Copyright and Your Writing

When you make your living by selling your writing, it's important that your clients know they're getting unique material. They pay you for the right to receive words that haven't been reproduced hundreds of times all over the internet.

While most freelance writers understand this basic principle, there are a few low-lives out there determined to spoil this industry for all those other writers who try hard to do the right thing.

If you're a freelance writer and you regularly write and sell original work, then I urge you to run a simple check on Google or Copyscape to be sure your work hasn't been stolen or copied by one an unscrupulous thief.

There are numerous reports of writers creating good quality, unique content and offering it for sale on Constant Content . The buyers there are willing to pay slightly higher prices for articles because they believe the articles are unique and haven't been posted everywhere else.

Unfortunately there are are a few bad writers in the crowd determined to skim the sample articles offered by other writers and post those samples on Associated Content so they can earn a measly couple of dollars through the hard work of someone else.

The pages at Constant Content aren't indexed on Google because they are supposed to be private sales and representing unique, unpublished content. Because it's not indexed, the internal software at Associated Content doesn't catch that it's a copied article. So they accept it and pay the loser who stole it a couple of lousy dollars and the rightful owner loses out.

If you're a Constant Content writer, I urge you to copy a sentence or two out of your own articles, paste it into a Google search or enter the URL of the site where the article is posted into Copyscape.

In fact, you should make it a habit to do this with anything you've written to be sure it hasn't been 'borrowed'.

If you find that your work has been plagiarized, I urge you to contact the person directly and ask for the stolen writing to be removed. If they don't comply - report them to the site owner or web host. These people need to learn that it's NOT okay to steal another writer's work.

You might remember a previous post (http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/2009/04/plagiarism-is-theft.html) about an unscrupulous thief who stole every single post off my blog and posted it as his own elsewhere. The same person/thief/liar/scum, Harshajyoti Das, a.k.a jr_sci, is back to his thieving ways again. While the article isn't mine this time, it does belong to someone I know and it's still plagiarism.

Stand up for your rights and protect your writing.


Writers Wanted...

I heard a rumor that a potential new writing opportunity might be available...

Today I had coffee with a good friend (okay, it was my mentor and friend, Lee) and she told me about a new project she's working on. Lee and another freelance writer she knows are cooking up a way to outsource some of their work load to other writers because they simply can't keep up with the orders they receive. They had a brainstorming session and learned that they could probably hire 10 or 12 writers comfortably and still have plenty of work for themselves as well.

When I heard this my eyes popped and I immediately ordered her another coffee and a slice of cake (bribery goes a long way, I hear...)

You see, both Lee and her writer friend have decided to try and hunt down writers who can work quickly and accurately in both US and UK English to help them meet the demands of their clients.

Some of the work will be quick, easy website content. Some will be SEO articles for article marketers and site owners and some of the work will be quick blog posts, product reviews and blurbs. Some will be press releases, chapters in e-books, sales page copywriting and whatever else they end up with.

Of course I volunteered to help them out.

Lee agreed to let me give you all a hint about this potential opportunity on my blog to see who's interested and who isn't. It's okay if you haven't had much experience. They're willing to work with writers from anywhere in the world with a PayPal account as long as the writing is of a good quality.

...but there's a catch...

If you're interested in registering yourself for their list of available writers, then you'll need to be able to follow instructions. Their clients expect their orders to be fulfilled according to their own specifications. They'll expect you to adhere to those specifications the same way they would. So here are the instructions for registering yourself at a potential candidate on their list.

Leave a comment on this post and include a link behind your name pointing to somewhere we can view your work. This could be your blog, website, content site, article directory - whatever. We'll be able to find you and contact you this way. Give us an idea of what your preferred writing topics are, your areas of expertise and where in the world you live. Don't forget to add a little about what type of writing you prefer to do. (e.g. If you only want articles and SEO content, then say so.) Specify whether you write in US or UK English so they know who to consider for different client's needs.

Pay rates haven't been worked out yet and the work also won't be allocated for a little while yet as they're working hard on finding a system that works for them as well as for the clients. However, they also wanted to be sure they would have a good selection of writers when things started moving along.

Let's hope Lee and her friend get moving quickly on this one :)


Freelance Markets to Avoid: Work-Online

If you're searching for a freelance writing market that accepts non-US writers or international writers, then Work Online might be a starting point for you. However, be aware that I've officially placed this listing into the 'markets to avoid' category as they've reduced their pay rate since the original posting.


Well, it's almost a paying market. The pay rate is terribly low, but it is in UK pounds. At least UK pounds give a semi-decent conversion rate as compared to the US lately.

The basis behind Work Online is that you write a quick 'story' about the keywords you're given. The article only needs to be a minimum of 400 words, but it must include the keywords chosen by the client at the density requested.

You're paid via PayPal if your account reaches a minimum of £10. The terms say 'within 14 days', although I've seen comments from writers saying they've received their payments in 3-5 days.

If you're in the UK and happy to receive UK pounds, then you'll receive the following:

- for the first 100 articles you write, you're paid 25p
- between 101-300 articles, you're paid 50p
- between 301-500 articles, you're paid 75p
- for every article after you hit the 501 mark, you're paid £1

The original post had a list of exchange rates showing how much this pathetically low amount converted to in Indian rupees, Philippines pesos and Hong Kong dollars. As the pay rate has been reduced even further since I wrote it, I've removed them.

The pay rate at Work Online is appalling. If you'd like to add a little bit of filler income to your freelance cash flow then feel free to join up and see how you go.

If I still haven't put you off, you can join up with Work Online here: http://work-online.org.uk/join-now
If you want, you can add my referral code when you join - it's WOR:0441

... but I'd suggest you can find far better options for your writing elsewhere.