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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A scam aimed at writers

I came across a blog post today … “How to make a six figure income from freelance writing”.  

A six figure income?  I was more than a little sceptical, especially since yesterday I talked with Susan B., a rather successful writer, who told me that although writing supplements her income nicely, she can’t make a living from it.

I learned a long time ago that, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  I mean, earning $100,000 a year with writing, wouldn’t just about everybody who can type do it?

How many folks drag themselves out of bed every day at some ungodly hour to get ready for work?  How many travel up to an hour and a half by car, train or bus to get to their destination?  How many hate their job, counting the hours until they can go home?  Why do they do that, when here there is a blog that offers them a six figure salary to stay home? 

I did a little digging and found that in order to get to that six figure salary, one must pay $25 to become a member of a writing website.  Paying $25?  That’s strange, I’m a member of several writing sites and never had to pay a cent.  On the contrary, they pay me. 

Carol T. does things a little differently.  She charges her “clients” $25 to give them advice on how to write and how to land big paying clients.  In addition, she offers $50 for a guest blog post.  Yes, these are her own words … “And in case you’re not aware, THIS blog pays writers for guest posts. $50 a post. And of course, this site is free to all.

$50 for blogging!!!  Well, let me sharpen my pencils because for $50 a pop I can easily write 10 blog posts per day.  $500 per day, times 31 days, that is $15,500 per month.  Holy cow, why doesn’t everybody blog for this woman?

One of her clients, Joshua, told me that thanks to Carol, he now writes emails at $300 per message.  “One of the clients I got through Carol’s job board is now my BIGGEST paying client. They pay me $300 per email I compose for them

$50 to write a blog post … $300 to write an email message … people, this is getting better and better.

Then there is Sean, a self-proclaimed ex-ghostwriter.  He too will show you the way to make thousands of dollars.  His blog post is peppered with  where people have to insert their email address.  No less than 6 times does the  appear. 
In all other blogs I’ve seen there is one, just one, “Follow by email” button, or an RSS option.  Why is he so desperate to get your email address?

Anyway, what is everybody still doing working for a boss?  Why not be your own boss?  If you were to believe Carol, you can make money hand of fist.

Of course, you don’t need me to tell you this is a scam.  The first thing publishers and literary agents tell writers is “Never give money.  If someone asks for money, it’s a scam.”
In Carol’s case it’s a pyramid scheme.  Upon investigation I found out that I have to pay $25 for her “services” and in turn I have to create a website asking writers to join me for $25.  I get a portion of the $25 and she gets the lion share.
She calls it “becoming an affiliate”, I call it “becoming a sucker”.

How stupid does Carol think writers are?  No offense, but I suppose more than one writer will fall for her scheme, because writers are notoriously badly paid.  Here and there, there might be a writer who earns some nice dollars, Euros or whatever the currency, but a six figure salary … I don’t think so.

If you earn that much, I’d love to hear from you.  I have a couple of writing friends who will hang on my every word sharing your “advice”.  

Then again, Carol T. considers you a bunch of losers.  Yep, that's what she said.  When I said that nobody in my writer's circle earns a six figure salary she said "What are you doing wasting your time with those losers?"

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