Writing Online; Tips for Newbies Part VI
Tricks Sites Play
Most writers, especially newbies, don't realise that many so called online writing sites are nothing more than scams. The writing is used as 'wall paper' on which to hang the Ads.
By making huge promises and sucking in thousands of writers, the owners of the site can boast to the advertisers; "We have 87,000 views per DAY!"
This means that the advertisers pay the site more than if it had 87,000 users per month.
The more visits and views, the more the advertiser pays. And this 'pay' goes into the pocket of the site owner. NOT the writer.
As many online writing sites are hosted on Free Host Sites, and as it costs nothing for the Owner of the site to get an Adsense account in his own name, all the coin that comes in, comes into the pocket of the Owner.
The only 'problem' (if one were to use the word), the Owner of the Scam Writing Site has, is how to get the average person to write their fingers off for virtually nothing?
These are some of the tricks sites play. Be ALERT!
Moderation at the Speed of Snail
Claiming to 'moderate' every post is often a way to delay publication of every post. It is not that sites proofread or judge the quality of a submission, it is that sites need to slow down your ability to earn.
They limit your ability to earn by slowing down moderation.
Hence, if you can post five items a day and each item earns 10c a day, how long will it take you to earn $10.00? By making sure no more than three items are published in a week, even if they go viral, it will take a bit of time for you to reach that 'redemption'.
Once one becomes aware of this delay, one stops posting until all previous items have been published. So the slowing is mutual.
The slowing doesn't start with the first submission. If it did, you'd be visiting once a week. As every visit to the site is a visit, (although 99% are writers on the site, checking their writing) the Owner has to keep you logging on every day.
As most scams, the publishing site begins in a friendly manner. It will publish your first item, maybe even your fifth with not much delay so as to get your stuff out there and make it seem you are 'earning'.
Then, the time between post and publish begins to elongate.
This is the first RED FLAG that the site is rubbish.
Literacybase, towards the middle of its existence, adopted a three day wait between submission and publish.
This was not because the mod was swamped and didn't get around to your work, this was because LB, (as it was called) didn't want to pay its writers.
The easiest way NOT to pay was to prevent the writer from reaching redemption. By slowing down the ability of the writers to earn, the site could keep them around.
Some writers would submit four or five articles, and wait. In two days one would appear online, maybe another a day later.
Hence, the money earned from the publication of the items; that is, the views, was slowed. The writer, who had joined in December and was active, would finally make that $10 redemption in February and wouldn't be paid until March.
This put more money in the pockets of the Owners, who had been collecting on each item from the day of publication.
The owners of LB made so much money ripping off their writers that when the site went down, they could buy a car or two.
Virily is site which is copying that slow moderation. The first few articles are moderated in a timely fashion.
After you have five items published, all getting views and comments and hits; your next items grow mold waiting to be published.
Contact the Admin? Yah. Waste of time.
As soon as you reach the stage you need to contact the Admin.... leave.
When a site, such as the now defunct Literacybase, wants to cut your output, it will claim that your work was 'plagiarised'.
This can work with those who do plagiarise. This can work when one writes a factual or historical piece, or uses quotes, etc.
This lie doesn't work when you are sitting at the computer in your night clothes because you just got this fantastic idea, and want to capture it.
Then, when the lying Admin tries to reject the item, you realise you've been posting on a scam site.
Many sites use false charges of Plagiarism to evict uses, delete their posts, etc. This is a gimmick.
This is an excuse why the site won't pay that holds up only if you question your own integrity.
This excuse is used by the biggest Scam sites ever to clog the Internet. It is used to give what the owners think is an 'acceptable' reason why they rip you off.
Often their little Shills will run with this lie because no coward trembles more than a shill who is afraid to lose its feeding tree.
A real site will tell you what 'rule' you broke; for example "We do not accept submissions with obscenities...".
Scam sites just claim "You Broke The Rules!", capture your work (from which they have earned, earn, and will earn revenue) and lock you out.
The fact that your work is still up and they are still earning from it, proves, beyond proof, the site is a scam.
What To Do?
If you think you are on a Scam site, go to one of the sites like Scamadviser and check. If the site has warnings, well you know you aren't the first victim. If the site doesn't have warnings, then you be the first to advise.
Depending on where you live, try to contact the 'authorities', in some places it is the Attorney General, in some places, the FBI, just find out where you can report a scam.
You will need your evidence, and should have it at hand.
For example, a particular site was crushed in 2010 due to complaints to the FBI. Another, the infamous Bubblews was reported to so many places, and so many people were coming after it, the owners took the money and ran.
However, the most important thing and the easiest, is to be alert.
When moderation is slow, stop posting. When you're accused of Plagiarism, especially when the item is original, delete and run. When you are told you Broke The Rules, (unless the Rules are specified and you did break them) remove your work if you can, complain to an agency if you can't.