With the rise of plagiarism in the freelance market, there is now a high demand for plagiarism free and original content from by the buyers on freelance sites. Unfortunately, plagiarizers have found ways to bypass Copyscape, one of the most trusted programs that scan documents to detect plagiarism. With different article spinners available online(some examples listed: Plagiarism Checker Exploits), Copyscape alone isn’t enough to detect plagiarism. Keep your head up, there’s still a way to prevent this. In my last article titled, ‘Plagiarism Checker Exploits’ we looked at what plagiarism looks like today and methods developed to achieve high-quality plagiarism. It’s evolved, or should I say scammers are sneakier with their ways. In this article, I’ll be giving you insights on how to detect plagiarizers and prevent deceit from Freelance writing services online.
What are the most common mistakes made by a buyer and how to prevent them?
Before purchasing a writing gig on a Freelance site and sealing the deal, consider the following. Most buyers just have a brief chat and then order. You emphasize to the seller, ‘make sure the content is original and not plagiarized.’ Is it that simple? Well, plagiarizers wouldn’t let you know their schemes now, would they? Ask yourself this, “Did you take the time to discuss with your writer and find out a few key things?” I guess your reply was, “No, just a few questions and I sealed the deal.” That is where you made a poor decision because at the end of the day your readers discovered that the finished product was plagiarized, they encountered a similar article elsewhere online. It could be worse, the author where the original content came from has contacted you. At this point, it’s too late!
Regardless if this happened to you, such incidents like these could’ve been prevented. So let’s put a stop to that with a little practice from the following tips listed below.
The first thing you should review is the seller’s profile. Unfortunately, most buyers are in haste and forget to check this important aspect. It’s best to slow down and get the best quality rather than rush and get substandard quality. Someone is offering to do a job for you; the first thing is to know the person who is writing for you. Check his/her bio and look at their profile picture. A good sellers profile picture is supposed to look professional and not of some attractive model. After all, you aren’t purchasing a service based on beauty, are you? Plagiarizers make use of beautiful models pictures to lure buyers to purchase their gigs. Facial beauty isn’t a criterion for written expertise, so don’t be deceived.
Check the grammar and spelling
Most sellers will have plenty of spelling and grammatical errors in their bios. It should be simple and easy to detect.
You should not fall for bait deals like ‘Buy 1 get 1 free’. Good writers will ask questions about your needs for your project. Who offers a deal upon your first interaction with each other? Offering deals is a common tactic for sellers to distract you. Remember, quality things don’t come for free unless they are desperate and nobody on freelance sites will work for free, especially writing gigs.
Writer’s Gig Description
The service description contains what the seller is offering and the rates at which he/she is worth. It usually comprises of the overview, pricing, description, requirements, etc. Let’s focus on the important ones.
1. Description – What the service is offering?
This should be straightforward, for example ‘I will write a short article for you’. As I mentioned earlier, avoid ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ writers for the obvious reasons. Always check the spelling in the descriptions you are reading. If he/she can’t spell correctly in one sentence, what makes you think he’ll do well in a 500-word article? Most plagiarizers make promises because it’s what many buyers want to hear, especially first-time buyers to a site. Use your eyes rather than absorbing the soothing words of their promises.
2. Requirements: Contains the information the writer needs to perform the service.
The following is what’s needed to start writing:
- The topic
- The objectives or aim of the article
- Ideas or suggestions
- Outline (if any)
These are the key things a good writer should ask for in a direct message and not something generated by the website. It’s not a click on the service, fill out the form and BAM!, your article completed in 24 hours.
If forms are unavoidable, message them. It doesn’t hurt to message your writer.
Communicate with your writer
After cross-checking the points stated above, it’s time to chat with your writer if you haven’t already. Making a human connection will reveal your writer’s flaws communicating in real time. His/her ability to communicate fluently will determine what he/she can write. Although some errors may be due to autocorrect and some are quite obvious to be grammatical blunders. By communicating with your writer, you get to know his/her insights about the proposed article. Note his/her communication skills, observe to see if it’s professional or in haste for you to place an order immediately? Communication is vital in getting any job done effectively.
1. Ask questions
Asking questions will enable you to know the train of thought of your writer. Plagiarizers usually have one easy task, search for similar content, copy and paste, upload it on any article spinner and send the finished work back to you.
2. What are good questions to ask?
What is your approach to constructing my article?
Do you have knowledge in this field? (With proof) or willing to do research.
Do you have an outline? (compulsory)
How do you intend to reach out to my audience or convince them?
Could you please provide references to your research? (Note: plagiarizers don’t usually include references)
Can you write an introduction of 50 words for me in the next 15 minutes? (Traps most plagiarizers dead in their tracks)
If your writer can answer all these according to your taste, then he/she is the right person for the job. Most buyers fall into the traps of plagiarizers by not asking them these important questions.
Ask for samples of previous work
You might be saying, ‘plagiarizers will also submit samples.’ Sure they will, but there’s a way you can trap them. Most plagiarizers don’t have time to read their previous work; this is your chance. After reading their earlier work, ask questions relating to the article they submitted. Ask technical questions about their work and if there’s hesitation in answering them, you’ll know there’s something fishy. My favourite is “Can you write an introduction of 50 words for me in the next 15 minutes?”
Read the terms of service
Don’t be in haste. Take time to read the terms of service; it’s an important aspect that most buyers overlook. An extra line of defense for customers is to read the refund policy. Every site offering services will have one. Educate yourself on actions to take if you notice plagiarism or aren’t satisfied with the delivered work. You can reject the job or cancel the order if any form or suspicion of piracy is noted(it helps to provide facts along with your dispute, to speed up your refund).
Additional things to watch out for
- Claims of passing Copyscape 100%
Copyscape is not the only Plagiarism checker on the market.
(Read my previous article about “Plagiarism Checker Exploits”)
- They guarantee zero grammatical and spelling errors.
Seller Bios will have lots of errors in them. It will also show in their finished work presented to you.
- Direct messages from the seller will be short and always seem rushed, for you to place an order right away.
- Good writers would not “Brag about their seller rank.” This is an obvious weak sales pitch.
- Ridiculous offers like, ‘buy 5 get 1 free article/blog posts in 2 days’.
- Poor up to date progress reports on your order.
I hope you enjoyed the 2 part series on “The Grey Areas of Freelance Writing Services Online.” Not all writers are plagiarizers; there are still good ones out there. I hope that I have enlightened you with all the necessary information for purchasing any article writing service on freelance sites. In case you’ve lost faith in authentic and original content, follow these steps; they’ll lead you to the right person. Remember to use your eyes and establish a human connection first, and you will be hiring smarter and not faster.