Fake Writing Jobs: RealWritingJobs.com

One of many reasons I enjoy Twitter is that it’s relatively free of the spam that clogs other modes of online discourse. Oh, there’s the occasional author Twitspam (writers: Twitspamming is not, I repeat, NOT, the way to promote your new book), and the random pr0n Twitspam, but by and large–at least for me–Twitter is a fairly spam-free environment.

Which is why the Twitspams I’ve been receiving for the past couple of weeks really stand out like a sore whatever (here’s an example). They’re all the same: an obviously fake sender name, the words “Writers Needed,” a link, and a list of recipients. I’ve been reporting and blocking them, but when I checked my Twitterfeed today and found six of them, all sent within a few minutes of one another, I got curious, and clicked the link.

I found myself at RealWritingJobs.com–which, I was unsurprised to discover, promises that writers can earn lots of cash by writing articles, stories, blog posts, etc.. “Thousands of people online are discovering how doing simple writing jobs from home can be so profitable! See how they’re doing it by signing up now!” No experience necessary! Work at home! Make fat money (never mind that pesky earnings disclaimer)! All this for a mere monthly membership fee of $47 (although if you don’t read the Terms and Conditions, you won’t know that). Don’t want to opt in without seeing what’s on offer? Good news–you can try before you buy. In fact, you have to try before you buy. Would-be members must agree to a 10-day “risk-free trial,” for the oh-so-negligible cost of $2.95 (credit cards only). Naturally, this is a “limited time offering.” If you aren’t happy, just cancel within the trial period and you owe nothing further.

If this sounds tempting, it shouldn’t. For one thing, there are many freelance writing job-listing websites that charge absolutely nothing–zip, nada, zilch (here’s just one example). With such resources easily available, why pay? For another, reputable jobs sites don’t spam random writers on Twitter (or anywhere else). For yet another, you have no way of knowing whether the promise of lucrative writing gigs is anything more than a marketing ploy. What if most or all of the writing jobs turn out to be the financial and professional equivalent of pay-per-click content mills?

Ah, you may be thinking, but isn’t that what the trial period is for? If the jobs suck, you can cancel before the trial period is up, and only be out $2.95.

Maybe not. It’s more than probable that RealWritingJobs is running a recurring billing scheme. In this common online ploy, a company uses a trial period to induce consumers to provide their credit card numbers. Once the trial period ends, cards are automatically billed for membership and other fees on a recurring basis (like RealWritingJobs, companies typically bury this info in their Terms and Conditions, where eager or careless consumers can easily miss it). Although consumers are promised they can cancel during the trial period, they discover that they can’t get through to the toll-free number provided–or, if they do get through, they can’t speak to a live person, but can only leave voicemail messages that are never responded to. (Here’s a sample complaint.) Once the recurring billings commence (which, if the consumer didn’t read the Terms and Conditions, may be a complete surprise), it is extremely difficult to stop them. Many people wind up canceling their credit cards.

Another risk, when you sign up for an offer or trial that requires you to provide credit card information: third party billing scams, in which the company with the offer or trial turns your credit information over to an Internet marketer, which then signs you up for memberships you didn’t ask for, resulting in surprise charges on your credit card. (If you’re a cell phone user–and who isn’t–you may be familiar with this as “cramming.”) And indeed, according to RealWritingJobs’ Privacy Policy (which I’m betting that few people who sign up with it bother to check), “We may use the personal information that you supply to us and we may work with other third party businesses to bring selected retail opportunities to our members via email. These businesses may include providers of direct marketing services and applications, including lookup and reference, data enhancement, suppression and validation and email marketing.” (My bolding.) At the very least, signing up with RealWritingJobs is likely to bring you an explosion of spam.

Writers: always be cautious of a business that spams you (and always suspect spam if you receive a solicitation out of the blue). Never trust an offer that sounds too good to be true. Always research any offer you’re thinking of accepting (and be aware that dodgy companies are anticipating this; RealWritingJobs has seeded the Internet with fake reviews that cleverly incorporate the word “scam”), and never fail to read the fine print (all of it. Even the boring parts). And don’t pay for a service you can get somewhere else for free!


  1. The simple way to avoid all these sorts of spam 'job offers' is to seek out your own clients. Writing sites are a financial dead end for writers – every time. As the author of 'The Freelance Writer's Guide to Making Money on Constant-Constant.com, I know all about writing for online content sites (legitimate ones). A year ago I was writing for CC for about 6 cents a word. A year later (and giving up on all writing sites and pursuing my own clients instead) I'm making about $6500 a month – and not even writing full time. So the bottom line is: there are no magic 'online opportunities' for writers, other than the ones you get by approaching successful businesses yourself and offering your services. And yes, credit card fraud is a huge issue – and often run by organised crime gangs. Be careful of giving your credit card info out online.

  2. Thanks for posting this. Had a Twitter message this morning from WritersPlace saying "Hey… Do you want a writing job?" A bit of research and clicking and I found this post. Thanks for the warnings!

  3. I wanted to respond to the Anonymous comment on 10/18/2013 9:51 AM about BKA Content being real.

    I've been writing for them for the last 2 years. While the hiring process is a bit stringent, and they do require 2 "free" samples once you have passed their grammar test, they are pretty awesome to write for in my experience. Once you are brought on board, they have their articles listed with the payout price to the writer BEFORE you take the article, so they are extremely transparent in that regard. They also require you to take content in "blocks", which typically consist of 2-5 pieces of content that need to be written.

    They size their teams so that everyone can stay busy which is really nice. They also do payouts every 2 weeks, and have a very consistent volume load.

    If you are considering applying, I wouldn't be nervous at all as they are well known, attend all the major SEO tradeshows, and have more of a team mentality when it comes to company culture than I've seen at other companies I have written for. So yeah, there is my 2 cents on that, hope it helps!

  4. I found my way here today after looking at their site. I was approached with a direct message on Twitter from someone called @WritersWanted. Their website was writingjobs.easylifestyles.org which led to a blog post that led to the real writing jobs site. They're pretty sneaky with it now. Be careful.

  5. I read their "Earnings Disclaimer," which says that every effort has been made to present the product and "it's potential." You'd think they'd actually hire one of the writers they claim to represent!

  6. It's a good thing I looked for a review for that site. I didn't get spam for it, but I just got a new follower called Online Writers and it had the link in their description. They must've noticed I recently subscribed to a lot of writing-related twitter profiles. :T

  7. I am glad I checked! These scams are insidious, and prey on the most vulnerable: unemployed people looking for any opportunity. I got connected to them by Craigslist. My advice is to always check out any internet related job offer for scams, before sending them ANY information.

  8. I'd like to thank you, too! I googled "Is realwritingjobs.com a scam?" and got you. I'm going to tweet them a link!

  9. Same song… eightieth verse… four years later and they are STILL in action. I was contacted through my hotmail account which I am in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn through. I would have loved to have had the extra tools they offered, but instead I smartly googled a check for this and got here. Thankfully, this site is still active.

  10. Thanks so much for this blog!! I received a message from the spam account on twitter, and was suspicious. As a writer, I know it can be difficult to get a job, so I'm always a little wary when people are asking eagerly if I want a job.

    I goggled real writing jobs, and your blog came up, confirming my suspicions. Thank you!!!! The extra info I picked up from you is VERY helpful!!

  11. wau, just got an invite from these guys…and as usually I am very cautious to these things…because I got a few invites directly to my personal email in the past that were fake. Glad you have this post – thank you!

  12. Sisters Blog,

    My guess is that it's the same sort of scam, possibly even run by the same people. Either way…avoid.

  13. Just saw a Google ad on a sidebar for WritingJobSource.com.

    Is this the same sort of scam? The wording you provided for RealWritingJobs.com sounds nearly identical to what these guys offer.

    Know anything about them?

  14. A site in Sweden called: tjana extra pengar.nu, has RealWritingJobs as a possible site to earn money if you are a writer. Im so happy I googled my way to your site, thanks all and everyone for the truth being told! Lets write great stories this year people!! Good luck all. Charlotte, Stockholm Sweden.

  15. Thank you for the warning …I was just about ready to sign up on RealWritingJobs.com but glad I did a search before. There was another suspiciously similar writing job ad on Craig's list. I presently write for Trip Advisor but would need something that pays. Could someone send me a list of legit writing websites at jmcimon@gmail.com …much appreciated….thank you!! (and happy new year!)

  16. As I thought! thanks for the confirmation. Digital Writer @digitalP0et tweetded me pointing me to RealWritingJobs.com and I thought this odd so looked on Google to find your blog.

  17. I looked at BKA. The site appears legit. However, it does not disclose article length. Therefore, an individual cannot determine if they can meet the requirement of 10 to 15 articles per week. I would would call the act deceptive on the face on not providing adequate information, which allows an applicant to make an informed decision.

  18. Does anyone know if bka content is fake or real?


    They suggest you have a paypal account so they can pay you. They encourage you to keep a saved copy of your writings so if there is any error in being paid. They want you to fill out a W9 IRS for so they can send you the 1099-Misc form since this will be considered self employment. They give you an estimate of how much each article costs, cents per word. There is not limit to how many articles one can write as long as it's met by a deadline.

    They also have MANY guidelines. If your articles hint at being copied, you're immediately fired. Lastly, as part of your hiring/application process, you must write a 400-450 word article as a trial to see if you qualify FOR FREE! This is where I am sketchy on if they're legit. Can someone help me out? They never once ask for you to pay $ out in advance nor ask for your credit card info.

  19. They got me! Unemployed, anxious, desperate, I paid them $ 47 to take paid online surveys… Money lost, time lost, anger and nothing to do about it. Stay away from these s.o.b, folks!

  20. Thanks for the heads up, got a message and when I went to the site (different site with a link) that's where it sent me.

  21. Cheers for this, I started following a couple of legit publishing houses on Twitter and then started getting these. Thought I'd do a bit of research and found this damn helpful article. Much obliged. I will also be reporting them on Twitter as spam

  22. Thks 4 the wake-up call. I was nearlyt taken but decided to investigate them and walla!I found these comments from you, pal. Saved me from throwing away the last hard-earned bucks in my pocket!

  23. Estuve a punto de morder en esa carnada, pues necesito trabajar, pues lo que más sé es escribir. Muchas gracias por el post y ojalá alguien me pueda enviar un sitio de escritura real, donde no nos engañen,

  24. I was considering signing up for this. At least, I was looking into whether it was a scam, let's face it, it was too good to be true. And those things usually are. Thank you for the info.

  25. I received an dm on Twitter prompting me to sign up for writing jobs at Real Writing Job. It sounded good but a little too good to be true. Very glad I checked this out and found your blog post. The website looked very suspect and your posts completely confirms my doubts. Thanks!

  26. Who cares if you were 'spammed' on twitter. More than likely it was an affiliate of theirs that did it.

    They touched Victoria the wrong way, she obviously has a vendetta against them.

    Victoria:Repeat this for me…..
    … goosfraba a few times.


  27. These crooks are still deceiving honest people looking to earn money online–I'm glad I came across this blog post! As an aspiring freelance writer, sometimes it's hard to know real from fake. Everyone must do serious research before investing money in anything.

  28. Great article!!! I found the website which you wrote about very tempting indded, as I am currently researching freelance writing, since being made redundant from my previous job. But, like you said! It all sounded too good to be true, so I did a Google search to see if I could find any bad press about it. Thankfully I stumbled upon your wonderful article in the search, which has enforced my belief that it is always best to be cautious, when trying to find the right company to achieve my goal. Bravo on an exceptional and informative article. Kind regards Paul

  29. A young friend in Nicaragua appears to be getting money for spamming ads for this — he's used a program for clickbacks and said he had $200 deposited in his bank account. He's desperate to make money for college in the US. Telling him that this is a scam hasn't been fun.

    Rebecca Ore

  30. Thanks for the info. I was really considering joining realwritingjobs, and I've done a final search, and now that I'm sure they are scammers I feel really disappointed.

  31. This blog confirmed my suspicions about realwritingjobs.com. I'm a mystery shopper and scammers try to do the same thing in that industry…..charge you for YOUR services. I picked up on the untruths right away and researched this "company". Please know that ANY legit job is not going to charge you! Great "looking out"!

  32. Thank you for this one. Someone just posted in a linkedIn group and I thought it was the real thing. I was hesitant to sign up so I looked it up first and I came across your blog. Whew that was close.

    I am very skeptical and am not sure if I can subscribe to their jobs. Logically speaking, I have not been able to convince myself based on these reasons:
    1. Why pay for a job when you don’t need any experience?
    2. Why 50% discount (i.e. half price) “save 50″ on a package that has already been priced to include total costs?
    3. Upon exit there is A FURTHER REDUCTION TO $24. I need explanation
    4. When you are still determined to leave it is further reduced to $12. WOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW. . . Does it mean the total cost is less than $12 and their initial registration is about $64 dollars?
    I then tried to zoom the check drawn but that was not possible. How authentic it may be, I am yet to know.

    Based on these I goggled but have forgotten the exact sentence.
    The result I got is summed up as:
    1. All legitimate writing sites are to be a part of a body.
    2. Their office location should be known and geographically locatable. With addresses and the likes.
    3. Dont believe cheques without authentication from that body. Sorry I’ve forgotten the name of the body.
    4. You are not supposed to pay for a job that promises earnings from your input.
    Great day folks

  34. Hi, for anyone interested on online writing,marketing,affiliate or any offers coming to your email or whatever.Before you get excited and jump into. Do the following I guess it will help.
    1.Copy the site offering whatever and check for forums and reviews before you decide anything.
    2.Do some research on Youtube too,its got helpful tips from people's experiences.But be careful as some maybe promoting these products.
    3.Don't get excited by low cost offers cause they will have hidden high cost waiting once you sign.
    So just don't believe everything you see on the screen.
    Learn to do some real time "SCREEN SHOPPING" before you put holes in your wallet.Nothing is easy. Internet is for real but not money making,so watch yourself and hard earned money. Hope it helps and take care. We learn and educate ourselves.Good Luck. Cheers

  35. Thanks everyone for this great info. I was lucky enough to read all the entries before I signed up for realwritingjobs. These companies are taking advantage of people who are already out of work. Should be stopped!

  36. Thanks for this…what amazes me is that their is no moderator watching such a large site as linkdin.

    Perhaps it doesn't fit within the 'business model' but one day may very well bring them down….

    However very grateful

  37. Thanks for keeping this post available. RealWritingJobs.com is posting all over LinkedIn, so I'm leaving a link to this post in the replies. Hopefully it will save someone some grief.

  38. Thank you! RealWritingJobs has been spamming me for months now, and I've been ignoring it for the most part. Just checked it out, and thought I'd google the authenticity of it (cuz I'm too lazy to read the fine print 😐 ). You're doing a pretty good thing here. 🙂

  39. Thanks for the warning. You are doing a very good job here. RealWritingJobs.com should be ashamed of themselves. From Eagles Enterprises, Brooklyn, NY 11210.

  40. Thanks, your article confirmed my gut feelings. Also thanks to Christina Hamlett for passing your blog posting along to me.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

  41. Thank you very much for the warning. Good of you to do this for the unsuspecting conned individual.



  42. Found this site on a Google search. I'm glad that I found your article because I am looking to hire writers to write articles for me on my site http://www.darrellhall.com since I'm too busy to do them myself now. I have used another site called iwriter.com it's pretty good but I'm looking for another source too.

    Thanks for the info!

  43. I'm glad I found this site. I wanted to confirm if RealWritingJobs.com was a genuine company because I kept getting those spam mails.

    Thanks Terri for your advice too.

    Greetings from New Zealand.

  44. I know this is an old thread but I came across it when I went to check up on the realwritingjobs.com thing. I kinda saw that as fake simply by how poorly and unprofessional their page is. But, I did not read all of the comments here so if I am repeating something someone else has said, forgive me. I want to put out there that no matter what company you are dealing with, even people like your cable or satelite company, if you give them your credit/debit card information, you cannot stop them from charging your bank account just by telling them to stop. I learned that the hard way. Lost a huge amount of money. The only way to truly prevent your card from being used like that is to cancel the card immediately and obtain a new one. Your bank should be able to verify what I am putting here. Hope it helps….

  45. I have had an email from these people today (so not just a twitter spammer) it was sent directly from Lisa Roberts, who is apparently their humnan resources director… 🙁
    I didnt look any further into it than googling their name, and found you LOL..
    these scams are getting pretty boring now.

  46. You'd think people would use their common sense — not that everyone has it — and realize that this and similar offers are all scams, but alas, no, there's still a sucker being born every minute. Probably two if the number of people who fall for these things is anything to go by.

  47. I had a feeling. thanks for the warning. who has the time or money to waste these days? and thanks for the legit site. time to get writing.
    God bless!

  48. @Anupama I fear there is nothing you can do to get any money back, although I do suggest you cancel any future payments sorry I can't give any better advice

  49. I am worried as I have spent some of my hard earned money on real writing jobs. Would someone guide me how to go about to undo the damage? Thanks.

  50. A very useful site. With so many of us turning to on-line writing for work it was bound to attract a flock of scammers, I think the collective noun is flock although a bastard of scammers would be better.
    So thank you Patti for some genuine sites.
    Anyone wanting to read up and be warned on some of the scam sites can visit my blog @ http://wrapcloth.wordpress.com/category/writing-scams-experience/
    for a heads up.
    Keep up the good work 😉

  51. A friend has just asked me about realwritingjobs.com; and googling for some info I came across your blog. Very clear. There are legitimate directories for writers, here are the two I use in Britain and Ireland: http://www.freelancedirectory.org.uk/ and http://www.journalistdirectory.com/journalist/
    These don't actually find you jobs, but they do allow you to display your skill set, show your work history and help legitimise any unsolicited approaches to editors.

    I think it's important to try to maintain the distincion between "broadcast" quality copy and "everything else". I suspect the likes of the sites you describe are just trawling for "everything else".

    Thanks for a useful blog.
    David Marshall

  52. Hi All
    I hope I'm not out of order but I have written a blog similar to this about another company the link is http://wp.me/p20X6a-a
    There's also another blog on it about another writing scam.
    Apologies if I've not followed any protocols I'm fairly new to this.

  53. Thank you so much fr sharing this info. I went to RealWritingJobs.com via a link provided by someone on LinkedIn as a credible online writing job site:( LinkedIn should should filter these kind of scams.

  54. Raju, if you paid with a credit card or via PayPal, dispute the charge with the company. They take such disputes seriously, and will investigate. Feel free to use this post as a reference.

  55. What can I do now that I have subscribed.

    Some of the real reviews like this one only popped up in the later pages of google search.

    Please tell me a way. The monthly amount will be a big burden for me.

  56. Let’s tell the truth about these people (Real Writing Jobs), shall we? Here’s the deal… You’ll pay a trial membership fee with the promise of being able to cancel within a 7 day period. You’ll log in once your payment is made to find nothing but scraped jobs from some of the worst bidding sites in the world and very little else. When you realise you’ve been duped and try to cancel your trial membership, you’ll find there is no way to do so. Their ticketing system never receives a reply and the promised cancellation link on your receipt doesn’t exist. They still managed to take your money though. I’d urge everybody who has ever been ripped off by these people to pressure Clickbank into closing their account. This company, and anybody who promotes them, are worthless filthbags.

    Thanks for continuing to raise awareness over these people. Really appreciated.

  57. Thanks for helping me avoid another get rich quick scheme. My wife fell for MLM while I was slaving way at 16 hrs a day, and 5 years later, all my money's gone and all I have are excuses. Am trying to re-invent, like everyone else. Thanks for the help. You do not push an alternative, so I believe you

  58. Oh no! I'm in big trouble! 🙁 I just joined today because I received an e-mail from realwritingjobs.com. I paid using Paypal and was charged $4.95 for the 7-day trial period plus $77.00 future payment to be billed once. I need help on how to discontinue with this trial period and avoid being charged of $77.00 after 7 days. Thank you in advance.

  59. I have been receiving this writing spam for many days now. Odd thing is when I first received them and ignored, I would not see another one for days. But when I blocked/reported for spam, I get two or more daily.

    Thank you for the link to reputable freelance jobs site.

  60. Very brave of you to click the link – I get them all the time and I'm too paranoid the link might be infected to click it

  61. I keep getting them, too – and I keep blocking and reporting them, to no avail. Will try the filter. And, writers, please don't ever pay anyone to find you a writing job. Bad enough the horribly low rates that abound, without paying someone else to find them.

  62. Thanks for posting this. I'm fairly new to the Twitterverse, but am already being spammed by people offering fake writing jobs.

    I would never fall for it, but at the same time, there's always that quiet, little voice that's curious and wants to believe it!

  63. The spamming continues, although the wording has morphed: it's now "Daily Writing Jobs" instead of "Writers Needed."

  64. Quote:

    "People like me who tried to expose them got harassed. They found out my phone number and called me at midnight every night for a week and left threats on my voice mail."

    Just to be clear, this is a criminal offense. If it continues, I suggest that you take legal action, up to and including a restraining order. Any escalation on the part of the spammer may open the door to prosecution.

  65. Thanks for the info. I have been getting spams on twitter as well as in my email about writing from home. I go by the rule of thumb that if I didn't send them a submission then something isn't quite right.

  66. Oh, how nice, they offered you membership for $2.95. When I looked it was $4.97. I keep wondering why they are aiming their spam at publishing houses and other writerly types who can't help but notice it's a scam. It's almost as if they WANT to be caught.

  67. This is a very useful post. I've been getting a ton of these, and while I've only been on Twitter since September, it seemed to me to be no different than spam. People should know better. But about 1% of spam recipients bite on the occasional email, making it more than worthwhile for the spammer.

  68. Spam really puts a burr under my saddle, and I've been getting hit by these folks, too. I use TweetDeck, so you can be sure I'll be using that filter, Laura!

  69. Thanks for investigating this nuisance company. I think it's good common sense to ignore "offers" of writing jobs from a company or person who's never even seen your writing.

    I'm also glad to find about the filter. Although I've been reporting and blocking them too, I'd just soon not receive any more.

  70. One of my forums has been getting a barrage of attacks from them, too.

    They show a phony ad looking for both "proof readers" and "proofreaders" in successive lines.

    Apparently, they really need one.

  71. You don't have to be "big" on Twitter Joanna. I think it happens if you've used the word "writer" in your Twitter bio.

    Laura, I'll try that – thanks!

    have blocked and reported all of them but they are a Hydra!

  72. Wow, I am new to Twitter and got this spam almost immediately. Luckily I wasn't hooked, but for a struggling writer newly unemployed from a long time day job, it was tempting – for a nanosecond. Currently there is a spam going around FB from a new "friend" advertising a social network group for writers that will explode your career yadda yadda. Blocked her. This is a wonderful blog, I've newly subscribed!

  73. I've been getting tons of the twitspam, too. The "seeding" and verbal harassment Anon mentions sound like an outfit that ran a similar scam for potential ebay sellers a few years ago. They offered their worthless "secrets for selling on ebay" CD for "free" (only $2.98 shipping) and then billed the victim's credit card for $49 a month for "membership" in a non existent club until the victim canceled the card. Even banks couldn't get through to them.

    People like me who tried to expose them got harassed. They found out my phone number and called me at midnight every night for a week and left threats on my voice mail. Creepy, nasty people.

  74. Word of advice: If you receive this particular spam and absolutely must make a smartass remark about the offer of a "real writing job," do NOT hashtag the sender. I did, and I've been fielding nasty comments and annotated retweets ever since. These people have no sennse of humor.

  75. @Laura, thank you for the tip about using a filter on tweetdeck. I've tried every way I know how to get those annoying spammers to leave me alone, including blocking, reporting. I've now resorted to changing my username. Spammers should be beaten.

  76. What? Why haven't I received any random pr0n Twitspam? 🙁

    Thanks for the heads up, though I always have to wonder why people would need a heads up about these things… I mean, it seems an obvious scam, but I guess I'm the suspicious type. Very.

  77. I have been getting a TON of them on twitter. I was found out you can actually create a filter so you can stop them from coming into your twitter if you're on tweetdeck. It's under settings and global settings.

    I, too, have blocked and reported spam with all of them!

  78. thanx for the heads up I have been hearing other authors online complain about this too, luckily I am not that big on twitter to be on their radar.

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