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Freelance Writing Scams on oDesk, Elance etc.
As many freelance writers cannot be satisfied with their passive income alone, and many of the freelance writers often freelance for bidding websites like oDesk, Elance, Guru etc. I am a freelance writer too and I work on some of these websites and get paid for the same. But I found some scams as well, prevailing there, and making fools out of some needy, desperate and/or stupid writers.
NOTE: The websites that I mentioned above have nothing to do with these scams. These are legitimate websites which provide a platform to bridge in between the freelancers and their clients.
DISCLAIMER: I am sharing my honest and sincere personal opinions and experience and I am not responsible for any probable mishaps and/or loss of jobs.
As I am a contractor (worker) at oDesk, I am notified with numerous writing jobs, usually article writing. But there exists a possible chance of scams in these jobs, for which you have to keep your eyes open. Although I must say that besides the following possible scam, these websites have mostly genuine jobs and can become a very good platform for aspiring freelance writers. These following suggestions may or may not prove true, but there is a possible risk of scams involved in this, which you can see as follows:
Once I saw a buyer (client in need of articles), who posted a job about article writing, and he notified in the job posting that whoever is to be selected for the interview, needs to submit a sample article to further qualify to win the job. Some points to be noted here are:
- The buyer had not paid any single penny yet.
- The buyer did not have any feedback.
- I applied for the job to testify his legitimacy and I was soon shifted into the ‘interviewing’ category with other 14 applicants.
- All of the 14 applicants were being interviewed. In other words, EVERY applicant was being interviewed and hence every applicant was asked to write a sample article.
- The buyer asked me to write a sample article of 600 words. He himself gave me a topic, which was a very potential keyword.
- I did not reply back, but I kept on researching and I found that he had 8 open projects but none was awarded to any contractor. I found out that on every project that he had posted, he was interviewing at least 95% of the applicants (remember that he is a new buyer with no money spent and having any feedbacks).
I waited for a day and he sent a message to me if I am still interested. I replied back that I am interested but I am not feeling well about the loads and loads of ‘sample things’ going around. I sent him my hubpages’ profile link, and asked him that if he is serious then he can check my profile at hubpages which have around 60 articles at the moment.
He would have a much better idea of my writing, rather than judging me with an article sample. But the next thing, as expected, he kicked me out of the interviewees’ list and declined my offer/bid.
Do a little bit of calculation. He was running approximately 8 different projects with an average of 14 interviewees for every project. He would have been easily snatched 10 sample articles out of those 14 contractors. Then our mathematical brain tells us that, if he does not award those projects to any of the contractors (pretending that he was not satisfied with any of the samples and contractors), he still had the possession of approximately 80 articles FOR FREE! (10 samples x 8 projects).
He himself gave me the keyword, means he could have given a different keyword to every different bidder, and I am sure he must have given different keywords to every contractor. Still, those projects are not being awarded to everyone. Everybody will think that his work was not good enough of satisfy the buyer and will soon forget about looking at that posting, and that project will remain open with around 80 original, unique, potential key-words articles being snatched out of the interviewees.
I had this little experience that I wanted to share with all my fellow freelance writers. So that you may spread this among your communities, friends and profiles and may help us to stop the menace and to help us achieving our rightful rights for the hard-working freelance writers. I hope this would have helped a bit for the cause. Have a good day, keep writing.