("I want to do it, too. Tell me! Pleasepleaseplease!" Do you really want to be on an opposite street corner from me, wearing snagged-up fishnet stockings, thigh-high boots, a miniskirt and a bustier? I think not. I'm not going to make it that easy for you by giving you the link so you can just click on it and then ruin yourself. It's interactmedia (dot) com. If you're determined to dive to the lower depths of hell, go for it.)
Quite a while ago, a friend gave me the link to an online copywriting site. She had written an audition piece for them, got accepted, and filled up her evenings writing for them. Since the paypal paychecks came every two weeks, the realization did not come immediately: she was writing for less than a penny per word.
|Two Prostitutes in Paris|
painting by Di Ceglia
When it dawned on her, she argued with me: "Surely it's a misprint. They must have put the decimal point in the wrong place. Who would work for .7 cents a word?" When I utilized my rudimentary grasp of math to reason with her (after all, I only teach 3rd grade. If she wanted to know how many legs 6 spiders have, I could rattle that off easily. Decimal points are a little more difficult.), she ran off in a huff and hasn't written another thing for them.
It was too late for me, however. I had already gotten sucked in.
The reasons why I still write for them occasionally (but never for .7 cents a word anymore):
1) Writerly pride. Each piece gets rated by an editor and the client. The articles can get 1-5 stars or--shudder--they can get declined.
2) The money. Granted, earning $12 or $14 while I sit and watch yet another evening of Mark Harmon on NCIS ("I've only seen this episode three times!") is not impressive. However, it's more than what I'd earn if I was sitting on the couch knitting while I drooled. (Some of the earliest pieces I did write for only .7 cents a word; the writing was worth more than $4.84, but I was just beginning, and the subject intrigued me.)
3) The challenge. This is the primary hook for me, and a wonderful source of amusement for my husband lately.
Because, you see, with each piece, you have to masquerade as an expert. About a myriad of topics. Some of the things I've written about:
- reimbursement specialists for medical practices
- the SEER rating
- top-rated hotel beds
- industrial laser marking
- dental veneers
- oil boilers (this one really made my husband guffaw)
- automated broadcast graphics (I cannot even say an intelligent word about this topic, but I wrote hundreds of knowledgeable words about it)
- motocross racing in Idaho
- laser tattoo removal
- locum tenens