I have no idea why, but I spent the first part of yesterday absolutely exhausted. It was as though I woke up five minutes after going to sleep. Luckily by noon I was able to function better. Didn’t get much done beyond coordinating Anne’s and my next Webinar, but maybe it was smart to avoid too much thinking.
I was checking on my ads on Craig’s List and decided to scope out what offers are being bandied about on the Help Wanted side. This one had me rolling:
Install Me A Toilet
You can use a photo of the installed toilet in your portfolio or what ever you may need.
I Need A Toilet Installed For Free.. I Will Tell You Details If You Respond.
I Need A Fast One Made Please Respond Serious Inquires Only.
So Hurry Over ‘Cause I Have To Dump Another Shitty Post.
To Ask A Professional Artist To Work For Free Too!
I Need It Free And I Need It Fast, Is That So Wrong?
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: I’ll let you have a photo of the installation! Hooray! Yay!
Thank you, Craig’s List poster. It’s good to know that there are people out there who still get it – we’re professionals. We’re not a bunch of hacks.
When I heard the news about Demand Media cutting back on assignments for its “writers” I practically shouted “Ah HA!” Every smart writer I know has said it endlessly – this work that these writers claim is so fabulous isn’t going to last forever. A few of you actually put up posts a year or so ago urging DM writers to start looking elsewhere lest they find themselves without that $5 gig.
Jenn Mattern has a terrific series of posts going up this week about Demand Media’s pending changes and her subsequent post proving you have no reason whatsoever to work for content farms. They’re must-read material.
Economies being what they are, there are too many people jumping into writing without thinking or planning. This isn’t a get-me-by-for-the-moment hobby. It’s a career, a business. If you start out without direction, you’ll have no end of trouble trying to find the right one.
Why you don’t need to work for content farms or any article or SEO aggregator:
You can make money on your own. Why let someone take a cut of your earnings? They may not say they’re doing it, but they’re damn well earning ad revenue off your hard work and the work of others. You don’t need that.
You can set your own rates, thank you. Don’t work for people who tell you what you’re earning. Would you tell your plumber or mechanic his/her rates? Then don’t let someone else say “We pay $5 an article.” First, that’s crap wages. Second, that’s not their job. The exception – magazines do state their per-word rate, but you’re free to walk away from those that don’t fit your needs.
There’s plenty of work available. Jenn’s series of posts just scratched the surface of what’s out there. The reason you’ve not found work before – you got lazy. You camped out at these farms. You didn’t look and you sure didn’t put energy into finding better work.
Writers, have you ever worked for a content farm? What was the experience like? When did you jump ship? Why? What advice can you offer writers wanting to get off the content farm, er, wagon?