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Unrealistic and authority trading job demands

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Community Guru
Miroslav M Member Since: Jan 21, 2016
1 of 11

I have noticed an increasing amount of jobs which are hard to impossible to complete successfully owing to the fact that clients require mentions and backlinks about their ventures on so called authority websites, i.e. major media outlets and Wikipedia.

 

While it is possible for some small business owner to find someone who will blurb about the client's business on HuffPost or TechCrunch I find it a dishonest use of this platform since we here sell our knowledge and skills, while these clients are all about gettting authority. Writing as skill there is of minor relevance, I even believe some clients come up with already written copy and basically seek someone to provide them with nothing but  posting permission for it.

 

Speaking of Wikipedia article writing demands, in most cases these are unrealistic jobs since few (if any) clients' ventures qualify for what Wikipedia renders encyclopaedic notability. There even knowledge of encyclopaedic writing style and Wiki markup isn't an issue. These jobs basically require someone who will hopelessly try to get a favorable third party decision, where that third party is unable to be influenced and persuaded about the subject notability to appear on Wikipedia. An exception is writing about the subject on other language Wikipedias where rigor is much lower and no new content verification neither before nor after publishing of such content.

Community Guru
Cheryl K Member Since: Jul 16, 2015
2 of 11

Miroslav:

 

So don't bid on those jobs, move along and find others.

 

If someone with that authority wants to trade on it, that's on them not me or you or any other writer. 

 

You trade on your authority (whatever niche you write), I trade on my authority (the niches I write), and let them trade on their authority.  It's the way the free market works.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 11

@Cheryl K wrote:

Miroslav:

 

So don't bid on those jobs, move along and find others.

 

If someone with that authority wants to trade on it, that's on them not me or you or any other writer. 

 

You trade on your authority (whatever niche you write), I trade on my authority (the niches I write), and let them trade on their authority.  It's the way the free market works.


 We don't operate in a pure free market, though. The Federal Trade Commission places strict guidelines on the type of influence purchasing those "clients" are requesting.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 11

Agree, Miroslav, and I don't think those "jobs" should be allowed here. They are not freelancing gigs--they are basically people looking to purchase ad space from writers with access.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 11

I'm in the minority, but I have no problem selling links. If you're not paying writers but using their content for income, then I think it's totally fair game. Granted, it's against SE guidelines, but that's on the buyer if they get caught buying links.

 

I've gotten those invites though and $150 is way too low for a backlink on a high profile site. HuffPo links aren't worth what they used to be, but the market is wayyyy higher than $150. Technically, it's a risk for the writer and the buyer has to pay for that.

 

I've seen backlinks go for $5k on high profile sites. $150 would be for a much slower site.

 

 

eta: wikipedia is a different animal. I took a wikipedia job once on elance to rewrite current content, so I thought I was safe since the content was already accepted by the eds. Unfortunately, the guy wanted marketing content and I told him that won't work. He wound up disputing and won, so no more wikipedia writing for me.

Community Guru
Miroslav M Member Since: Jan 21, 2016
6 of 11

 What there exactly is "writing"  if the client only wants someone to install prefabricated content into a website for which it is only needed to get access? Besides that, these jobs represent conflicts of interest, since they are dealing with third party's authority, not that of clients' and freelancers'.

 

One of my clients actually asked me to Wikipedia for him, which I did, and one of two articles submitted got rejected, whilst the other one is still pending (dis)approval. I warned him upfront that I can't assure whether the article about his company would get approval. It was just a part of the whole job. People think that Wikipedia is same as ten years ago, when you could get into ediuting wars and flood content. Even after warning, he wanted me to proceed which I did, OK, but I don't really like my clients to be left dissatisfied, even if my guilt is none or insignificant. None likes that, but what can be done if on an existing job which involves creating content only for client's own resources he suddenly requests content to be posted on a third party which holds the rights to reject or edit that content. 

 

Other than that I never accept jobs which say they want Wikipedia articles (I want much things fo' myself but I know I can't get a free and real Santa Claus, even if try via posting a job on Upwork ).

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
7 of 11

@Miroslav M wrote:

 What there exactly is "writing"  if the client only wants someone to install prefabricated content into a website for which it is only needed to get access? Besides that, these jobs represent conflicts of interest, since they are dealing with third party's authority, not that of clients' and freelancers'.

 

One of my clients actually asked me to Wikipedia for him, which I did, and one of two articles submitted got rejected, whilst the other one is still pending (dis)approval. I warned him upfront that I can't assure whether the article about his company would get approval. It was just a part of the whole job. People think that Wikipedia is same as ten years ago, when you could get into ediuting wars and flood content. Even after warning, he wanted me to proceed which I did, OK, but I don't really like my clients to be left dissatisfied, even if my guilt is none or insignificant. None likes that, but what can be done if on an existing job which involves creating content only for client's own resources he suddenly requests content to be posted on a third party which holds the rights to reject or edit that content. 

 

Other than that I never accept jobs which say they want Wikipedia articles (I want much things fo' myself but I know I can't get a free and real Santa Claus, even if try via posting a job on Upwork ).


You bring up a salient point of confusion.

 

Many seem to misunderstand that in cases where there's an approval process, such as through Wikipedia, the writer's fluency, style, etc. isn't the main component involved in the approval machinations. While I'm sure it's an important aspect, as you mentioned, not everyone qualifies as "notable" via the Wikipedia platform. 

 

Methinks that, perhaps, they think because you're a darn good writer, then you'll automatically gain acceptance into a system. 

 

Nope.

 

Thanks for discussing this topic. I wince when I see the whole "Wikipedia" or "need writer for backlinks to high traffic, top-notch" sites, etc.

 

 

Community Guru
Miroslav M Member Since: Jan 21, 2016
8 of 11

@Kat C wrote:

 

Methinks that, perhaps, they think because you're a darn good writer, then you'll automatically gain acceptance into a system. 

 

 

 


 The guy did not even ask me if I had a Wiki account, which is now required to make new edits and additions on the English Wikipedia, let alone whether I can do Wiki markup and have I ever edited and created articles there before. They just told "I want that and that" clearly indicating he is oblivous of any rigor enforced on Wikipedia, I believe it's the case with most clients who ask for such jobs. Had they known it they  wouldn't have asked for it. Owing to that us freelancers often have to explore various concepts to make sure clients CAN actually get what they want. And we end up being attorneys for our clients trying to fight down a third party on its own ground.

 

P.S. Jennifer's case is pretty worrying. OK she knew it was a Wikipedia job but doubt they mentioned marketing content before she accepted it. Isn't it OK to decline a job once you learn it is inappropriate only after accepting it? Or it was an issue back on Elance which is now resolved?

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 11

@Miroslav M wrote:

 What there exactly is "writing"  if the client only wants someone to install prefabricated content into a website for which it is only needed to get access? Besides that, these jobs represent conflicts of interest, since they are dealing with third party's authority, not that of clients' and freelancers'.

 

One of my clients actually asked me to Wikipedia for him, which I did, and one of two articles submitted got rejected, whilst the other one is still pending (dis)approval. I warned him upfront that I can't assure whether the article about his company would get approval. It was just a part of the whole job. People think that Wikipedia is same as ten years ago, when you could get into ediuting wars and flood content. Even after warning, he wanted me to proceed which I did, OK, but I don't really like my clients to be left dissatisfied, even if my guilt is none or insignificant. None likes that, but what can be done if on an existing job which involves creating content only for client's own resources he suddenly requests content to be posted on a third party which holds the rights to reject or edit that content. 

 

Other than that I never accept jobs which say they want Wikipedia articles (I want much things fo' myself but I know I can't get a free and real Santa Claus, even if try via posting a job on Upwork ).


 It's not really the writing that's important here. Although, it has to be good enough to pass editors. What's important is the link. PR is no longer publicized, but it is still a part of the ranking algorithm. They are chasing the PR juice. There is also the visibility of the link. Pay $5k to have your link on TechCrunch (for instance) and you get your site in front of millions. $5k is nothing if you can quadruple that in profit. 

 

And yeah, wikipedia is chancy. I got burned once and learned my lesson. I went back to look at the page about a year later and sure enough all the stuff he wanted added to the page was removed by eds. DUH

Community Guru
Miroslav M Member Since: Jan 21, 2016
10 of 11

And what to say about this; a guy asking to get access to major media outlets tor himself as a writer. Offers $200 per outlet for which access is granted.

 

Pure authority selling request, it is not even content there which needs to be a part of that trade, just the authority. And it is category-wise disguised as "Blog and Article Writing". Not even sure if it is TOS-compliant.

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