What I'm reading: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
Yesterday was phone-and-email day. I had a bunch of interviews to conduct, and I finished contacting all the folks I'd met at the conference. Today I'm talking with one of them in more detail about what he's looking for.
Part of the work yesterday was putting together a conference-specific tracking sheet. No sense in meeting 42 new people in order to work with them if I don't follow up. I've had informal tracking sheets before, but it's time to get a bit more serious. So I started an Excel sheet with simple info: name, company, phone, email, and date of contact. Also, I added columns for following up. I intend to date them for about 8 weeks out and set Outlook to remind me.
I know all 42 won't work with me. That doesn't mean they don't get a note in two months. Their circumstances now may change. What isn't a potential client today could be in a year or so.
On the heels of Writers Worth Week, I decided today would be a good day to send out a little reminder that every day is a good day to change your business habits for the better. So let's compare two separate gigs, shall we?
Article Writers Wanted
We are looking for American, English article writers who can write in “How to” format and who can write articles that are Content-Rich and SEO optimized. Sample article titles include: (How to Tie a Tie, How to Lose Weight, How to Get a Passport, How to Get a Home Loan, etc…).
Article Length: 200 words minimum
Originality: Articles must be 100% original and unique. All articles will be checked for plagiarism through Copyscape and other plagiarism checkers. You will NOT be permitted to reproduce, reprint, resell, or lease the articles to other clients. You must NOT have committed any fraud by copying other articles and submitting them or allowing other authors to use the same articles that you wrote!
Topics: You can pretty much write about any topic except (news, recipes, gossip, or poems). All titles of articles must start with “How to”. We do require that you select an article title from the "AVAILABLE ARTICLE TITLES" list at least once per month.
Pay Scale: (You will paid based on how many new articles you write for us)
$1.00 per new, approved article (1 – 50 articles)
$2.00 per new, approved article (51 – 99 articles)
$3.00 per new, approved article (100+ articles)
Payment Terms: Payment will be sent as soon as we finish proofreading and checking that your articles are 100% original, unique and without spelling and grammar errors....
Project Terms: Every writer hired for this project will be hired on a trial basis. Once you write 50 articles, we will let you know if you can continue with the project....
Sample Article: (Please provide a sample article in “How to” format. You can choose any topic you wish. Please be sure the article is original, unique and at least 200 words minimum.
I think the pathetic grammar and sentence structure in this one would be more than enough to send me running in the other direction. But per usual, these awful job listings never fail to entertain.
This listing is particularly heinous. First, you have to provide a "sample" article. No word on whether you get a buck for it, either. Bet not. Second, if you manage to write 50 articles a month, you get a whopping three bucks each? Wow. Look out, Trump - I'm about to out-earn you!
Third, and most disturbing, you can't write enough articles to make it pay. You just can't. So why kill yourself for a measly dollar or two? Try this instead:
Cyberguide is an online family guide with practical information to help make the Internet experience enjoyable, safe, and rewarding. It is a value-centered magazine that also offers our readers advice and insights into issues--ranging from legal, to financial, to the aesthetic--as they relate to the World Wide Web.
Pays $50-500 for 250-2,500 words (assigned articles.) Pays $25-250 for unsolicited articles.
Even the unsolicited articles pay more than the keyword-stuffing job. This took me less time to find than the bad job.
What gigs do you have that you can improve on? What lousy offers have you seen lately?