This Freelance Writer Wanted Me to Pay for AI Written Article – This is What I did

Are you tired of dealing with dishonest freelance writers who use AI writing tools to create plagiarized content and charge you the same amount as a `100% human writer?

Look no further!

Recently, I was taken advantage of by a paid freelance writer who tried to dupe me by using an AI writing tool to generate content.

I was highly disappointed and felt misled.

I want to share my experience with you to raise awareness and ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Here at ShoutMeLoud, I write most of the content myself and often hire writers to increase the content velocity and meet our reader’s demand.

Today’s story is of a writer that I was about to hire, and it turned out to be a learning experience that might help many of you in your online business journey…

Here is how the story unfolded:

A few days back, I posted this on my social profiles –

We are hiring an expert writer in the SEO and Digital marketing niche with 3+ years of writing experience.

Someone from Portugal 🇵🇹 reached out, and his content seemed original and looked like a decent candidate.

I asked him to do a paid sample, and he submitted the article in 3 days…

‼️Note: We are often hiring niche expert writers. If you have the right talent and 3+ years of experience, drop an email with your work and profile at hello[at]shoutmeloud.com

The article was good, but there was something off about it, and I gave him feedback and asked him these questions –

Automated AI writing tool
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The highlighted question, “Have you taken any help from the automated AI writing tools for writing the same?  has become my standard question to ask any writer who works for my network of blogs.

To which he replied,

AI Written Article
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And he accepted that he used Jasper.ai tool to assist him with writing.

Now, here are a few things you need to know –

  • When you pay someone for an article, you are not paying him to write with the help of AI writing tools.
  • Google does not like automated-generated content. We talked about this here.

Anyways, I appreciated his honesty and praised him for the same.

And asked him to remove AI-written content and replace it with 100% human-written text.

After all, I’m not paying him for an article that is written by an AI tool. (It may become a norm in the future, but now right now)…

AI Written Service
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After this, the writer went nuts and resorted to passive agressiveness (see the email and my reply)

AI Written Article
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Of course, after his attitude, he does not deserve to work for ShoutMeLoud.

Still, I was genuinely curious to understand why he thought I or anyone would pay him for something that is not 100% his, and is written by a machine.

Let me help you understand this better –

There are two standard ways by which we hire writers –

  1. Pay per word – The writer gets paid for every word
  2. For an entire article – The writer gets paid per article (wordcount often does not matter)

In this scenario, he was hired for pay-per-word.

Now, if any writer is using AI writing tools to generate words, he is making more money, and that means the cost is on the webmaster like you or me.

On top of it, AI-generated content is bad for organic SEO, as Google does not like auto-generated content.

How would Google know if the content is written by an AI writing tool?

In 2022, John Muller from Google’s team said they might not be able to check if an article is written by a human being or by an AI writing tool.

At that time, there were not many tools like Originality.ai or similar, which could easily detect if the content was written by an AI writing tool.

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Things are evolving fast, and now anyone can use a similar tool to find out what percentage of the article is written by humans or machines.

A few takeaways from this experience –

Now, my favorite part, let’s look at some of the takeaways from this incident –

  • If you are a webmaster/blogger and hiring someone to write content for you, use a tool like Originality.AI or any other AI content detector tool to check the authenticity and originality of the content.
  • Be aware that Google is against automated content, which might impact your blog/website’s organic traffic in future algorithm updates.
  • If you are hiring a writer, inform them not to use an AI writing tool and ask if they have used any similar tool to write content.
  • If you are a freelance writer and if you are using an AI writing tool, you should be aware that it might cost you your job or the project. It would be best if you discussed or inform your client that you often take the help of such tools. Some clients might be ok with it, and some might not. From here on, it is your choice if you want to work with such a client or not.

How to deal if you find your paid writer is using an AI tool to write?

Now, if you used a tool like Originality to check whether the writer is using an AI tool, you discover they are.

  • What would you do?
  • How would you handle such a situation?

For many of us, it is natural to be angry, and it might feel like our trust is broken. And then there is fear that you might be penalized in the future if Google rolls out an algorithmic update to penalize websites with high AI-generated content. (In my opinion, there is high possibility of this)

However, instead of acting out of anger, you should take a few deep breaths.

  • The first thing you should know is – That tools like Originality or other AI content detector tools is not 100% accurate. The Originality team claims it to be 94% accurate, so you need to have room for errors.
  • The second thing – When you use a tool like Grammarly, it could often be detected as AI written tool.

As I mentioned above, you should first have an honest conversation with your freelance writer.

First, try to find out if they ever used an AI writing tool to write an article for you. If they did, help them understand why this is bad for the SEO and your brand reputation. Often they are not aware of the impact and might be duping you unknowingly.

Also, let them understand what help they can take from an AI writing tool.

If you are into serious business, consider creating a legal document where you can have rules defined for engagement and mention about the use of AI tools.

I would love to hear how you have handled the situation.

  • How’s your experience with AI writing tools and people creating content using AI tools?
  • Have you ever fired a writer who used AI writing tools to create a piece of content?
  • Would you pay the same for an article that is written with the assistance of an AI tool?

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

1 thought on “This Freelance Writer Wanted Me to Pay for AI Written Article – This is What I did”

  1. Ranjeet Sharma

    Hi Harsh,
    I felt you were a little harsh..

    I stress on VALIDATION of AI content by a human and reading it multiple times and making sure that it has content that the creator’s mind approves of .this requires validation and modification and enrichment to a good extent.
    Smaller brands can use to and extent but I agree that shoutmeloud deserves 100% human.
    AI is just an assistant it can not produce high-quality content for sure.

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