The non-hustlers among us don't bother checking out Craigslist help-wanted. With the intensity of conviction of all uninformed they proclaim the site contains no legitimate well-paying assignments. From the get-go I knew better.
For about four years I have managed to identify, go after and get the quality of work one would expect on Mediabistro.com. Last year the gross revenues from Craigslist totaled about $20,000.
But, to stop wasting time I had to learn how to game the Craigslist system. As I view it the game is tilted towards those who intend to pay very low or no compensation for demanding work.
For example, there is a continual call for unpaid interns, despite the lawsuits won by former unpaid interns against brandname enterprises like the "Charlie Rose Show" and Conde Nast. The latter has terminated its intern program.
In addition there are assignments paying about $10 hourly or less. There also are those articles to be written for, say $60, which would require about 10 hours.
Of course, there are the outright scams. The Mystery Shopper one is classic. It's right up there with the Nigerian type of fraud.
This series will present in blunt terms what I have learned about gaming the system. Not that I always succeed. Just yesterday, after courting a new media outlet for about two months, I was stunned to be offered $60 for what I assessed to be a complex article. Wise in the ways of the Craigslist world, I got it. I said "no" and do not intend to ever review again that "opportunity."
Yes, we make progress on the learning curve. But so do the creeps and downright cons on Craigslist. Stay posted. Next I will describe to you how to stand out among the 300 who reply to a lucrative real opportunity.