Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Please don't be an at-home dupe


Recently, someone asked gurus Dale Dauten and J.T. O’Donnell how they could work from home without being a generous Nigerian potentate’s widow.

You have seen the stuff—Mystery Shopper, test products, post to social media sites, and my personal favorite—freelance writer.

By the latter, these days, they often mean lash yourself to the desk, with a camera on you, and pound out “stories” that correspond to what people are searching for, which means sites containing these get more hits and more Google ad money.

The smarty-pants gazillionaires who thought this up have become fabulously wealthy convincing big papers like USA Today and others, in addition to major websites, that these stories are a money maker.

Their approach can be explored here: http://listicles.com/media/4-er-3-online-content-farms-writers-should-avoid/

But what if you are the one in the slippers? Many try to rationalize that they need some money to live and this is the best they can do.

Those of us who have been at this for years the old-fashioned way, with skill and ability to interview, organize, write, revise, polish, are seeing fees a hundredth of what they were six years ago.

This has spread to decent payers, too.

We might as well be braiding buggy whips.

So—want to work from home? Babysit. Take sports bets. Phone sex. Program. Anything but writing 50 stories on linoleum by Friday.

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