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Thread: Freelancers Beware: Important Information

  1. #1
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Freelancers Beware: Important Information

    Never submit newly written writing samples. Only provide clips of work you have sold elsewhere. Here's why:

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackha...-articles.html

    Perhaps this thread can be used for other "bewares" specific to freelance writers.
    Last edited by inkkognito; 03-26-2009 at 06:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Stand in the Place Where You Live KTC's Avatar
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    Thanks Ink. If you go to the current last post in that thread you linked to...it shows a sample of one of the 'ads'. One of the posters actually posted a copy of his ads to show other users how to write a convincing ad.

    Here's a direct link to the post about a convincing ad:

    AD TO SCAM WRITERS INTO SENDING SAMPLES
    **Pick up my 6th novel, the Young Adult title--- PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE now! (LGBTQ Young Adult)
    CHECK OUT LIGHT NEAR THE END OF THE WORLD on AMAZON NOW!

    Get Burn Baby Burn Baby today! Now on the 2016 In the Margins Book Awards List!

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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW burgy61's Avatar
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    I am new to freelancing and have seen ads like the one KTC linked to and thought about responding to a couple of them, not anymore. If you are new and don't have any clips to link to what can I do to make sure I don't fall for one of these scams? Is there a proper way to give a sample to potential client if you don't have any clips? If this is the wrong place to ask I apologize.
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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW novelette's Avatar
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    If you can send attachments, you can watermark (and lock) your documents, but I know that not everyone accepts attachments. I think for newbies, having a blog is a good idea -- you can link to your blog and they should be able to get a good sense of your writing voice from that. I've gotten gigs from one of my blogs that wasn't even about the subject I was hired for -- they simply liked my style and could get a good sense of it from that.
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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    So how do we fight back and get these forum posts deleted, does anyone know? Could we go after the ISP of the forum host under DMCA or something like that? This is just ridiculous.
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Henri Bauholz's Avatar
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    Good find and very enlightening.

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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW novelette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyP View Post
    So how do we fight back and get these forum posts deleted, does anyone know? Could we go after the ISP of the forum host under DMCA or something like that? This is just ridiculous.
    I have no idea, Nancy. As someone pointed out in the other thread, the very title lets you know what type of people they are. If someone runs a forum where they know unsavory types are going to hang around and share their nasty secrets, I can't see them being moral enough to take the high ground and do what's right.

    IMO, it's like all the other nasty things on the 'net. You know it's there and unfortunately, unless they're breaking serious laws, there's not a whole lot we can do.
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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW jeffo's Avatar
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    Red flags for help wanted ads for writing:

    Very specific mentioning of a 400-word limit. This is also a limit for Associated Content.
    Demand for a specific sample, including a topic and insistence that it is new, unique writing.
    Incorrect grammar, especially anything that shows English as a second language as the author.
    No company name listed, or a company name that cannot be found registered anywhere.
    No physical or street address listed, especially if requested.

    I'm not saying any ad that has one of those is automatically a scam, just beware the more items from the list you see, the more likely it is someone trying to steal from you.
    Of course, the above is just my opinion -- and likely worth exactly what you paid for it...

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  9. #9
    Banned MamaLou's Avatar
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    I'm glad this was made into a sticky. Now if we can just get the word out to "the rest of the world"... Sadly, as long as there are writers desperate for work, this will happen.

  10. #10
    Eccentric to the core.
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    There's something wrong with the link in the original post. When the page loads it says that the page now has a virus thanks to something to do with craigslist. ???
    "Fill the page with the breathings of your heart...but words are things and a small drop of ink." -

  11. #11
    Banned MamaLou's Avatar
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    I just visited the site linked into the original post and for all intents and purposes, it's no longer there...

  12. #12
    "what?" yakkity's Avatar
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    Freelance Home Writers.com

    Here's a new one (at least to me) I came across today on Craig's List.

    Has anyone here worked for this site?
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  13. #13
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    It's a bad sign when you have to pay for a job listing, online.

    See this thread:

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...ad.php?t=93260

    And this page:

    http://freelance-writing.lovetoknow....e_Writers_Scam

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  14. #14
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    They love to spam CL bigtime with fake job offers that all lead back to their website, which wants you to pay for supposed job lists.

  15. #15
    "what?" yakkity's Avatar
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    Thanks y'all. I hadn't read far enough into the site to see the small print.
    WIP:

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  16. #16

  17. #17
    Busy, busy, busy Domoviye's Avatar
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    Thanks for making this thread, its made me more cautious then I would normally be.
    [Edited due to being a bad idea.]
    So from the more experienced people, is this a good way to deal with possible scams, without turning down legitimate business? Or should I run away screaming right now.
    Last edited by Domoviye; 02-10-2010 at 09:29 PM.

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  18. #18
    Slave to the Wordcount WildScribe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domoviye View Post

    So from the more experienced people, is this a good way to deal with possible scams, without turning down legitimate business? Or should I run away screaming right now.
    Um... NO.

    The whole point of not giving them unpublished work is to avoid doing unnecessary work for free. If they want a sample, offer them something that is already written and ask for an agreed upon fee before you write anything original for them. Posting the story on your blog will not stop scammers, but it will scare away legitimate customers.
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  19. #19
    Busy, busy, busy Domoviye's Avatar
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    Ok. Glad I posted that here. Guess they're off my list.
    Thanks.

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  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    There was one site that heavily advertised on CL. They tell you that part of your application is to write about a page on a paid site (porn at that!) you don't have to pay anything because you can cancel after your trial. I am not going to give my credit card number for that.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I got an error when clicking the link but I know what you are talking about. Once the fresh article you've written is in their hands they can use it and you have no proof it is yours. I had rather be turned down than work for free.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Powered_By_Espresso's Avatar
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    Exclamation Scam or Legit...

    I looked at the link also and it has been taken down-If I send a sample, I use a watermark and send the file as "read-only" with no editing.

    On a similar topic I received an email yesterday about this posting on a job website:

    "Rather than hoping that you're going to snag a writing job by bidding on writing projects or joining a database of hundreds of thousands of other writers like elance or odesk... why not join an exclusive writer's group where you are not competing with tons of other writers?

    Business will be able to browse through our exclusive list of hand-selected writers and read their freshly written samples.

    To be a member on the site, we DO NOT CHARGE ANY FEES. All we require is that you must contribute one short 350-400 word article per week to show your skills to potential employers.

    Plus, businesses appreciate reading freshly written content on topics that they may be interested in.

    You may choose a topic from the business topics that are listed in our blog or you can come up with a topic of your own that you think will benefit businesses. Please email your chosen topic idea to get approval before writing.

    There are 5 million searches a month for freelance writers and we are on the first page of Google right in front of this huge audience!

    When a business needs a writer, our mission is to connect businesses with a writer that can provide the level of quality they are looking for at a price they are willing to pay.

    You will also be given your own free email address that businesses can use to contact you.

    Each article must be original and exclusive to our site, so you may not re-use them anywhere else. If interested, please email me at:

    researchingwritingediting@gmail.com "


    Any comments or advice from those of you with more experience in this field (I've been freelancing about 18mo. and I'm still on the learning curve...) Thanks in advance for your advice... J.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Re:

    The posting is still online at BeMyWriter.com. Two writers have been selected. The limit is currently capped to 10 writers.

  24. #24
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    The scam of the "sign up for this site and write about" ads is not to get a free article from you, or at least not primarily. When you sign up for the site, they get affiliate dollars. There is no real writing job at all. They're just looking for sign-ups, much as other fake job ads trick people into signing up at credit report sites, supposedly as part of the application process.

  25. #25
    <insert witty title here> ShannonR.'s Avatar
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    I'll also add that you shouldn't *completely* let your guard down no matter where you search for jobs. While some of the more established job sites might have 'filters', they can still unknowingly post a scam job. I'm not advising that we should be paranoid so much as do what due diligence we can on *any* job we apply for. This might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people (not just in writing!) get taken in by automatically trusting a company just because it showed up on good sites like CareerBuilder.
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