How a freelancer cheated me and How you can avoid freelance plagiarism scams

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Someone once said me, “don’t work hard, work smart.” And in an attempt to follow this advice I landed in this freelance copied content scam that I am writing about so that you get an Idea about how to avoid being cheated by a freelance writer or mere content scrappers.

freelance scam

Being a single hand on this blog I nearly gave up all my time nourishing my this blog child. Many of you might  know that its very tough for a one man army to win a war of blogging. You got to write, do research, find keywords, get content outline ready, gather images that are appropriate for the topic and mind you, it should be copyright disabled. After that give your homework the shape of a blog post. commenting on other blogs, keeping up with the feedly reader is another great task. Then comes promoting the stuff on social media , staying active at forums and last but not the least interacting with the precious readers of your blog.

All these are too tedious to allow you to do anything else no matter it be a productive task. Things turn out worse if you have something else with a high priority than the blog like helping your father at the business.

Now at this point there were two roads for me :
1. That led to the dark trail where my blog , my passion would have to be sacrificed in the altar of priorities.
2. The path that suggested me to outsource my work from a virtual assistant or atleast get a freelance writer hired for easing the content writing part.

We all know thousands of online portals survive on the help from outsourcers including some top brands too and though I was not willing to shed my money my dropping visitor statistic forced me to hire a freelance writer.

I went to Seoclerks.com and bid a task that asked freelance writers to ping me with content for my tech blog. In no time  I got more than enough offers and was lured by the offer of this particular guy (I prefer not displaying the name because I won’t get anything proving him a thief my aim is to make others aware from my experience and not being derogatory to the content scrapper).  My mistake ? I didn’t opt for a more reputed site like oDESK.com Or HireMyMom.com or Elance.com to name a few.

The offer was He would give me 5000 well researched articles (yes 5000 its not a misprint) of 600 words on average for only 50$. This was a offer that called my greed and I was happy  saving a few bucks while shopping and I didn’t do anything to check the content.

By and by I have been publishing some articles at different times when I think I can’t give enough time to blogging. It has got great response from my readers too but yesterday when I was chatting with my blogger friend Vishal Jain of FreshItTips.com and he asked me ‘ why do you copy content on your blog and not write your own stuffs?” And I was like Hello, its embarrassing especially to someone who hasn’t copied in his school exams. Sad smile

I was very clear from the beginning of blogging that copying wouldn’t take me long and believe me, I think before going for a game its important to know the DO’s of it but it is even more important to be aware of DON’Ts of it because omissions can be added but mistakes once done are very difficult to be corrected. So, I have been very careful from the start of blogging. Perhaps that helped me to get Adsense approved within just one month of my blog going live. Smile

Anyway I asked him where did he find the original content and also told him to share me the URL of my post that is accused of copying (Still hoping it was some cheap site copying my content and not the other way round). You will be surprised to hear his answer because I was literally taken aback.
The posts were AdSense related (the once I bought from the freelancer) and the original articles were from The BIG G [ GOOGLE ].

 This literally scared me. this could cost a lot to me like

1. Loss of online reputation because the posts were screaming that I was a content scrapper and moreover a FOOL that I copied content from the official Google site.

2. Everyone who has an adsense account must have read the articles of Google.

3. I could get my AdSense banned to add my blog could be banned from Google also.

4. I could loop myself into a sue for copying already copyrighted content.

5. I would now have to remove my those articles which had brought me quite a good traffic and they have pretty good number of comments on them too.
So, now when I am well aware of my mistakes and have done a fat research on how to deal with it and what should be done and I am presenting those here in order to help you too, in case (wish such a day never comes to anyone) you land such a scam.

Immediate steps to take after you caught a copyrighted post in your blog:

a) Delete the post or take it down

b) Remove it from the buffer or any other social account you had scheduled it to be shared at a later
date.

c) Write a complaint on the matter to the agency or site (SEOCLERKS) in my case, or fiverr, or any platform you hired. This will downgrade his position and he will be cautioned not to do that in future.

Preventive measures to stay safe from Freelancing scams:

Tips to avoid freelance scams

Internetmarketingninjas Suggests, To do “quoted text” search in which you have to quote a specific amount of text and do Google search. The disadvantage is that its clumsy and might not be trusted always.

Nirmala Santhakumar Says, we should use best plagiarism checker software like content plagiarism checker in order to crush any copied content issue. This should work on published content too.

Also I found that filtering content with Copyscape, like software before making the purchase would be helpful.

You could also include a clause (in case you are buying a license for some really hefty content) that if the content is found copied or content spinned then the matter will be addressable to the court.

Over to You,

This was my experience with a content spinner and a fraud freelancer who never understood work ethics in its true sense. If you have been facing such a situation please write it in the comments so that readers are cautioned and do share how you dealt with such a situation. At last, I would say thanks to my blogger friends Vishal And Sugandha Agrawal who always cautioned me to be well aware when dealing to any freelancer may that be for content or buying a theme for my blog.

Image credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

About Swadhin Agrawal

Hi, I'm Swadhin Agrawal, founder & MD of Value Intent Media Pvt. Ltd. With DigitalGYD.com we aim at helping bloggers start, grow and scale their blogs to profitable businesses.

16 thoughts on “How a freelancer cheated me and How you can avoid freelance plagiarism scams”

  1. hi. its more better to learn from experience. thats why people hardly make money offering direct service online due to scams event. i think with this post, i have learn how to outsource a service on freelance.

  2. Very sad story mate, I guess your loss would surely be a great learning turn. I’m also using seoclerks but never faced any issues till yet,

    • Hii Samir that was definitely a lesson and is surely going to stay with me for the rest of my life. Yes Seoclerks as a platform is not bad ..we can’t blame a village for a thief. Still the people using it for wrong purposes should be banned. good to know you you haven’t landed to any trouble. :)

  3. Hi Swadhin

    Well it was a experience never the less . And if some one is offering you so many articles at a short period of time you should know that it is indeed a scam because for a normal blogger it indeed takes his quality time to write a quality post .

    • Hello Aman,
      Welcome over here friend. I know it was a big deal for a small value but I was not aware about the rates of freelancing at that time and the guy spoke so confidently that you could not guess that he was such a cheat.
      anyway for 50$ he surely gave me a gift worth 50004 or more and do you know what it is?
      A Lesson. :)

  4. Thanks for this post. It would definitely help the newbies who are not so experienced One has to be very careful when while dealing with someone online. There are whole lot of people who are just waiting for their prey. Its better to stick to reputed sites.

    I think all the bloggers should come together and share a list of sites which are reputed so that we could outsource our work to these sites.
    Thanks

    • Hello Tanveer,
      It is a pleasure seeing you and in fact I should thank you for appreciating the post. Yes that was my only motto when I wrote this post. I wanted to caution new comers who aren’t aware of such scams. Money is one thing , mostly there can be bigger troubles regarding copied content and may land us to legal copyright claims too. Yes if all bloggers and freelancers get awre with the stuff happening around it would definitely take a back seat or probably not occur again. :)

  5. Hi Swadhin,

    It’s bad to hear that you were cheated. I don’t lie you saying you should have gone for more trusted sites like odesk etc..

    Well let me tell you cheaters are everywhere, I’ve seen my friend loose 200 Bucks ( Yeah 200 bucks) on freelancer.

    If you haven’t got your money back do let me know, I will get your money back to you.

    And yes one small mistake was, you didn’t check the articles for plagriasm.

    Thanks

    • Helo Iftekhar bhai,
      sorry for the late response. Welcome over here and its glad to hear from you.
      Thank you so much for your concern and I would have definitely taken your help but I guess hte matter is over now and its fine with it, I really appreciate your help and am overwhelmed how bloggers help each other.

      thank you for being such a nice friend.:)

  6. Hi Swadhin,

    It seems like quite an experience you’ve been through, though it surely taught you a good lesson, so we learn from our mistakes too, isn’t it?

    Well, being a freelance writer and blogger, what can I say! I’ve written for a lot of clients, but never used any spinning software, nor copy pasted because then you are not being true to yourself. However, the rates at which this person agreed to write should have been a warning alarm because it’s peanuts, and for that matter, such people would never give quality.

    Yes, copyscape is the best way to check your content for plagiarism, though I’ve hardly used it myself because all my posts on my blog I write myself. Never outsource your work, another piece of advice as I tried it long back, because the quality and perfection you can give to your posts, no one else can.

    I agree we get busy at times and being a blogger, writer, mom, wife, daughter-in-law – you can well imagine my state!! Yet, one manages to find time and write. Your voice is yours, and it’s best if it shows on your blog, even if it’s in a few words.

    I have guest authors on my blog, and that’s why I have them by invitation to my community members only because over time I trust them, seeing their comments, shares, and interaction on my blog, and the posts they write. Now, I know they won’t copy content to give me, so it works well for me that ways.

    But I get a lot of copy-pasted comments. and you can make that out from the sentences that resemble a blog post! I copied a few on Google and could make out the source, and they were trashed, even a few from renowned coaches! That’s how people are, and you can do nothing but be in control and aware.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us and alerting everyone. Have a nice week ahead :)

    • Hello Madam, firstly I am really overwhelmed madam for the comment you left there are a lot of advices you have given which I will definitely follow.

      Yes madam, you are right that the rate at which I bought the articles was itself aan alarming hint to be cautioned but at that point of time I myself was unaware of the rates of the freelancing industry. You know I was myself thinking to freelance but after seeing these rates and without having anyone to show me the right path I thought of quitting freelancing.

      Most reputed writers like you never ever do these stuff it is the newer ones who want to make it quick, adopt this path and in return put a havoc onto their clients too.

      Yes madam you are a inspiration for us the way you manage your time on blogs, writing for clients, housework and again promoting on social media and guiding us, all make an efficient example of best time management.

      My God.! madam copying comments this is like it came from another planet to me. how can I write copied stuff on comments moreover why should one do such? comments are the opportunities for us to interact to the writer share “our views” about the post and say thanks if at all if feel grateful. What is the point of writing a blog’ s lines there its better to refrain from commenting.

      Again madam, your idea of having invited guest posts is the best one but I guess theres lot more time before DigitalGYD reaches a stage where invited guest posts could be done. :)

  7. Nice to read your story. Always good to read personal experiences. I have many writers for my other projects.I always check every post for plagiarism. You may give a try to copyscape. I most of the times just copy 2 sentences again and again from the post and paste into Google and it tells me if the content is copied.

    Nice write up!

    • Hello Atish brother, a warm welcome to you here.
      and thank you for the compliments. its from you people that we learn and gain insights of blogging and thanks for helping me time and again. :)
      Most welcome brother :)

  8. Dear Swadhin, you really wrote a wonderful post based on your experience. I have never tried to write such a great post. Whenever I am to write a new post, I just open my post editor and write the main stuff I am about to write. Next time I will try to focus some steps before writing a great post like this. Anyways thank you very much for mentioning my name in the post. Good luck and keep blogging.

    • HI Vishal, thanks for being here. Yes the post may be wonderful but the experience is not at all wonderful :-P.
      thanks for making me aware at the right time without which I would have surely landed on a trouble.
      yes we have to write big and longer posts due to google algos but it should impart value to the readers and that’s what we are blogging for , right?

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