Thursday, April 17, 2008

SEO Article Writing Scams: One Freelancer's Nightmare

Before we get to today's entry, a little reminder: The newest issue of Inkwell Editorial's newsletter was published yesterday. The leading story in this issue is how to make $75,000 to $100,000/year as an SEO writer. I outline 8 keys to my success since I started in this niche, in hopes that it will help others. You can read it here free. Subscribe to receive future issues.

Now on to today's post . . .

Freelance SEO writer Roy de Silva sent the following (very long) comment to my blog post entitled, WARNING: New Scam Job Site Targeting Freelancers. I break up the comment by adding some tips on how to prevent this from happening to you.

The Biggest Cheat There Ever Was, Is And Will Be - Elliott Leee

I am sure what I am going to say now will shake off the socks of every content writer present in the world. This is the bitterest experience anyone can ever have, so be warned. I have been mightily cheated by Elliott Leee, and I call upon everyone to be very vigilant about this person. Here's my story.

I am a freelance writer and this Elliott Leee contacted me through one of them (job site). His username is richuser2008 there (later I found out he has one more username richuser2009 also, on the same site). Okay, he contracted me to do 100 articles in 2 days for him. The articles were of 500 words each, and on various topics. The payment decided for them was $600.

Normally, freelance sites allow for escrow, and I prefer that mode, but this Elliott Leee said he will not escrow because he didn't have funds. Still, I needed the money, so I accepted the work. I have a kid aged 1.5 years and parents aged 61 and 73 years to look after. So I accepted. That was my mistake number one.

My Take: The poster is right, this was a huge mistake. What should have clued him in: (i) the large order; (ii) the crazy turnaround time (2 days for 100 articles – come on!); and (iii) the buyers inability to escrow (ie, follow prescribed guidelines as outlined by the job posting sites).

Scammers often use job sites for two reasons: (i) it’s the easiest way to target a lot of freelance writers quickly; and (ii) a lot of writers who use these sites are accustomed to working for pennies (no knock to the freelancer). Writers who charge more tend to stay away from sites like this (I know I do), or at least not waste their time responding to orders like this one.

Read the rest of this extensive tale here -- with more valuable lessons thrown in. If you troll the web looking for work, this is a must-read.

Don't forget to check out today's freelance writing job leads below.

Yuwanda Black, Publisher
How to Start a Successful Freelance Writing Career Newsletter
P.S: Want to learn how to make at least $250/day writing simple 500-word SEO articles? Read how here.
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Today’s Freelance Writing Jobs / SEO Writing Jobs
Note about job listings:
I list positions that offer immediate work – and future work. Keeping your pipeline full requires taking a long-range approach and thinking out of the box (eg, sending in your credentials to FT postings). That's why explanations may be given w/some listings.

Atlanta Real Estate Website Writing Needed

PUBLISHER NEEDED for AUSTIN pages of NAT'L GREEN MAGAZINE (great one to pitch for freelance writing assignments)

Contract Web/Copy Editor(s)

Family/Parenting Bloggers

Freelance Writing Jobs from the Public Request Section of (read more about this here).

Title: Illustration of a Castle
Description: I am looking for an illustrator to provide illustration of a castle. The illustration must contain... a visualization of what a well guarded castle might have looked like. Example: The illustration must contain a land mass on which sits a steep hill on which the castle sits inside of a perimeter wall which sits inside of a moat on the hill... The idea is to show the various layers of security in creating a fortress...
Price: $50-100
Article amount: 1
Content length: 0
Subjects: Illustration of Castle
Notes: Please do not begin to create a work of art without having submitted a concept sketch...
Title: Chinchillas
Description: Would like a story - approximately 500-600 words on what a chinchilla is and the care of this animal. website references for more info as well.
Price: $30-40
Article amount: 1
Content length: 500-600
Subjects: Chinchillas Notes: This is for a Pet Magazine so needs to be geared to pet owners or potential owners of Chinchillas

Title: Health, Fitness, Exercise and all that is healthy
Description: Looking for articles on these topics. No Ghost writers, wanting articls of 500 to 1500 words on what\'s listed in the title. Must submit background with topic and I would like research done through ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)and for content to be up to date within the last 2 years. I have been working with Lynn Diamond and would like her to be able to submit the work she has done. Looking for multiple articles on these topics but really want the work to be researched through collegiate journals and all work to be documented giving credit where it is suppose to be avoiding any chances of plagerism.
Price: $10-20
Article amount: many above 10
Content length: 500 to 1500
Subjects: health, obesity, weight loss, weight gain, child obesity, nutrition, meals, diets, exercise, cholesterol, heart disease, studies done on these topics, anything related to exercise and fitness!!
Notes: I look foward to reading through the submissions

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