Plagiarism and bad web copy setting in on Triond

Is nothing sacred?

The guys at Triond go to the lengths of creating a blogging community, offering a genuine opportunity to build a powerhouse of professional bloggers on its network of sites, then the article spinners get in.

Somehow, they get their articles past the quality and duplication checkers and subsequently start ruining the platform for the genuinely talented writers trying to make a name for themselves online.

1533786_Triond-Banner-Ad_620 (Photo credit: strovek)

One of the articles has raised the issue – and it seems that many more members harbour similar sentiments – kick the spinners off site before they start dragging our names down with them by association to Triond.

I’m surprised that a site as big as the community that’s developed over at Triond has let it get to this stage.

Have Triond’s sites been hit by Penguin and the ‘Minor Weather Report’ that took out EMDs?

I do have a theory, and that’s that many of the sites may have been hit by Google algorithm updates recently due to their SEO tactics.  Namely, linking strategies on and off site that the authors have no input on, not on-site content itself.

As the traffic decreases bloggers are jumping ship due to a reduction in earnings (AdSense and shared ad revenue) and Triond have got to fill their pages with something.  It seems that spun or poor quality content is obviously deemed ‘better than nothing’.

I’m sure Google will fine-tune their algorithms to detect spun and non-native content and sooner than we think.  Until such a time, we have to put up with jobs on freelance sites calling for article spinners.

Sites who allow this practise, even promote jobs offering the opportunity of plagiarism theft, ought to be held accountable.  Advertising such work, when they know it’s against everything that the search engines are aiming for, is nothing short of despicable.

The worst case scenario for Triond writers has perhaps already occurred.  Third party reactions to this decline in quality is underlined by long-serving Triond member Jo Oliver.  She stated: “Reddit cooking and food banned everyone submitting anything from Triond due to the poor, half-broken English recipes they were getting as Reddit submissions. So, yeah, I’m annoyed!”

When it gets to that stage, Triond – or any online blogging syndication community – really ought to do more to protect its quality authors.

Anyway, here’s a little more info if you’ve been following my Triond blogs this week and this latest revelation has not put you off joining.

The other way you could look at the issue is, of course, your work will stand out from the crowd if so much crap is truly getting through.   I know that’s small consolation for being tarred with a same brush, but perhaps it does make us think a little bit more about how much our quality content is worth when bidding for jobs on the freelance websites.

Right – off me soapbox – it’s 02:51 a.m. and the gent’s coming to finish cladding me bathroom in the mornin’, so I’m off to kip.  The link to the online article in full is above if you want to get the ‘referral’ bit of the thread, too…

First and foremost, Jo, what a well-balanced article, points made clearly and concisely and obviously striking accord with many Triond members who find themselves in the same boat.

I’ve only arrived here this week after finding the site through a referral from an awfully-written article when I was searching for something completely off topic. Which in some way vilifies Triond publishing tripe – if it’s good enough for Google to rank, who’s to argue?

I’m not saying it’s right, far from it. Spun copy is the bane of my life and I’ve remonstrated on my blog about it in numerous articles over the last eighteen months or so.

I wasn’t even aware that there was a referral program so, secondly, thanks for that. My chagrin now is that I’ll start earning someone money who has no grasp of the English language whatsoever. But that’s being defeatist.

The key point for me is reputation. Without one, a writer is going nowhere fast. If there has been a decline in standard, then the Triond team need to do something about it, too. It is their reputation on the line, too.

I noticed the poor quality when my own first article got declined because of poor quality. I looked for comparisons and, once found, could not believe the reason the support team cited for not publishing my article compared to what I was seeing as already published – it was laughable.

Needless to say, I’m up and running now and am so glad that there’s someone else who hates poor quality – it is theft, as the majority is spun content from non-natives who wouldn’t know punctuation if it came up and bitch-slapped them in the face.

I’m with you all the way; I’m off now to try to recruit some of my G+ friends – or at least will when I get my referral link – to see if we can up the ante.

Thanks again, and a very warm welcome to you all.


Professional bloggers – a new way to earn a passive income

Mm, here’s interesting for you. Do you blog?

The reason I ask is because I stumbled across a very poorly written article (what a shock) when I was executing an off-topic search.  Despite its grammatical errors and misunderstanding of ‘native English’ post-article spinning, it did take me to blogging platform that may be of interest to you.

No, I’m not going to get into the ‘Google’s new algorithm is not working argument’ here.  The filters it’s applying are taking out a few of the good guys to get to the spammers, true.  But when you think of how many articles are submitted daily, to just pick out the bad ones is no mean feat.

Although, I will just say for those of you not averse to anti-Google rant, the correlation Matt Cutts and his team are finding between quality content and high page rank would see the referring site in this instance as an exception to its (yet-to-be-made) rule.

In fact, the new medium I mentioned in yesterday’s article that I’m using as an outlet for my pro-blogging, Triond, has its fair share of dross getting through the filters to publication, adding to Google’s quandary.

See – now look what you’ve done – led me all off-topic, again.

Whilst you may not like the idea of submitting your articles without a direct payment, there are four very good reasons why you should consider Triond.

Firstly, if you’re new to blogging and are thinking of touting your trade on the global freelance sites, you’re going to need a portfolio of published work. Triond gives you this opportunity without you having to run and maintain your own blog.

With the constant updates from Google, this is an aspect of blogging that can be a chore in itself if you’re holding down a full-time job, too. Use your profile page to highlight your work, where it’s been published and use any of the drag-and-drop features that could provide prospective employers an at-a-glance overview of your blogging prowess.

Secondly, no-cost start-up. The sites that Triond will publish your work on are established, have plenty of fresh content every day and they deal with all of the off-site SEO.  Therefore, you haven’t got the headache of driving traffic to your articles.  You can get on with what you do best: blogging news, informative or how-to articles.

Thirdly, passive income. When you’re a newbie blogger, unless you pitch your rate extremely low, you’ll be lucky to find clients willing to give you a chance. Talking prices on oDesk, I’m thinking typically $1-$2/500 words, max.

Wouldn’t you rather tell that client to stuff his dollar or two and publish your work for free yourself instead with the possibility of earning from that article for a lifetime?

Fourth and finally, writers network. There is a community on Triond, very much like its own little social network for writers.

I’m yet to befriend anyone and, once this week’s out the way, I’m off to ‘add friends’ and get their insights into what works best, which niches generate the most views>>traffic>>ad revenue>>income and what there experiences are of the Triond platform.

Talking of social networks, within your profile you have the ability to link to your existing online presence.  That means you can also share your published articles with a ready-made audience, your friends and followers. Running Adsense means you don’t have to know their wish-list, the cookies do it for you.

That means that the articles you write may not be to your complete list of followers’ tastes, but your revenue comes from on-site ads. Just because your friend’s not into the new Nexus 4, say, doesn’t mean that the intuitive ads won’t display a relevant topic for your friend based on what the ad-bots unearth on their hard drive.

I’ll leave you with that food for thought for today. These Triond articles will be published in a new Scoop.It topic, Pro-blogging, rather than on here, being wary of duplicate content, ‘n’ all.

As far as I know, curated content does not get indexed in the same way that blogged content does.  Therefore there’s no need to fear plagiarism – or use my Copyscape credit – for my own content!?

What I do intend to do moving forward is, at the end of each week, embed the articles from where I’ve pinned them on Pinterest.  This will hopefully provide an ongoing insight into the niches targeted via Triond and/or what’s trending.

Whenever possible, I’ll also try to display the stats to give you some idea of the traffic you can expect.  They’re a little irrelevant, so early in the game, but they should build up over time.

To date, here’s day one-thru-four and, assuming I’m published on Friday too, I’ll embed the last article from Pinterest just above the footer.  Enjoy the content and I hope to see you on Triond.

Day One, Triond – article declined, but that was purely down to the gateway not being opened. I had, however, published the article on darrelldoo4absolution by the time Nathan, one of the reps, got back to me and told me that the gateway was now opened after I’d submitted a complaint.
Day Two, Triond

Source: via Jerald on Pinterest

Day Three, Triond

Source: via Jerald on Pinterest

Day Four, Triond

Source: via Jerald on Pinterest

Day Five, Triond

Source: via Jerald on Pinterest

Basic outline of how to begin a career in freelance writing

It’s amazing how your opinions change over time.  Much is commensurate with experience – writing, interaction, constant learning and even travel broadens the horizons, as they say; and quite right, too.

English: Traditional freelance writer work system.

When I started out writing (online), it was all about monetising sites to get them ranked, earn money off advertising (paid onsite or click-thru) or marketing affiliate products.  Not that I’ve stopped doing any of those things, but I’ve come to realise that, in order to get, you have to give a little a lot at first to start building trust, a following and finally a community.  All of which demonstrate to would-be employers that you know what you’re doing, even if the site that you point them to is not a ‘virtual ATM’ in its own rite as many digital product manufacturers claim that they have created.  Guys, don’t be fooled; 9 times out of 10 the snapshots shown on the sales page is of the manufacturer’s clickbank account, not an affiliates…

Sorry, I digress.  The last two days, I’ve found myself in a very giving mood, despite NaNoWriMo and the commitments I’ve made there.  First there was a post I wrote for a guy on facebook for his wall and secondly, one of my ‘writing buddies’ from NaNoWriMo asked me what it was like to be a freelance writer.  My response was verbose and has probably petrified them.  But then I thought, ‘No – I wished I’d had someone tell me all that when (or even before) I started out freelance writing.

So if you’re looking for a little professional writing advice – this is just from my perspective and there are probably countless others who have other ways of earning a successful living writing – for what it’s worth, here’s my two-penneth:

Hi, [NaNo writing buddy].

Congrats on the mammoth word count – that’s bally impressive, m’dear.

Freelance writing’s okay – it can be frustrating and, when you start out, the pay’s not great.

Like everything, you have to earn the right to charge a fee you could call liveable on – there is so much competition from writers in the Philippines, Bangladesh and India who charge a pittance for their services – one guy was re-writing for $0.22 (about £0.15) per hour!

Their writing is poor, but some webmasters put up content that is purely to get their pages ranked highly and have no consideration for their human readers, just the advertising space they can sell or place on top-ranking sites.  It really cheeses me off, but there are so many doing it, it’s pointless complaining.

But there is decent work if you’re patient.  You have to make your own luck – get yourself out there, build up a portfolio.  You may have to sacrifice decent earnings initially whilst building that repertoire and rapport with clients, but that’s a pay-off well worth doing as early on in your career – like when you’re a student, say – as you possibly can.

Much of my work now comes from recommendation, but I still love the buzz of bidding for jobs on sites like oDesk and PPH and working with new people from all over the world.

The best way to get into it is choose a couple of niches you know a bit about or that interest you; get involved in the forums, groups, social media pages (especially LinkedIn, for business) and create websites specifically for those niches – I use Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress and I’ve got my own site that is sadly neglected – – I’ve promised myself that I’ll tidy it up in the new year and start getting it ranked to bring in work direct and cut out the middle man – I’ve even thought about building a team of writers once the site starts to rank.

Once you have your blogs and sites up, start writing articles and posting them – people follow blogs not just for the content, but they like the authors and how they come across.  The more ‘you’ in your articles, the better.

Gauge the reaction from your followers, facebook friends and family; market the site/articles on facebook, twitter, add images to pin them on Pinterest, Delicious and StumbleUpon – I’ve got 11 social media outlets for the golf blog, including Flickr, YouTube, all of those above, two ‘curation’ sites and a weekly ezine.  It’s pretty much all on if you want a better idea of the type of thing I mean.

It takes a while to do all that, but if you’re genuinely interested, the sooner you get started, the sooner you get established and the more opportunities come your way.

If, after NaNo, you want to know more, keep in touch.  I started to mentor someone in summer, but they gave up after about three weeks because they hadn’t started earning $1,000 a week overnight!  It’s a career, not a fast buck; like all careers, it takes time to get a reputation, fathom the best practises – I’ve no objection to showing the ropes and how and why I do what I do.

You can, of course, forget all about your own sites and just ply your trade on the online freelance agencies, but the majority of writing work called for on those platforms is Internet-based.  It’s a good idea to have a basic knowledge of how the web & search engines work (mostly Google) to stand you in better stead when it comes to winning jobs and raising your fees.

Blimey – I bet I’ve bored you shitless.

Honestly, ask as many questions as you like.  If I can answer them, I will.

Have a great weekend – see you in the stream!

So there you have it – my introduction to writing for freelance agencies and the web. Got any recommendations I could pass on to my NaNo buddy (or me, of course)? Would totally love to hear from you.
Zebedeerox. x

The real way to write a quick blog post and make even more money

I was just over at Neil Patel‘s site reading his post about A simple plan for writing a powerful blog post in under two hours.  Whilst there’s some extremely valid information contained in the post, it made the process all seem a bit too easy.  In some of the methods listed, the post did rather gloss over some of the pitfalls.

I was going to post the below comment as an addendum to his article.  But, to be honest, I’ve not got a relationship with the guy, we’re not in a mosh pit and he may or may not have taken my comments kindly.  Even though they are intended to come across in a 100% constructive manner.

I’ll not go into detail about his post – the link’s above if you wanna go check it out.  Like I say, much therein has mileage.  But it is worth tempering that information with the following, in my humble opinion:-

Hi, Neil.  Decent post, bud.

However, there are a couple of things you’ve omitted about swiping someone else’s content – sure, you may be familiar with the etiquette and legalities, but some of your readers and newbie followers may not be, let alone the consequences of it.

Content – okay, you’ve found a couple of articles that you’d like to use as the basis of your post. What next?

Consider this: if you have a following within your niche, it’s also likely that your readers follow similar – if not the same – sources that you’re taking your base article from.

You must adapt that source content to the theme of your own blog.  If not, you risk losing credibility by simply re-hashing the original blogger’s work and re-branding it as your own.   If you’ve not tailored its message to suit your own loyal readership, they will catch on.

Images – be careful when using any image source about the license attached to the jpeg, png, whatever format your desired image is in. If the owner of the image requests a link back and/or credit for the photo in lieu of payment, such as the share alike license on the image below, make sure you do.

Most images are copyrighted just like content, although some do fall under licenses granting their use for non-commercial purposes.  Wikimedia, for example, is quick to warn us that not all of its images are commercially free to use.

Content (yes, again – heck, it is important) – plagiarism. Nothing hits a blog’s page rankings or a blogger’s reputation like duplicate content. Check your work on plagiarism checkers like Copyscape.

You wouldn’t like someone swiping your work without permission, so don’t do it to anyone else.  You also run the risk of being served with a DMCA takedown request and a possible fine for repeated offence(s).

Blogger / Blogspot: 6,000,000 of duplicated co...
Blogger / Blogspot: 6,000,000 of duplicated content indexed! (Photo credit: notoriousxl)

And lastly, as Elance was mentioned for editing, ask yourself this: how much is your time worth?

If you’re spending five hours on a blog post at – I dunno, what would you work for? $10/hr? $15/hr? – say $10/hr as a minimum – that’s $50 dollars that post has cost you.

If you’re going to Elance to get the editing done anyway, why not turn the whole article over to a pro-writer from the start?

To ensure you get quality content in return, provide the freelancer with:

  • your blog URL so that the pro-writer can appraise your style, theme and target audience,
  • the URLs for your base concept/material
  • URLs for any images you’d like to include (check license)
  • long and/or short-tail keywords you’d like included and their frequency
  • word count
  • deadline

Even if the writer charges $30 for the article, you’ve saved 40%/$20 and got the five hours back that you would have spent agonising over the post.  This is time in which you can do something much more productive if blogging’s not your strong point, i.e. Internet marketing.

If you’re looking for the quickest way to write a blog post by the most cost-effective means, hiring a professional writer has got to be one of your options.  It is called outsourcing and all entrepreneurs do it.  Not just for writing, but for all things that do not play to their strengths.

That is why entrepreneurs make so much money: by freeing up as much time as possible to do what they’re good at, meanwhile empowering others to be a most valuable resource towards the end result, plus building relationships for the future.

Outsourcing can be a toughie to get your head around, predominantly as there is a physical cost involved.  But those maths speak for themselves.

And there, folks, endeth today’s lesson.

Please feel free to add your two-penneth in the comments, below.



Your own content should be the base of your online influence

Okay, enough is indeed enough. I’ve seen enough bullshit posted about content, duplicate content, plagiarism and chasing rainbows to make me wanna hurl. And, no, I’m not going to water it down to the PC ‘BS’ – you guys need to know how I feel; I treat you with the ultimate respect so as to not hold back when I think it matters, after all SEO matters.

First of all – and what really kicked me off – was a thread on Google+ by an Internet Marketer trying to sell Klout for five bucks a shot. Talk about misguided. Or low, unethical tactics – the first word that sprung to my mind was not ingenious or clever or smart AM tactics, but desperate. I’ll not name names, but, if you want to see what I mean, here’s the link to the thread;  it requires you to have a Google account, I believe, to pick that up.

Image representing Search Engine Land as depic...

But what makes it worse for me – and a sure sign that the Internet’s gone to a crock of shit – is that this person has a huge following, yours truly included. Now, if I had so many followers, I would not be touting Klout at $5 a shot, rather using content to engage with so big a ready audience (provided that they are genuine followers and have not been bought) and using their trust as the funnel for any sales – not outright dangling the carrot of: I’ll improve your online influence for $5.

Am I right to chastise this marketer?

Well, the joint-leading authority (in my opinion) of everything SEO on the Internet, Search Engine Land (up there with Yoast, Joos and the gang, as I’m a bit of a WordPress devotee, although I do dabble in Tumblr and Blogger, too) have this to say on the subject, which I happened to drop in on the end of the thread: 4 signs you’re chasing the wrong goals in SEO

Is writing quality content really that difficult to create oneself?

Lightning never strikes twice, or does it?

To rub salt into my open-hearted, bleeding wound (why, oh why, Internet, do you allow this type of activity to happen? – you get my drift?) it was the way in which I found the search-engine land article that really pissed me off (got me pissed, for the US audience – which means something totally different in the UK; no, it didn’t leave me feeling headily, pleasantly intoxicated – I left that to the Tramadol).

Question: Do you guys use

We all curate Internet content – there are very few new ideas or news items per niche, just existing content with another blogger’s take on them and subsequently adapted to their theme, right?

Well, no, actually; quite wrong, as it turns out.

This Puritan believed that bloggers with integrity carried out their publishing by sourcing reader-relevant content and adding their own voice to the message to produce a new article worthy of the respect their audience deserves. Yet again it seems that my hopes have been dashed on that rock that forms one half of the hard place one so often finds oneself.

I ask the question again: is blogging so difficult? is a great curation tool that lets you pick up a link to an article that you, therefore you believe your audience will, find interesting. It has a cover page, where you add your own two-penneth about what the original article means to you and could therefore imply to your followers; you can then distribute it to connected social media accounts, such as your fb page (or personal timeline), twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and/or WordPress accounts. In my business model, I write an article on my Tumblr blog, or someone in the golf niche uses the guest post service I avail to them, then ‘Scoop.It’ to the other online outlets with a bespoke tweet, fb post or article cover/synopsis and it eventually appears in my weekly ezine, UK Golf.

infommercial – darrelldoo4golf

But what did I find on the cover of this particular ‘’ for the search engine land piece? Just a blatant copy and paste of the first three paragraphs of their original article, with no insight from the publisher whatso f’ing ever or any attempt to add their own feelings or translate it in any way to their blog’s theme to enhance the article for their readers’ pleasure.

It made me feel like yelling into my mic: “Listen here you dickhead: your followers, being in that niche, have probably already read the f’ing article by search engine land. They follow you for your heart, your ideas, your thought-provoking insight. They do not want to see your idle-ass cut-and-paste of an article they’ve already seen in their inbox, anyway! You low-life twat!”

I saw the header in one of the LinkedIn writers groups last week questioning whether there were too many people who think they can write on the Internet. I don’t know about that (well, yes I do, but that’s probably best saved for another post, here), but I do think that there are ‘bloggers’ out there who think that regurgitating someone else’s exact content – irrespective of any DMCA laws they may be exposing themselves to – is blogging. Well, let me tell you, you content-thieving tykes: IT IS SO F’ING NOT!

If you want your content to reach your audience in a way that retains their loyalty, repays it even, then buying and selling ‘influence’ is a dip-shit theory that gives you a false sense of self-importance based on what the social scorers are telling you.  You’re focusing on this aspect when you should be concentrating on creating. If you can’t create your own content, do not think that copying and pasting makes you a blogger, either. Step aside, get a job in a factory and let the people who can genuinely create work worthy of an online presence get on with it – you owe it to your ‘followers’ to go f’off and clock on. Capiche?

Amazon – not just for selling your books on the cheap

I was just doing a bit of networking on LinkedIn (blimey, you need an instruction manual, innit?), when this question popped up in one of my groups: Have you linked your blog to Amazon as an affiliate account? I’m wondering about this as an option and would really like to get input from other writers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’ve never set out to be knowledgeable in affiliate and SEO, but I believe what goes around, comes around.  If you’ve got the knowledge, share it.  So I did.  This is my take on Amazon associates and the best practises, at least to get it off the ground and general maintenance (the latter, I’m so, so guilty of not doing myself [slaps self on wrist]).

Candy, hi. I can help.

Yes, Amazon does run an affiliate put but doesn’t call its third-party sales people affiliates; rather, they’re associates. That’s maybe why you can’t find a lot on t’Interent.

I have several blogs and several a-stores.

An a-store is a virtual shop you can build (manually, by adding individual products or groups of amazon products, such as Kindle store>>e-book>>fiction>>horror) to either stand alone from a link within your blog or place within a page on your website as an i-frame – but check what content your blog provider allows before deciding on which –, for example, has limitations, depending upon the theme of your blog and what its servers can support.

You can either choose to promote individual Amazon items – such as the emotobooks on my blog, here: (scroll down a bit to the ‘Grit City’ book covers – these open up off-site) or you can choose to have your store stand alone and promote just the store (or link to it from your blog), comme ça:

Or, if I wanted to promote a kindle device, I could grab the code for the widget image and slap it in here: – now, if you were to buy the device through this link, I would get a commission (only small, it’s true) but also on any kindle books you bought in the same shop.  If I’m lucky enough that you bookmark my page and always enter amazon through the same link, I will get commission every time you shop there.

The key to success is to not manufacture your post to promote something on Amazon (unless you’re exceptionally crafted in not sounding too salesy whilst you’re making your pitch), rather, maintain the theme of your blog and promote content available from Amazon that’s organically related – this way, you don’t look spammy and your readership will build trust and you become an authority, over time, within your niche.

For example, if I was doing a book review for, say, An Interview With The Vampire for Anne Rice, I would give it a page on its own within another a-store I have, Voices of the Undead: – this way, I expose my community to the book I’m reviewing so that they can go straight to it, but also, they could browse the store for The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned and any other of the Vampire Chronicles by Dame Anne Rice (okay, she’s not, but she should be!) whilst they’re there.

I’ll not go into the details of all of the how-to – Amazon do it a lot better than me after you open your amazon associates account (, but I will say this: take the time to put your own description against the items you are promoting. Your readership has trusted you enough to click through, so they respect your opinion. I’m so guilty of not doing this, it’s untrue.

Include your ‘about page’ and a link back to the blog that sent the customer there in the first place (i.e. your blog) and, yes, it doesn’t matter what they buy once they’re there; once they’ve followed the link to your product and started shopping, you get kickbacks for everything else they buy in that particular shop.

I remember once Nick Daws writing a blog post whereby a girl bought a copy of one of his books and went on to buy two blue dresses (don’t ask me why that information has stuck in my noggin – it just must have seemed so odd!) and he got commission for the entire shop and hoped that the girl(s) looked lovely in their new frocks. Bless.

Nick tells the reasons why writers should be promoting as an amazon associate better than I ever could – he’s a master; here’s just one such article on his writing blog:

Please, Candy – if you get there and get stuck, drop me a line from my blog – – I’m going to post this here snippet of advice as an article, because I think a lot of my community would benefit from the question you’ve asked and (no disrespect to those others here who’ve commented here), it seems as if people have forgotten (or indeed never knew) what a good friend Amazon can be, other than somewhere to vend your inaugural manuscript or buy Kindle e-books.

I hope this has helped.

So, there you have it – share the love and always be happy to help.  Any queries? Just drop ’em through the contact form on the Darrelldoo Writing Services form, lovers.

Keep in touch with yourself, Zeb. xxx