We all have stopped for a minute or two to check out the headlines. "Earn $24,000 dollars while you sleep". "I am sharing my secret method for the next 6 hrs to help you make hundreds of thousands dollars". I wish it was that easy. This is a quick checklist of "6 Kinds of Dead-End Gigs".
"Six Kinds Of Dead-End Gigs"
Here are six types of freelance gigs that probably won't end up paying off – and may even wind up costing you money:
Okay, let's get the scams out of the way right off the bat. We hope this goes without saying, but when it comes to work-at-home gigs, the old adage definitely applies: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. "Any 'opportunity' that offers ridiculously high income for menial work, in the end, will not be worth anyone's time because it's inevitably a scam," says Tom Harnish, co-author of "Undress for Success: The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home."9
"Why would a company pay someone several dollars to stuff an envelope when a machine can do thousands an hour for pennies?" Harnish says. "The point is, such promises are inevitably 'come-ons' designed to trick you into paying for a worthless starter kit."
2. Multi-Level Marketing
Multi-level marketing jobs are gigs where you need to sell stuff, usually by means of a "party plan" or by taking catalog orders. While there's the occasional success story – the people who win new cars or tropical vacations because they're the top earners in their territories – most people who try these opportunities don't end up making much. They often don't even recoup the cost of the "starter kit" or other supplies they needed to buy.
"You'll get howls of protest from the people who've drunk the Kool-Aid, but the fact is those jobs just aren't worth the time," Harnish says. "The vast majority of people actually spend more money than they make."
3. Sales And Business Development
"These jobs are all over the place right now," says Fell, adding that these types of jobs often require an investment of time before you see a profit, because most of them are commission-based to some degree, if not entirely.
4. Online Writing/Blogging Jobs With Non-Traditional Pay Structures
Fell says these jobs are also abundant right now, but many companies are imposing a lot of "catches" or employing creative payment strategies.
"Many companies have payment structures that are not strictly per article or per word," she says. "Instead, some have payments tied to submissions being accepted according to specific guidelines - opening up a risk of the freelancer writing content that won't be accepted - or calculated based on the amount of advertising revenue generated by the content, which is not guaranteed."
A popular trend right now: sites that offer payment on a per-click basis. The problem: contributors have no way to verify the numbers - and regardless, the per-click rate is usually minuscule.
5. Online Education And Training Course Designers
"This is another type of freelance opportunity that often has the earnings based on revenues generated from the sale of each course," Fell says. "The designer puts in the energy and effort up front, with potential of longer-term residual commissions." Also, this type of work may require freelancers to invest in equipment or supplies, or put wear and tear on equipment they already own.
6. Freelance Filmmakers
"This is another hot commodity in the online content industry," says Fell. "Filmmakers typically produce short videos for use on the web, often getting paid upon acceptance or upon advertising." Again, these gigs may require equipment or supplies that, in some cases, can be pricey.
The Bottom Line
As with any other job situation, it's important to thoroughly check out freelance opportunities before investing any time and effort. Make sure you fully understand the fees and payment structure, and watch out for any fine print or creative payment tactics that may delay your payment. Plenty of worthwhile freelance gigs are out there - you just need to be careful to steer clear of the duds and dead ends."