----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Guaranteed Income! $2,000 Per Month!

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Guaranteed Income! $2,000 Per Month!

I am so sick of these ads on Craigslist that I just had to write about it here. Does the poster think that writers are stupid and can't do math? Here's an ad that I see pretty frequently on the San Francisco Craigslist:

Easy money for simple article writing. Need extra cash every month? I need your help! I am an internet marketer with many web sites of all themes and have a need for original, exclusive simple, fluffy 400 word single spaced plain text mini articles. I will pay $1,000 cash for 200 mini articles each and every month. If you can deliver 400 mini articles I will pay $2,000. I can write these fluffy articles in 5 to 10 minutes. You can too. Opinion pieces ok, minimal web research needed, no references to be cited, or bibliography needed - these are fun and easy to write, not academic pieces. Simple is good enough, as long as content is not copied from other sources and I'm the only one that gets the article. Writer will NOT be credited but you get guaranteed monthly income so who cares, right?. I’ll give you a list of keywords and subjects each month for which articles will be written about. The keywords must be used several times naturally in the articles. Many different subjects - it will be fun and interesting. Please let me know if this interests you. Send me an email so I can discuss it with you. Look forward to your email!

OK, so each article is supposed to be 400 words. And if you can write 400 of them in a month, you'll get $2,000. But 400 articles at 400 words apiece is 160,000 words. That works out to $0.0125 per word! A penny a word? Come on, people! Plus, a single-spaced article of 400 words is about three-quarters of a page in Word. That's quite a bit. Even if you can type, say, 50 words a minute, it will take you 8 minutes just to type the article, so I don't see how it would be possible to compose and type the whole thing in 5 to 10 minutes, as the poster claims.

Clearly, this is some sort of scam. I am sure that most writers will not be taken in by such a scheme, but I worry about those who are just starting out, who are desperate for any writing job. And I'm also angry that some people seem to place so little value on writing. Good writers have a talent, and they should be paid fairly for it. A penny a word is not fair compensation. Writing for free for "exposure," as many other ads ask writers to do, is not fair compensation, either. Sure, beginning writers have to build clips somehow, and they may need to write a few articles for free to do that, but over and over again, I see Web sites and other operations looking for experienced writers to provide content in exchange for "publicity."

Writers, unite! Writing is a talent and a skill. Don't sell yourselves cheaply.


  • At 8:21 PM, Blogger Astera said…

    Wow, it seems that I'm not the only one who had a strong reaction to this Craigslist ad. Someone posted denouncing the original poster for being so cheap, and then two other people posted saying that they thought the original post was perfectly legitimate and the money was fine.
    Read about it: http://www.craigslist.org/sfc/wrg/117504477.html

    What bothers me is the second poster who says that true writers write because they love to write, and that money is secondary. Yes, most writers love to write, but writing is a profession for many. Those professionals deserve to be paid just like anyone else. You wouldn't say to a doctor: "Hey, you should treat me for free because you love to heal people."

    Now, if you're a hobbyist and you want to write for free, go right ahead. But if you are a professional writer, or if you aim to be a professional writer, I'll say it again: don't sell yourself too cheaply.

  • At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well said Astera!

  • At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I seem to be a dying breed on the internet. I still feel that article writing and article marketing are in their infancy - there is much more benefit to be derived from article writing. None of my web sites have suffered from the alleged, duplicate content filter or penalty - very much the opposite. The Article Marketing blog is on course to become the number one source of information on article writing and marketing.


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