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Protecting Yourself on Writing Sites

Updated on July 9, 2017

Before You Leap

There are many writing sites out
there; the image doesn't begin to
encompass the field.

Most 'writing' sites, however are
NOT what they seem.

A large number of these sites are built for advertisements where your prose separates the Ads.

Writing sites charge advertisers for posting their Ads. You get a tiny fraction of this revenue, and must depend on the honesty of the siteowners for accounting.

Obviously, you could get 1000 hits, the site claims you got 100.

The site might pay you 3c for every 1000 hits; you don't know how much the
advertiser is paying the site for those 1000 hits.

You start from a position of weakness. As far as the site is concerned, you are not writer, you simply supply the 'wallpaper' on which the Ads are hung. You are given whatever pittance seems right to the owners of the site.

Copyright is another consideration.

Some writing sites claim you retain the copyright to your work, yet don't allow you to remove your articles. Others claim to have bought the rights for some pitifully low figure.

Some allow you to write about what you want while others give you assignments and demand you write about what they want.

Still others have one sided policies where you lose your basic right to be heard
for if you complain you are 'punished'.

And other sites have 'secret' agendas where they push particular views and use your work as a screen to hide their core purpose.

What do you do to protect yourself?

Protecting yourself - Me First

Have a copy of your own work posted on your Blog. You can find a list of Blog sites by a simple Google.

Use a different name on the Blog than the one you use on your writing site as well as a different Email address. Post your work there first.

Make your Blog Private, or have a private section. Consider the Blog your workspace where you perfect your article before publishing.

Another option is to use Hubpages as storage. By Bolding a few words or putting in Amazon Ads, the article will be Non-Featured, this means, it is invisible. This means it is NOT published.

Hence you can write an item on Hubpages, get it 'nonfeatured' and once you see that white circle, publish it elsewhere.

In case the writing site tries to steal your work and not pay for it, publish your Blog or remove all Bold and Amazon Ads from the Hubpage article.

Inform the writing site that they have plagiarized your work.

Hence if you joined the writing site as Lambster, and the Blog is published under the name John Hardy, it is John who attacks the site for plagiarizing his work. The same is true on Hubpages.

Hence, a short email to the Writing Site by John with this advisory, should be enough to have Lambster'sr items removed, and account closed.

Protecting Yourself - A few words on Plagiarism

Secondly, understand that when you write a factual article there's just so much you can do with the facts. If you are writing about Pirates in the Caribbean, so are hundreds of other people. Your article is unique because your point of view is unique.

The names of the Pirates, their ships, the years can't change. how you put them together can and does. Hence you can write five different original articles based on the same facts. I can write five different articles based on the same facts, this is because the facts can't change, only the interpretations can, how you place them in the article can.

It is not plagiarism.

Plagiarism is when you copy this article and put your name on it. If you copy portions of this article and begin with;

"Qeyler wrote; "..... "

the quotes give the attribution so you are not copying my work, any more than you would be plagiarising Shakespeare if you used one of his sonnets with attribution to set the tone of your article.

Hence, if you've written about Pirates of the Caribbean on Triond and then decide to use the facts to write a different article here, it would not be plagiarism or else every single person in the world would be banned from writing about Pirates of the Caribbean because in 1876 someone wrote a book called "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Read the Terms of Service

The most often told lie; "I have read and agree to your terms of service." 

How many of you have even glanced at the TOS; terms of service or TOU; terms of use before clicking that 'I agree?'


Many writing sites give themselves absolute authority and you none.  Hence if you had read the TOS you'd have seen that this is the kind of one sided contract that begs a lawsuit.  For very often you have given up virtually all your rights.

Read carefully. The words you are looking for are 'Copyright' and provisions which basically state that you have no rights.

Do Not Join These Sites.

They will often pay a pittance for your work and then syndicate it all over the world and make the bag.  You have nothing to say nothing to get.  

Too many writing sites treat writers as dime a dozen day labourers who should be happy to see their name in print. 

Until the first lawsuit, this is going to be the situation if you allow it.

The Pitfalls and the Power

On some sites you have no rights.

For example, on a particular site once one made about one hundred good posts, he or she was dropped to 'member' where one could not even see how much revenue was being earned and one received NOTHING.

There was no recourse, save lawsuit, which is why that particular site no longer exists.

Sites which demand you write about what they want you to write about should be avoided.

Firstly, you will be doing unpaid work. There is a difference between you deciding to write about growing roses and you having to do a few hours of research to write an article about growing roses.

Secondly, they play a competition game where you and a batch of others write articles of their choosing and then they select the article they will publish, meaning you've done two hours or more free work that is in the garbage.

If they do select your work they pay a pittance for it, then make thousands.

Speaking of Power

Check the Forums or the Rules
to get the mentality of the Owner(s)
and Mderator(s). Some are Whack jobs.

There are Owners who feel that
their writers shouldn't write on
any other site.

They will punish the writer by
giving them lower pay for betrayal.

There are Owners who never look
at their sites, and emailing them is
a waste of keystrokes as they NEVER answer.

There are Moderators who will never put your work on a 'Star' Page.
And when it is really great work, they'll hold it for days so that when they
publish it, it is 'old' so will appear on some long past Featured Page.

There are Moderators who have problems with themselves and think your
article on Inferiority Complexes is about them.

There are sites which have your work 'Pending' for more than 24 hours. This gives
them a chance to plagiarise it...(many sites run by those outside of America/
England will translate your work into their language, publish it somewhere, then
publish your stuff on their site.

So be alert to the psychodramas.

What you do

Firstly, read the Terms of Service. See exactly what you get and what you lose.

Secondly, as said before, create your Bank. In this way, any site which attempts to capture your work is plagiarising your Blog or Hubpages.

As of this morning, a Google turns up 42M hits to 'Online Writing', hence there is no shortage.

Some sites, i.e. Triond and Wikinut pay very little but you retain the rights to
your work. [The first site no longer exists, the Second no longer pays]

When you decide to edit or remove an article you have the right,
(just as you do here).

There are other sites, (and I leave it to you to find them) where you lose
your rights, aren't paid, encounter nut jobs as Mods/Owners.

Join sites which do not tamper with your copyright, allow you to delete and
edit as you desire. And Sites that PAY.


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    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 5 years ago

      Do not use Yahoo Voices.

      They steal your copyright

      and pay nothing

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 5 years ago

      Don't know anything about Yahoo voices...I'll take a look

    • profile image

      Anita Ann 5 years ago

      Does anyone know anything about Yahoo voices? How can any writer know for sure how many hits their articles are getting? Would it not be to the advantage of the writing website to hide the actual count of hits from the writer so that they can pay the writer a lot less! Just wondering because I can't believe the low number of hits on some of my original, high quality articles in which I know I used adequate key words.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      I am very glad to be of help in this situation. Too many of us are ripped off with virtually no recourse

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      This is really helpful information. I now know what to avoid.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      great! There is a Facebook page...Factoidz Victims...

    • profile image

      Darlene~Bloggity Blogger~ 6 years ago

      Thank you for the great blog and helpful comments. If you have a Facebook page, I would be interested in following.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      We should have a facebook page

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      Most definitely, I do agree that this is excellent advice and the info needs to be available for the benefit of other freelance writers who need to know about protecting yourself on writing sites.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      Valory, this is excellent advice. This info has to be out there, by all means possible so that others can benefit.

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      From experience, I can say that if you find your articles syndicated on a different website, simply click their contact us button and send them a message explaining that you are the author of the article and that you are no longer affiliated with that site and then ask them to either remove your work or offer to allow them to use it with the condition that they remove the old link and reference to the site and replace it with your own link to a blog or webpage you want your work linked too.

      This is what I did, one never contacted me back, but they did remove the article and the link back to the old site. The others messaged me back and were more than willing to give me due credit and a link back to my blog without any reference to the old site mentioned at all.

      Then since I am not making any money with that article, I offer to bookmark that particular page and then promote my article on their site and they are thrilled as well, which is great I think. They get to keep a good article and get the traffic I send that way by promoting my bookmark. I make a little money from the bookmark. So, I'm cool with it.

      (BTW I think that the new rule about social networking on that site is because I could drive anywhere from 1800, 2000 to sometimes even 3000 viewers to that site by simply retweeting my own articles in a days time. I could do it daily and there would be thousands of new views, but who has the time to retweet 221 articles daily? I have other work to do.)

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      Not just keep it, syndicate it. Don't be surprised if you find your work published all over the place either without your name or with; 'courtesy of Factoidz'.

      What is so scary is that Quac no longer relies on his shills, he himself is enticing people to join. If you read the crud he's posted ....

    • profile image

      audreyhowitt 7 years ago

      Thanks so much for the information. It is a shame that writers are so ill-treated. It makes me angry when sites want to keep the rights to my work and offer a mere pittance for it.

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      Thank you for standing up about this attack. I'm not really worried about it. I'm a 50 year old woman who has already proved who she is as well as built a character that is genuine. I didn't do that by telling lies on people or circumstances and I didn't do that by stealing from others.

      Besides, if what he is saying was the truth of the matter, I'd not have my back pressed so hard up against that door. If what he is saying was the actual truth, I'd have done like any other person and simply walked away with my tail between my legs and kept my mouth shut.

      However, if anyone simply does some searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo and any other search engine, they will find that this same song has been sung by many more people before I ever got done dirty like they were.

      The reason for his attack is he knows how well my social networking is, I am the squeekiest wheel, because what has been done is Wrong and that wheel will not run over me, it'll run over someone who has done wrong.

      Thanks for listening qeyler and thank you for telling the truth, just like so many other people, freelance writers are doing now about this situation.

      The freelance writers are not the bad guys here.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      Be Aware....Mike Quac is running all over the Internet trying to disprove what we say...attacking Sara Valor, and lying.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      Factoidz now Pays LESS THAN TRIOND....!!!!

      Actually figures....2,018 hits, SEO rated V.High

      $0.12 TOTAL PAID FOR 2,018 HITS = $0.24


      Triond; actual figures....

      1,547 Hits; paid at the highest level: $7.39

      No longer can Factoidz claim they pay more...they pay

      wayyyyyyy less....

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      BTW...Factoidz no longer is paying. They have changed from hits to S.E.O. meaning that you can now get 1k hits and 0 revenue. At least at Triond it is 1c per every six hits...

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      Factoidz has a stable of shills whose job it is to rope others onto the site and to report infractions committed by others to the Great I Am (Quac) who runs the site. The slightest questioning of Factoidz on another site, ie here, leads to a vicious response on Factoidz.

      Another trick, which I didn't mention is the dropping of payments to particular writers, claiming their work is 'low rated' although they have 1k hits, while another who has 'high quality' and 30 hits gets more money.

      I suspect the investigations will be explosive

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      oops, sorry for the extra post

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      Thanks qeyler, We have people on it right now. Thank you for your help, since this will help prevent other freelance writers from falling into the Factoidz scam trap.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      until he closes it is his personal email. You have to write to the AG of Cal. He lives in California Quoc does

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      He just removed them, Thank God!

      People, seriously, you need to think not only twice about joining Factoidz, but three times and then move on. This is more trouble and heartache than it is worth to get things right with this site.

      If you don't believe me, use the search engines, there are too many people from all over the world singing the same song.

      Wonder why that is?

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      Anything you send to cs29, will go straight to Mike Quoc of Factoidz, it will not come to me.

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      Ooops forgot the links this one is listed as cs29

      This is the category link, you can see more of my work there under his generic name

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      Hi qeyler, he's just changed me to a generic user. I won't be able to get anything from that site now. If you check out some of my articles, he has them listed under the user name cs29.

      This is listed under the title, but if you go down to the bottom you will find my copyright notice on each of them, they will be there until he deletes my copyright notice himself.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      I will contact you by pm in re the Factoidz thing. It is better to post on a site that you control the copyright. Also, you can create a blog, link it to adsense and get the revenue.

    • Valory Elizabeth profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Southern, USA

      Thanks for writing this article qeyler. I'm curious, would having emailed my own copies to myself up to at least a year earlier than posting them on Factoidz be just as good as having them in a blog somewhere?

      I do consider my email account where I sent to myself to be part of my work place or workspace. Heck, this is the main reason for me even buying a computer, it is my work computer.

      Also, I am interested in learning more about this civil suit against Factoidz. If anyone knows much more about it or who to contact, please let me know.

      Thank you,

      Sara Valor

      By the way, I am in the process of building a group area for any Factoidz writer who have found they have been taken advantage by the Factoidz website and Mike Quoc, owner of Factoidz.

      If you are a Factoidz writer who needs a place to vent, rant, rave and then work alongside the rest of us to resolve this problem, please let me know.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      There are so many rip offs when it comes to online writing. Your only protection is to maintain your copyright.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I wish I had known more about what the terms of service meant, before I started looking for sites to write on. I had no idea what importance 'first rights' versus 'second' rights were.

      I have come across several 'writing sites' that promote how they only publish the highest quality writers. They don't even pay the writers! They just make a huge deal out of the fact that "if your writing meets our standards, you will be published!" Some of those sites are so add filled, one can hardly find the articles.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      I agree Scheng. It's not good, I mean $10 a month is pretty standard for midlevel...(lot make less) but at least with Triond you ALWAYS get paid. You ALWAYS have rights. You can take down all your articles, you can edit them, they are Yours.

      So far, I would say, this site, Hubpages, Triond, Xomba, Burkisa..(Snipsly and Wikinut are too new for me to give an intelligent appraisal) are recommended. The Others, no way.

      BTW; those ripped off by Factoidz may be launching civil suit...

    • profile image

      scheng1 7 years ago

      The earings from Triond is not that bad, since they allow Google Adsense as well.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      Someone has to expose these scams.

    • DustinsMom profile image

      DustinsMom 7 years ago from USA

      Great information, thank you.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 7 years ago

      I wish people hadn't touted Helium to me, and I wound up researching a topic I wasn't the least bit interested in, spending over an hour writing, only to have it ignored. Not to mention the forever time rating other work.

      With adsense it's kind of like a blog. If you have a blog and put ads on it, you'll get the revenue, here you share it.

      I find them like this;

      1) Triond lets you post anything and pays the least

      2) Bukisa pays a little more but no matter what you do the hits don't come

      3) Xomba is similar to this site.

      4) Factoidz is kind of a fascist state. Run by fundies if you post anything they don't like, without a single warning they drop you a notch. If you're a staff writer you become a standard writer, (meaning you can't edit) if you are a standard, they drop you to Member so can't do anything.

      They pay more, but it's kind of 'bait' because once they drop you to member you can't even see how much money your articles make so that they can rip you off left right and centre.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      I wish I knew more about writing sites before getting involved with the worst of them all – Helium (that will not let you delete your articles or make changes (unless they approve those changes?!) not to mention their terrorist tactics on silencing “the dissident” who will protest their censorship on the forums.

      To have some of my work deleted by them (the only way to prevent them to keep on using my articles and make money), I intentionally inserted some profanities and than ask friends to report me.

      No writer’s site will make anyone real money, so it remains a question of posting for the pleasure of sharing (my reason for being on Hub Pages – did not sign for AdSense since I consider this type of payment to be not only ridiculous, but offensive).

      Thank you for making people aware of what they are getting into.