Since the person who asked if I had other suggestions to avoid the slave-labor sweatshop rates that one has the potential to make writing for "The Examiner" system has opted to hide the comments with sound advice I gave after s/he realized how foolish it is to write for "The Examiner", I figured I'd put this up here in the hopes it can help other people.
First things first, why not write for The Examiner or other pay-per-click sites? To expand on what I said to this individual, pay-per-click sites pop up every now and again, recruit large numbers of "associates", set conditions by which only a fraction of the people ever get paid, and when people start actually nearing the threshold for payment, the company goes out of business, owning the rights to your copy for life and not paying you a dime. In most cases, you are usually working for around 30 cents/hour (although some people might make a whopping $1/hour!). You aren't paid for the quality of your work, but by how many people you can spam to look at your site. If you don't spam enough, you won't be paid, as there is a minimum amount you have to achieve before they send you a payment.
Can you think of any other job where it is acceptable to legally pay a fraction of minimum wage and also have the option not to pay your "associates" anything at all?
So why do people opt to do this? I have four theories about that:
1. They lack self confidence. Because there's no fear of rejection from a company that doesn't review articles (except to make sure they don't violate the site's TOS), one can pretend to be a "real writer" and not actually do what is necessary to be a real writer (and yes, to be a real writer means that you have a file cabinet of rejection letters).
2. They do it because, even though no one else is paying the bills with this, they'll be different. It's the same principle that gets people to buy lottery tickets with grocery money.
3. They get conned in because they are told that you can "get paid to write what you like". As a professional writer and editor for more than a decade, I've made a living writing (and editing) what I like, with some extra gigs added in for more fun money to allow for the lifestyle I like. The whole reason why many of us become writers professionally *is* to write about what we like and to get paid for it. Writing about what you like and making a living wage do not have to be mutually exclusive.
4. They honestly don't know that there are other options out there to get published. And for that reason, I provided the following information to the individual in question.
Behind the cut... resources for those who are looking to make money writing for "the pagan scene"....( Read more...Collapse )
And one final word for those people who think that writing for The Examiner is a good idea. Although you technically retain the copyright to your work, take a look at this clause from the contract:However, by uploading, posting, transmitting or otherwise making any User Content available on or through this Site, you are granting Examiner.com, and its parent, subsidiaries, and affiliates, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to copy, modify, publish, distribute publicly, and prepare derivative works of such User Content in any medium or form, without any obligation of notice, attribution or compensation to you.
If you value yourself and your craft so little that you're okay with that, well, there's one born every minute. Sadly, you are harming all of us legitimate writers out there who make a living off of our art. This is why I will not click on links to articles put up by The Examiner and encourage others to boycott them as well. A hard-working individual should earn a fair wage, not payments that even sweatshop workers would balk at.
For more information, you can also check out the article from Writer's Weekly about this topic:http://writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/005364_05132009.html