Scams for writers to contend with

By Katharine Swan On Monday, February 06, 2006 At 12:28 PM


I've recently run into another "writing gig" scam that I believe others should know about.

I responded to an ad in the "Low Paying Writing Gigs" section on FreelanceWriting.com. The ad described a paying gig for blog writers. It doesn't give much detail, though, such as how much the gig pays and how. I've seen ads before that don't mention these details, however, so I was expecting they would be included in the response.

But no, this was the only response I got:
Hi Katharine,that's cool.Just go to http://www.candyham.com/ and sign up for your blog.I would suggest that you pick one topic and if you wantto write another topic, I would give you a different blog for that.Would be great if you could also include pictures in your posts.HP


I was really confused at first. I visited the site very briefly at first to look for payment details, and finding none, I didn't linger. When I visited the site a second time, however, I realized what was going on. This guy isn't running a paying writing gig! He's signing writers up for blogs on his site with AdSense accounts; the "paying" part of it is the check you receive from AdSense! Obviously he's skimming off the blog writers' commissions, or he wouldn't be doing this.

In my opinion, this "gig" is nothing more than a scam that distracts freelancers from real work.

1) You could get an AdSense account through plenty of different blog providers, such as Blogger, the one I use. If you wanted to go that route, that is. You don't need some guy trying to tempt you by creating the illusion of a genuine paying writing gig.

2) Even if this guy has the right to post the ad and try to scam freelancers, it's posted in the wrong category. The low-paying category on FreelanceWriting.com is for gigs that pay an actual rate. Sometimes the rate is as low as $1 per article - which is ridiculous, but hey, it still pays. However, for royalty- or commission-paying jobs, FreelanceWriting.com says they are to be posted in the non-paying category, since the person posting the ad is not actually paying the writer, and since there is no guaranteed rate.

Although I think this is a scam and shouldn't be allowed on genuine writers' forums like FreelanceWriting.com, at the very least I think the ad should be moved to the non-paying category. Unfortunately, FreelanceWriting.com doesn't have a feedback and flagging system like Craigslist.org, but nevertheless I've emailed them about it. The more emails the better, though, so if you agree with me please send them your 2 cents as well!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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