Freelance-Zone.com co-founder Joe Wallace has been freelancing since 2002 and currently runs the vinyl music blog Turntabling.net. He also writes finance articles, commercial copy and manages social media for a variety of clients.
Every now and again, I feel compelled to help writers interpret job ads correctly so that they don’t waste valuable time replying to ads that want them to write for free when the writer really needs paying work.
There is nothing at all wrong with writing for free when you’re first starting out—after all, a writer is someone who writes, not someone who wishes they were writing. But those who are looking for paying work should learn to recognize the markings and coloration of that particular creature known (to me) as the “Non-Payer”, the company that wants your labor but not your tax ID number. Know what I mean?
Let’s take an actual ad I found on Craigslist this morning, with identities altered to protect the guilty. I’ll go down the line and put my comments in italics:
“Imagine having your work seen by up to ten million people every month (Translation—we’re not paying you for this project.), writing for one of the internet’s most trafficked websites – and getting paid for it.” (But not by us.)
We are looking for people (Translation: anybody) who are able to write a number of articles on various topics, on a regular basis. There are over 60 topics to choose from! (You’ll have to settle for getting paid pennies based on traffic or how many people click the Google ads).
We’ll teach you all the tricks to generating traffic and exposure for your work and you can do it all from home. (And we won’t pay you. You’ll have to cross your fingers and hope those pennies add up.)
Benefits: (There are none)
– Freedom to write about virtually anything you like, when you want and wherever you are in the world (And we won’t be paying you.That’s a benefit too…for US.)
– Lifetime royalties with added incentives (That usually add up to pennies a day for most people.)
– Exposure to 10m monthly readers (Really? Not buying this one. Unless this company connected to one of the big content mills somehow. I did some homework on this site and their Alexa ranking is 15,092,055. Ten million readers? I somehow doubt this. Freelance-Zone.com has an Alexa ranking of 450,545 and we do NOT have ten million readers.)
Sound interesting? (Not really. Most writers could just set up their own websites and Google ads and do this themselves without the middleman.)
If so email firstname.lastname@example.org who will provide you with a secret set of instructions to take you to the next step. (Secret? Not for long.)