When Writing Publications Hurt Writers By Angela Hoy

Some publications are so hungry for content they’ll publish anything – even content that ultimately hurts their readers. This is really no different from running ads (and accepting money from) companies that engage in questionable business practices or companies that do not serve writers in a positive way.

At WritersWeekly.com, we don’t publish any non-paying markets…and we never have. And, on a weekly basis, we reject or bypass ads that are in anyway questionable (term paper mills, companies that pay less than minimum wage or worse, anthologies that require all submissions be written up front, with no guarantee of acceptance or payments, etc.). Even if a company asks if they can pay for inclusion, we tell them, “No way.”

Writing ezines and magazines that do feature these types of ads and “market” listings should get an earful from their readers (hint!). If writing publications stopped supporting the non-paying publications, the bottom feeders, the term paper mills, and the all-on-spec anthologies, those companies would be at risk of going out of business. Let’s face it, with no publicity from writing publications, they’re going to have a hard time finding writers!

And, no, if you’re a newbie, you don’t need these non-paying pubs to get clips! Plenty of real publications pay new writers. Don’t believe me? Search for the term “welcomes new writers” here: http://search.writersweekly.com/search-ww.cgi

It will take you an entire day or more to read all the paying markets that will pop up.

Here’s an example of some really, really bad deals for writers that I found online just this week. And, yes, they are from other websites and ezines that claim to serve writers:

IF THEY CAN’T EVEN AFFORD TO HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN WRITTEN, THEIR BUSINESS IS GOING TO FAIL AND YOU WILL EARN NOTHING
“Business Plan Writer – Work as full partner, mostly for a percent of profits from sales and or royalties…”

CLASSIC BOTTOM FEEDER…WHO CAN’T SPELL!
“NYC real estate writters wanted – $5.00 per article.”

ANOTHER BOTTOM FEEDER, WHO’S TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU HE’S BETTER THAN HIS FELLOW BOTTOM FEEDERS
“Many sites that handle huge amounts of keyword articles only offer their writers $1 for 500 words, but we have a reputation for superb quality and never missing a deadline, so I am able to negotiate a higher rate. Typical pay rates are around $2-3 per article…”

IF THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY YOU, THEY WILL *NOT* MAKE YOU FAMOUS!
“Looking for Bloggers – Compensation: Fame”

WELL, AT LEAST THEY’RE HONEST
“All positions are UNPAID.”

HA HA HA HA!!!
“Must be a native Spanish speaker with IMPECABLE written Spanish.”

DON’T FALL FOR THIS COMMON, WORTHLESS PITCH!
“Freelance Food Writers – Compensation: Profit Sharing”

THIS IS EXACTLY HOW THE AD APPEARS. NEED WE SAY MORE?
“Writters wanted – Succesful Publishing company looking to expand its horizions with new fresh ideas and stories. If your a writter and want to see your work get published email us today.We also offer writting assingments paid on completion.”

IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY WRITERS ANYTHING AT ALL, OFFERING A SHARE OF THE AD REVENUE IS A JOKE!
“As I am not independently wealthy, I can only offer a 50/50 share of the advertising revenue. ”

FREELANCE MEANS 0FF-SITE! ON-SITE MEANS PART-TIME, WITH BENEFITS!
“Freelance Proofreader – We are in need of an experienced professional-level freelance proofreader to work on-site…”

JUST ANOTHER TERM PAPER MILL THAT TEACHES OUR CHILDREN TO CHEAT
“Write academic papers (essays, term and research papers, proposals, theses, and dissertations) on any subject…”

YOU’RE TARGETING AN “AFFLUENT” READERSHIP…YET YOU CAN’T EVEN AFFORD TO PAY WRITERS YOURSELF?!
“We are targeting affluent people. I need filler materials geared to an affluent audience between 30-55 years old. Remember the target audience!! Great opportunity for new writers to get published…”

IF IT LOOKS TOO *BAD* TO BE TRUE, IT IS!!
“In addition to getting paid $2 for each article you create, you’ll also handle an occasional customer support chat session.”

WHAT THIS MEANS IS, “YOU DO ALL THE WORK, NOT KNOWING HOW MUCH WE *MIGHT* PAY YOU”
“Editors are paid per transcript based on the quality of the product and how quickly it is produced…”

THIS IS A COMMON LINE FED TO GULLIBLE WRITERS…
“For the time being these position are unpaid, but you never know what the future has in store for us.”

Remember, when you see an insulting ad like one of these in your favorite writing publication, please immediately contact the site owner and ask them to remove the offending ad. If they refuse, request they remove you from their list. Don’t support writing websites that provide this drivel to their unsuspecting, trusting readers.