The Top 10 Writing Scams Bloggers Fall For
Here are the basic structures of the ten top typical writing job scams that sucker in thousands of unsuspecting bloggers a day. There is a crook behind every keyboard, so keep your eyes open and you won't get scammed!
Receive $X per hour.
There is absolutely no way that a blogger can work by the hour unless it's in the employer's office. The only proper way to get compensated is by the word. Any online writing job which advertises hourly wages is to be avoided as it's either a case of the prospective employer not having a clue what online writing entails, or that you'll be getting paid one hour's worth for every ten hours of work you do.
You'll get paid when your earnings reach $X.
This has to be one of the most common and most obscene scam of them all. You work and accumulate money in "your account", but you can't get any of it out until the balance reaches $50, $100, or more. Since the work will likely be so onerous that you're going to quit before you reach that magical limit, you'll never see a penny. Don't ever believe that employers have "administrative costs" that are only cost-effective to pay you once a "certain threshold" is reached. It doesn't cost anything to send a payment via Paypal and they even have a Mass Pay feature to make it easy to pay scores or hundreds of people at once.
Get paid on completion.
This works for all the people who think that they can walk into a jewelry store, take home a new Rolex and then mail the jeweler a check. If there is anyone out there who actually pays on completion, they deserve The Ethical Online Employer Of The Year Award. Although many online employers will balk at paying up front (and that's understandable), there is no excuse not to use one of the convenient and simple escrow processes on the major freelance blog writing sites.
Get paid on approval.
In order to confirm that the blog is of acceptable quality to their editorial standards, the employer will pay you on approval. Guess what? Your blog will never reach those "editorial standards," and you'll never see a dime.
Click on this link.
This one is so simple that it's amazing how many times it's pulled and how many bloggers fall for it. The blogger replies to a job posting and receives a glowingly written reply (which is sent by an autoresponder) with a link to start working immediately. The link doesn't offer a job of any kind, but is just a target site stacked with Google Ads. You've just made money for the scammer and none for yourself.
The blog competition.
This is a new twist but definitely a fascinating one for blog scam watchers. A competition is announced and a sample blog is requested in order to compete online for the readers' votes. The blogger that receives the most votes will get a regular blogging position. Even though the long term blogging position may actually be legitimate, the blog site owner has just stuffed their website full of valuable content absolutely free, thanks to stupid, desperate bloggers.
Email contact is sufficient.
Don't write a word for anyone who you can only trace through their email address. If full contact details are not forthcoming, and if you can't verify them by at least calling their phone number, if not going all the way and using an online address lookup service, don't do any work for them! Email addresses can be obtained by the thousands and you have no recourse to track the person back through them. Remember: even IP addresses in email headers can be faked!
The money is too good.
Blogging is an incredibly competitive industry and although in the early days there were some wild pricing fluctuations, the legitimate blogging market has now settled down around the 2 to 4 cents per word mark. When an employer proposes that they pay you 10, 20, or even 50 cents a word, you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll never see the money.
Write a sample article on Topic X.
The job posting comes with a substantial budget, significantly more than the competition. At the end of the post, there is a request that a sample article needs to be submitted for consideration "to test your writing skills". Uh huh. Each blogger will be given a unique topic and asked to write a 500 or so word article. Since the money offered is considerably greater than the average, an avalanche of writers will apply, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. Each and every one of them will write a complete article on the specific subject, ensuring that it is completely original, passes copyscape, and meets all of the employer's requirements. However, the bottom line is that no one ever gets the contract. The "employer" now has in their inbox hundreds of original articles on the precise topics they needed, and all for free! Thanks suckers! Now they are free to plunk them on their own site, or even resell them to other web publishers. They never get caught because writers don't spend all day copyscaping their own past submissions. Free money, all courtesy of stupid bloggers!
If you are completely convinced that it is legit (you're likely wrong) and definitely want to write and submit a sample article, then adhere to this technique:
- Write your article in a word processor.
- Format it so that you can see one page at a time on your screen, as clearly as possible.
- Press Print Screen.
- In Photoshop or any other image editor, crop out the borders and save as a .jpg or .gif.
You can now forward the image file in the understanding that if the so-called employer wants to rip you off, they'll have to process it through OCR software, manually rectify read errors, and stealing the article will generally be a pain in the rump. They'll likely delete your submission and pass onto the real suckers who have sent in easily readable and web-postable text formats like .doc, .rtf, .txt, etc.
Of course, needless to say, any prospective employer who asks you to send money or your credit card/bank details to get a job is a blatant criminal scam... but you would never actually send someone $$$ to get a job... would you?