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Burned Notice

May 23, 2013

I’m writing this post because I just got burned on a freelance writing gig, and I’m hoping to help others avoid the same nightmare. I answered an ad on Craigslist.  I was hired to write blog posts. After the initial trial period, I was to be paid per blog post. I was required to write 2-3 posts per day. Everything thing seemed to be fine. I had a good relationship with the editor, and had the #1 and #2 rated posts. My trial period was almost complete when I received an email from the editor. The email was informing the newly hired writers, that the owner of the company was not going to honor the promised compensation, and she was resigning.

Under those circumstance, I made the decision not to contribute any more content to this website. I asked to have my content removed. He refused.  I did not know what rights he was going to try to claim over my content. I also did not want to leave my content there for him to benefit from and I had not received any compensation for. He stated that I retained copyright, but he could stop me from republishing it on other sites. Here’s the thing. There was never a written agreement. Nothing was ever signed, and no compensation was ever paid.  I know, ALWAYS get things in writing. I usually do, except for this time. I was desperately looking for work, and got sucked in.

Be careful of who you decide to form a business relationship with. Check them out. Had I done this, I would have learned that this individual is not very scrupulous, and has done this very same thing many times. The website is eromancehelp.com and the owner of the site is Alex Hammer. I am one of many new writers to this site, and all of us were burned. I learned more about who I was dealing with from the following article http://pinetreepolitics.bangordailynews.com/2009/09/11/dont-give-alex-hammer-the-attention-he-desires/.

All of the sweatshops are not overseas. Writing sweatshops exist right here. These are freelance jobs  (and I use the term job extremely loosely) that are posted by sites to get writers to submit content that adheres to strict regulations and then pay them a meager $1 or $2 for their work. I was once asked to write five children’s books of 1,000 words each. I was to be paid $50 for all five books. I declined. So many of the jobs on these sites come from other countries looking for English speakers. They’re very picky and do not want to pay anything. Pay is the only thing you get from these sites because you don’t get credit for writing them. The person that buys your work publishes it under their name, and you got paid probably $5. These sites flourish because writers keep using them. The only way to stop them is to go elsewhere and find legitimate work.  Stop selling yourself short and stay away from the Alex Hammers of this world.

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