Introducing A Blog... Of "Stolen, Not Stolen" Work
Now, I work in marketing, so I understand the importance of blogging and content marketing in general, and do it all the time for my clients. But, I have have always been skeptical about starting my own up.
Why? Because I find a lot of blogs out there just... cringe. And this has always just put me off blogging for some reason.
That was, until a few weeks ago. Ladies and gentlemen, at the start of August, I was scammed. And now? Now, like a
woman scorned, I want the world to know.
If you want to know more about how we got scammed, scroll to the bottom.
Otherwise, you can swipe through the images below to see the different articles. Some are great, some are good, most are about cats.
If anything, use these as examples of our writing prowess and diversity!
So, you want the gory details, huh?
As I was saying, I find myself cringing at a lot of marketing/advertising stuff on the internet in general, even if the creator didn't intend for it.
Especially anything that is aimed at millenials or the next generation, it just seems so out of touch or "try hard". Who would've thought... 50/60 year old marketing professionals born of a completely different generation, not fully understanding youth? The mind boggles! Sounds exactly like Parliament.
But surely it can't just be me? Personally, I put it down to a sign of my experience in the creative industry... I can see through the "facade" of most marketing or advertising campaigns - "this TV advert is just a man in a green screen suit holding a cat. They just want to sell us expensive, unnecessary insurance".
I know, I must be fun at parties, right? Well, this combined "blessing and curse" has always always put me off blogging, until the aforementioned "scam" that occurred a few weeks ago.
So, here goes! Names omitted to protect the innocent (and to avert a lawsuit).
My company Text Goes Here, are marketing & branding specialists. We have had the pleasure of working on some big, global marketing campaigns, but that doesn't mean we shy away from smaller projects.
As a sort of "side earner", we have accounts on several freelancing websites and provide copywriting/ghostwriting services to a number of different online clients. We met this particular "client" on one of said websites, and started speaking through Skype.
Now, for reference, we work with a number of international clients via Skype with no issues, so didn't think anything different at the time. He/she presented themselves well, had good English/grammar and had knowledge of the industry.
Perhaps we were just a bit too trusting?
After discussing and agreeing payment terms, BOTH parties signed a contract. We now know they signed this contract fraudulently.
Anyway, we agreed to write articles ranging from 300 - 2000 words. The "client" would send us a topic and a turnaround time, usually 2 - 8 hours. We would then research the topic and write up on it in our own words.
We did a number of bespoke articles for them. In total, we sent across the equivalent of 80 hours worth of work. Not a bad gig, right? Right... until they refused to pay, blocked us, and sold all our work...
MOTHERF sorry! Still a bit tender at the time of writing this, as you can see.
We've filed a report with the police's Online Fraud Department, contacted the freelancing website to block the user and contacted the company he/she allegedly worked for. Otherwise, there's not much we can do. It's more of a "lesson learnt" scenario, without the preaching of an elder.
After a while, we started to see a few of our articles pop up on random websites. Naturally, we contacted the webmasters and informed them of the situation and most believed us and agreed to take down the articles.
It's worth pointing out that, as we didn't receive any payment, the intellectual property rights of all the articles, is still ours. Luckily, we have the origin file of each article saved as evidence.
This got us thinking... as we found our articles through a regular Google Search, it shows how good we are at SEO writing, am I right? *High five*
But on a serious note, it showed that if we published all our articles as blog posts, they would start to rank on Google. Then, webmasters would contact us with accusations of plagiarism (at least, I think that's how SEO works?)
Hopefully, if enough came forward, we could identify a common denominator and at the very least, stop the perpetrators from scamming anyone else.
And that's how this blog was born! Born out of a cruel injustice. So, unlike most cringe-level blogs, you can read our posts knowing that, yes they still might be cringe, but you are doing it for a good cause.
We're starting a revolution against online scammers: "blogging vigilantism".
And last but not least, there was always going to be a lesson here... be wary of clients who ask you to write about cats, a lot.