Joshua Drummond is a freelance writer in New Zealand, and last month he spotted a job ad for a writer to churn out 10 500-word articles a week for $15 a pop.
He responded on his blog with a takedown of the “amazing opportunity” offered within:
Your article begins with the question: “Want to get paid for writing about awesome travel destinations and adventure tourism?” At the risk of being overenthusiastic: YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DO WANT THAT I WANT IT SO MUCH. Now to read more of your advertisement.
“We’re looking for someone to write weekly articles describing some of the amazing tourist activities and locations within New Zealand, Australia and the USA…” Alright, brilliant, with you so far, where do I sign, now to continue reading… “You don’t need to have personally visited the locations or even have taken part in the activities.”
YES. This is the opportunity I’ve been after my entire life. I’m happy to report that I hate actual traveling, but I love Imagination Traveling. I have a super-active imagination. As I write this, I am imagining myself bouncing from a bungee in Queenstown, losing grip of my laptop on which I am writing while I bungee, watching it plummet towards the turbulent waters, SPLASH…
Damn. Lost a perfectly good Imagination Laptop. That’ll set me back like $1500 Imagination Dollars! Okay so that was slightly crappy Imagination Journalism but I’m sure I’ll do better next time.
A commenter on Drummond’s blog wrote an actual application to the job. We applaud the effort but suspect that the people offering 3 cents a word for these articles probably deleted the message without letting it sink in. But as an alternate approach, we post it here:
I am a writer very interested in applying for this position – with one requirement: that you pull your head in.
To even consider the possibility that you’ll get genuine, well-written articles for the sum of $15 per 500 word article shows the complete lack of respect you have for writers and their skills.
Essentially, you are asking people to write 5000 well-researched words a week (for $150 per week, which wouldn’t even cover my rent), moving up to 15,000 words per week (for $450 a week, which isn’t even minimum wage). That’s the length of a graduate dissertation. You must be on crack to think that you’ll get anything written and researched in an hour (for FIFTEEN DOLLARS) except copy/pasta.
Quality work takes time. Quality work deserves real compensation. People like you are the definition of the low-wage problem. Writers are not trained monkeys. They are talented people doing a job you’re not able to do yourself.
Sort it out, already. Pay a real wage. Ten articles a week is a 40 hour-per-week job at the minimum. You should be paying at least four times this much (and even then you’ll look pretty cheap, but you couldn’t be more of a joke than you currently are – see Twitter for details).
I’ve even spotted a few punctuation and grammatical errors in your ad. I hope it annoys you when you try to find them.
As a postscript, the website of the person who supposedly posted the ad now redirects to a porn site. So, uh, good luck with that, mystery “job” poster.