5/13/09

Freelance Jobs to Avoid - Content Gurus

Thanks to the reader who emailed me the link to this site.

The new addition to my growing list of freelance jobs to avoid is Content Gurus. (also known as Content Marketing Pros)

http://www.content-gurus.net/

There are a lot of angry writers on the net lately making it very clear that this site promises VERY low pay ($2.50 for 400 words) - and then they don't pay their writers! (see evidence link here: http://www.freelancewriting.com/forums/index.php?a=vtopic&t=523 plus several disgruntled comments on this post from unpaid writers)

The double-whammy of extra low pay plus the bonus of not paying their writers means Content Gurus definitely earns a place in the writing markets to avoid listing on this blog. This also means avoiding Content Marketing Pros (CMPros International). Content Marketing Pros is the new company name given to the failed Content Gurus and owned by the same untrusthworthy people.

If you or someone you know has written for this site, please leave a comment and let us know your story. We'd love to hear it.

EDIT: Since Rachel, the owner of Content Gurus has clearly stated she DOESN'T pay $2.50 per article, I've since found a link showing that she's offering to pay $2 an article. She was telling the truth! Here's the link if you want to see it for yourself: http://www.simplyhired.com/job-id/rupu3f5nie/freelance-writer-jobs/

So at an even lower pay rate than I initially reported, Content Gurus is definitely an entrant into the Freelance Markets to AVOID

Update: We've had a couple of comments added to this post from an angry webmaster and an angry owner of Content Gurus, denying they pay their writers ridiculously low rates and accusing me of writing on 'hearsay' only.

However, we also have SEVERAL comments from ex-Content Guru writers who haven't been paid at all and are seeking legal action.



So, if you're a writer and you want to earn some income - Avoid Content Gurus. Avoid CMPros International. Avoid Content Marketing Pros.

:)

34 comments:

parsibagan said...

Thanks a lot for the feedback Angel. I'll join this site and see if they live up to their words or not.

Shannon said...

Thanks for the heads up!

Rachael said...

I run Content Gurus... we do NOT pay $2.50 per article and we pay our writers every Monday. We have many, many happy writers many of whom have been wit us since 2003!

It's obvious your blog post is written from hearsay...

parsibagan said...

Rachael, could you please come up with a positive figure of how much you pay your writers instead of stating that you [i]do not[/i] pay $2.50. Thanks!

Bianca Raven said...

HI Rachel, Thanks for stopping by.

Could you verify your pay rate for our readers please?? Or are you ashamed to admit it on a public forum such as this?

The 'hearsay' that's evident on the front two pages of any Google search is that there are a LOT of unhappy writers making comments about Content Guru.

If you'd like to clarify any of this, then you're welcome to let us know so we don't get taken in by 'hearsay'.

Just a writer said...

This may not get printed since I am offering a pro Content Gurus point of view. Content Gurus was the first SEO freelance job I had. The pay was low, but starting out I didn't know any better and there weren't a lot of pay guidelines out there. Rachael was always friendly, answered questions right away and I never received a complaint about my work. I was paid on time without fail. Of course I wouldn't work for them now because I make $100 an article but I attribute part of my success to Content Gurus because they taught me how to properly write an article.
I Googled Content Gurus. On the first two pages there are two complaints, this one and one from 2006 and since that one is rather poorly written, I have a hard time putting much faith in it. The other mentions of content gurus have nothing to do with the writing company.
So yes, low pay but a new writer could end up in a lot of worse places. I think we need to hear from just more than a couple of disgruntled writers before we call any one company bad.

Di said...

Bianca,

I have to jump in here as I see the Google results you see and even while many people can make an upsetting review of a company, you need to look at the search results as a whole. When it’s more likely than not, it most times is.

As well looking directly at the website and prices per articles I can see that writers are not being paid what they are worth. It is fine to offer clients discounts and even bulk discounts, but you know very well like I, a $12/article is not paying a writer what they deserve when the article is "almost" 1k in words per art.

And while I enjoy reading your blog sometimes I am quite shocked at the lack of respect other content owners/admin are giving writers, as well those who are reading things about their company (for free with that lovely freebie advertising, good or bad, its still an ad).

I am okay with Paid Forum Posting being honest and upfront, would not have it any other way, but some day I would love to see another company be as honest as we have always been.

Keep up the good work!

Bianca Raven said...

I'm not sure which Google results you're all seeing, but from my part of the world, the entire first two pages of a Google search show complaints. Here's a sample:

http://www.wahm.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=687614&PID=2928604

http://www.freelancewriting.com/forums/index.php?a=vtopic&t=523

http://www.essayscam.org/Forum/9/essaywriters-net-content-gurus-inside-truth-94/

bensempress said...

It's ridiculous that you have printed this... we pay a penny a word for SEO work, and we pay weekly.

We work with over 80 freelance writers and more than 50% of them have been with us longer than 3 years... get your story straight before writing upon which you DO NOT know.

You're relying on "hear say" instead of bothering to contact us at our place of business to verify your sources. Not hard to do, we have a webite that is JUST AS EASY to find as our "complaints".


As for the "essay scams" complaint... we don't even do essays and we certainly don't have anything to do with what they wrote about us...

It's funny too, how writers are NOT paid for work we found plagiarized, or better yet copy/pasted from their OWN WORK... put the blame on us and scold us for not paying for that crap...

This is EXACTLY the nature of the other complaints you specify in your reply.

If you want to know another detail... we're currently weeks AHEAD In payments. Meaning, people who expect a payment 2 weeks from now have already been paid.

Thanks for the benefit of the doubt! I appreciate your emails about this, etc. You're a kind person :)

Anonymous said...

okay Ben, not true. Pay is backed up 2 weeks right now.

Bianca Raven said...

Thanks for replying BensEmpress and Rachael from Content Gurus.

A penny a word is low-paying. Even if you paid your writers once a day, I'd still put this in the 'not recommended' section simply because of the LOW, THIRD-WORLD PAY RATE.

We also have a comment on here right now stating that pay from Content Gurus is backed up by two weeks.

So rather than get angry at me, try paying your writers what they're worth - on time - and see what kind of comments that might elicit.

Jasel said...

I recently left Content Gurus after three years of dedicated work. I was a senior writer as well as an editor for Rachael. Towards the end (my last email was September 9), she became beligerant and very disrespectful.

I asked her for clarification on a project and she blew up at me. I think the pressure was getting to her.

I didn't need to be treated that way so I left. She took me off the forum as requested but she promised me I'd be paid.

Now, a month later, I still haven't been paid. We're talking a month's worth of invoices.

At first, they claimed they were having technical difficulties but that they'd get everything cleared up ASAP. Then, communication ceased.

Just the other day, I emailed and actually got a response from someone named Sherane Murdock saying that Rachael is no longer with Content Gurus. Huh, how convenient. Sherane said she'd look into it and that I should email Richard in accounting to see about my invoices. Richard apparently works for Killer Copy???

I assume Killer Copy and Content Gurus have merged, or Rachael is bluffing to get me off her back. Either way, I'm not happy.

I'm not holding my breath as to when I'll be paid. I'm hoping by printing this it will pressure Rachael, Sherane, or whoever at that company to pay me what I'm owed.

They do in fact pay $3.00 per article but lately there's been higher paying work. Well, when you take into consideration the word count, it actually evens out.

It's sad that all my hard work and dedication weren't appreciated and that I'm being treated this way. Take that into consideration if you're thinking about writing for them.

Bianca Raven said...

Jasel, thank you for your comment. It is sad when places like Content Gurus don't appreciate all the hard work and effort you've put into their site.

You do have the option of taking the legal route, if the costs won't be more than the amount you're owed. As you have copies of invoices sent to them for work completed, you also have the option of adding overdue fees to your invoices and reporting the matter to a collections agency, who will them report the delinquent payment with the credit bureaus.

Keep in mind that before you add a late fee to your invoice, you must send an overdue reminder showing a warning that unpaid accounts may incur a late penalty (you can choose a dollar amount or a percentage of the amount owing).

You may also add the warning that you will report the matter to a collections agency if it remains unpaid.

I hope this helps

Anonymous said...

I wrote for Content Gurus a little while back because I was just starting out freelancing and it was the first site I got on with. I was disappointed with the $3.00/320-400 word pay, but I thought I would try for a while. Anyways, I never once received my payments on time. I was only with them for three pay periods, but had to send reminders after the pay dates had gone by. Even after the reminders were sent it was still several days before I saw payment. We are not talking a lot of money either, just a few bucks here and there. I would recommend anyone looking for a content site to write for, bypass this site.

priya said...

Jasel and Bianca Raven, I appreciate the efforts that you have taken in this regard. Jasel, I have seen you at the forum as a writer and a senior editor. But I never knew that you are also out of CG until i read this post. I am also an ex-writer there and I am simply not able to accept that my efforts have gone down the drain too. There is absolutely no response to my emails and they owe me approximately $400-500. They have sent a detailed email stating that they would pay as and when they can and have simply disabled our entries into their forum without notice. I really do not understand why they have done this to us in spite of the fact that we have worked very hard and have taken pains to make prompt deliverables.

I agree with you on the fact that Rachael was absolutely friendly to start with and while getting the assignments completed. But when it came to payments, her replies perplexed me. They literally exploit the skill of freelancers. As a victim of their scam/play, I sincerely request freelancers to consider my situation before taking their final decision.

I would like to share one story with you all. When I was a part of the team, when work assignments were not up in the forum, I saw a post where writers started discussing the inactivity and the absence of work. Within 2 days, I was not able to see the post altogether there (I fully agree that I have missed to take a screenshot of the thread). Who else has the permission to delete posts from the forum other than Rachael and Ben???????????? On my polite note to her explaining the 'disappearance' of the thread, she has emailed stating that 'no one has deleted any post' thereby bringing out the fact that 'she has deleted it'!

Freelancers, Let not your hard efforts go down the drain like mine!!!

I completely agree with this statement of yours: "At first, they claimed they were having technical difficulties but that they'd get everything cleared up ASAP. Then, communication ceased."

Freelancers, Please be careful of content gurus!

Jasel said...

Priya, I am owed the same amount. $459 to be exact. I am currently seeking legal action. Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one out there.

And while we're on the subject of companies to avoid, they have changed their name to Contentmarketingpros.com.

Priya, you can determine this by viewing your Paypal history. Where the payments used to come from Payments@contentgurus.net, they are now from Payments@Contentmarketingpros.com. Pretty slick, huh?

Just thought you'd like to know.

Bianca Raven said...

Thanks for the heads up about the name-change.

Another company I added to my 'Freelance Jobs to Avoid' list did the same thing to avoid the negative comments about their appalling treatment of writers.

Freelance UK said...

Sadly I too am a victim of Content Gurus, although I am only owed just under $200 - what ever people think about the company, the writers or whatever it doesnt change the fact that we wrote in good faith and they are not paying for articles we sent it - that is right

I too am taking legal action, and will research compnaies carefully before starting with them - ironically three writer I know about where cut off and left unpaid when they dared to have opinion and ask probing questions - its not right - people have the right to the moeny they earnt whatever else the company want to do - be honest and get rid of writers you dont want by all means - but pay what you owe them first please

priya said...

Jasel, i have not got a single payment since September 14th. They owe me approx $450 will calculate the sum total and would let u know. Rachael was going on reassuring that they would make the payment and for the mandatory 2 project per week criteria, i continued to write for them till October first week, Let me know how can we take this legally.can u give me ur email id so that I shall drop you a mail.

There are 3 others whom I know are sailing in the same boat like us. Do you know this: The number of members in the forum has come down to 13 now. It was 24 a month back, So 11 have been removed. I know the ids of those who have been removed and am in touch with 3-4 of them!lets join hands in this regard!

priya said...

If Racheal and Ben had not liked our work or had the feeling that it did not meet their expectations, fine. They could have paid what they owed and could have mailed stating that we would not longer be a part of their team. That would have made me happy. Rachael or Ben, if you happen to see this, I am sure that you cannot proceed with this attitude for long. Time will answer and i shall wait and do my best to see what best can be done against you if you are not going to pay what you owe us soon!

Jasel said...

Priya,

You can write me at cipherscribe91376@yahoo.com.

Bianca Raven said...

Hmmm... I see there are several of you in the same situation - with money owed from Content Gurus or Content Marketing Pros.

Perhaps a class action between you all jointly would be a good idea? You have more power combined than you do individually.

I'll ask around and see if I can find anywhere there might be some work available to try and help you out. :)

priya said...

Thanks Jasel and Bianca. Yet another interesting thread is here:

http://www.freelancewriting.com/forums/index.php?a=vtopic&t=523

Please go through this without fail!

Anonymous said...

I just thought I would let you all know that when they owed me money (it wasn't nearly as much as you are all waiting for, but I even had to fight for my small amounts), I let them know that I would publish the articles elsewhere if I did not receive payment by a certain date. I was then paid a day later. It could have been a coincidence, but I doubt it. Good luck to you all!

p.sangeetha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
parsibagan said...

Dear Sangeetha, this is not the place to publish free ads of other organizations. The link you provided has nothing to do with `freelance writing income from home.' In my eyes it is just `spam'

wendy said...

Hi JaseL and Priya,

I'm glad to find you on this blog. I have also left Content Gurus, or CMPros, as they are calling themselves these days. The new company appears to be a front so they can continue to collect content from writers without paying them. I'm pretty sure the "partnership" is all a scam designed to help them avoid financial ruin. I was also with the company for more than three years and they owe me a large amount of money. I'm glad to hear you are taking legal action - I was thinking about reporting them to the Oregon authorities myself.

WendyT

priya said...

Wendy

Thanks for ur comment. Lets be in tocuh my email is sundarismails@gmail.com

Thanks
Priya

Natalie said...

Well, I have just received an email from them as I applied to join their forum. They have sent lengthy instructions back for a sample topic, but there is no mention of pay rates or terms. So off I went to Google and have just found this blog. I am counting my blessings that I did, especially when I see the last posts were made in the lat month.

priya said...

Natalie

Being a bad victim there in that forum, who remains to be unpaid for the hard efforts that I have done, I sincerely say that its better to keep them at bay.

Will definitely update you all if ever i get paid. They still owe me several hundred dollars and I know many of my friends do too!

Natalie said...

My heart goes out to you and your friends Priya.

Just looking at some of the freelance sites shows that some people think we are there to be used and abused. They don't seem to realize this is our bread and butter.

Anyway please do keep me updated. I am wishing for a successful outcome for you all.

Anonymous said...

Do NOT work for them..I was off and on for a few years, stuck by and dealt with it but they were late 99% of the time, always making up excuses one after the other and in the end I was out about $2500 to them. They continue to close and start up as a "new" business just to rip off more people and regardless of how "well" they may be doing now, do you really want a company who has SEVERAL times shut off contact with people they owe money to who worked hard for them. A company who lied to their employees and who accepts low-grade work, which is why their clients continue to fire them? For all the hard-working people out there who work from home and try to make a decent living, I advise you NOT to work for them :)

Carolyn2010 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
parsibagan said...

Carolyn, will you PLEASE STOP SPAMMING???