Freelancers Beware

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Freelance Writing: Loving What We Do

Freelance writing doesn’t have to be a headache. After all, for the typical freelance writer, writing is our passion and we love sharing this passion with the world in any way we can. 

While it is true that the job revolves around writing, editing, researching topics and giving accurate information; there are bigger problems for freelance writers than determining if a source is as credible as they claim to be.

Being a freelance writer is not always an easy thing to do. There are a way too many people that want you to do what you do best for pretty much nothing. There are also a lot of people ready and willing to prey on and scam unsuspecting freelancers, especially those that are new to the game.

Clients looking to get some seriously hard work without paying what it’s worth is not the only problem. There are also a lot of people who are ready and willing to scam freelance writers on every single platform available.

I currently have a freelance writing account on several websites and platforms (Fivver, Freelancer, Upwork, and People Per Hour; just to name a few). Within the first few days on each of them, I encountered some scammers looking to ruin what I was trying to get started.

Scammers of writers work in several different ways.

1. They will ask you to rewrite an article, essay, post, or description that belongs to someone else, but in different words. (Don’t do this, it is still plagiarism, only of a different breed.)

2. They will ask you to rewrite a selected piece with only a few minor variations. (This is article spinning and plagiarism. Don’t do it.)

3. They also will ask you to contact them outside of the website or platform you are working with. (This is against all of the platforms’ Terms Of Service and will get you banned. Typically after your work has been stolen and you have gone unpaid for your efforts.)

4. Sometimes they will ask you to send a copy as an attachment rather than an actual delivery of your work. (This usually ends with the client taking your work and cancelling the order. Your work is stolen and you are unpaid this way, too.) Always select delivery, never send your work as a simple attachment.

5. Watch out for the scammers that ask you to create an account on a platform under your name instead of their own. This is an attempt to get your personal identifying information or it’s because they are not eligible to work on the platform due to already being banned. (Either way, this is a huge problem that you don’t need or want.)

When all is said and done, there are some pretty awesome clients out there that want written work that they can’t produce for themselves. I personally have several repeat clients that are kind, courteous, and respectful of my time and work.

With as many awesome clients as there are, it’s only natural that there are some pretty bad apples in the mix. Pay attention to what your potential clients want. If their requests seem a bit off or if they ask you to do something dishonest or against platform TOS, decline the offer and move on.

Being a freelance writer can be a lot of fun and quite educational, too. We don’t make a lot of money, and just like with any other profession there are some people who will try to take advantage in some way or another.

Remember: pay attention to your good clients, don’t send free work, never work off site or create fake accounts for other people. You (freelance writer) have a right to be treated fairly and paid fairly for your time and work. Follow the TOS and don’t get drawn in to scams that will ruin your reputation as a writer.

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