Watch Out For Bogus Freelance Content Writers



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Inviting guest bloggers or hiring freelance content writers to write articles for your blog is one way to maintain the consistency and add variety to a successful and growing blog or help a blog owner who’s too busy to maintain the blog. In case you find yourself in this situation and decide to hire freelance content writers, make sure that you choose carefully and watch out for bogus freelance content writers.

Klaus of TechPatio recently wrote about his unfortunate experience with a freelance content writer who goes by the name Pranav Jain. Klaus was contacted by Pranav on September 2nd, with an offer to write articles for TechPatio. Both parties exchanged emails and agreed on a price/fee for a 500 word article on “blogging tips“.

Pranav wanted the payment upfront and sent Klaus his PayPal email address. Klaus sent the money via PayPal and waited for Pranav to submit the article. The article was submitted an hour later and when Klaus checked the article, he felt suspicious with the writing style and decided to run the article through Copyscape to check whether it has been copied from another source. The Copyscape results showed that the article was indeed copied, not from another blog or website but from 2 eBooks or PDF documents released in 2008. The first part of the article was taken from “Blogging Essentials” written by Karina Wright and the latter part of the article was copied from “Top Performing SEO/SEM Strategies” aka “Quick and Dirty SEO-SEM” by Rendall Wright.

Klaus tried to file a dispute with PayPal but the writer – Pranav, claims that he wrote the article himself and never copied it from another source. Since the transaction was done under electronic goods or services, it is considered as an intangible good and PayPal can’t do anything about it. Klaus has lost his money but learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Thank you Klaus for sharing this incident and warning us about bogus freelance content writers.

Be careful if you receive any offers coming from freelance content writers whom you don’t know. In case you decide to accept an offer make sure that you DO NOT pay upfront! Request for a copy of the article and check it. Run it through Copyscape to make sure that it wasn’t copied from another source on the Internet. Also, warn your blogging friends and other bloggers about this. I hope this article will keep you from falling victim to bogus freelance content writers.

Anyone here had a similar experience or know someone who also fell victim to the same kind of tactics used by bogus freelance content writers? Please share your thoughts.

[image source: flickr.com/photos/peteoshea]

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

11 Comments

  1. Writer

    September 22, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    I have a few experiences of people not paying me the money after I’ve written the articles. I’m saying from a writer’s perspective. What about those who do not have a relationship with each other yet? We are talking about trust but trust has to be built the first time. I particular feel that they have to pay upfront before the content is given based on the experiences I have. Or am I just running into one bad luck after another?

  2. dimaks

    September 20, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    scary but big lesson there! never pay upfront, ever!

  3. Holly Jahangiri

    September 17, 2010 at 5:59 AM

    I understood that, JP – I’m just giving the writer’s perspective (not this scam artist’s, mind you, but the professional writer’s). I know you; I’d provide the content up front, because I trust you. That’s based on experience, not just impressions from what I’ve seen of your site.

    My point is, I would not provide the content up front for someone I don’t know, because more often than not, it’s the writer who is at a disadvantage. If I’m giving content away for free, I can do that on my own blog.

  4. JP Habaradas

    September 16, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    @Klaus – You’re welcome! Glad I could share about this and warn other bloggers so they’ll be careful and they won’t fall victim.

  5. Klaus @ TechPatio

    September 16, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    Hi Jaypee – thanks for telling my story and linking to my post as well :)

    Jhay, usually I would never pay upfront for stuff like this from people I haven’t worked with for a long time. But I had him negotiated down in price but then he wanted payment upfront for three articles. I figured since the work he had shown me, on other blogs, seemed “okay” (it wasn’t perfect but it was acceptable for the price I was going to pay for my article), that since he also compromised on price and how many articles to write, that I could at least pay him upfront for one article as part of the deal.

    But that’s not gonna happen again and now I have a post to direct future writers to in case they’re unhappy about not getting paid upfront :)

  6. JP Habaradas

    September 16, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    @Holly – I’m aware about bogus job listings and low rates that writers deal with but the title for this post was meant to address Klaus’ experience and to warn other bloggers about accepting offers and paying up front before receiving the articles.

  7. Holly Jahangiri

    September 16, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Jhay, no, it’s not. There are just as many stories of content being stolen without payment by the buyer. Unfortunately, there needs to be a significant amount of trust in this business, and there are people on both sides of the fence, like the writer described here, who are working hard to erode any possibility of that.

    I find it ironic: “Watch Out for Bogus Freelance Content Writers.” There are tens of thousands of bogus job listings purporting to hire freelance writers. Even the “legitimate” ones expect writers to work for slave wages. Too many writers are eager to be taken advantage of in exchange for the promise of “exposure” and building a portfolio. Too many people who are not particularly good at writing see it as the path to easy riches and or a way to work from home.

    I rarely do freelance anymore.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

  8. JP Habaradas

    September 15, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    @sylv3rblade – Same here. These and emails offering SEO services just keep on coming.

  9. sylv3rblade

    September 15, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    I’ve been getting alot of emails for guest postings too :( They’re multiplying.

  10. JP Habaradas

    September 15, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    @Jhay – Like what Klaus said in his comment, he just wanted to give the person a chance and its never gonna happen again. This unfortunate event will be charged to experience. :)

    Same here. I guess its becoming a lucrative business for these people. :D

  11. Jhay

    September 15, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    It just boggles the mind why the money was paid upfront. Isn’t it standard practice in the paid content business that the content comes first before the payment?

    That Pranav must have been a pretty persuasive one. I’ve been getting a lot of this offers last month. Simply deleted those emails. :D

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