Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Examine this!

There has been a lot of talk lately about Examiner.com, a website that pays writers per pageview. They've been posting ads all over the place and growing pretty rapidly, and as a result they've come to the attention of WritersWeekly.com.

Last week, Angela Hoy ran sort of an introductory column about Examiner.com, asking for responses from writers who work for them. This week she printed the responses she got about how much Examiner.com writers are making. The average, per the responses she got, was $1.46 per article. Atrocious!

But what really appalled me were the writers who were happy with their pay. For instance, one writer said,

The only problem I see is when writers expect to make money quickly or easily. This could be a way for new writers to get accustomed to turning out regular content. I understood the game in the beginning. The problem with newbies is they don't read before they jump in and they expect something for nothing.

So let's get this straight: expecting to earn a living wage is a problem? Even newbies can and should be able to start earning professional wages right away as a writer. What do you think would happen if doctors were told they had to work for free for several years after earning their degree, and anything else was expecting "to make money quickly or easily"? You'd better believe we'd have a whole lot fewer doctors in this world.

But it's the last sentence that really gets me. "The problem with newbies is they expect something for nothing." Uh, hello, we're not asking for handouts here! Writing articles for someone is NOT nothing!

It infuriates me that a fellow writer, one of our own, should suggest that writing is worth nothing. In fact, I find this writer's attitude just as offensive, if not more so, than the rates Examiner.com pays. By saying things like that she is contributing to the low opinion of writers that lead many clients to underrate our services.

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