A million years ago, in internet terms at least, I got a few programming/web page jobs through eLance. They paid poorly but I got to build my skills that way, as well as have a track record of clients. I've now been on UpWork for a while and have never gotten a nibble. For any job category. Too many people who will work for five bucks out of the Ukraine or Malaysia. For work that ranges from simply sub standard to absolute crap. I read one medical blog that used paid content where everything read like it was written by a Nigerian Prince trying to transfer his family's money out of the country.

FWIW, TextBroker is one of the worst, I'd make more money by not driving to the store for one trip than by working for them 40 hours a week for six months. AuthorsXP might be a little better, but I'm still not sure I'd trust a beta read through them.

The best way to find legitimate work for the OP is to first figure out what you're good at. You should be blogging about something already, maybe writing, old cars, canning, candle making, yurt building, squirrel recipes, raising a child, working at an animal shelter or anything else you're interested in. Use that as a way to build both a writing resume and to hone your skills for online writing or freelance work. Contact every company you have ever heard of and see if they need content written for their site. Clubs, organizations, civic groups and so on all need cheap or free help. A regular 300 word column in the local Penny Saver about household medical remedies is a great lead in to writing content for medical sites and practices.

Somebody somewhere always needs something written. If you can write it, they will often pay you for it. 20% of the work is writing, 80% is finding the client to write for.

Good luck.