A spirited debate is taking place over at Michelle Rafter’s blog about content mills and rates. I urge you to visit and comment. Surprisingly, both camps have strong defenders. I think I’m now a huge fan of Michelle thanks to her no-nonsense look at the topic and her own thoughts, which echo mine.
And naturally, I had to enter the debate. My argument is, and will always be if you can make more money at a minimum-wage job, then dammit, take the minimum-wage job and save your self-respect.
The debate itself is a month old, but I found some very disturbing sentiments in some of the comments. Not too many people agreed that $3 jobs were worth anything more than a laugh and a click away, but when I saw respectable writers commenting on how the $20 jobs are better, I had to speak up. You know me – I can’t see anyone advocating slave wages for skills that many think they have, but clearly don’t.
Worse, I saw mention (and I can’t remember who said what – read it and let me know) of those rewritten article jobs – the badly disguised plagiarism cases waiting to happen – and there was a hint of validation in how those jobs were framed. Something akin to “I may not like them, but at least they pay better.” Mind you, not everyone has yet to recognize this new twist on copyright infringement and plagiarism, so I can’t hang anyone out to dry on this yet. Let’s just say the scum who offer these “jobs” do a good job reframing theft.
My bottom line to this? Twenty bucks is NOT an acceptable wage for ANY article or any one project. Twenty bucks, to me, is one-quarter hour of my time. No, let me restate – that’s almost my quarter-hour rate.
And those $3 jobs? Please. They’re jokes. They’re someone’s idea of being a “business person” by offering pocket change in order to justify a business card title. It’s crap.
Real writers – please tell the wanna-bes and those who are apparently clueless how you find real work. Please let them know in the comments section here and over on Michelle’s blog how real writers operate. I’m growing quite hoarse here doing it so often and so loudly.