Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Commensurate Pay

Like most freelancers, I troll job boards online. Craig's List, Deborah Ng's Freelance Writing Jobs, Angela Hoy's Writer's Weekly, Problogger, and on and on.

The pay range is amazing. For every precious $50 per post blog, there are dozens that want to pay zip, or near zip. The Curmudgeon (why isn't he posting?) delights in exposing these sleazebags, but I must put in my two cents as well.

One site wants to employ about 5 freelancers to fill its need for 80-90 posts per month. This site is about pet lovers; they expect their writers to contribute reports on shows, training, medical care, nutrition, the works. How much do they pay? $5 for under 500 words, $10 for 500-1000 words, and a whopping $15 for over 1000 words. Just think--one could work full-time to meet their needs, and still earn less than $25 per day. What an opportunity.

But at least they pay. Another site lists "Commensurate" under their pay category. Commensurate with what? Here's what their job posting says about why you should work for them:

" At this point you’re probably asking yourself “Why should I do this? I have plenty of other things to do!” I hear ya! But here’s the benefit:

  • SleazeSite is a powerful brand ... your visibility in the industry will greatly increase by being affiliated with us. And we all know how important image is in the marketing world!
  • We know you have your opinions of the industry… this is the perfect place to rant about that brand that you think has it all wrong… or an awesome ad campaign that really turned you on. Your friends probably don’t care to hear every marketing related thought that runs through you head – but you can let it all out in a SleazeSite blog!
  • Wow does SleazeSite look great on a resume! Add this experience to your list of amazing-ness
  • You can show off to all your co-workers that you write for SleazeSite "

Does that sound to you like a site that will be sending you a 1099 next January? I've figured out what they mean by commensurate. Commensurate with your level of stupidity. If you take this job, you deserve what you get: nothing.

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