Freelance work is a dream come true for many people – flexible schedule, minimum supervision, creative freedom, and even good pay. But while many satisfied freelancers are posting their stories online, keep in mind that not all gigs are created equal. Some will pay cheaply while others will not have enough work to go along to supplant your full-time career. Here are five of the worst freelance jobs you could stumble upon that can ruin your vision of what life could be outside the 9 to 5 grind.
Captcha Entry Coders
Captcha entry coders are perhaps the lowest paid position in the industry, making as low as $2 per hour. In terms of complexity, there’s really nothing to the job position but entering a set of numbers and letters provided by the site. It’s also very easy to be approved of work since you only need decent typing speeds of around 50 words per minute and a stable internet connection. Despite the loose eligibility requirements and the simplicity of daily workload, this job position can generate too small of an income for you to be able to do it full-time.
Participating in online surveys is another popular means of breaking through the freelance market. Like captcha entry coders, however, survey participants have really low per-assignment rate so you’ll need a large volume to make enough money to cover your daily expenses. Survey participants find work through research panels that can be accessed either via mobile phone or a desktop computer. To make money online, you’ll need to find the best paying surveys online and have a fast typing speed to complete each assignment.
Content Mill Writer
Content mills pay writers for copyrights on their content. The content leans more towards marketing an underlying product/service than it is providing useful and factual information. Content mill writers pay as low as $2.00 per 500 words. Depending on how fast you can complete assignments, it can be a better paying home-based job than the previous two titles. Also, try working towards higher quality content rather than quantity of assignments submitted. This way, you’ll make more money on the per-word rate.
There’s a lot of legitimate transcription work to be had, but many transcriber job postings you’ll encounter as a novice in the field will often lead you to very shady employers and work assignments. Transcriptionists pay per transcribed file. Each file will vary in language and duration. Some files will be in plain English while others will be in Spanish or Chinese. As a transcriptionist, you’ll need a good ear to convert video files into written format.
Similar with how content mill writers work, article spinners reword and repackage articles they find online. Because it is easier to construct articles this way, the pay rate for spinners are lower than most original writing jobs. And because there is a huge supply of eager article spinners in other foreign countries, the pay rate for US-based professionals are relatively low.
There you have it – the five worst freelance jobs. When picking a home-based career, go with legitimate job sites and employers that have credible work history and testimonials. Avoid any shady ones and those that ask for cash for so-called “training courses”.