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An Open Letter to Bad Job Listing Owners

writing jobs letterBy Lori Widmer

Dear Cheap Startup, Viral Marketer, and Anyone Wanting Writing for Nothing:

I keep seeing your ads all over the Internet. I’d like to bring up a few points with you. Going forward, I hope you understand that the following points are ones upon which I will not budge:

I will not be moved by your exclamation point overload. Even one sends up a red flag. Two sends chills up my spine. Three to 30? That sends you right into the Spam folder.

I will not partake of your offer of free exposure. I have a weblog. I have a website. I have all the free exposure I need, thank you. I know it’s a spin put on your ad to divert from the obvious – you’re not paying. Go away now.

Your labor of love means nothing to me. Seriously. Do you care that my business is a labor of love? No? Then why on earth should I care about yours? It’s just another ploy to get someone to buy into your dream without you having to invest in it yourself.

I really don’t believe it when you say if I do this for a few bucks now, you’ll compensate me better later on. Call me crazy, but I believe that business people should not start a business if they don’t have adequate funding for that business. Also, your lack of planning does not mean I’m itching to make sacrifices for you. Here’s a thought – how about you sacrifice something and pay me my standard fee? A weak business model like yours won’t make it too far into the future, and I want my compensation now, thanks.

I won’t be available 24/7 via email, IM, or any other method. You aren’t paying me enough to own my every minute, so listing such silly requirements in your job ad is pointless unless you’re truly interested in paying employee benefits to me. Requirements that are that strict changes the definition of our relationship from client-contractor to employer-employee. Laws exist that make it your job to pick up my healthcare bill the minute you put such strict parameters around my time.

I’m not revising or rewriting anything that didn’t originate from you or me. Let me clarify – if you didn’t create the copy you want me to revise or if I didn’t write it for you specifically, it’s called theft. It’s plagiarism, copyright infringement, and it’s illegal, not to mention sleazy. Pay people decently to create original copy for you and you can avoid ugly lawsuits.

I won’t work for you if I don’t know where you are. Please. Addresses from PO boxes are so last year’s scam artist tactics. Man up and get a real address. If your goal is to con people into doing work for you and then not paying, we’re on to you. No address, no work.

If it’s perfect for the stay-at-home mom or the college student, then don’t expect a real writer. You’re hysterical. You require industry expertise, college degrees, and references. But for what? One dollar articles? Either target people who aren’t real writers or pay more for professionals. Otherwise, stop annoying the hell out of everyone.

I won’t engage in a bidding war with you or anyone else. Here’s my rate. If you ask nicely and give me sound reasons why, I may consider a one-time price break. If you’re shopping around for the cheapest writer, you’re not serious enough about quality.

No free samples. Ever. I have enough experience and enough clips to show you my writing ability. If you want something more targeted to your industry, that comes with a fee. To expect a “writing test” upon application is absurd, especially if the writers are experienced. From what I’ve seen in your ad, you don’t have the editorial background to be able to tell anything from those samples. Rely instead on track record and client recommendations. Stop wasting everyone’s time and please stop trying to trick us into giving you free copy through these “tests.” Do you honestly think we hadn’t figured that out yet?

So take these to heart, cheapskates. Professional writers aren’t fooled by the empty promises. You’ll attract the the uninformed, unskilled, and the dabblers who aren’t savvy enough about writing or negotiations to stand up for themselves. But that’s changing. I’m doing my best to help them recognize a bad deal when they see it.


A Professional Writer

What do you want to add to the list?

Lori Widmer has been slaying virtual dragons long enough to spot a bad deal two miles out. She offers advice and support to writers at all levels on her blog, Words on the Page.

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 98 comments… add one }
  • Andre

    I found your site yesterday and took a moment today to read this article.
    I like your style and your direct honesty.
    The truth sometimes needs to be printed in black and white.
    Bravo. You are my hero.

  • It’s not even just the little guys – the big guys are trying it too. Like… Sears!?! They wanted big agencies to submit entire campaigns, give up the rights, and allow Sears to use everything – whether they paid or not!

    Jodi Kaplan recently posted..How to Get the Prices You DeserveMy Profile

    • Jodi, that’s absurd! Shame on them! It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?
      Lori recently posted..Going GreenMy Profile

    • Star

      Procter & Gamble also did this–wanted fully made videos of ads for Pepto, I think it was. I used to name for a huge branding company–now I see stupid contests–if your name is chosen you get a whole fity bucks, etc. You know what I am also sick of–members of my profession of 32 years advising me to just forget what others are charging, believe in myself, hold the good thought, develop other revenue streams, nothing to see here, this does not apply….etc. It does apply–I have had big name clients CUT fees…this has affected everything–this free/exposure/awpleasehelp us game google bull. And I am also sick of Amateur Hour on Craigs–I had some loser from there call me a bitch and a whore because I asked him to call during my business hours.

  • Right on!!! I would also add that if it says, “Must include salary information” in the ad but they don’t give you an idea of the scope of the project (how many articles you’d have to write, how long they are, what’s the turnaround time, etc.) just skip that one! How can you quote a fee if you don’t even know what they’re asking you to do? A legit company will say, “We want 20 450 word articles a week” and let you know what the job entails.

    • Great point, Sallianne! The ads that say this don’t give enough info. I totally agree.
      Lori recently posted..The Low-paying RutMy Profile

    • Anne

      Sallianne, yes, payment indicated in the ad is important.

  • Lori, —<-@ Will you marry me? LOL

    Seriously, though. Thank you–this brightens my day! I no longer apply to such web content ads, but these problem buyers exist EVERYWHERE, and it gets as annoying as it does disheartening.

    As for the point on "no samples"–spot on! I have had too many requests for free samples, and I politely but firmly tell them that I don't provide ANYTHING for free. I include my blogs and, sometimes, samples of articles already written and sold. THAT should be enough to "assess" my writing ability, although that shouldn't be necessary with the blogs and LinkedIn profile included. Besides, I know that their requests for me to write them a free sample has more to do than merely "assessing" my writing ability; as said, they want something for nothing.

    As for bidding wars, one time, a colleague of mine was bidding for a writing job on a post. The buyer in question was bombastically complaining that he had received substandard articles from previous writers after paying $2.00 for 500-word articles. My colleague-friend remarked: "Gee, I wonder why, hmmm." I couldn't help by laugh out loud, not only at the inanity of the situation, but at the buyer's apparent state of obliviousness. You get what you pay for.

    Another writer-friend shared a real gem with me: a buyer who was paying by the hour insisted that he (the writer) send him (the buyer) records showing the actual times involved in the writing. Supposedly, this would be done by means of "taking snapshots" of writing sessions where writing time would be evident. I couldn't believe it and laughed heartily at this instance as well.

    I once had a job for a law firm who required online information articles. He insisted on paying less than standard (e.g. $3 for 400/w). Now, you can't tell me that he couldn't afford to pay out more than that. Lawyers: they WANT all the money they can get, but they definitely don't want to PAY OUT the money.

    I am a professional writer with integrity and have a living to make, NOT a slave or indentured servant. They will HAVE to respect that.

    By the way, I will post this link on my blogs for others to read and enjoy. I hope that helps.

    Thanks again for sharing, Lori.
    Mark recently posted..Resource and Data Acquisition- Ten Important ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ on How to Conduct Solid- Effective and Conscientious ResearchMy Profile

    • Flattery gets you everywhere, Mark. 🙂

      Taking photos of progress? If it were me, I’d send stock photos of different computers just to see if he’d notice. LOL

      It’s kind of amazing when people who pay pennies feel they have the right to complain bitterly when they don’t get what they asked for. Unreal. I had one client I had to let go because they were to pay me a lower price for blogs and a higher one for press releases. When they said “We don’t see the difference, so we’ll be paying you the lower price for all” I was dumbfounded. But they were let go that instant. I don’t deal with people who dabble in business. Act like you own the business or step aside, I say!
      Lori recently posted..The Low-paying RutMy Profile

      • Anne

        ODesk asks writers to work through their site which tracks time at the computer and maybe even keystrokes… you can opt out, but just the thought of that makes me avoid odesk.

    • Anne

      Mark, I’m not sure proposing to my guest bloggers is allowed! Or maybe that’s just narrow minded of me. Lori is certainly capable of sorting you out – so’s her husband! 😉

      Seriously, isn’t she great – spot on. Love your stories. And linking always helps.

  • Way to go Lori! I used to get paid anywhere from $25 and up for a 500 word article; but now with others willing to write for pennies it’s getting harder & harder to find a good paying gig.
    And ditto with the bidding. I used to pay a small fee to get bidding jobs emailed to me but no matter what price I bid there was always someone willing to write for less.
    You said everything I have been thinking, Congratulations.

    • I know, Jan. But if you look beyond job listings, you’ll find more than enough good-paying work to sustain you. I don’t search job listings anymore. I find my clients through other means.
      Lori recently posted..The Low-paying RutMy Profile

  • All I can say is, “Amen, sister!”
    Candace recently posted..March 7- 2011- Plum Sauce RecipeMy Profile

  • Heh! Heh! Seems like you come across a lot of problem clients 🙂
    Ajeet recently posted..Acrostic – The Many Pleasures of Acrostic PoetryMy Profile

  • Valerie

    I love it I love it I love it!!! So are so right on! I, too, have seen job after job after nauseating job listed online offering a dollar or two per article, and websites encouraging job seekers to bid on jobs. In the past, I have gotten burned after writing the required number of stories for some anonymous person, but did not get paid. I am tired of jumping through their hoops. I am a professional writer, and a mom, and cannot afford to work for peanute , and certainly not for free.

    • Valerie, good for you. We writers have to treat our businesses AS businesses, not as hobbies. Asserting our rates and our boundaries is the first step.
      Lori recently posted..Is it Monday AlreadyMy Profile

  • Right onnnn, Lori!

    Especially that ‘no address’ issue. I don’t answer ads these days, but I do sometimes get feeler emails from mysterious one-name people with no phone, business name or address. To which I respond — “Sure, happy to give you a quote, as soon as you reply with a complete block of contact information. I’ve discovered over the years that I don’t want to work for anyone who won’t provide that.”

    From there, sometimes they do, and we move forward. And if they don’t, I don’t have to waste any more time imagining they’ve got a legit offer up their sleeve.

    • I’ve had a few of the “no address” ones, Carol. In one case, I’m pretty sure the guy was someone who wanted MY money, for he asked for my routing number to my bank. Right. I’ll just write you the check right now and save us an investigation! LOL
      Lori recently posted..Is it Monday AlreadyMy Profile

      • They need a routing number if they plan to pay with a money transfer. I’ve found that larger overseas companies sometimes prefer this if it’s a big contract if they’re not comfortable with Paypal (or if Paypal isn’t available where they’re located). I’ve never had a problem doing this. You just have to check out the company first to make sure they’re legit. It’s really not a big deal. You give your routing number and account number to anyone you send a check to. They can’t really do anything negative with that info (like make a withdrawal) without proving they’re the account holder.
        Jenn Mattern recently posted..Ten Reasons to Launch an Author BlogMy Profile

        • And there was the snag, Jenn. No matter how much I checked, I couldn’t verify that this guy, supposedly doing business in British Columbia, was legit. No way he was getting any info from me, and he balked heavily at my suggestion we use PayPal. That sent up a red flag.
          Lori recently posted..Is it Monday AlreadyMy Profile

          • Good example of being careful. And one of the reasons I now have a PayPal or Western Union only for overseas clients. I’ve lost money because my (now ex but a huge) bank couldn’t process a perfectly good check from England for crying out loud. Paid in US dollars… on the drama went on. Lost the client as a result.

  • I never understood the stigma associated with being an at-home mom, whether it’s the stay-at-home or work-at-home variety. Then again, I think anything “at home” might have that stigma. People don’t seem to take the “home office” as seriously, now that I think about it. I just never got why being a mom was a detriment?

    Honestly, if a woman can be a full-time writer AND a full-time mom at the same time, that’s pretty much Supermom right there.

    This article was a great eye-opener for me, though. I didn’t know these types of scams were out there, but I’ve often gotten the request for free samples of my work “so they could see if they wanted to hire me.” When one client paid me $25 for an assigned writing sample, a “let me see what you do with this” type thing, I was surprised.

    Thanks for letting me know that this is what I should expect!

    Delena Silverfox recently posted..Potty Training Babies- How to Deal with the Negativity Pt IIMy Profile

    • Delena, the stigma starts with the client, who thinks for some reason moms can’t juggle two things at once. I’m a mom. I keep that out of my dealings with clients because many are men who don’t resonate with whole Mom thing. Honestly, I don’t see any dads touting they’re stay-at-home dads or that they even have kids.

      Fore me, it helped me to keep separate these parts of my life. It’s more enriching for me to have a life separate from my mom duties.
      Lori recently posted..Is it Monday AlreadyMy Profile

      • Yeah, leave the fact you’re a stay at home mom out of it. None of their business what you do in your off time.

    • I think too, that a lot of people believe a stay-at-home mom is just looking to pick up a few bucks and probably doesn’t have much experience writing or can’t possibly be serious about it. I’ve seen a bunch of blog posts advising SAHMs, part-timers or the unemployed seeking extra income to “do freelance writing!” It seems to fall in the category with “have a garage sale!” Also, some people seem to think when you have a baby, your brain falls out. 😛
      Elizabeth West recently posted..Upcoming- April A to Z Blogging Challenge and PoopedMy Profile

      • Anne

        The garage sale of jobs – love it.

      • Anne

        garage sale jobs – great way to see them

  • I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I am a work at home mom, although I will never remove mom from my title because I am determined to change the negative mindset that freelance writing moms are not as good as other freelance writers. However, I do agree with your entire letter, and although I started out doing work for very little (because I thought I was not good enough for more), I have forced myself to realize my true worth and have worked hard to find higher paying writing jobs. Kudos to you and all freelancers out there.
    Bess Collins recently posted..5 SEO Myths and MisconceptionsMy Profile

    • Good for you, Bess! I hope you do manage to change the negative mindset. We should all be more accepting.
      Lori recently posted..Is it Monday AlreadyMy Profile

      • What Lori said…

        Is that phrase still recognized online? Or am I older than I think I am.

  • Love this! My complaint: Pennies per word. I’m real writer, a worthy writer, and if you can’t pay me at least a DIME per word (which is still woefully low!), you’re not worth my time.
    Lisa @ Grandma’s Briefs recently posted..The Saturday Post- Nowhere Boy editionMy Profile

  • Melissa K

    Great post! I want to add:

    If you plan to try to make money off of other people’s writing, then you have no business asking them to write for you for free. Seriously. If you have a labor of love, a nonprofit organization, a charity you want to support with your efforts, fine. In fact, great. Ask people who share your love to help you. If you’re running a business and want to get paid, you need an actual business model that involves paying the people who work for you.

  • what a nice topics “An Open Letter to Bad Job Listing” you have discussed. your point are so helpful. thanks for doing this
    Freelancers Newbie recently posted..make money with google adsense operation-1 GooglecomMy Profile

  • If some of these new startups had their choice, we’d all be working towards “over” exposure typing 5,000 words a day for the “privilege” of their judging our words adequate to sell to their clients or the hope that people will click on enough adsense ads.

    I can have a blog, a website, and do self-syndication – and get there a whole lot faster for a lot fewer words and one less migraine.
    Bill Swan recently posted..Business Lesson From Google to Content Writers – It’s About the MoneyMy Profile

  • Sandy

    Great post, Lori!

  • Love it.

  • Like the post!! 🙂

    While I agree it sucks working for very little money, some people are trying to build up a resume or get more exposure. Maybe we are willing to take what we can get in this economy (within reason).

    While it would nice if I could be paid $25 plus for an article (and pay someone esle $25), most people who are looking for writers are small-time business oweners,not big publishing companies with a large budget.

    For instance I am looking for career interviews so I can put up a guest post on a pretty high traffic blog (not mine), but I can’t afford to pay someone to answer my interview questions. For SOME people, guest posting is a great way to get exposure – some LIKE exposure!

    The truth is I asked writers recently “why they write” on a survey on my blog and actually VERY few said” FOR MONEY”. Just my 2 cents as a “professional, yet trying-to-get-by” writer.

    • MJ

      You can be paid $25 per article. You can even be paid $40-50 per article on your way to $100 per article. Until I developed an “attitude,” I was stuck in low-paying jobs, even though I had several small national magazine cover stories to my credit. My attitude was the problem.

      Week before last, I wrote 15 short articles at $40 each. This week, I wrote 10 very short descriptions at $30 each. None of it is rocket science. I also write a long weekly blog entry for someone else’s blog for only $20, but I know the subject matter cold, and I point to those blog entries to get other jobs. I do all of this while juggling two magazines and assorted other quickie gigs.

      If you need clips, how about submitting a proposal for a weekly column to your local weekly newspaper? That way, you are in control of the topic and the content and you get exposure to local small businesses. You can also use those clips to help you get higher pay.

      Everyone says that you need a website, FaceBook and Twitter accounts to get ahead. I have none of the above, I write full-time, serve as managing editor of two association magazines and support myself–all while maintaining my privacy.

      >>The truth is I asked writers recently “why they write” on a survey on my blog and actually VERY few said” FOR MONEY”. Just my 2 cents as a “professional, yet trying-to-get-by” writer.

      Those are the wannabes and hobbyists. Goodie for them.

      Anne, thanks so much for all you do. You have been partially responsible for my progress over the years!

      • Thanks for the reply! I guess I just don’t see a lot of $40 / per article come up too often! I look on this site often, but I guess I have to look harder. I found some high paying jobs, but they were few and far between.

        These comments have been helpful as it makes me think there are a lot of high paying jobs out there! 🙂 Since I just lost my “day job” I would be great to know they exist!!

        If anyone knows of these quality jobs, can you show me where you find all of them? 🙂

        I guess what I meant by the not writing for money is that most writers don’t write just for the money in the same way a teacher doesn’t teach for the money ($27,000/year is not a huge salary). It is because they have a passion for it. I know there are people that make a lot of money writing, but I don’t think that is the rule. Reading lots and lots of blogs and forums about writing, I would say it is more the exception.
        Julie @ Inspired to Write recently posted..7 Psychological Tips to Influence Your Write BrainMy Profile

        • Julie- first step?
          Stand in front of a mirror and tell the person that you see there that you deserve it.

          Once you believe it, put your writing chops to work for you, promoting you. As the above commenter said, that doesn’t have to mean having all your social networking things in gear, it doesn’t have to mean anything apart from finally coming to the point where you believe you are worth it, and accepting no less.

          I loved how MJ talks about ‘getting an attitude’ because it is very true.
          TS Redmond Mize recently posted..Gardening and BalanceMy Profile

        • You won’t find many of those gigs advertised. Clients with more serious budgets have learned over the years that publicly advertising leads to dozens or even hundreds of unqualified writers submitting applications just for the money. They don’t want to be bothered sorting through that mess. Instead they search for writers they want or they ask trusted people for referrals.

          You get the better gigs by building a platform (if you want to write for the Web, get a website or blog that’s well-optimized so people find you easily via search for example) and through referrals. So focus on building your visibility in whatever way would reach your own target market, and build that network (both colleagues and past clients frequently refer gigs).

          • Thanks Jenn – I appreciate that answer. I do have several blogs and have had one of them for almost 3 years. I guess I never advertised that I am looking for freelance jobs. I DO take my writing serious. I am aware of a few high-paying magazine jobs, but any recommendation on getting the word out there I would appreciate. I actually typed in “high paying freelance writing” in Google and my site came up 3rd! 🙂

            Maybe I just need help in knowing the “unadvertised” places. Again, appreciate all this feedback! 🙂
            Julie @ Inspired to Write recently posted..Where are the High Paying Writing JobsMy Profile

            • There really are no “places” to find the unadvertised higher paying jobs. And I think that’s what holds folks up. They’re so used to looking for gigs that they haven’t figured out how to make the gigs find them instead. To do that you would build a platform and visibility, and build your network.

              The #1 thing I would suggest is better optimizing your own website or blog. If you don’t have a professional site up specifically to promote your services, I would suggest that as a starting point. Blogs can help. But there’s a big difference between a blog and a site focused on marketing your services to clients. That said, I find company blogs attached to a business site can work — you get the marketing, but also the get the SEO benefits that come from frequently updated sites.

              Make sure you’re doing keyword research (look for the Adwords Keyword Tool to help with that). It doesn’t matter if your site is the #1 result for a keyword phrase unless that keyword phrase is regularly searched for by members of your target market. The tool I mentioned will give you an idea of how many people search for a term and related terms each month so you know if it’s worth targeting. You also don’t want to target too generally. For example, it would be difficult to rank in the top few results for “freelance writer” because it’s non-specific and has a lot of competition. So I focused on terms like “business writer” instead. You would want to choose terms that are the most relevant to your own specialty area.

              Magazines are a different animal entirely. Sadly many are still in the dark ages when it comes to freelancers — dictating rates like an employer, requiring queries, slow pay, etc. Those things aren’t true of many good gigs online these days. If that’s where you want to focus, you’ll probably want to stick to market listings and queries. But don’t neglect the networking element either. You can still send letters of introduction instead, interact with editors on their own blogs, etc. Get your name out there no matter what kind of market you want to target.
              Jenn Mattern recently posted..Ten Reasons to Launch an Author BlogMy Profile

              • Jenn – thank you again for all your help. I guess this is an area I have not tapped into a whole lot. I have a decent knowledge of SEO and have a great keyword tool I use, since I also have a little background in Internet marketing. I will continue to research this. If you ever want to do a guest post on this, I would be grateful (I know it is an oxymoron to this whole post since I don’t pay) – LOL either way, I appreciate your advice.

                Anne – thanks again for this site – I am a pretty regular reader even though I don’t comment often! 🙂
                Julie @ Inspired to Write recently posted..Where are the High Paying Writing JobsMy Profile

                • Would be happy to. 🙂 I’m actually very much in favor of guest posts. It comes down to being able to separate yourself from billable hours and put on your marketing hat. In fact I’m in the middle of a month-long virtual blog tour with a guest post going up every work day through March. But any time after that (and after a week or two to catch my breath) I’d love to stop by and chat about the networking and platform building aspects of getting the “good” gigs. 🙂
                  Jenn Mattern recently posted..Ten Reasons to Launch an Author BlogMy Profile

                  • Jenn, your 30 Day Marketing Bootcamp helped me so much to direct my online efforts. Julie, if you haven’t popped over to read this incredible resource, put it on your to-do list.

                    Guest posting is an amazing way to connect, share and shine. Jenn, if you’d like to trade guest posts, let me know. 🙂 (Since ya put it out there!) I’d happily collaborate and swap with any of you!
                    Laura Townshend recently posted..Self Employment Takes Time- Don’t Kid Yourself About the HoursMy Profile

                    • I’m so glad you found the boot camp useful Laura! 🙂

                      And as I mentioned to Julie, I’m currently in the midst of a big blog tour so I’m not available in March for further guest posts. But after that, I would be delighted. 🙂 Just drop me an email closer to that time to let me know when would be good for you. – jenn(at)allfreelancewriting(dot)com
                      Jenn Mattern recently posted..Ten Reasons to Launch an Author BlogMy Profile

    • Julie, I’m sorry. Somehow I missed your comment.

      There’s no reason why you can’t earn MUCH more than $25 an article. Even small businesses pay my rate, which is four times that.

      What career interviews are you needing? I’m not understanding why you’re having to pay for interviews. I’ve never paid for an interview.

      I’d be happy to talk with you in private to get your story and understand what you need. Hey, if it’s an interview needing a writer’s input, I volunteer.

      Email me at lwbean AT gmail DOT com.
      Lori recently posted..Is it Monday AlreadyMy Profile

  • Not sure why everyone is so worked up regarding these ads. If you don’t like the terms, then don’t apply – simple. You see these ads over and over for one reason and one reason only – they work. I don’t like them either, but I simply ignore them. No amount of complaining is going to stop them.

    • Totally agree, Mike. However, the point is not everyone understands how to dissect an ad and identify the red flags. That’s the point of this post – to educate those who aren’t savvy to the tricks.
      Lori recently posted..Stealth NetworkingMy Profile

  • ….I think I just fell in love a little.
    Best. Rant. Ever.

    May I please share this?
    TS Redmond Mize recently posted..Random ThingsMy Profile

  • Wendy

    Love the post, Lori. I agree with all of it, especially the stay-at-home moms one. You know my stance on those ridiculous labels. We’re writers. The fact that we’re moms have absolutely nothing to do with our profession.

    • Wendy, it’s why I preach to women to drop the “mom” from their titles. It’s not relevant to the work, and like it or not, clients do form negative impressions around the word “mom.” We’re no less qualified, but that’s no solace when a client underpays or avoids us.
      Lori recently posted..Stealth NetworkingMy Profile

  • Thank you for this post! I am so sick of the ads that want to pay writers proverbial peanuts.

  • It’s sad when you have to explain the value of hiring a professional writer, but it happens.

    Thanks for taking on those who want free writers. My favorite? The ads or queries that promise “more work if I like you.” Huh? This ain’t a carrot and stick game! 😉
    Laura Townshend recently posted..Content Mills Got You Down Research- Query- Write!My Profile

    • LOL! Laura, isn’t it funny? I think some of these people believe we’re waiting at home, twiddling our thumbs, praying to work for $5 an article.
      Lori recently posted..Stealth NetworkingMy Profile

      • Yes! More so, liking me has nothing to do with it. As in any professional career role, I hope you appreciate what I bring to the table, but loving or liking me has little to do with providing a good service or product. I don’t take jobs because I’m waiting, thumbs twiddling, for someone to “like” me.

        Do people really think this works? Can you imagine going for a job interview with the same promise of “we might like you and give you more work?” Are we talking about romance and relationships or finding paid gigs? Sorry – very passionate about this!

        Hmm…this would make an excellent post! 😉
        Laura Townshend recently posted..Content Mills Got You Down Research- Query- Write!My Profile

  • Brilliant, funny and it so echoes my sentiments. I not only have a professional website where prospective clients can view my published pieces, I also have a blog. And yet, I am asked to “provide original writing samples” for free? Irks me like crazy, especially when the gig pays $4.00 for 500 words. What’s worse is that they’ll then sell your work to another site for hundreds of dollars. Making money off the backs of freelance writers is a nasty business. Love this post. Keep venting …
    Melody Lesser recently posted..ShaToBu Shapewear Helps Tone Muscles- Burn CaloriesMy Profile

  • And I will not, as I have seen some request, install software onto my PC so you can “check up” on me.

    • Yeah, that o’desk… no I won’t either.

      • Elance too. They went over to the dark side a while ago. And a brave soul working for RentACoder admitted to me that they were doing the same thing a little while back when they saw me ripping Elance a new one for this legally questionable practice.
        Jenn Mattern recently posted..Ten Reasons to Launch an Author BlogMy Profile

    • Amen to that, Fiona!
      Lori recently posted..Stealth NetworkingMy Profile

      • Okay, this one floors me. Really? There are really people out there asking potential writers to do this? Wow, and I thought I couldn’t be shocked anymore.
        Jennifer L recently posted..To CSA or not to CSAMy Profile

        • They disguise it as being for the writer’s protection – documenting the time you work on a project so you can be paid properly. You have to install their “productivity” software which ultimately gives the employer access to your desktop and to spy on what you are doing while you are working on their project.

          • Isn’t that ridiculous, Fiona? I’d never do it myself, and I’d have to wonder why some writers agree to it.
            Lori recently posted..The Low-paying RutMy Profile

        • Jennifer, I’m glad you’re shocked. That means one less person being inundated with gawd-awful requests.
          Lori recently posted..The Low-paying RutMy Profile

  • Great article. I especially hate the ones that say ‘guarantee of long-term work if you meet our required standard’. Oooooh, yes please, I’d LOVE the oportunity to undertake an avalanche of work, for the rest of my life, at the rate of a penny per thousand words ….

  • Stay-at-home moms and college students can be “real” writers.

    • I wrote as a stay-at-home single parent mom… that’s how I supported us part of the time.

    • Absolutely true, Robyn. But when it’s used in a job listing, it’s usually a sign they’re not paying well. For some reason, these people don’t value SAHM or students.
      Lori recently posted..Stealth NetworkingMy Profile

      • Yeah, I’m technically a SAHM…who also happens to be a professional journalist who freelances from home. I don’t even look at the ads for SAHMs because they are almost always geared toward women who aren’t writers at all but are looking for some way to make a little extra money. Those women are better off, in terms of time and talent, as well as earning potential, selling 31 Gifts or doing trunk shows for children’s boutique clothing.
        Jennifer L recently posted..To CSA or not to CSAMy Profile

      • That’s been my experience, too, Lori, while searching job ads. I don’t think I’ve ever read a job ad geared toward stay-at-home-moms and/or college students that paid well. Of course it doesn’t mean they can’t be or aren’t considered “real writers” – it just means these job advertisers think they can and want to take advantage of them.

        Great post! I especially love not being available 24/7 and not engaging in bidding wars.

        • Anne

          Alicia, the folks who tag ads for wham’s and students are sending up a low pay flag – only possible exceptions would be articles about whams or students – but you do not have to answer any low paying ad. Which I know you know – there’s plenty of work out there for writers that pays well.

        • Exactly, Alicia. They’re insulting everyone in that ad – moms, students, and writers. I’m a mom. I’m a writer. I was a student when I was both a mom and a writer. There’s nothing that says moms and students can’t write, but they are framing them in that way. I hate it.
          Lori recently posted..The Low-paying RutMy Profile

      • Star

        They figure Stay at Home Mom has Pays the Bills Dad–so they can ask for freebies. Completely insulting and infuriating…people are such idiots.

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