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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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