Warning against freelance writer Pranav Jain ([email protected]) [UPDATED – Oct. 4th]

UPDATE – OCTOBER 4TH: Pranav Jain has done the right thing and issued a full refund. The lesson to be learned here is to not pay upfront for content unless you know the writer – and be sure to run the text through copyscape.com or similar to make sure it’s not copied from elsewhere.

I hate to do this but I feel it’s my duty as a blogger to warn other bloggers about this freelance content writer who’s email is [email protected] and writes his name as Pranav Jain. For PayPal, his e-mail address is [email protected] and his name in PayPal is listed as Alok Jain.

Pranav Jain contacted me through TechPatio.com on September 2nd, saying he was interested in writing articles for me. After a few e-mails back and forth we negotiated a price and agreed on a 500 word article on “blogging tips”. I didn’t really have any idea what I should have him write about so some suggestions came and we agreed on blogging tips and the price as well.

Initially he wanted upfront payment for three articles but I declined with the reason that I didn’t know him and whether or not his articles were good enough. He did send links to some other articles he (claim) to have written and they were not totally concinving to me, quality-wise, but I decided to give him a chance and paid upfront for that one article. He sent me his paypal address at 4:05pm on the same day and I paid him almost instantly.

At 4:14pm I received an e-mail from him saying that he just finished the article and will be sending it to me within 10 minutes. I didn’t receive the article until 5:05pm though (when I asked him, he said there was power problems).

The article was 455 words (that’s okay) but the writing style puzzled me, I probably didn’t think it was written by the same person who wrote the other articles he sent me links to. I decided to run the article through copyscape.com to check if it was copied from elsewhere – and yep – the article he sent me was copied from two PDF documents (eBooks) released in 2008. The first part of the article he sent me is on blogging tips and consists of snippets copied from “Blogging Essentials” by Karina Wright (Dec. 2008) and the last part of the articles on what search engines want is also copied but from “Top Performing SEO/SEM Strategies”, also known as “Quick and Dirty SEO-SEM”, by Rendall Wright (Feb. 2008).

I tried to create a PayPal dispute but the seller (writer) claims that he did not copy it and that he spent four hours writing it…  Unfortunately PayPal is unable to do anything when it’s electronic goods or services, so my money is lost which is why I’m suggesting that all other bloggers who might be contacted by Pranav Jain / Alok Jain to run the content through copyscape.com first and not pay before you’ve verified the content is not copied.

Below is a copy/paste of the article he sent me, so you’re free to look it up and compare with the two before mentioned articles if you like. He just removed a few words and sentences here and there from the paragraphs.

Blogging Tips

By:- Pranav Jain

Blog comes from the word weblog which means websites or part of websites. A blog is traditionally maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, and supporting material such as images or video. Blogging has quickly grown into a powerful marketing tool, news platform, and communications medium. Blogs have gained increasing notice and coverage for their role in communicating news and providing a platform for outreach, marketing, and collaborative information. If you do it right, you can make some good money.

Herein, we’ll review what it takes to maintain a successful blog and review money-making options related to blogging. A blog is an essential tool for companies who want to effectively communicate with their staff.

There are numerous simple methods to make money through blogging, including Google Adsense, affiliates, sponsorships, paid reviews, and brokering services. Most people use search engines to find what they’re looking for, and from those people, many won’t look past the second page of results and the first thing you need to do is make sure your blog is well-ranked in the search engines.

In the past, search engine optimization (SEO) has most often referred to making changes in the development of your site. Developing content with top search terms in mind is the most sure-fire way of increasing your ranking.

What Search Engines Want

Search engines tend to favor straightforward, text-oriented, non-frame, non-tabled, non-graphically-intensive, non-JavaScript, non-shockwave sites. Search engines love pages that most consumers would agree are non-professional or ugly, but search engine spiders tend to score these ugly pages highest, because they are looking primarily for text content to index.

Following are the tips to increase the priority of your blog in search engine:

  1. Research popular search terms using resources like Alexa, Digg, Google Trends, and Technorati.
  2. Make use of your Meta tags to ensure that your title, description, and keyword tags are unique to your page’s content.
  3. Test your site using a Meta tag analyzer and a keyword density analyzer; there are many free tools available to analyze your content and tags.
  4. Use Google Analytics or a similar service to keep track of where your hits are coming from, and write new posts based on popular posts you’ve already written.
  5. Make use of your blog roll – link to external sites as well as other posts within your own blog.
  6. Use Conversational Marketing tactics. Conversational Marketing is the engagement of social media by a corporation to promote their product or brand.
  7. Internal and Outbound links should be added to the footer of every page. These links assist the search engines in indexing pages that are not on regular navigation.

67 thoughts on “Warning against freelance writer Pranav Jain ([email protected]) [UPDATED – Oct. 4th]”

  1. That’s such a shame to hear Klaus and it not only hurts you because he jipped you on the money but it puts a black eye on freelance writing as well.

    It’s a bit harsh but thanks for bringing this forward – with the net now, if a client of his were to search on his name you know what’s going to show up – that’s not going to look good.

    • Hi Murly. Yes I was hoping that future clients of his will google his name/email first and arrive at this post. I told him Monday (Sep. 6th) that if I didn’t have a refund on PayPal within 48 hours, I would blog about my experiences with him. And now, almost a week later, still no reply – so I decided to go ahead and assume I will not be hearing from him again.

  2. Thanks for the warning! It’s amazing how many people are lurking out there trying to make a quick buck off of bloggers with this crappy version of “freelancing,” and they assume they can continue doing it forever because they’re such small incidents.

    A few weeks ago I found an ad on Fiverr for a guy who said he’d create seven logos for $5. It sounded too good to be true, but the portfolio he displayed looked wonderful! He started by asking if I’d give him more money, telling me that people usually give him more than the $5. Then he sent me logos the next day – useless things including a SPIDER for the site How To Train Pets! I let him keep my $5 but was astounded when he once again asked for more money!

    We may not always get what we pay for, but we’ll sure as hell pay for what we get! I’m sorry this happened to you, but thanks for warning the rest of us. I know I’ll consider any messages from that guy to be SPAM and treat accordingly.

    • I would imagine there’s a way to give feedback on Fiverr so you can tell of your experiences with the guy – but also so you can read (first) what others have said about him? In my case, there’s no such way to give feedback other than my whiny post here, and hoping that people will google his name first 🙂

  3. Thanks for the heads up. I guess some people out there don’t know that techies’ researching powers are way beyond superhuman, well too bad for them. I actually feel bad for this person, his talents are misdirected

    • Hi Katya – and thanks for stopping by and commenting, I think this is your first comment here, right? 🙂 And yeah you’re right, us geeks do have research skills way beyound any other superhuman 😀

  4. Thanks for the warning Klaus, I’ll be adding his details into my system to avoid like the plague, it’s a shame when these people just have a total disregard for blogs and their owners.

    • Hi Karen. Yeah it sucks. Obviously I don’t know every detail about his side of the story, but considering that he claims to have spent 4 hours working on it, I think it’s kinda fishy.

  5. That is a real shame that you got burned like that. Quality freelancers who will do the work inexpensively are really hard to find. When things like this happen, you just have to chalk it up as the cost of doing business. You took it one step farther and actually outed the person for doing horrific work. Before you hire any freelancers from now on, you should point them to this post first and let them know that if they do crappy work for you that you will be outing them as well.

    • Really great idea Kathy. Next time somebody contacts me that I’m not too convinced about, I’ll let them know about this post so I’m sure they don’t try to rip me off 😀

  6. Wow. I’ve always worried about that sort of thing when we’ve been contacted with offers. I will definitely keep my eye out for this guy, but even more importantly, I’ll be running all posts through Copyscape. There are lowlifes in all walks of life, and writing is no exception.

    • Copyscape is so cheap to use that if you’re in the written content creation business (as both you and are I), it quickly becomes worth it – if receiving content from outside of course. Usually we can be pretty certain that the content we write outselves are unique 🙂

  7. Thanks for the warning. I am always looking for good people who can help me with content creation and will keep this chap in mind.

    Sadly its a part of the Internet like all types of business you will always get the few who buck the system. But with the power of social media it is easy to make sure these types are shown for what they are so they can crawl back under their stones.

    I like the tip of using copyscape – never heard of that one before


    • Hi Peter. As I just wrote to Evan above, Copyscape is so cheap that I’d highly recommend using it to check content from people you’ve not previously worked with, as a minimum.

      Thanks for your comment!

  8. Sorry that this happened to you, I do occasionally contract someone to write a post for me and when I do this I never pay up front. I always review the article and make sure the quality matches what I was looking for and after the first two articles I know the person doesn’t copy content so I don’t have to be so diligent on scanning each article for duplicates or copied content.

    Though this was a negative experience, this is “life experience” and you can use this lesson to further screen and avoid up front payments in the future. Think about it, nobody you hire through ODesk or other contract job gets up front payments, no blogging advertiser system pays you up front.

    • Hi Justin. Yeah you’re right, definitely a “life experience”. I wouldn’t have paid upfront either but I agreed since he agreed on a lower price and to only do one article at first. Well, now I know not to pay upfront anymore…

  9. Thanks for passing along the information. There’s a good chance you will end up saving a few other people from going through the same thing. Scammers and scrappers are the low point of this industry, but it’s important to help keep other bloggers aware of the issues. Thanks Klaus

    • I’ve already received a few e-mails through my contact form thanking me for this information. Apparently this guy have been around…

      So, mission accomplished 🙂

  10. Hi Klaus,
    Thanks for sharing this warning . It sad to hear that bad news. People like this must not be tolerated. Though not all freelance has the attitude like this, but we still need to be careful in outsourcing our projects.

  11. Sorry to hear about this Klaus. There’s nothing we can now but to charge this to experience and learn from it. Also, if you ever decide to pay for guest posts, make sure you ask the writer to send you a copy of the article before paying them.

    Thanks for warning us about this bogus blogger. I’ll try to write about this on my blog and warn my readers and blogger friends so they won’t fall victim to these type of people.

    I’ve received offers for guests posts on my blog but none that asked for payment. What they wanted in return were links but I rejected them because the sites they had were shady.

  12. thanks 4 warning….
    would keep hi at bay !
    Zero tolerance for such idiotic guys !
    thanks once again!

  13. I regularly receive spam emails etc. from ‘custom essay writing’ services and the like. Often the emails themselves are written in broken English, and the websites they link to are not much better. I know these guys are just trying to make a living, but really they are a joke.

    You did the right thing for calling this guy out – what he did was fraud. I am sure that there are a lot of great writers out there who will knock up decent content for you, balance out your karma by naming and praising these when you find them!

  14. That’s true, even i got a call from him and he said, took contact from the whois record.

    he was continuously asking me to hire him for 5$ or more for one article ..

    Thanks for the warning me mate.

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  18. This is one of the fears that I really am concerned about when the thought of outsourcing comes to mind. I have long planned to outsource some post writing so that I could jump out of my 8-posts-per-month trap. Thanks for the heads up about this guy. That’s one less guy I need to worry about.

    Maybe, inasmuch as you have much experience in this area, you could write a guide for verifying the authenticity of writers and for outsourcing in general.

  19. Bro I am searching for a blog to write so that I can earn and pay u back instantly

    By the time if you don’t mind please update this post because everyone I approach comes through this post and reject me
    Hope you understand this child

    • Yes I will update the post to make sure everybody who comes to read it will know that you did the right thing and issued a refund. I’ve also, as you asked, removed your previous comments to this post as well (for now).

  20. Hi Brother,
    Please update the post, I am trying to earn money so that I can pay you back
    Everyone I visit for job reject me after seeing this post please update this post with a really impressive large and catchy update
    And as soon as you update I will surely pay you within 2 days
    Trust this child…

  21. Refunded you the money please check
    and please put a good catchy and very big header
    Hope you understand the feeling of this child
    And Please do something good because till now many sites have indexed it so make it like everyone sees and come to know

    • I cannot in good faith recommend users to pay upfront for content. It’s a business with too much copying. If you approach serious sites then they WILL pay you after delivering the content if it’s not copied.

  22. ok but dude are you sure it would be updated by google…
    and please can you make a new post about I have paid u plz?

    • Don’t worry about Google. If people see the result in Google they’ll arrive here and read the notice at the top and that’s it. Google may also update the listing to include that text, it’s hard to say. I won’t be doing another post – I wasted too much time on this already.

  23. ok dude
    but at lest do me 1 favor that make this post appear as the latest post means on first page of blog so that people who commented already and new users can come and see

    • That’s not going to help you in anyway. First of all because new readers doesn’t care about it since they don’t even know about it. Second because I imagine only very few of the people who came to comment here, will visit the frontpage anyway – they probably use google or RSS to stay up-to-date. You should just concentrate on finding other people to write for than the people who commented here – which is not that many, even.

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  25. Thanks for letting us know by writing a post. I’m actually on the safer side now because I was about to make out an agreement with him for my blog on a revenue split basis. Now I won’t do it 😉

    I too get im’s from him to ask for pay per post type of requests which I’ve been always rejecting.

    Sagar Gholap

    • Hi Sagar. I hope you read the notice I put at the top of the post, saying that Pranav eventually did the right thing and refunded my money? Just in case you would want him to work for you anyway as long as you don’t pay upfront, and you’re happy with his work, then I see no problem giving him a chance 🙂

  26. Hey bro Please help this child
    After seeing this post many people are hating me and are spreading this all over fb
    Please put the whole story that my frnd does this big on the post and even make this come as first post on blog

    Please I really need ur help ;'(

  27. Hey Bro!!
    Please delete all my previous comments and if you really want to help me please remove this post
    All my friends and bloggers are recommending me that this post should be removed if I want job
    So please remove it

  28. I never met this man online, but thanks for the warning. I can now avoid his personality.

  29. Hi Klaus, Thanks for this update. Actually I got a call from this guy today morning and he is forcing me to hire him at $5/article. Well, it seems he doesn’t worth it. I will take care of him from here. Thanks for letting me know about this guy.

    • He too called me hmn two months ago and tried hard to convince me to agree for $5/post,but i refused and now i must say i did the right thing.

  30. this is too cheap, just visited here by seeing a link on fb. really its a black mark on freelance writing. I’ m also a freelance writer and in my timespan i have saw it first time that you’re being paid and not doing the work for that client. most of the time i even paid for my work, learn from my mistakes and still work for client first and then ask the money from him. not prior to the work.
    Pranav contacted me almost 2 months back and ask to write article for me i just said no to him because his work didn’t influence me.
    sorry to hear that this happened to you.

  31. Thanks a lot for the heads up and I have been contacted by him some time back..Almost a month back and he asked me to pay more than 8$ and I was shocked with the way he was asking and trying to convince me saying different thing..
    Later on while tweeting with my other bloggers friend, I got to know it’s just not me , he contacted every possible blogger in India…
    Thanks for this write up and it will be a message for all those freelance writer who tries to cheat blogger by giving them copy and paste articles..!!!
    Glad you got a refund but again a damage is always a damage!!

    • Yes! He contacted me as well as other bloggers too and requested to pay via paypal for freelance writing.

  32. Same here, he connected with me some times back by facebook and proposed me for articles and told “will decide and tell you” and after he called me continuously reg hacking articles and i told him my blog is not a hacking niche and he tried to convince me and i told him i am going officially out of station and contact you when left from there and he shouted by ” i am mad to contact with you, i am wasting my time” and immediately remove my contact from his facebook profile, Now i want to tell one thing if one want to success their business either he is a blogger or freelance writer they need more patience and best client service, He doesn’t know any of these and how he serve the cilents.

  33. as i had said Good job by alerting we bloggers!
    But greatest mistake of my life : I did hit Notify me via e-mail of all future followup comments to this post.Is there anyways to unfollow it:?
    Can say m nearly getting tonnes of mails & m sick of this Pranav episode!
    do help me out guys!

    • Just click on the link at the bottom of that e-mail, where it says “To manage your subscriptions….”, there you can unsubscribe 🙂

  34. I will tell, don’t talk to Pranav Jain as because he is a Hacker (BAD one) and sent me a virus file by which he took access to all my information and my PC… Now bcoz of that I have to format my PC and have to change 100s of passwords… x(
    Just feel like give him a tit slap and make a police case on him……..

  35. This is very dangerous! Thank you for the warning. We must really take care to people like this.

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  37. Reading the comments back and forth almost seems like a comedy routine, until you realize that it’s serious. When going in to any business or enterprize, you should remember what your mama taught you – You never have a second chance to make a first impression

  38. Really feeling bad about you as well as pranav now.. But trust is something that has to be earned. and he has lost it..

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