Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Writer Watch: Why These Content Companies Slay Me
For one, they request that you send over a 500-word sample. Yeah. Normally, that is enough for me to say forget it and the fact that they want it formatted according to their Style Guide with SEO in mind (5-7 times, mind you) did not sit too well with me.
Then there were the choice of topics, which were all Top...(numbered). And none of these were particularly interesting IMO. So I take the one that would require the least amount of research after a few days of pondering. I mean, my online resume with links to published work (along with the traffic numbers in plain view) should have been enough but I guess not.
So overall, my submission was not detailed enough and occasionally contained a generalization (e.g. the use of the term 'some products', according to Antony the hiring person). And its the hoodrat in me (I grew up in Inglewood) wanted to say something smart or imply that they best not use this for their own gain but the truth is that they only pay $7 for 500 words anyway. I just termed someone who paid $5 for the same even though I had some freedom in formatting.
And Ozio Media. They were a barrel of laughs also. Although I was accepted after a long process (they want Psych 101 applied to their samples), it made me feel like I was thisclose to being in the big leagues as far as content goes but they were going to humble me by giving me a General Writer title instead, which paid slightly less than their Copywriter position. The truth is that in the approval process, there was a lot of back and forth and I figured when I didn't respond, they would move on.
Not the case, but it gets better.
When work begins to slow down, I seek out new venues. Nothing unusual there but it seemed like anytime I took on something that 1) paid low or 2) seemed to ask for a lot to get accepted, more work from reputable clients was around the corner. Now this is not to say that either AM or Ozio is bad but with the latter, I would go days and maybe weeks without hearing anything and suddenly I would get a message that would request a 300-word project that has a special style guide and about 2-3 websites needed to be researched so that a pre-approval summary could be written before submitting the final project. And its due in less than 24 hours.
What happens when you tell the project manager that you cannot commit to such?
First they want to know why EXACTLY. In the case of Andie PM, "busy" was not enough. Once I made the mistake of saying when I could deliver because the request was sent late in the evening and 12/24 hours had already passed. Problem was by the time it was confirmed, I moved onto something else.
I felt bad with the last assignment because I was borrowing computers and trying to communicate with my off-brand Android tablet (RIP) was a 50/50 thing. My message is still traveling in space with no way to retrieve it and tell these people that I tried to contact them because I had too much work.
Oh yeah, the above job paid less than $10.