Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rent the kingdom keys for a nickel? No more writing sweatshops

I have to scratch my head over this one:

A freelance work service I subscribed to sent me a chance to bid on a project first advertised on The stunner wasn't the appallingly low $25 for the project, a 1,000-word sales letter -- although I run an office, not a sweatshop for writing.

No, the jolt I got from reading the ad stemmed from the fact that it was a freelance marketing person looking for help with a sales letter marketing their own services.

In some kind of crazy loop, the writer seeks another writer who's "gotta lotta personality" to do what she can't.

She kindly provided main points and text she had brainstormed to give an idea of the feeling she was going for.

"The times they are a'changing. It's not enough to have a simple affiliate site or a poorly written sales letter up on the web. In these hard economic times, you need these new, guerilla marketing strategies to boost your sales."

To a woman who has been involved "in a variety of online and offline businesses" and who says she knows "what it takes to sell products - especially in this tough economic market" and plans to "show you how," I'd say "Physician, heal thyself."

And if it's true that a person with all those skills and all that capacity to make money regardless of the state of the economy has to hire someone else to write tantalizing copy to sell it, I propose that it's worth more than $25 to the person who can actually do it. A lot more.

Like the one I read last week about the woman who was going to write an e-book about copywriting but didn't have time and figured she'd job it out (for cheap) to a ghost writer. Might have even been the same chick. She probably sees it as subcontracting -- best to call it by its name, a ripoff of talent.

Don't sell yourself short as a writer by renting the keys to the kingdom for a nickel. Unless, of course, you think you can live on a nickel.

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