The wolves target sheep bloggers.
I dream of blogging away on my MacBook, sitting on the porch of a forested cabin, the day warm and sunny. Had similar visions? Maybe involving the beach instead?
But, I'll be damned before I become one of the ravenous wolves that feed on bloggers in order to make that lifestyle possible. These wolves drink from the jugular of innocent and insecure bloggers, who only long for a bit of success.
The wolves have become so numerous that they feed upon each other, willing to bleed their own kin to make a buck.
Not sure what I'm talking about? Try a Google search for "blogging" or "writing," and you will see the wolves leap from dark dens to nab you. The list Google returns will be full of wolves, concealing their beady eyes and sharp teeth.
Few websites discuss blogging or writing unless they have essential, expensive products to pitch. Many are motivated to exploit other bloggers and get rich. Try to find a writing or blogging website that has not targeted you specifically to latch onto your money. It's difficult.
This is to be expected, I suppose, because these are businesses after all. But, writers are extremely vulnerable, naively believing anyone who promises a quick route to fame. We have fragile self-esteems and seek validation. Bloggers are easy prey.
Lila Moore has addressed the problem of scams for writers and bloggers:
These days, writers face a range of scams from mildly annoying to lethal. Deadly scams are ones which can destroy your bank account, your credibility, or your ability to profit from your work. Not all of these scams are perpetrated solely by malicious outsiders: some of these scams only work because the authors themselves are complicit and some of these scams are perpetrated by the authors themselves.
Scammers use psychology to lure you in.
Everything I read about writing is stealth content advertising, exploiting the hopes of novice writers. If a blog discusses writing, the intent is to sell you expertise, secrets, or connections. They claim that you can become a six figure blogger too. The websites tell you how easy it is, but the reality is that six figures blogging or writing requires extremely hard work and only a select few are capable or lucky.
I read article after article only to find by the conclusion that the whole post is a marketing ploy to sell me an ebook, an expert workshop, a webinar, or an advanced class. And, the websites are run by psychological wizards of persuasion, convincing you each time that if you just spend $40 dollars more, you'll really start making money. Wealth will be easy.
Even worse, if the blogger considers himself an expert, he'll charge up to $500 for his advanced courses.
If you are a newbie, you don't recognize the wolves that thirst after your time, attention, and money. They are everywhere, luring you in with psychologically sophisticated bating.
You might be a naive blogger who continues to ignore the fact that the wolves are cutting into your marrow, while you fork out money and time that you cannot afford to spend. Take heart in the fact that the wolves don't actually want you to die. If they can keep you alive, you'll continue feeding them.
If you are one of the wolves, you can attempt to defend yourself in the comments. You are shameless, pretending that you are not part of the problem, that you are clean of blood.
I understand that businesses like these have the freedom to operate this way, but I simply contend that the exploitation is malicious. They have found a way to get rich by taking money from fellow writers.
Try these strategies to avoid exploitation.
- Backlink and SEO services are worthless. Google looks harshly upon these companies, and they will not improve your traffic or rank. They are all scams.
- Assume that all writing and blogging sites aim to sell you something by making you feel insecure, frightened, ambitious, excited, or thrilled for future success. Make use of all the free stuff they offer, but remember that behind it is a sales ploy. Many sites are awesome for their free content, generous in fact.
- Recognize that some offers may be valid and valuable, but you must be extremely cautious and perform significant research to discover this. What are the person's credentials? Can you verify them outside of their own website? Is the cost reasonable for what is promised? Exactly what is promised? Do they have solid and verifiable testimonials from past clients? Can you speak with any past clients? Who is this expert's competition and what are they selling?
- Note that enough free material exists on the web to teach you whatever the expert promises. The exception to this is an advanced blogger who needs to make important networking connections through a mentor. No beginning blogger needs to pay anything for advice if she is willing to do free research.
- Always act with caution before you pay out money for anything involving your blog. The exception here is that you must purchase your own domain and pay for a hosting service. Don't try to save money by going with a free website host. However, some scammers also lurk in the domain purchasing area, so be careful.
- Find out what customer satisfaction promises the website makes. Many reputable ones will offer a full money back guarantee if certain conditions are not met (for example, you are unsatisfied midway through the course, or you complete the course without landing a freelance writing gig. Different sites make unique guarantees). Does their guarantee make you secure?
- At the very least, Google search the owner and the website. If you add the word "scam" many times complaints from past customers will pop up right up. If the person is credible, there will be lots of people saying great things about her.
- As a beginning blogger, focus on building solid social networks rather than paid relationships. Build social media communities and make your blog a community of like-minded friends.
- If it sounds too easy to be true, it's a scam. Be skeptical
So, I am not saying all writing blogs are bad, just that they are overwhelming in number and in persuasive tactics, and naive bloggers are often taken advantage of. I make use of free materials, but am skeptical of products and services being sold.
Below, I provide some resources with more information about this subject, and they also happen to be great writing sites:
- Beware the Seven Deadly Writing Scams
- The Passive Voice
- Writer Beware
- Preditors and Editors
OK, have I been unfair here or have I left something out? I would love to hear and respond to your comments below. Thank you for reading ZipMinis and for returning to the site.
You might also enjoy:
Like ZipMinis? Please let us know with the tools below.
| || || |