites. This one step alone can help you from being taken advantage of.
- · Talk to community members — When you visit freelancing sites, see what others in their community forums are discussing. These forums can often provide great insights as to job quality, earnings and how often people run into problems. Again, keep in mind that no one will be 100% happy with every freelancing site and it is important to weed out sour grapes from legitimate complaints.
Bidding on jobs
When you begin bidding on jobs, carefully read the job descriptions. Make sure that you are bidding on legitimate opportunities. Remember, even freelance marketplaces get buyers who have bad intentions. Read opportunities thoroughly, understand what is expected and only bid on jobs that you know you can complete and make sure you get an upfront payment for fixed-rate assignments.
Report bogus jobs and sites
Use the Better Business Bureau and other similar sites if you find a scam website. Don't allow others to be ripped off by unscrupulous websites and scam work at home jobs. Your feedback is important to helping others avoid scammers.
Getting started - up and running
If you are interested in working at home one of the things you must be careful of is finding jobs that aren't scams. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things when you're just starting out. Too often, we fall prey to work at home scams that wind up costing us hundreds of dollars. There simply isn't any need for it.
For affiliate marketing, Google's AdSense, and Amazon offer free sign-ups for affiliate programs. It isn't all that difficult to create multiple income sources if you are working at home. Understanding what programs are available and using them to your full benefit will help you work online with no startup fees.
Taking care of the basics - understanding your skills
Before you can consider work at home, you first need to decide what area you will specialize in. While some people can create graphics, build websites, or provide content not everyone has the same level of skill.
Think about your skills assessment as a bit of a resume. Your typing speed, coding experience, HTML knowledge, and SEO knowledge will all come into play. Score each of these skills by either a number or letter from the highest skill set to the lowest. This initial step, will allow you to focus on what work at home jobs might be right for you. This will be the basis of the next steps you need to take.
Decide if you want to use a freelance site
The next step you will need to take is to decide whether you wish to become involved with a freelance site. This may be one opportunity if you are brand-new to work at home to get yourself established.
Although some freelance sites do charge fees, most of them also offer a free option. Before you open any accounts on a freelance site, make sure you carefully review their terms of service. Once you have done this you can make a far more informed decision.
One of the challenges that you will face is establishing yourself as a reliable work at home person. This is not all that difficult to overcome if you use the tools that are readily available. If you open a free account on LinkedIn, you will be able to set up a profile, add your resume, and request references from prior employers, co-workers etc. If you use this as a first step, it will help establish your credibility.
Typically, it is a good idea to have samples of your work. For writers, a personal blog, a Hub Pages portfolio, or other articles you've written provide an opportunity to highlight your skills. For web designers, links to sites you've designed will bolster your credibility. While SEO skills may be hard to prove, one way to do that is to provide links to sites that you have optimized. Include PageRank when you started as well as current PageRank. Be creative, remember this will be potential customers first exposure to your skills. Always remember, that if you are linking to prior clients work to confirm with them first.
If you have decided to open an account on a freelance site your next step will be finding clients. Make sure that you read all job postings carefully, and understand the clients requirements thoroughly. You will quickly lose credibility should you take on an assignment and be unable to complete it.
Do not hesitate to reach out to your professional as well as a social network to let them know you are available for work. All too often, we overlook the obvious. You never know who may be looking for someone with your skills and less you ask. The other thing to be aware of is to look for other freelance blogs, networks, and sites that may offer advice and tips on getting started. Remember, this is always going to be a learning experience. each day that you search for work at home jobs, you will learn something new.