Craigslist for Freelance Writers

Written by Stephanie Clarke

If you’re looking for freelance writing opportunities, there are many sites devoted to freelance work. There are also more unconventional ways to find writing work. One of the more unconventional sources is Craigslist. I’m sure that nearly everyone has heard of Craigslist, the site where you can buy and/or sell just about anything–goods, housing, jobs, advice, even romance. Many of you have probably used the service for one thing or another. Were you aware that Craigslist is also a place where you might find freelance writing jobs, as well?

Company Overview: Craigslist, Inc., is the brain child of Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster. It was started by Newmark as an email distribution list featuring events occurring in the San Francisco area. He sent this list to friends. Before long, he took it to the web and added other categories: jobs, services, advice, personals, items for sale, items wanted, housing, and many others. Operations first began with the founding of the company in San Francisco, California, in 1995. It expanded throughout the U.S. and today, Craigslist has more than 60 million users just in the U.S. They are also in 70 countries around the world. They have offices in Canada, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. They get 50 billion page views each month, post over 80 million ads with more than one million of those being job listings.

The Writing Opportunity: You can find opportunities to write articles, blog posts, web content and much more. You’ll have to be prepared to spend time in finding freelance writing jobs on Craigslist. Sometimes it pays off, oftentimes it does not. You may be asked to provide a writing sample and/or a resume and you may be asked to quote a job without having a lot of information about the job. Sometimes, you’ll jump through the hoops only to learn the pay is very low for the amount of work required or it’s not the type of work in which you are interested. That said, there are many opportunities listed. It doesn’t cost anything to look to see what is being offered.

How to Sign Up: There is no charge to use Craigslist for finding writing jobs. To sign up go to Once you’re on this page, choose your country and city, then in the upper left hand corner click on the “My Account” link. When the page opens, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Sign Up for an Account” link located in the lower left hand corner. Enter your email address and the verification word, and then click the “Create” button. You will be sent an email with instructions about how to complete the account set up process. Click on the “Emails” link. You are now at the password set up screen. Enter a password with a minimum of six characters. Re-enter it again. Read and accept the terms of agreement, by clicking on the “I Agree” button. Your account will now be finalized. To enter your account in the future, go to In the upper left hand corner click on the “My Account” icon, enter your email and password in the appropriate blocks, click on log in, and begin using you new account. To find freelance writing jobs, start by using Craigslist’s advance search engine and fill in the fields. Be sure to use the following fields to help narrow your search: “All these Words,” “Any of these Words,” “None of these Words,” “Last Update” and “Site or Domain.” These results will bring up all writing jobs in your area that are posted on Craigslist.

How to get writing jobs: If you are looking to get writing jobs close to home, then Craigslist is perfect for that purpose. Their advanced search engine will find any freelance writing jobs in your local area. However, if you need to expand outside your local area, then you will find Craigslist to be extremely time-consuming, as you’ll need to search area by area. Basically, you find a job in which you’re interested and reply to the ad with the required documentation. You may need to submit a writing sample, resume, or quote. Sometimes all three are required. If the employer decides to hire you, they will contact you. Something to keep in mind when using Craigslist is that, should something go wrong, you are on your own. There is no problem-resolution system in place as there is with most freelance sites.

Reputation: Sadly, Craigslist’s reputation has gone downhill over the years. There have been numerous complaints of scammers using Craigslist to find their victims. Craigslist, originally, did not have any system that let buyers and sellers rate their transactions, leaving potential customers to have to guess whether they were looking at a legitimate offer or a scam. Craigslist has since installed a free reputation system that allows both buyers and sellers to leave feedback on the transaction. This can help in determining the legitimacy of an offer for work.

Personal Experience: While legitimate freelance writing jobs can be found on Craigslist, I only use it as a fill in, along with other sites. Finding freelance writing jobs on Craigslist is extremely time consuming and there are a number of clients looking for someone to do a lot of work for very little pay. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend Craigslist as the sole source of income. But, if you find a job that sounds interesting and you’re willing to take a chance, then you might be pleasantly surprised. I’ve been lucky, so far, and haven’t had any problems.

While Craigslist is an excellent place to locate ads for freelance writing jobs, it is best to proceed with caution. Know that you may be asked to do a great deal of work for very low pay. Writers need to be selective about the ads to which they reply. If you go in with your eyes wide open, you can fine a modicum of success. Again, I wouldn’t recommend it as a sole source of income, but Craigslist might be worth your time to supplement what you already do.


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