Affiliate marketing exploitation

Today on a freelance writing site a job posted offering $1.50 for a 500-word article (some of these sharks offer $1).  Three freelance writers had commented with disgust – one said “pay peanuts get a monkey”! which about sums it up.

I left a comment saying this was about affiliate marketing – where people create websites to promote products they haven’t seen or tried, then “employ” writers to write articles about the products which link back to the site.  These articles get submitted to hundreds if not thousands of article directories so that by some miraculous process I don’t quite understand, the site shows on Search Engine results.  If a sale is made, the site owner gets commission.

As a marketing tactic it’s fine.  Article writing and submitting is a way of putting yourself in front of people on the internet.  It’s great if the thing you’re promoting is something you believe in, and you’re writing your own articles.  There are plenty of people using this system honestly.

However, in the affiliate marketing industry, site owners employ writers to use other writers’ articles!  but to spin them to avoid being accused of plagiarism.  There are plenty of blogs that tell you unashamedly how to do it if you don’t have an original thought in your head.  There’s even software that does it for you – apparently badly, though!

So these creeps who “employ” writers, pay them dirt to do the dirty work and make big bucks off them.  It makes me want to vomit.  Unless you have the software, if you’re a good, honest writer, an article of about 500 words will take a couple of hours to research and write.  So you’re earning 75c an hour.

It’s exploitation, not employment.

And writers who accept this work and steal from other writers are thieves.


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