Fake content writing jobs are the most popular scams online. Even the pandemic isn’t stopping people from running scams. That’s because the pandemic is a weird opportunity for them. People are out of jobs, others are looking for newer avenues because they no longer have faith in their running gigs, so on and so forth. Let me be frank here, even after you read this article, there’s every chance you fall for the trap. I do not blame you, times are tough, and we all know that all chances and opportunities are worth it. But, living with the idea that you took an informed decision and risk is better than living with the idea that someone fooled you. Read this article, take this information and then click on that ‘Send’ button.
#5 Asking For Tailormade Samples That Are Entire Articles
Nope, the content writing gigs that want to see how many dots and dashes you maintain aren’t available online. Those high-profile gigs are already spoken for and in process. What we are getting is mid-level work from small-time entrepreneurs. Yes, even they can be very, very particular about the kind of grammar and language and tone of the article, but not everyone out there is. If someone asks you for anything more than 200 words, the red flag should jump up. If they are asking you for previous work, make sure you send them PDFs and not articles. I recently found out a particular website had happily mirrored all my articles of movie reviews.
#4 Being Exceptionally Rude During Interactions
This is a newer version of gaslighting in the content writing industry. This is how it works, you apply for a freelance gig, most probably a content writing job, you send samples, and they send you a very curt, almost rude e-mail about why your article didn’t make the cut. You will have two lines of action then. There’s a chance you will request them to give you another chance, even agree to a pay cut and do the work. The second option is that you delete that e-mail, and use colorful language against them while swigging your favorite beverage (mine is tea, by the way)
#3 Having a numeral in the contact e-mail
If someone is serious enough to be taken seriously, they’d take pains to set up a professional e-mail id, correct? A decade ago, it was expensive and not everyone had the technical knowhow. Today, Vaporhost (my current host) provides tailormade services that are economic and perfect for anyone starting out. In such a scenario, the e-mail id with a number is a raised flag. It’s the hallmark of someone who makes several e-mail ids or is using an e-mail id that they rarely use or is a middle-man who has no knowledge of the profession but is trying to make a quick buck off a commission. All three scenarios are a loss-making one for a content writer.
#2 That Job Posting Has Been Around for One Month or More
Again, I’d like to say that the kind of content writing jobs available online is not the job of our dreams. You need to be a very good content writer, but you don’t charge the moon for your services and there’s no client ready to pay that amount as well. I reiterate this is middle-level work, with everyone involved looking for a decent amount of investment – them money, you time – that makes some profit after two years. There’s no chance that someone has been looking out for resources for more than a month. So, if that posting’s around for more than that, it’s most probably an e-mail and sample scraper.
#1 They Want Upfront Payment
Run. Run far away the moment they ask even for 100 rupees or a couple of dollars. No legit business will have a business activity of taking money from employees or consultants. The sweet talk might get to you, the amount might be abysmal, but remember – never, ever pay for the job.