Dear To Whom It May Concern, Who I Assume Is Hannah Judd of hannahjudd.com
Regarding your amazing TradeMe advertisement: I am applying for the position of Travel & Tourism Article Writing at – well, you don’t actually say what the company is. Your advertisement mentions a “boutique marketing company.” Cool! I worked for a boutique marketing company when I was employed sending out emails on behalf of the Prince of Nigeria. You don’t get much more boutique than that. So I’m sure I’ll be familiar with the work environment.
Right. Your article begins with the question: “Want to get paid for writing about awesome travel destinations and adventure tourism?” At the risk of being overenthusiastic: YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DO WANT THAT I WANT IT SO MUCH. Now to read more of your advertisement.
“We’re looking for someone to write weekly articles describing some of the amazing tourist activities and locations within New Zealand, Australia and the USA…” Alright, brilliant, with you so far, where do I sign, now to continue reading… “You don’t need to have personally visited the locations or even have taken part in the activities.”
YES. This is the opportunity I’ve been after my entire life. I’m happy to report that I hate actual traveling, but I love Imagination Traveling. I have a super-active imagination. As I write this, I am imagining myself bouncing from a bungee in Queenstown, losing grip of my laptop on which I am writing while I bungee, watching it plummet towards the turbulent waters, SPLASH…
Damn. Lost a perfectly good Imagination Laptop. That’ll set me back like $1500 Imagination Dollars! Okay so that was slightly crappy Imagination Journalism but I’m sure I’ll do better next time. You say you want 10 articles a week minimum? Sure, I’ve got nothing better to do with my time. You want them to be 500 words a pop? You want to increase to 20 articles a week over time? Sure, that will only require about 80 hours a week of incredibly hard work. A bargain at that price! Wait, what is the remuneration? I’m sure it’s generous! Allow me to skim-read the rest of your ad. Hmm… primary skills Blogs and Journalism… yep, got that, I’m blogging right now, and I write for newspapers and magazines… ah, here’s the moneyshot!
“Our rate is $15 per 500+ word article, which we would like to see you spend about 30 minutes to research the topic and then 30 minutes to put your copy together and submit to us. Initially we need 10 articles a week, every week, this will very quickly grow to 20-30.”
Wait. 3 cents a word? OH MY GOD! I’ll be able to buy at least four packets of instant noodles a week on that kind of money! Now admittedly this is about 30 percent of the lowest freelance rate paid by the lowest-paying newspapers in New Zealand according to this handy EPMU survey, but I won’t let that stop me. Nor will I worry about the fact that the idea of allowing only one hour to research and write a 500 word non-plagiarised article makes me laugh and laugh and laugh until I snort my precious instant noodles out my nose. No. I am keen. Sign me up right now. I’ll Imagination Journalism so damn hard that it will be like I was really there and being paid actual money for it.
Postscript: I had a quick squiz at hannahjudd.com and hot diggity damn but that is a legit website! Four lines of HTML text? That’s some serious postmodern minimalism right there. Oh, look – you’re the “owner of the New Zealand candidate blacklist report used by thousands of NZ agencies?” I have no idea what that is, but it sounds serious. I’m sure it’s every bit as legitimate as your website and job offer. The fate of God knows how many New Zealand jobseekers in your hands? More power to you!