You Shouldn’t Be Surprised When Bottom Feeders Change Their Contracts By Angela Hoy

We recently ran an article on low-paying Bottom Feeders. Basically, there are people, with seemingly no business experience, who are starting fledgling websites online and offering ridiculously low fees to writers. Unfortunately, sometimes new writers don’t know any better and find themselves spending hours writing an article that will bring in less than $10. They then learn they’ve sold all rights to the greedy company. In some cases, they may even find their articles online later, appearing under somebody’s else’s name. (If a firm buys all rights, they can do pretty much whatever they please with it, including putting their name on the article.) Some people buy articles for pennies and turn around and sell them for hundreds.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. But, let’s be honest with each other here. These deals look bad – very bad – no matter which way you slice them. $2.50 for all rights to a 500-word article? Come on!

If a company can only afford to pay you $2.50 for an article, how long do you think they’ll be in business? No long, I can assure you. And, what if they get in over their heads and can’t even pay the $2.50 they owe you? Judging from the emails I’ve received over the years, it happens all the time. And, then there are those companies that change their contracts overnight, which really puts their writers in a bind.

For example, I woke up this morning to two complaints in my in-box regarding a company called ArticlesandContent.com. One writer reports she was earning from $5 for 250 words, up to $13 for 1000 words. Do you know how long it takes to research, write and edit a 1000-word article? It certainly isn’t worth a lousy $13!

Seems that on Friday, this company sent an email to their writers saying that, if you want to continue writing for them, you now have to pay them $10 a month. I guess what I’m wondering is…why is anyone really surprised? You can read a disturbing thread about this company at: http://www.wahm.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=124856&PN=1 and http://www.wahm.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=124856&TPN=2.

There is an increasing number of these article mills appearing online. Some come and some go. Others charge outrageous fees, which give the writer the opportunity to bid ridiculously low prices on work that will ultimately bring in an hourly rate far below minimum wage.

Aside from the disturbing fact that companies can hire writers for less than minimum wage, another thing that’s really frustrating for me is when writers write to me and complain when these companies lower their pay rates, implement new fees or raise existing fees. I mean…what did you expect?

If you’re thinking about working for a company like this, honestly assess how much you’ll be making per hour if you sign up. In most cases, you’re going to be earning below minimum wage.

There are plenty of real publications that pay real money to writers. Many of them need writers right now. Don’t think that those $2.50 per article outfits are the norm. They aren’t. Only new and truly desperate writers waste their time writing for those companies. And only bottom feeders offer writers such insulting rates. Unfortunately, they know there are plenty of gullible writers out there who will believe their promises of wealth. Step out of the garbage pit, have confidence in yourself, and start spending more time querying real publications instead of writing for pennies per hour.

If you’re a new writer, use our search page to search for paying markets that welcome new writers. Simply search for the phrase “welcomes new writers” here: http://search.writersweekly.com/search-ww.cgi

If you’re a veteran, you can search our paying markets at the link above for any topic you’re interested in writing about.

Don’t write for bottom feeders! It’s never worth it in the end.