How Online Writing Scams Operate - Part One
If you've been online for over a decade you have encountered a number of publishing sites. Many have been proven to be scams.
I differentiate between the site which failed, and the site created to be a scam.
Although it might seem difficult to believe, a large number of sites which enticed users were created as scams.
Some are still in existence, many have ripped off the users and closed. The likelihood more such scams will arise is expected.
This is because of the ease of creation, the gullibility of the public, and the willingness of people to fulfill Jay Gould's dicta; that is; "I can hire half the working class to kill the other half."
The Scammers decide to get a free web site and create an online publishing venue which they claim will pay.
They often create their site with a number of items they have written themselves and/or plagiarized from other sites,
They want to start with the idea that they have users, so they create a number of fake identities and use proxy servers so that Gino connects from Italy, Xing from Hong Kong, David from the United Kingdom, and Tiffany from the United States; on and on, creating duals so that it seems they have a lot of 'users' when there is only one or two involved with the site.
They go to adsense and to amazon and create accounts for the collection of this advertising dollar.
Now that the site seems legit and is up and running, full of their duals, plagiarized articles, looking active and busy, they go to gain members.
Getting Warm Bodies
Online Publishing Scams always promise to pay, often better than what is currently available.
The Owners, using their Duals will run from one site to another, posting;
"Join Newsite! You get paid for clicks! likes! and Articles!"
As they rope in warm bodies, they begin to remove plagiarized items and replace them with reasonably good items submitted by their users.
The owners need as many people as they can because it is something like the 'Super Bowl'.
To buy a minute of advertisement during the Super Bowl is far more expensive than to buy a minute of a re run of I Love Lucy. The more users, the more the advertisers pay.
So getting people to join and participate is vital.
Talking About the Money
To get users, the money is vital. People expect to be paid. The fact is, paid out of what?
Some Scammers will borrow money so as to pay the first time users. They may have made no more than $700 that first month, but with the cushion of $10,000, they can afford to pay those who reached the 'threshold'.
In ancient days, there was no such thing. Contributors were paid every month. If they earned 60c or $6.00 they were paid. This is because in ancient days, those early writing sites were real.
Many admitted how they paid; for example, they would state they paid 1c for every six views. The contributor could see that s/he got 126 views and so expect 21c from this item.
As the views were honestly calculated, there was no question as to how many people read the item, nor how much money would be earned.
Scam sites play the game differently.
Talking About The Money - 2
Scam sites perform various nefarious acts.
They play with views.
The contributor might have gotten 1k views, but the owners will drop it to 600. Those who run various analytic programs would notice, complain, and be kicked off, their earnings, if any, confiscated.
They take a long time to Moderate
Some sites have 'moderators' . This is often a lie. There is no moderation. The article is just delayed. By holding your item for two or three days you can't earn.
They reject items
Good writers will often find their work rejected. There is nothing wrong with it, but it is rejected and corrections requested. This is done to delay publication.
They Set 'Thresholds'
They only pay when the user reaches $5 or $25 or $50. This allows them to delay payment, and use your revenue to pay another.
They have weird Math
Some sites give you a 'score' of points which are coordinated with nothing. It isn't that they give you 10 points which equals 10c, it is that you have no idea the value of 10 points, and the Owners get to manipulate the value each month.
If they decide to only pay out X dollars this month, they will adjust their points so that a large number of users do not reach the 'pay out'.
The First Time
All Scams, to capture suckers will pay that first time. This 'proves' to the simple minded that the site 'always pays'.
This is the definition of a Ponzi scheme; it always pays the first time.
The simple minded, getting paid that first time, begins to write his or her fingers off. Quickly reaching that second threshold and putting in for a payment. Certain they will get it.
When the simple minded doesn't get that second payout the assumption is that there is a glitch in the system. Those who have fully operational brains, mark the site as a scam.
As there are more simple minded people out there than one might assume. For people to complain that the site owes them Seven payments suggests they aren't too bright.
You Broke The Rules!
Scam sites, to not pay users will claim they 'Broke the Rules'. This usually happens just before payout. The money is confiscated from that user, utilized to pay others.
Usually, the owners check the location of a writer. Those in 3rd World Countries are easily 'convicted' of rule breaking, and their earnings confiscated. Those in 1st World Countries are rarely punished. This is due to the ability of a person in a 1st World Country to take legal steps.
The 'Rule Breaking' is often created by the owners. They, using one of their duals, attacks a user, and when the user responds, the user is flung off and the earnings stuffed in the Owner's pocket.
This trick has been used for over a decade without much problem, as long as those in 3rd World nations are the victims.