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Writing scams

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by jessica, July 27, 2018.

  1. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    There are lots of writing jobs out there, but which ones are legito_O? I know about reverse vanity scams:down: but what else should I look out for?
  2. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    One I have been warned about by various authors is the "blinking scam" used by certain forums and sites that pay for articles. The article will be submitted and the author's account credited. Then the article will be taken down for 'editing' or 'moderation' and put back up, sometimes with no apparent changes. Because it was removed, even if it is restored unchanged, the author's payment is then clawed back from their account or credit. If an author does not check they won't notice until their next payment is short or late. Contacting the site results in being told that because the article was removed as substandard, even if it was restored, the site does not need to pay.

    (Rest assured we do not do this. Not only would our IT staff walk out on us, most posts are mod-edited live. If a post is removed, it will not be restored without discussion, which includes restoring diamonds.)
  3. Post-Life Crisis

    Post-Life Crisis New Member

    Jeez. That happens. Sounds like outright fraud.
  4. Tregaron

    Tregaron Member

    Or a fast way to fill a site with content without paying the writers. I take it legal action against these sites is not an option?
  5. Mine all mine

    Mine all mine Member

    If I guess right, it'll be under a dollar a time. Each victim writes it off. Do it a couple a hundred times and that's a huge saving for the owners.
  6. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    Exactly. We do have members on here who were caught by such scams. They do happen, so be aware.
  7. atry

    atry Member

    I still don't get why they'd do this though. I mean the articles, yes, it is free content, but what do they get? How does it earn them anything.
  8. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire Scribe

    They get high search ranking for a regularly updated site, good SEO for the ratio of words to other content, and an SEO boost for the keywords in the content. Throw ads, especially CPM ads on the site which pay for views, and effectively they make free money while the people who wrote it get nothing.

    I'll come out as one of the authors who got taken. During the end days of Squidoo I had a lens (article) that promoted ruby jewellery. It had been up for two or three years, no problem, and then it sold a very expensive piece a few months before the site closed. My revenue share sat in my account until about one week before payment was due when the lens was taken down for 'quality reasons' and restored completely unchanged 24 hours later, with the revenues wiped. No explanation was ever given. Many of their other writers have stories about those last few months, including some of the most productive having whole accounts being closed. It's been closed for years, but even last year (I think) there was someone still trying to put together a class action suit to get the royalties back.

    Another lurker has a similar and more recent story about another site, but she lost $1. I lost a few hundred. If that encourages other writers to speak up, please do.

    (And now you know why I don't have a good word to say about Seth Godin).
  9. Lynda

    Lynda New Member

    I looked up Seth Godin and Squidoo. Oh boy... You're not the only writer who loathes him.
  10. Tregaron

    Tregaron Member

    I notice there is a really familiar name part of the way down that thread.

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