Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Writing Life: Working for Ebenezer

You do not want to work for clients who
are under the delusions they live in
London in the mid-1800s.
Advice:  DON'T DO IT

Here's my nomination for "Still-Believing-in-Slavery" Freelance Writing Client of the Day

Saw this post on eLance. I cut and pasted it without alteration. How medieval is this guy?

"Greetings. Are you willing to complete 500 word articles for $1.00 each (as many as you can handle per day)? I need writers to write (unique and non-plagiarized) up to 10 articles (500 words each) every day for 6 months. 10 x 500 words articles Bidders from native English speaking countries are in demand. The assigned writing tasks are time based, which will require to be sent one by one. Normal workload: One by one and to be delivered within 1-2.5hrs for 500 - 1000 words (if possible). Funding and pay only after acceptance (usually same day)."

He's probably figuring $12 an hour is pretty good wages for doing basically nothing while sitting around at your computer all day in your underwear. After all, he figures:
  • If you can type 100 words per minute that's one story every five minutes or 12 in an hour. 
  • If you can (if possible) do 1000 word stories, it only reduces you to $6 an hour unless you can type 200 words per minute. 
  • If you type back to back stories without a break at 100 wpm off the top of your head (with a little research if you can manage it), then you should be able to do 96 stories in a day for an 8 hour day (120) if you work 10 hour days..

In actual practice, you could probably do one original story in 1-2 hours if you push it, earning a magnificent 50 to 75 cents per hour or about $20 a week. At that rate over the six months this contract runs, I'd gradually become homeless and starve to death even at my current weight class.

AND THIS GUY LIVES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I figured he was probably someone from Somalia or Nigeria.

What is he the White House's statistician or something - can't count worth a flip? Sheesh!

Anybody out there, who has ever written for a living, want to give him the correct answer to his question?

I guess he doesn't remember how much he used to whine when the teacher gave him essay tests back in junior high.

© 2015 by Tom King


  1. I have always thought these rates - because I have seen them before on freelance websites -- were a typo or written by someone who wasn't familiar with the North American currency system.

    1. Yeah, so did I, but the last three or four "job" postings were from guys in the United States. Go figure.

  2. This has to stop some way! I'm from Bolivia, and not even here those payments are acceptable. I always wonder if there are people out there willing to write these articles at these wages... if so, no wonder the low quality of articles you find online, the ones, where you want to cry when you read them. Unfortunately, lots of people accept these jobs... what makes opportunities for more professional writers scarce... I encourage everybody to NOT ACCEPT these jobs even if you live in a poor country like mine, it's only making people take advantage of us!

  3. One of these days there's going to be a purge of this kind of low quality content. But until web advertising changes its pay per pageview model of monetization, these guys don't really care. All they need is a good headline and some gibberish that looks like content and they make money every time they lure someone to the site. Why do you think there are so many "top ten" links out there. Every time you click on one of those you have to click 20 or 30 times racking up that many "pageviews" for which they get paid by the advertiser. Until readers become more discriminating, this isn't going to change any time soon.