It sometimes looks as if writers are the most vulnerable set of talented workers in this world. If only employers knew what writers go through to complete their projects!
These days, many writers are trooping online to find jobs. They can make a living from home working in pajamas, they are told, and the money is good. Yet, only a small percentage of writers on the Internet really make good money from their hard work. I have taken out time to examine some of the reasons this happens because I have been through that path myself.
Knowing what I’ve learned can save you a lot of pain.
1. Unwary writers jump on the first opportunity they find on the Internet. Do a ‘Google’ search on paid writing websites and some of those results will be scams. When I say scams, I mean they look for seemingly legitimate ways to rip writers off. Common among these types of writing websites are the advertisement copies (sites) in which your article serves as a means of showing the ads. Many writers get frustrated because of the less-than-satisfactory services they get from these firms.
A friend once revealed how one such website placed her work on their website for months and, after earning some peanuts, blocked her account. She contacted them and they accused her of plagiarism, which she claimed was not true. She lost her revenue.
My advice is that new writers should be wary of joining paid writing sites that encourage pay-per-performance methods. They often do not set a solid pay term, yet they demand that the writer promote the article to make money. Some of them will close shop in the long run, but only after they have scammed a lot of writers.
2. Writers are too quick to sell themselves. Who says writers don’t deserve high pay? When writers sell themselves short, employers are given more opportunities to rip them off. The simple idea is that you must never sell yourself cheap to anyone or any organization requiring your work. Writing is hard work and skilled workers deserve fair payment. Why should a writer accept a few cents for 200 skillfully crafted words?
On the other side, many paid writing sites will offer to pay you 50 cents for 1,000 impressions or page views on your article. By all means, avoid these websites.
3. Writers fail to read the Terms of Service (TOS) information on those websites. Qeyler opened my eyes to this and I can tell you that I often failed to do it. I find out that I’m just in too much of a hurry to read some boring statement placed on a website page without any pictures to attract my eyes.
Well, if you do read the terms of service next time, you will realize that there is likely much for your employer but nothing for you. You may not even have the opportunity to file a lawsuit if you get scammed. Those people have insulated themselves so well, yet they appear to unsuspecting writers as if they are intent on doing them favors.
4. Writers are too willing to give away their work without protecting themselves. Instead of saving their articles somewhere before posting them on the writing sites, many writers just go ahead without having a second thought. If anything goes wrong, they could find, to their chagrin, that the articles can’t be used elsewhere because first rights have already been given away for free. Why not be smart and let these sites be the ones accused of plagiarism? You could file your written articles on your blog or elsewhere for safeguards in the advent of problems.
Though some of these websites might pay somewhat well at first, they allow their quality of service to drop. So watch out for certain irregularities when you work for promotion-based paid writing websites.
5. New writers fail to do research. You probably research a city before you settle down in it. Not so for many writers. They fail to hear what others are talking about when it comes to writing and getting paid for it on the Internet. What does it take to do a little research on the website that you want to work with? Using a search engine, check out how satisfied their writers are, what the payment is really like, and how honest they are.
Sit down and dig for the treasures you deserve as a hard-working writer and you will avoid being ripped by business people selling snake oil online.
Jude Chukwuemeka is a freelance writer and business analyst who has worked with several media firms online and offline as an editorial consultant. He regularly posts articles on his own weblog.