What I’m listening to: Nature (I’m offline all week)
I’m still out of the office, but you know me — I’m leaving bread crumbs. And because it’s such a popular topic, I’m leaving a rather interesting offer behind for the This Job Not That Job series.
This one comes to us via Sharon Hurley Hall, who has what I think is one sleek website. Sharon received this note and thought it was a good fit for our roundup of bad offers.
It goes something like this:
I’m looking for writers. My husband and I produce web content for US sites, and we are looking for writers who can produce content fast.
The rate of pay is only $1.20 for 100 words. I know this isn’t impressive, but specialized content pays more and we can give you a lot of work. If you can write blog posts, fast, then we can supply you with regular work. A 400-word post need only take 30 minutes and pays $4.80. I know this isn’t a fortune, but the work is reliable and regular. If you’re interested, or if you know anyone else who might be interested, please email me on email@example.com.
While I get that some people simply don’t have the budget, it doesn’t make the offer any less insulting. So let’s walk through this gem, shall we?
“…we are looking for writers who can produce content fast.”
Red flag #1. While most clients have deadlines, few will start their correspondence this way.
“The rate of pay is only $1.20 for 100 words.”
That they’re including the word “only” means that yes, they know it sucks.
“I know this isn’t impressive…”
That would be an understatement.
“….but specialized content pays more…”
So, $1.25 per 100 words? I suspect not even in the ballpark of what a writer should be earning.
“….and we can give you a lot of work.”
Because every writer wants to spend their entire day churning out content for ridiculously less than minimum wage.
“If you can write blog posts, fast, then we can supply you with regular work.”
Oh. My. Word. Stop.
“A 400-word post need only take 30 minutes and pays $4.80.”
There’s that attempt to make it sound like it’s “easy” and “lucrative” — just like every other offer of this stripe. So if you’re really good, you could earn a whopping $9.60 an hour. You lucky soul you. Woo.
Let’s just stop right there, in fact. When writers with specializations are commanding upwards of $125 an hour, why? Just why?
Let’s give this one the sniff test we apply to all bad offers. For it to really be bad, it will include:
- Shockingly low rates
- Justification that you can do the job quickly and within a set amount of time
- The promise of a lot of work
- The promise of better pay for specialized work
Are you smelling what I’m smelling?
Instead of killing yourself for less than you’d make at Starbucks, try something like this:
Needs articles on science, nature, space and aviation, cars, computers, health, sports, etc. Feature article pay as much as $1,500 for up to $1,500 words; departments pay $100-400 for 100-600 words.
That one passes the sniff test, doesn’t it?
Writers, what’s the worst job offer you’ve seen lately?
Where do you draw the line — what’s your minimum rate?