This Job, Not That Job

What I’m reading: In One Person by John Irving
What’s on the iPod: That’s How Strong My Love Is by Taj Mahal

My last work day before the annual trade show. For some reason, I don’t feel ready, but the schedule and checklist both say I am. It was the heavy workload coming up to this week that has me still reeling. The marketing stuff is packed, the suitcase is out, and I’m nearly there.

Thanks once more to Jenn Mattern for this latest This Job, Not That Job candidate. Jenn has a pretty awesome job listings board (she selects carefully what she’ll put on it), and on her recent searches, she came across this one.

I don’t know what to say about it other than it’s a new twist on an old, pathetic scam. Read it and weep:

This Job, Not That Job

WRITE FOR US!

So here’s the deal. We’re looking for freelancers that are wanting to share their freelancing expertise to our readers. Because we’re real people…and busy ones at that…we need to bring in some new faces to the blog. Is that you? Well if you made it here then I hope so.


WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR 
(a list of ideas and suggestions for content — I won’t bore you with it)

STYLE 
(Typical style pointers that anyone can figure out)

SO WHAT DO YOU GET? 
(Company Name) is still a very new blog and because we’ve not yet monetized the website, we are not able to pay for writers. “So what your saying your not going to pay us for our time?” – You 

Yes, but we’re offering credit at the top and bottom of each article which is not such a bad deal. At this time we’re getting around 400 hits a day and this is because we’re not producing articles fast enough. In September we saw 2000-3000 hits per day coming our way. Our marketing team will focus on getting your articles the maximum exposure if you’re willing to contribute for that exposure. Your time will be well worth it, we promise! 

YOU AGREE TO DO WHAT? 
You grant exclusive rights to publish the article and uploaded files to (Company Name). This means that no other site (including your own) can publish a full version of the article. That’s it – This will keep everyone happy. So lets get started and get you some credit. 

Please include where you would like the credited link to send are readers to and a short bio of yourself. Thanks again! We’ll hopefully hear from you soon!

Oh boy. Where to start? How about here: “Write for us!” First, caps and an exclamation points = run the other way. For some reason, bad deals are often accompanied by caps and exclamation points.
Let’s just skip down to the meat of it. So, what do you get? A whole pile of nothing. It’s not even a steaming pile. Ice cold, in fact. “We’ve not yet monetized” is code for “We don’t pay and probably never will.”  In fact, they say they’re not paying. Honest little buggers, right? And maybe that’s why this one disturbs me so much. They use the “Gee, we’re telling you the truth here” approach to convince you they’re upstanding people. They may be, but their pay rates are lying flat. Six feet under.
Yes, but we’re offering credit at the top and bottom of each article which is not such a bad deal.
Seriously? Correction — my name at the top and the bottom of an article is A) standard practice for paying markets, and B) a bad deal if not attached to money. When will people get it — we’re professional writers with valuable skills. That requires payment. Think these people tell their roofer that he can keep his sign at both ends of the driveway as payment? Think he’d accept that?
Here’s another thing — 400 hits a day? Hate to break it to you, but my computer-illiterate mother could manage that in one Facebook post. I would love to tell you exactly how Jenn put it to me in email, but let’s just say she said “abysmal” among other, possibly unprintable things. I’ll let her elaborate if she’s inclined to.
 In September we saw 2000-3000 hits per day coming our way. 

From what? Dodging flies? I don’t understand the reference or why it makes a damn bit of difference to writers who aren’t being paid for their work. If they’re trying to tell you they’re getting tons of traffic, then they should also be seeing serious ad revenue, which means they should be paying you. But I think their little hit meter needs to jump up a few decimal places before we take these people seriously.
Our marketing team will focus on getting your articles the maximum exposure if you’re willing to contribute for that exposure. 
Whoa. Right there. “Marketing team”? For some reason, I’m envisioning two guys on Skype who both own this place and serve as the marketing team. If they have a marketing team, why the hell do they need your free labor? They don’t. In fact, as Jenn pointed out, that marketing team needs to get busy and do their own damn writing.
Your time will be well worth it, we promise! 

So far, your promise seems to be broken out of the gates, guys.
You grant exclusive rights to publish the article and uploaded files to (Company Name). This means that no other site (including your own) can publish a full version of the article. That’s it – This will keep everyone happy. So lets get started and get you some credit. 

Here’s where you can give me credit — I’m not stupid enough to write for free and hand over all ownership of the words I’ve not been paid for. When you say “This will keep everyone happy” you’re missing the fact that your writers won’t be happy. At all.
Okay, so since this one is clearly not a feasible market for serious writers, let’s find one that offers a bit more:
Work From Home Editing Position
Job responsibilities:
Do a ‘cleanup’ edit of documents sent, in very short turnarounds. Other editors have reported each project takes between 30-60 minutes. Your responsibilities include: general APA formatting, headings, tables, figures, spelling, grammar, academic style, sentence structure, and flow. You are NOT responsible for reference formatting or checking, appendices, or university specific guidelines. 

This is strictly a work-from-home position. Please note that because extremely fast turnarounds are expected, any successful applicant should be available during business hours (EST).

Requirements:
– Applicants must possess a meticulous nature and an extremely high attention to detail.
– Strong command of the English Language.
– Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
– The ability to turn work around extremely quickly.
– Comfort and ability to paraphrase and rewrite content rapidly.
– APA 6 familiarity and prior editing experience are required.

Compensation:
All successful applicants will be paid $50 for editing a short document. Please note that this particular type of editing is far less intensive than professional editing – and as a result takes substantially less time per page. Pay will be per project, and is calculated to be about $15-20/hour. New hires should expect a monthly income of $1500-2000 based on project load and personal ability, and this will increase over time based on seniority, speed, experience, and so forth.

Why is this one better? It’s not ideal, but they have clear requirements, clearly stated needs, and they’re paying for the sample they need with your application. It doesn’t scream “I’ll be rich!” but it does say they value your time and skills. There are a few red flags, such as the fast turnaround and the emphasis on “work from home.” Proceed with caution, but there are good things about this one that make me think it’s worth an inquiry.
Writers, what drivel and pie-in-the-sky promises have you seen lately?

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Comments

  • Jenn Mattern April 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Haha! I'll spare your readers any "colorful" commentary about that ad Lori. 😉

    Suffice it to say, their traffic is ridiculously low, and that's assuming they mean pageviews rather than hits. If they're too dense to know the difference, while at the same time trying to use those stats to suck in unpaid labor, they won't last long.

    Reply
  • Paula April 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I can almost imagine what Jenn's comments were, and I bet they'd be far more entertaining that the website these jokers are trying to fill for free!

    This hit a raw nerve for me. A couple years ago I turned down two offers to write for entertainment websites for free, or were paid based on the number of views. Month later, after I was rejected by a writer's association supposedly for full-time professional writers in my field despite meeting every single membership requirement, I discovered they'd accepted several un- or under-paid bloggers from the places I turned down!

    It really stings when even professional organizations find more value in a few unpaid blog posts than 18-years worth of articles in top industry trades.

    Hmm….I might need to write a second Writers Worth Month post on that if Lori has space.

    Reply
  • Paula April 24, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Yikes. If there's an award for most typos per post, the one I just wrote above would win, hands down!

    Reply
  • Lori Widmer April 24, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    LOL! No worries, Paula. Blog comments (at least on this site) are safe zones. Typos happen.

    Jenn, if you feel like it, let it rip. 🙂 And thanks for sending the link to this one. It's the same lousy offer, but with softer language.

    Reply