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So, I recently managed to find a company based mainly in Europe that piqued my interest:

It essentially focuses on articles and such.

I'm still in the evaluation process and I'm currently writing the entry article (read "test" article here), but while doing so, I noticed some (potential) red flags here:

  • The "test" article is obviously being used to test all of the current candidates for the current semester, but I noticed they left the same said test article (same subject, etc) public and published instead of making it private/draft only.

  • They evaded my question about payment process, but when looking at their documentation (that they share with every possible candidate), you can see that they will only pay after a certain number of articles (done as a "guest") is done...instead of just one.

  • They mention only accepting guest, and later on (as mentioned above) paid authors, but only under the [company] name...you'll need to "level" up (I'm not kidding, this is the actual word they used) to a certain number (between 5 and 8) to be a "paid author" WITH your actual name on the article, instead of the company's name.

I'm unsure if any of these are actual red flags or not (which is why I used the word "potential"). The fact that this is my first time working for an actual article-centered company is also part of why I'm unsure (since I never saw how "green" the other article's focused company are compared to this current one)

I'm still wondering going through with this evaluation or not (already finished writing the first test article on their platform but still need to correct some errors before it's seen as publishable). BTW, they have existed for a long time (between 2010-14 and today). They also partnered with a couple known company that have nothing to do with articles too, so I guess they look "legit" enough on that part at least.

Additional information

And yes, the actual job form I applied to didn't mention any of what I said above, and they were very clear on the "you will be paid...each article....etc" and made no mention whatsoever of anything else I mentioned here (only knew this a bit later through additional email).

There also virtually no additional benefit (like insurance, unemployment, etc). Not that I'm aware of at least. Though I only really care about payment here anyway (they mainly use paypal for some reason).

I'm based in Europe if anyone wondered (like the company I mentioned above is).

There was no actual interview, unless you would consider a single, 2 lines email, asking for work and skills experience with a follow up from me describing my experience etc, that.

Lastly, just as this may sounds, it is a remote work.

Any feedback/answer is welcome.

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    It sounds like you'd be working as a contractor (1099-NEC, if you're in the US) and not as an actual employee (W2, if you're in the US), which would mean that you wouldn't get insurance, unemployment, or any number of other benefits afforded to actual employees. As for whether or not that's common in the article writing industry... idk!
    – neubert
    Apr 30 at 1:26
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    @NordineLotfi, It sounds like you would be working for free, but they tried to hide that fact from you. Do not do it. If they had been upfront about the payment arrangement, it would be one thing. But if they're evasive about that now, don't count on their lousy attitude to change. Do not write that article. You will regret it if you do. Apr 30 at 3:57
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    @NordineLoftit, Do not publish that article on their platform. Publish it on the platform of your choice. Publish it on your blog, or on Medium, or on wherever. Do not reward their dishonesty. Also, you may want to read this book. amazon.com/Writers-Market-2020-Trusted-Published/dp/1440301220 Most public libraries should have it, or maybe you can find a pdf of it online. Apr 30 at 4:06
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    “Stay away ffom them” - you have a clear answer.
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 30 at 4:26
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    @NordineLotfi, Do whatever you like. But personally, I don't reply to scammers. I delete their email and mark their email as spam. Apr 30 at 4:56
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This sounds like a great way for them to get content to publish and monetize without actually paying for said content. I would never perform work without being paid for it. I would never entertain such an idea or engage in such a relationship. Are these red flags? Too me they are very much red flags.

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  • I already wrote most of the article and only need to correct some errors...what do you think would be the best course of action here? Just ignore their email or say something specific? (it's not published yet or anything) Apr 30 at 3:36
  • Additionally, do you know any article/writing centered company that have better policies/culture than this? If not, that's fine too... Apr 30 at 3:37
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    @NordineLoftit, Do not publish that article on their platform. Publish it on the platform of your choice. Publish it on your blog, or on Medium, or on wherever. Do not reward their dishonesty. Apr 30 at 4:01
  • So i just, like, copy paste what is already saved on their writing platform, copy paste it on my own blog and...what do i say to them? do i just ignore them or? Sorry if my tone sounds weird, I'm just unsure on how this should go @StephanBranczyk Apr 30 at 4:06
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    @NordineLotfi, Yes, copy and paste what you have so far, and try to delete from their platform if you can. But even if you can't delete it, you just need to publish the article on your own blog first. And you will want to notify Google (and other search engines) so that your blog gets indexed as soon as possible. Whoever gets the article indexed by search engines first wins in terms of search engine ranking. But if you do that, do not sign any contract with them, otherwise, you would be in breach by publishing elsewhere first. Apr 30 at 4:11
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This is an extremely well-known scam, it's just part of the SEO mill.

FWIW you can trivially google about it - it's just a well-known scam.

Forget about it and ignore it like you'd ignore any spam email.

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  • yes, but the actual company that does it is known (not big, but I'd say middle sized). They were partnered with a couple bigger company, and it's the kind of company where if someone would say their name, and this kind of scam in the same sentence, they wouldn't believe it (unless they had prior experience with them like i did)...which is why I asked in the first place May 1 at 21:11
  • BY "they wouldn't believe it", i did mean "most people wouldn't believe it" (was out of time for editing this in), but yeah. May 1 at 22:18
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    it's a complete scam. ignore it like you'd ignore a "nigerian email scam".
    – Fattie
    May 1 at 22:54

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