Freelance Writing Scams

If you have never heard of freelance writing scams taking place, be aware that they do happen. Early on in my freelance writing career, I ran into one. I responded to an ad for freelance writers to submit to a brand new magazine. I applied and was accepted. Everything seemed legitimate…It was supposedly started by a publishing company with branches in Florida and New York. They not only had a website for the supposed publishing company, but they also had a promotional website for the new magazine.

They had writers sign a contract and start submitting articles based on different subjects. I was just starting out in my career, so my time management skills were not as developed as they are today. I worked on a few article ideas that I had pitched to them, but I was slow about completing them. It was a good thing, however, because it turned out that the main contact disappeared after a while. An email thread continued between writers who had submitted articles and did not hear anything from this so called start up magazine. Everyone tried to send emails, but it was to no avail. The websites had simply gone offline, and there was no trace of our contact.

I don’t know what happened to the work that the writers had submitted, but I am glad that I hadn’t yet completed my work for them. I would most likely have sold the work to another client anyway. I was hurt, but relieved that my writing wasn’t stolen. I have since been very cautious about arranging payment terms and I make it clear that I retain all rights to any work that I do until it is paid for.

Freelance writers beware. Scams are out there, and people will try to take advantage of you. Always have a contract, and avoid any situation where you don’t feel comfortable with the terms. Only take projects with established companies and individuals whom you can trust to pay. Protect your interests.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve had several friends fall for the “we publish your poem and it only costs 50 bucks to get a copy of the gold-inlaid book” scam.

    Although definitely not a scam, I’ve been approached recently to write thousand-word articles for a website for $15. I’ve gotten $1000 for similar articles. I declined.

  2. […] Filed under: Uncategorized — writtenquality @ 8:00 am About a week ago I wrote a post about freelance writing scams. I wanted to offer some tips on preparing a contract that will protect your […]


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