Scam Alert: This “Freelance Writing” Site is a Fraud

Want to earn $10,000 per month as a freelance writer? Imagine it: sipping iced tea on the balcony, computer on your lap, while you get paid thousands to write web content for some of the world’s most exciting companies. You can work from anywhere! And the best part? Even brand-new writers can make five-figure incomes every month from the comfort of their own homes! (Or, can they?)

That’s essentially the promise of “Master Writing Jobs,” a site I’ve personally seen making the rounds in freelance writer communities. (You may have seen Facebook ads for it already.)

While the general promise of making $10k or more every month as a freelancer represents the dream for many writers, it’s not possible through Master Writing Jobs.

Sadly, the site is a complete scam meant to prey on aspiring writers (maybe you!) who don’t know where to get started freelancing.

There is some good news, though.

Carol to The Rescue

Make a Living Writing is one of the best sites for growing writers. The site’s owner, Carol Tice, has been sharing practical help for hungry writers for years.

In a recent post, she specifically calls out Master Writing Jobs and explains why the site is a scam. (Nice detective work!)

But even more useful is the framework she provides to evaluate writing opportunities:

  • No ‘About’ page — It’s normal to be able to learn about a site’s owner, story, and mission. But MWJ gives you nothing.

  • No free content — You cannot read any useful posts or articles, or consume any resources before joining. There is also no free trial option.

  • No real person — You’re treated to an elaborate, expensive-looking, sketch-animation video by “James, the owner,” who is a cartoon. With no last name. Who’s behind this site? We don’t really know. It’s another hallmark of online writing scams.

  • Contact form only — There is no listed email or phone number here. I filled out the contact form twice in recent months (it’s hidden in the Support section and not findable on the Home page), and never received a response, including to a request to talk to a happy MWJ customer earning over $10,000 a month, as the site claims.

  • Outlandish claims — Do you believe that inexperienced writers can earn over $10,000 a month writing quick, easy assignments online? That’s the claim made in MWJ’s video. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. One of the lures to join is to “get my report on how I began effortlessly earning $10,000 a month from my freelance writing just 60 days after I started!” Maybe that’s was once true for one writer (though I’m skeptical), but that doesn’t mean it’s a replicatable system. Far from it.

  • Guarantee — When I first checked MWJ out a few months back, there didn’t seem to be a refund guarantee. The only point I could find in their favor in terms of website evidence is that they now offer a 60-day refund satisfaction guarantee (though see below for whether they fulfill it).

  • Bogus-sounding bonuses — One of the resources you get for joining MWJ is a tool that ‘checks Wikipedia for you’ for source info you need for assignments. Apparently, no one at MWJ knows that Wikipedia isn’t an appropriate place to cite for anything you’d write for any good-paying client. That rings a pretty loud warning bell that job listings are likely to be for low-quality, low-paying clients.

  • Questionable testimonials — Freelance writers are usually easy to find online, even if their testimonials don’t include a website URL for them. But searches I made attempting to contact the six people who give testimonials on MWJ’s site turned up nothing. In one case, a $10-an-hour UpWork writer seems to bear the same name, but the photo doesn’t match. In most other cases, there doesn’t seem to be any such person in all the reaches of the Interwebs, writer or no, as with “Ella Mitchelle.” Even Clyde Wells, who says he has 10 years of experience, isn’t findable. There are no LinkedIn profiles, no writer websites, for any of these writers. In other words, the testimonials appear to be invented.

The entire article is worth your time.

There are lots of valid opportunities to write online – in fact, I got my start in professional writing responding to a Craigslist post. But there are lots of scammers trying to take advantage of well-meaning, trusting folks who simply need some more income.

Just like MLMs, you shouldn’t have to pay in advance to join a money making “opportunity”. If someone’s hiring you as a writer, you get paid by them first – period. Someone might take a cut (like a service that brings you clients), but you’ll never pay that before you get paid.

You Actually Can Make $10,000/Mo or More Freelancing – But There’s a Catch

If you’re a hard worker, you definitely can make $10,000 per month or more. But like all things in life, there’s a catch.

It’s called the law of the harvest. Essentially, “you reap what you sow.”

The average household income in the United States is about $65,751. That’s roughly $5500 per month.

If making $10,000 per month working at home was so easy, wouldn’t more people do it? Especially if it works for novices? It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

This month, I made more than $10,000. However, it took me a long time to get here. I’ve had to work, learn, experiment, fail, and seek help for a long time to achieve this. There aren’t any shortcuts in life. You’ve simply got to do the work.

(At least our work feels creatively fulfilling and fun!)

Image by the FDA via Flickr