Writers Worth: This Job, Not That Job

What I’m reading: The Warden by Anthony Trollope
What I’m listening to: The Parting Glass by Ed Sheeran


This week, this month, has been nuts. I’m clinging to Hump Day like it’s a life raft. I get one project draft completed and another one (or two) comes in. I keep everything scheduled and keep moving forward.

In the downtime between projects yesterday, I went to Craig’s List to look for an old arched window frame I want to use for a headboard. For fun, I clicked on the writing gigs link and browsed.

What I found reminded me it’s high time we had another installment of This Job, Not That Job.

This one is particularly heinous — so much so I stopped what I was doing to write this post.

Read it and weep:

Ghost Writer Wanted


Are you an aspiring writer looking to advance your skills? Do you have a few hours a week to devote to writing? If so then you might just be the person I’m looking for. 

I am on the hunt for intermediate to advanced writers to do some freelance ghostwriting. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, nor is it a full time career. Rather, it is a supplemental gig that can put a little extra cash in your pockets. 

The work ranges from short articles (a few hundred words) to lengthy pieces (a few thousand words) with pay rates that vary depending on the customer’s stipulations. 

Requirements:
Must be at least 18 to participate.

Must be a fluent English speaker with a robust vocabulary and natural writing style.

Must be on time and have access to the internet.

Must be self-motivated and hard working.

Must be a team player with attention for the details.

Please submit an email with your name, age and a few things about yourself and your writing experience. Also include a small (and I do mean small) sample for me to read over so I can get a feel for how you write.

Looking forward to working with you!



Pays .4 to 3.5 dollars per 100 words

Since it’s been ages between the last crap job posting and this one, let’s have some fun. Here are the plethora of pointlessly bad things that are wrong with this:

Are you an aspiring writer looking to advance your skills?

RUN. That’s code for “Are you someone I can exploit? Again, RUN.

I’m on the hunt for intermediate to advanced writers…

Wait. Didn’t this guy just ask for “aspiring” writers? How is an aspiring writer ever considered advanced, not to mention even intermediate?

This isn’t a get rich quick scheme nor is it a full time career.

Not at 40 cents an article. Or does this guy mean 4 cents? Hell, my computer won’t even create the “cents” symbol without my digging for it. That’s how bad this offer is.

Rather, it is a supplemental gig that can put a little extra cash in your pockets. 

With all emphasis on the word “little” — don’t go crazy spending that whole 40 cents!

The work ranges from short articles (a few hundred words) to lengthy pieces (a few thousand words) with pay rates that vary depending on the customer’s stipulations. 


Hold the damn phone. Did this guy just say you’ll be writing a few thousand words? Wow. That must be where the $3.50 comes in. Where do I sign up?

Another thing wrong with this — “the customer’s stipulations.” Congratulations. You’re being hired as a subcontractor by someone who’s going to dole out mere pennies while keeping what’s probably a decent rate. Or not. Either way, you’re not going to make what this guy makes.

Also include a small (and I do mean small) sample for me to read over so I can get a feel for how you write.

Wouldn’t you hate to be on the receiving end of this clown’s email? Imagine what kind of writer he’s pulling in for 40 cents. Maybe he’s just defined his own punishment, in fact. I can’t imagine any respectable writer leaping at the chance to make 40 cents (or hell, even that magical $3.5 that isn’t quite defined).

So, obviously this gig is awful. Let’s try this instead:

Resume Writer – Remote/Telecommute

Certified resume writer with exceptional communication/interpersonal skills. Must have exceptional copywriting/editing skills and a strong grasp of MS Word functionality. Approx. $200 for each completed resume with cover letter. Please send a few samples of your work and your own resume.

Required experience:
Professional resume writer: 1 year

It’s ghostwriting of a sort, and the pay is worlds better.

Writers, what are some of the worst gigs you’ve seen lately?

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Comments

  • Paula Hendrickson February 24, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Under the stipulation he also said "You must be on time…" On time? For what? Certainly not to collect a big fat paycheck.

    And by the way – the rate for that resume job isn't bad at all for a freelance resume writer.

    Reply
  • Kirk Petersen February 24, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Gotta get me some-a that 40 cents

    Reply
  • Lori Widmer February 25, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    On time for that 40 cents, Paula! Geez, you're that much closer to that 99-cent McDonald's coffee. Clearly you're not going to do well in this business if you can't follow this guy's instructions. LOL

    You're right — that rate isn't bad. I charge just a little more for individual clients. To have someone funneling the work to you and paying a decent rate, that's a bonus.

    Kirk, I'm sorry. Should have forwarded this marvelous opportunity to you. 😉 Give that lovely wife of yours a hug from me.

    Reply
  • Devon Ellington February 25, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Honestly, I haven't been even looking at those job boards. I'm focused on the novels and script writing right now. I have, however, decided to only take on manuscript editing clients who are publishers, not "aspiring" authors who don't want to pay for a decent editor. I'm also focusing on script writing gigs and the type of business writing I enjoy. I updated the Fearless Ink website to reflect that. It feels like a huge weight is lifted off.

    Reply
  • Lori Widmer February 25, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Exactly, Devon. If you're not loving it, why bother?

    I've said for a while that job boards are the passive way, and the surest way to lose heart and give up. It's so much smarter to work for clients you want to work for.

    Reply