The Ultimate Primer for Protecting Yourself on Writing Sites
Birth of a Scam
Some people think that online writing scams are accidental.
They assume some decent chap tried to create a good platform and due to economic problems was unable to pay the users and the pressure got so great that he could not meet his obligations so closed the site.
These are the same people who believe in coincidence, accident, and inadvertence.
There are people who see the creation of a Ponzi from day one. They check the pay out, the quality, or lack thereof, and say; “Uh huh...this is a rip.”
Those who announce this early in the existence of the site are attacked by Shills, those who know they are and are paid to be Shills, and those who aren't paid and don’t know they are Shills.
Depending on how trusting one is, that is the level of self destruction.
Those who write and reach the pay out, stop, make the request, and receive the promised sum, will write again. They will go until reaching the second pay out, make another demand and do nothing until they receive it.
These people obviously suffer less deprivation than those who get one pay out, assume the site is legitimate, and write their fingers off.
Nuts & Bolts
You don’t need to have a Ph.D in economics to appreciate that if you earn 1c you can’t pay out 1c.
To pay for every view, to pay for comments and likes has no economic basis.
Money comes from the advertisers. How much do these advertisers pay to put their unseeen ads on a page containing amateur writing on the Internet?
How many people who visit these writing sites, see the ads and click on them?
One out of a thousand?
One out of ten thousand?
Sure, fool the public into thinking that this page has 100k hits by paying people to comment and like, but considering how much money the advertisers actually pay to finance that page, where is the money coming from?
Anyone who wrote for Triond, for example, knows that 6 views gained 1.
They could do the math and see how many thousands oone needs to make $25.
So how is it that a site can pay so many times better than Triond?
Think of it; you have 6k hits on Triond and get $10.
Yet, on this other site, you have $20. How?
Where is the money coming from?
From Day One
Bubblews was created as a Ponzi.
There was never a second when it was legitimate.
It was never formed as a real writing or publishing platform. It was created with one thought in mind; to make money for the owner.
The platforms was free so all that was needed was content and ads.
Free hosting, and already created Adsense account , now content.
Where to get the first set of ‘wallpaper’ on which to hang the ads?
Write it yourself, plagiarise other writers, steal if you want, and then start advertising your site on all the other writing sites.
Create a user on every single site you can find, and leave messages for all the users;
“Hey! Have you tried Bubblews? It pays high for hits, for comments and even for likes!"
Members of these other sites will visit, (thus proving you get a whole lot of hits so you can make deals with other advertisers) and join.
They’ll start posting, so the site can start pulling down the plagiarised work and substitut original stuff.
The Owners keep inviting users. More and more arrive, the advertisers do their own checks, feel confident.
As the site offers to pay more than others and pay for things no other site does, every warm body that enters is facilitated to write their fingers off.
Now comes the first pay out; even if one has to sell their jewelry to make it.
That first pay out creates Shills.
Every scam has ‘satisfied customers’.
From the earliest days of street vending there was always someone walking around the crowd claiming that the Snake Oil cured his baldness, or made him irresistible to women.
This was the basic Shill; a guy who was hired to prime the crowd. He knew what he was there for. That the Snake Oil was worthless was no surprise to him.
Today, many Shills do not realise who they are and what they are doing.
They come on a site, they get paid, and they run around roping in dozens of people. Many use their ‘referral’ number so they get a piece of their victim’s coin.
Shills never stop touting until they get ripped off. And they do get ripped off. The site owner owes them nothing, sees them as useful idiots.
But their use is limited.
For just as a sucker is born every minute, so is a Shill.
Here’s how it goes.
Every person who joins the site is going to be paid that first time. It doesn’t matter if they have accumulated their 'pay’ by likes, comments and only wrote one crappy item.
As soon as they reach the 'redemption’ they are paid. That is bottom line. The first pay out.
After that first pay, the Site Owner sets an 'algorithm' for those going for pay out 2.
Those who have brought in ten new bodies get paid.
Those who haven’t, don’t.
However this depends on how much money the Owner has in the account.
Hence, if after paying those First Timers he has only enough to pay 1/3rd of his Shills, he pays 1/3rd.
So Fat Mary could have brought in 10 new bodies, but alas, so have so many others, so she doesn’t make the cut.
This is not immediately perceived by Fat Mary.
All she knows is that she reached the first Redemption and received it, so began working on her second, put in for that, and despite not getting it, moved to obtain her third.
Fat Mary may keep posting and expecting her pay out. She may be one of the extremely stupid who can still write even though the site owes her seven redemptions.
Hence Fat Mary has loaded the site. The Owner needs no plagiarised stuff. He doesn’t need to spend a minute shilling, she’ll do that.
Meanwhile hundreds of people are raving about the site and thousands are flocking to it. The money Fat Mary may have obtained is used to pay the newbies.
There are people with fully operational brains who join a site and note that the Redemption is $25 and spend their days liking and commenting and posting five or so articles.
As soon as they reach $25 they put in for the redemption and do not make another keystroke.
When they get that first redemption they begin liking and commenting, and putting in a few articles until they reach their next redemption.
When they don’t get it, they start to complain.
They complain to the Owner. When all they get are promises and delays they complain on line. This is where the Shills come in.
When Unpaid starts posting on other writing sites, Fat Mary and her clones start the attack. They often accuse Unpaid of 'breaking the rules’ as if they have coffee with the Owner every afternoon.
If Unpaid lives in America or knows the Law and where to complain, the Owner might notice and pay that Redemption then block Unpaid from the site.
If Unpaid lives in a 3rd World Nation, he is treated as a cockroach.
How it is Played
All first time users are paid. A fraction of second redeemers are paid, a tiny fraction of third redeemers are paid, moving along with less and less.
Those who live in the Third World are ignored. They have no justice system behind them.
Those who live in the First World who are vociferous and can make trouble are paid off. Their subsequent postings are hidden so that they will make Zero. Even if 1M people read their work, they make Zero. This is to get rid of them.
Meanwhile, the Owner is making the bundle. He has XYZ Million hits, the Advertisers are happy. His new users are happy. The vast majority remains unpaid.
The Owner will go on until the lawsuits slap him. Then, he will take down the site.
What To Do?
Never trust any publishing site until you have at least six months of 'redemptions’ under your belt.
Some sites pay automatically every month, even if you only make 37c. Those who demand a 'ceiling’ i.e. $50 are not going to pay.
Oh, they may follow the Ponzi trend and give you that first redemption, but many go down before you achieve the threshold.
Tout no site. You have no idea what is going on. You don’t know the Owner’s 'rules’.
When someone complains, read carefully, don’t just slap it away.
The same idiots who were ripped off on Factoidz; were the same idiots who touted Factoidz until they were ripped off.
The same idiots who touted Bubblews and attacked everyone who called it a Ponzi went on until they were ripped off.
Don’t think 'It can’t happen to Me!” It has, it will.
How To Protect Yourself
When you are advised of a new writing/publishing site, visit it with a critical eye.
Read what is posted there, then the Terms of Service (TOS).
Do you lose your copyright?
If you do then post nothing there that has any value to you.
This is because you will lose it.
What to do?
There are two methods.
One is to post everything here on Hubpages, first.
The item will appear, then as is "non featured'. 'Non-featuring' your work is how Hubpages avoids paying.
No one can see your 'non-featured' work, alas, so you can't earn.
Take that item and publish it on the New Site.
If the New Site pays, well great. Use Hubpages as storage for the articles you'll publish on New Site. If New Site doesn't pay... well neither does Hubpages.
Method Two is what I call my ‘Clown Series’.
I write a number of absolutely ridiculous items about being a clown in a circus. I have never been a clown, never been in a circus, don’t know anything about what I’m so meticulously documenting.
If the site steals my ‘Clown Series’, well, I the garbage removed from our office by loading it into empty HP 6702 boxes, so it’s the same thing.
When you post on the New Site and reach the 'threshold' limit your output until you receive the pay outs.
The first pay out means nothing; all Ponzi Schemes pay the first time. It is the next pay outs you focus on.
Limit your output.
If it is one of those sites where you have to put in for a ‘redemption’ the site is a Ponzi.
The reason the pay out is not automatic is because the Owner wants control over who is paid and who is not.
Let me repeat that;
Any Site which Requires that You put in for a pay out is a Scam. The payment is not automatic because the Owner wants to personally select those who will be paid.
Think of having 300k contributors. How can one person go through 300k people asking for redemptions?
He sets it so that all newbies get the pay out and only a few selected others get the next.
It depends on how much money he takes in, how much he is willing to put out to calculate how many users will be paid.
As you have been warned about Bubblews, for example, join the site, do a lot of commenting, a lot of liking, post your own version of the Clown series, and when you reach that 1st Redemption, put in, get it, and walk away.
If your gunk is still getting hits, sit back and watch. If it mounts up to $30 then comment, like, post some more gunk, and put in for your next redemption.
It is a 90% chance you won’t get it, but hey, considering that you’ve ripped off the site already, give them the chance to rip you off, so you’ll be even.