The ads on Craigslist asking for writers but offering no pay drive me absolutely crazy. “We don’t pay, but this is a great opportunity to get published,” blah, blah, blah. Where to begin? I know they are targeting beginning writers, but even for writers just starting out this is bullshit.
The authors of these ads never say anything to substantiate their claim that this is a good opportunity. Anyone can slap up a website or blog. What are they bringing to the table that makes it a good opportunity for the writers? It’s almost always a start-up so there is no audience. They never say “we have well-heeled investors getting behind our effort, so we think it’s not unreasonable to believe we have a decent shot,” etc. (Of course if they had investors they would be paying the writers something.) They never detail their experience and background which might also give some credence to their claims. Who are YOU? Why should anyone jump through whatever hoops you’ve held up to impress you?
Worse are the “established, famous” writers asking for assistants without pay, offering valuable experience and contacts in return. If they were truly established they would pay their assistants. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of talented writers out there who are struggling, these are hard times, but the number of them who could genuinely make working for free worthwhile is small. And the people who put up these ads don’t sound like they are in that pool, they invariably sound like jerks. So much so I can’t believe anyone responds. But I also can’t believe anyone answers the “write for my blog for free, it’s a great opportunity” ads. Do they?
I went back and took another picture of those Jimmy Choo shoes I think are so beautiful. My first shot was so bad.