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“You may have heard Catfishing” referred to in the latest romance flicks but if you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, you may not know what it is exactly. Simply explained it is when an individual creates a false online identity. “Catfishing” is widely used in the online dating scene. Someone posting pictures of them a decade before or claiming things about themselves that simply isn’t true. You may start to fall for this identity but they always flake out for Skype calls or face to face meetings. Some people have dated someone online for years, keeping themselves for the one perfect person that is not a person at all. Sound disappointing right? Well what if a content writer catfishes you?

Sometimes, I look for services on sites like fiverr.com or upwork. I may need some assistance with writing projects, a researcher or someone to create a logo. I got a message from a freelancer on fiverr. The picture was a brunette with a nice smile wearing business casual clothes. This person was inviting and her bio stated she was a professional content writer that had been published in Huffington Post. I checked out the message and it was immediately quite obvious to me that this person was not an English speaker. I obviously didn’t accept his/her services and later, they got in touch with me again. Here is an example of the verbiage they used…

I didnt hear from you anymore with respect to your interest in me working for you, what happened…
will deeply appreciate your responds”

Like really? I was hoping that person would help me put together a complex publication about scientific research. They couldn’t even form a proper sentence.

It’s pretty easy for people to fake who they are, where they live and what their expertise is online. On a site like Fiverr, you pay first. Sure, there are contracts in place that protect the buyer but think of all the times wasted on a content writer that can’t write (in the language you need them to write in). You probably need to get things done quickly so it’s disappointing when your freelance writer is a total Catfish hack.

Here are some things that might prevent you from being “Catfished” by a hack for a content writer.

Consider how much they’re charging

If you’re getting a whole lot of promises about impeccable skills, fast turn around and unique content for $5.00, you’re probably being “Catfished.” The thing is, there are decent content writers where English isn’t their first language. They live in countries where the pay is lower but they are likely well-educated so they’re still going to charge their worth to some degree. You get what you pay for and that goes for content.

Communication Skills

If you’re talking to someone about doing some writing for you and their sentence structure is brutal, you’re probably being “Catfished.” I make a few typo’s every now and again but to botch a whole sentence, it’s not even possible for me. It seems like there are literally copying and pasting from Google Translate. Talking to someone through emails will give you a pretty good idea on their skills as a content writer. Even if they can write fairly well, there may be major communication issues with important details of your project. If those things count for you, make sure to inquire further.

Are They Avoiding a Skype Call With You?

Many of my clients will ask for a Skype call. Some of them feel it’s an easier way to communicate while others just want to ensure I’m an English speaker. The accent will give it away and if necessary, you can do a video call as well. If your potential content writer isn’t willing to be on Skype with you, they either have something to hide or they don’t have the experience. An experienced content writer will have had to be on Skype with clients at some point so if they aren’t on Skype, who’s to say they’ve ever even had a client at all?

Check out Credentials

Freelance websites have in-depth platforms that let you know the general work history of any given person. They summarize the job description and how the person did. There’s a rating system as well so you can tell how happy past clients have been. If you’re looking for a cheap content writer to do bulk writing for you that doesn’t have to be quality, don’t worry too much about being “Catfished.” If you really need good content with some SEO incorporated into it, you want to make sure you have someone who can pull it off. It’s a gamble to hire someone who has no proven experience.