As you guys know I am no fan of those pay-per-click Web sites that get writers to provide content for peanuts. I’ve never been interested enough in them to have researched any in particular, in fact I don’t even know about more than a couple that I learned of in rather roundabout ways. I just learned about another.
Angela Adair-Hoy of Writers Weekly did an article a couple of weeks ago on another one of these PPC sites, Examiner.com. (I’m not linking to them, I don’t want to drive traffic to them). For those unfamiliar with Angela, she is a tireless writers’ advocate, exposing a lot of scams, going to bat for writers who have been stiffed by various shady publications, and giving out lots of good advice. You can subscribe to her newsletter for free, you can’t go wrong.
Anyway, as I said, she wrote about this Examiner.com site of which I had never previously heard. Sounds like another article mill. Her article on May 13 was a collection of responses from people who had written/are writing for this site, detailing their rates of pay, and some pretty shoddy treatment.
One writer, Barbie (not her real name), couldn’t even do the math for what she had been paid:
I’ve done a total of 229. I started with them on 12/23/08 and have received the following payments via Paypal:
February 19, $78.82
March 19, $238.55
April 19, $208.80
My ultimate goal is to get to posting one article a day and steadily earning $300 per month. At $10 per article, I figure it’s comparable to Demand Studios ($5 to $15 for DS flat rates).
WRITERSWEEKLY NOTE: $526.17 / 229 articles = $2.30 per article.
Maybe this partly explains why writers are willing to accept these rates of pay. I’m bad at math, but come on. This is just sad, and some of the writers who responded were paid less. One woman was even counting on residuals from several of these sites to help fund her retirement. NEWSFLASH: None of them are going to be around that long. One guy admitted to receiving the equivalent of $.07 per article. That’s right. Seven cents.
People! This is highway robbery.
One writer who requested her real name be used in the article declined their offer to write for them, even though they called her and tried to talk her into it. As Marianne Hammer put it:
I, for one, am tired of writers being exploited by companies who think we should be so happy to see our work in print that we don’t need compensation. What other profession is supposed to work for free or for (literally) pennies?
Right on, Marianne.