This Job, Not That Job

What I’m reading: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
What I’m listening to: Incomplete by James Bay

Isn’t it fun to spend your birthday doing something you’ve been meaning to do? Isn’t it great to try ticking off the list that one item, say moving a blog, on a day that you’ve set aside to be relaxing and all about what you want?

Isn’t it just grand when the migration goes as smoothly as a ride through a minefield?

Okay, I exaggerate. It went fairly smoothly until the migration tool I was using started hanging up on the photos. I’d started the migration Friday afternoon (and had already changed the DNS server settings per the instructions I was following — hence, you saw no blog here yesterday). By Monday, it was obvious the “No worries! We’re refreshing and your download will begin again in 108 seconds” was just a technological version of the Loop of Hell. So I halted the download.

Good choice. All the files are there, minus some photos and probably some links. Do I care? Not really.

I’ll spend some time this week cleaning things up and applying formatting. You’ll know when I do once I’m finally on WordPress.

I was also cleaning out my in box yesterday between scheduled job tasks (it’s that busy again). As I was answering an email, a “job offer” came in. Because I recognized the brand, I opened it.

Then I closed it.

Then I opened it again. Did I just read that?

Here’s a company with 20 years of branding under its belt, a ton of books in its catalog, and it’s asking for my help.

For free.

No wait — for exposure.

F&ck.

But don’t let me form your opinion. Let’s read it together:

We Want You!
For more than twenty years, our XXX YYYY books have been teaching people how to do everything from balancing your checkbook to raising bees. But now, we are starting a whole new revolution online – and we want you to be a part of it!

What’s the short story?
We wanted to create a global community online where anyone can come to teach what they know, or learn what they don’t. Enter xxxyyy.com, our brand-spankin’ new site where anyone can post a how-to article on any subject they’d like!

What does this have to do with me? 
You’re awesome. We already know that from your blog! We’d love for you to share your awesomeness with us by joining our community and contributing to xxxyyy.com!

Hm. Ok…what’s in it for me? (It’s ok to ask, we know you want to!) 

  • Exposure (the good kind): Your contributions will be seen by the more than 1 million people who come to our site each month.
  • You can link back to your site on any piece that you write, boosting traffic to your site.
  • We share your work on all of our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
  • You can earn loads of fun badges! Earn enough and you rise to the level of Guru, which can lead to a paid writing gig as one of our book authors!
There’s gotta be a catch in this somewhere. What’s in it for you? 
There’s no catch, we swear. What’s in it for us is that we get to build a community of people who want to share what they know, and get amazing content on our site, in order to fulfill our mission of sharing the best how-to knowledge with the world!

Yeah, but who owns what I post on the site? 
Two words: You do. You 100% own the copyright on any original content you post on the site. This is a free and open sharing site – our interest isn’t copyright, but creating a place where how-to information can be shared with everyone!

Is it hard to post on your site? 
Posting is as easy as publishing a blog post – just a few clicks and you’re done!

Well…I’d like to do it, but I have no idea what to write.
That’s ok! You can check out the list of requested titles from our community! Just click on a title that strikes your fancy and start writing!

Come on. Seriously? Do we really have to go over this one more time so these people get it?
Guess we do.
Let’s break this down:
We Want You!
Wow, resorting to flattery. That should work. Not.
…we are starting a whole new revolution online – and we want you to be a part of it! 
Translation: We’re trying to sell more books and we need an online presence. However, we don’t want to actually write the content we need.
We wanted to create a global community online where anyone can come to teach what they know, or learn what they don’t. Enter xxxyyy.com, our brand-spankin’ new site where anyone can post a how-to article on any subject they’d like! 
Marketing talk for “We need chumps to write for nothing, so we’re going to make it sound much more exciting than it would probably be.”
You’re awesome. We already know that from your blog! We’d love for you to share your awesomeness with us by joining our community and contributing to xxxyyy.com! 
“Hey, you write for free for yourself, so let’s try to convince you that writing for free for us is different — and let’s do it through flattery and the use of the word ‘awesomeness’!”
Exposure: the good kind
As in “We’re not paying you a red cent, but damn, we’re awesome, too! So many people will think you’re terrific just by associating with us that they’ll hire you to write for free for them, too!”
You can earn loads of fun badges! Earn enough and you rise to the level of Guru, which can lead to a paid writing gig as one of our book authors! 
There it is. The carrot is being dangled. You earn badges – loads of them, apparently – and if you earn a shit-ton of them by working your ass off for free, you might get paid somewhere in the distant future. Maybe. If you behave. And if you’re this mythical Guru. But even then it’s a maybe.
There’s no catch, we swear. 
Right. Because not paying writers for the tons of content this company needs isn’t already a massive “catch.”
What’s in it for us is that we get to build a community of people who want to share what they know, and get amazing content on our site, in order to fulfill our mission of sharing the best how-to knowledge with the world! 
Correction: what’s in it for them is a community of people who are too stupid to realize these schmucks are making bank off the backs of gullible writers. And they get to fulfill that mission of getting keyword density and increasing book sales without dropping a dime on anything more than the website and domain hosting.
You 100% own the copyright on any original content you post on the site.
That’s supposed to appease you. Copyright to material you can’t use anywhere else without looking like a content thief.
Other standouts — the exclamation points. My rule of vetting such offers is this: The validity of the offer is exponentially reduced with every instance of an exclamation point. And they’re so damned enthusiastic I want to hurl. No one is that excited about screwing over writers. I call bullshit.
Okay, so now that we’ve gotten used to the stench, let’s move on to something that’s infinitely better.

Content Writer/ Blog Writer (English)

Web development agency is looking for highly motivated and ambitious individuals to join our team who specialising in responsive web design. We need a Content Writer/Rewriter, manager for our Blog with deep knowledge of IT technologies, who can create high quality, interesting and SEO-friendly articles for our blog readers.

The variety of topics may be different, but should be related to Web Design, PSD to HTML, PSD to CSS, PSD to WordPress, PSD to Magento, Web Development, Mobile Apps Development, Marketing & Support.

The main requirements are as follows:
1. Enthusiastic, creative and self-disciplined;
2. Good written skills; (Advanced Level +);
3. Stylistic literacy;
4. Experience in the Web (design)content creation (IT tutorial texts);
5. English is a must!
6. Experience is a great plus too. Please submit examples of your jobs(texts/articles) when applying;
7. Usual suspects – MS Office (esp. Word & Excel), Trello, Slack.

Salary may vary based on your experience level and writing capacity. Full-time position.

Salary: $25,000.00 /year

While this job may require a bit more experience and specialized knowledge, the pay clearly reflects that. And hey, they’re actually paying.
Writers, what red flags do you see in the first “offer”?
What other forms of gawd awful are you seeing out there?

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