There are many freelance websites around which offer copywriters the opportunity to find work. These platforms although quite competitive, do provide us writers a degree of security and privacy, which as we all know, is something that needs to be taken seriously in a virtual world. The trouble is these sites need to pay their way and as such they charge members for the privilege of using their platforms, although registering is typically gratis.
Those Fees are Worth Paying– Believe me!
While we all may shrink in horror at the fees we have to pay out, it is worth remembering that not only do these sites offer a multitude of jobs on a daily basis but they also provide the kind of exposure most marketers dream of achieving. They also offer a valuable degree of security when it comes to being paid for our efforts!
The cautionary tale here, is that many of us are tempted away from a secure working platform to provide copy for employers who seek to circumvent the system. The problem being that many of these guys (and gals) appear respectable, genuine and indeed dare I say “honourable” business people.
The key words here being “appear to be” because without meeting them face-to-face, shaking their hand and being given an insight into their work ethics – appearance is all we get and it’s a virtual image at that.
Think Twice Before You Take the Leap!
My advice to all writers out there is to think twice before accepting to provide copy for anyone who requests you do so “off site”. Unless, that is, you have built up a fantastic working relationship with them that spans several years. Again, the cautionary tale here is that once you hit that send button – your work is gone and it might well land in the hands of an apparently respectable person who has no intention of paying you for your efforts.
You will be given a ton of reasons – one of the best being “the money left my bank yesterday” and what can you do?
Nothing, zilch, niente, nada, rien = pourquoi?
Because as far as they are concerned you don’t know what you are talking about and your invoice has been paid!
Now, where is the honour in that? What core skills are needed to behave in such a manner? Um………….
One final tip is to register your work before letting it go and there are various ways of doing so which involves copyrighting every single word you put on paper. Should the person use your work gratis, send them a courteous, to the point letter of your intent to sue – take a look at the email Getty Images send out to people who abuse their intellectual property and follow suit (every pun intended).
Another way is to register your work with Sample Safe before pinging it over to someone which means the work is already nicely positioned in the cloud just waiting for you to press the button and publish in your own right. Should the person publish your work, not only will they be guilty of copyright infringement , but the copy they use will show up as duplicate content and we all know what Google and other search engines think of that!
Bon courage mes amis!
Author: Honey Wood