Work. From. Home.

Three words. Three relatively short words. When separated, they don’t really draw out too much emotion. Combine them, and you get a phrase that elicits both hope for a new beginning and a severe fear that what little you have can be crushed and taken away.

Ugh. Right?

Work at Home/Telecommuting Jobs

Today’s post revolves finding actual work at home jobs. I’m not talking about job “opportunities,” pyramid schemes, multi-level-marketing programs or anything else that wouldn’t be considered a traditional job. I’m talking about telecommuting. The act of working out of your home office for an employer. You work a set amount of hours. You get paid a set amount of money. It’s a job. Nothing more, nothing less.

Want more money?
This video will show you the simplest and fastest way to make money online today. Watch it for free right now.

The Internet made working from home possible. It also took the idea, twisted it, and turned it into something that could actually lose you money. Real telecommuting jobs DO exist! I’ve seen them! Honest! And I’ll show you how to find them, how to spot the scams, and how you can get started, today.

What to Expect

Have you ever searched for a job online? It can be a complete disaster if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can be scammed out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you aren’t careful.

Scams disguised as jobs claim new victims every day. Be sure to read the following article extensively. Not only will it save you hours of frustration, but it could save you from becoming another victim.

How to Spot the Junk

Before we even begin searching for telecommuting jobs, you need to know how to differentiate between fake work at home “opportunities” and legitimate telecommuting jobs.

It’s best to start with an example. Here are two ads from craigslist, each advertising a different “work-from-home” job:

Job Ad #1

Web Content Writers

Needed Part Time, Full Time, freelance writers. VRO Websites is hiring writers who can rewrite vacation rental descriptions into the VRO Website format. You will incorporate keywords into the content to help with search engine placement. We have a specific process and format that you will follow to create the property descriptions.

We will pay $20 per property. A skilled writer can complete one property in an hour or less; once you have a firm understanding of the format. This is a work at home job, or can be a full time job, hourly job, if you would like to join our staff. We have offices in SE Portland near the corner of Morrison and Grand Ave.

Please submit a resume and writing samples. We will contact qualified clients. We need immediate help, so please list your availability as well.

* Location: SE Portland
* Compensation: $20 per Property Description
* Telecommuting is ok.
* This is a part-time job.
* Principals only.

Job Ad #2

Consumer Driven Health Care

#1 Leading health care provider company in the United States is seeking health representatives that want to work from home.
Our company has been in business for 14 great years with well over 1.7 million satisfied members and still growing.
* Compensation: commission
* Telecommuting is ok.
* This is a part-time job.
* Principals only.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!

Job Ad #1 is for a legitimate job, by which I mean an arrangement in which a company or individual pays you a predetermined amount in exchange for your time and/or skill. Job Ad #2 is a “hook” for Ameriplan USA. I’m not saying Ameriplan is a scam, but it’s definitely not a job that will bring you a known figure in exchange for a known amount of time.

Identify “hook” ads in three seconds or less

Here’s how: pretend you’re in an interview. What if you were in a job interview and the interviewer kept making vague statements about how much money you’re going to earn? What if you asked what kind of work you’ll be doing and he said, “You’ll be helping people achieve financial freedom,” or a similarly vague answer? You’d know something is not right. So take that interview mentality with you when reading work-at-home ads.

The following are red flags in part because you’d never see or hear them at an interview for a real job. Individually, they don’t automatically indicate a fake job or “hook” ad, but ads containing more than one of them are almost certainly selling you something other than a job.

  • Vague job description – After reading Job Ad #1 you know exactly what you’ll be doing. But what kind of work will you be doing for Job Ad #2? It doesn’t tell you! Hook ads have to be general because if they were specific, you wouldn’t click through to their sales page.
  • Exaggerated titles – If a title uses any combination of the following words, proceed with caution: money, income, freedom, unlimited, or success.
  • Vague statements about pay – You’ll earn “commission.” Next time you fill out a credit application, write “commission” in the Income line and see how far it gets you. Real employers know exactly how much they’re willing to pay you, and batting that figure about is a normal part of the hiring process for real jobs. Imagine going to a real job interview, and when you ask about pay, the employer says, “As much as you want to earn! You can live the life you’ve always dreamed of!” You’d see right through him. Online jobs are no different.
  • Talk about Big Money – While they never give specifics, hook ads do often tantalize you with large numbers. $500/week! Part time! Up to $100 per hour!
  • Exclamation points!!! – Job Ad #2 doesn’t have any, but they very often do. Truly exciting job opportunities don’t need exclamation points. That they’re exciting should be self evident from the detailed description.
  • A hyperlink in the ad – Sure, legitimate companies can link to their business Web site, but they often do not. Hook ads need the link because they’ve got to get you to the sales page.

It’s all in the headline

Here’s an actual headline for another craigslist hook ad:

Work From Home $1,500 to $3,000 PT or FT Legitimate & Honest Job!!!

Here’s the thing. Do you believe the guy at work who says he was the funniest and best-looking dude at last weekend’s company picnic? Of course not! In the same way, it never occurs to legitimate employers to tell you that they’re legitimate. Why should they? They are looking for employees, not to prove themselves. If you doubt me, go to your next job interview and ask, “Is this a legitimate job or a scam?” It’s a quick way to end the interview and the funny look on the interviewer’s face might be worth sabotaging your chances.

There are other warning signs, but these are the ones we see all the time. With practice, you can learn to identify them at a glance. Soon enough, you won’t even have to read the article. Most headlines reveal enough details about the job that will allow you to skip the posting entirely. You will no longer waste time pursuing leads that only end up being hook ads.

Using craigslist to find jobs

If you’ve never before experienced craigslist you’re in for a real treat. is comparable to the most populated shopping mall on Black Friday where all the customers are on some form of stimulant drugs, and someone shouts “Everything in the mall is now 99% off!” There is pushing, yelling, fighting, an old lady gets knocked over, three people are hospitalized, and someone is arrested for gang related crimes.

Right now, you probably feel like the old knocked over elderly lady. But, fear not, with this guide you will be the leader of the unruly mob. Welcome to craigslist.

craigslist in brief

craigslist is an enormous, rapidly changing set of classified ads. It’s a city within itself. From advertising your local business to finding a ride across the country, to personal ads, craigslist has it all. At first glance, it looks like an unorganized list of links that serve no real purpose.

Simply put, it is largely overwhelming, especially if you have no prior experience navigating it. But I can assure you that underneath all of that clutter is an efficient, well-regulated work-at-home resource just waiting to be discovered.

How to Search craigslist

Here’s a brief overview of navigating through craigslist for those who are unfamiliar with the site. Along the right side of the main page is the location navigation section. Here are the major cities, states, and countries from around the world listed in alphabetical order.

Selecting a state or province will give you further location options until you can narrow it down to the city or town closest to where you live. After you select a city, the middle portion of the home page will change to your selected city and you’ll see a number of categories from items for sale, to job listings, to personal ads. Clicking on any heading will take you to the list of available postings.

Spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with craigslist by following the instructions above to get to the List closest to your location. Then, once you’ve poked around your local List, test your craigslist skills with the activities below.

Making money online has never been easier...
And this free video will show you exactly everything you need to do to get started. Click here to watch it now.

If you can easily accomplish the following three tasks, you’ve got a strong grasp on craigslist navigation.

  • Locate a list of subletting apartments in Reno, Nevada.
  • Search for available tickets for sale in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Find available writing jobs around Tallahassee, Florida.

Searching craigslist

Now that you understand how craigslist works, you can finally begin your job search. The true beauty of a telecommuting job is that location doesn’t matter. You can be employed by a law firm in San Francisco even if you live in Calgary or Florida. With that in mind, the largest number of work at home job ads will be based in major cities with the most people actively searching those cities. This can work both for and against you.

On one hand, you’ll have more job ads posted in a specific city, making your life easy, but on the other, you have even more competition from others looking to work at home, too. So select a major city, visit the craigslist of that city and begin your search.

  • First, narrow your search by industry. You should begin by narrowing down your search because if you just do a generic search for “jobs,” you’ll get too many irrelevant results. Beneath the Jobs heading, you’ll see a long list of industry-specific categories. You’ll want to stay in the category that best describes the type of job you’re looking for. This won’t eliminate the junk ads, but these categories generally have much less junk than the “Etc.” and “Part time” categories. You can also browse every job heading if you haven’t narrowed down your area of expertise first. Just click on the actual “Jobs” title to view every available job posting.
  • Narrow your search to “telecommuting.” Once you arrive at the appropriate section, you’ll be able to narrow down your search to just telecommuting jobs by using the search feature located at the top of the section. Don’t bother fling in the search box. Simply check the “Telecommute” check box and click search to pull up ads that list telecommuting as an option. A list of postings will present itself in chronological order starting with the most recent.
  • Narrow your search by time. Look at listings from the previous three days only. craigslist ads move so fast that they’re obsolete within 72 hours, at the most. You will be doing yourself a favor by not wasting time waiting to hear back from an outdated ad. Stick to current postings and avoid the headaches.
  • Be as specific as possible with keywords. When you choose to put something in the search box (other than just selecting the “Telecommuting” box) be specific. Don’t use generic terms such as “work at home” or “virtual job” because, nine times out of ten, you’ll only return scams. To attract real jobs, use terms such as “writer” or other job title, and type-of-work keywords such as “freelance” and “independent contractor.”


  • Stick to big cities in your search. These contain the most ads.
  • Stay in industry-specific sections and keep away from the part-time and “Etc.” sections. They always contain the most spam and hook ads.
  • Try to avoid applying for jobs older than 72 hours.
  • Don’t use generic terms like “work at home” when searching. Stay job-specific.

Not So Perfect

The only drawback to searching with the telecommute option is that in order for it to be useful, the employer listing the job has to know what it means. Unfortunately, many don’t, and they won’t check it even though it’s an available option and those not looking for remote workers sometimes do check it.

There isn’t a good shortcut around this problem, so you might just have to spend some time reading ads in-depth to ensure that you don’t pass over a golden opportunity or waste time applying to a company that isn’t looking for telecommuters. craigslist is good, but like most things, it’s not perfect. This flaw is more of a minor annoyance. Don’t let it hinder your searching.

Have Others Find Jobs for You

There is always the option to skip the hassle of searching for jobs and have someone else do it for you. I have 3 options below. As you move down the list, more work at home opportunities will be made available.

You aren’t actually paying for a work at home job here. You’re paying someone else to sift through all of the bogus opportunities out there and provide you with nothing but legitimate ways of making money.

    Cost: FREE!
    The first site is owned and operated by our good friend Eddy Salomon (also of fame.) Eddy regularly searches for legitimate opportunities and posts them here. The site is free to use and is therefore sponsored by advertisements. Keep this in mind while you search!

  2. 121 Hidden Online Jobs
    Cost: $7!
    This is actually a report that I myself wrote. I researched over 100 different companies and compiled all of the legitimate opportunities into an easy to use guide. It’s only seven dollars and your purchase helps me keep I’ve Tried That running! Highly recommended!

  3. HomeJobStop
    Cost: Starts at $18!
    HomeJobStop is best suited for someone who wants to really kick start their telecommuting career. You’ll get access to hundreds of legitimate work at home job ads. It’s updated constantly and you can get a lifetime membership for just eighteen dollars. This is a very powerful tool not to be overlooked.

In all honesty, let someone else do the work for you. Yes, you may have to spend a few dollars but the amount of time you’ll save and the headaches you’ll miss out on will surely be worth it.

Stay safe out there. Please, please, please ask me to look into a job for you if you think it may be a scam. I’ll be more than happy to help.

Back tomorrow with information on building your own online business. Stay tuned.

READ THIS NEXT: How to build a full-time income online with no experience

Join the Discussion

  • Gina

    That was a brilliant tip, Steve. I tried it on Craigslist, and it made researching online jobs so much easier. And you’re right there are some pretty good ones out there. Thanks!

  • Steve Marshall
    Steve Marshall

    Phew!! Awesome post, as always. Thank you, Steve. Looking forward to “the rest of the story ” (installment three) as Paul Harvey used to say!!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *