I got this email today:
For more than twenty years, our Idiot’s Guides books have been teaching people how to do everything from balancing your checkbook to raising bees. But now, we are starting a whole new revolution online - and we want you to be a part of it!
Questions. We know you’ve got ‘em. Here’s the low-down, Q&A style.
What’s the short story?We wanted to create a global community online where anyone can come to teach what they know, or learn what they don’t. Enter idiotsguides.com, our brand-spankin’ new site that is a global community where anyone can post a how-to article (called “Quick Guides”) on any subject they’d like!
What does this have to do with me?You’re awesome. We already know that by following your blog! We’d love for you to share your awesomeness with us by joining our community and contributing to idiotsguides.com!
Hm. Ok...what’s in it for me? (It’s ok to ask, we know you want to!)Exposure (the good kind): Your contributions will be seen by the more than 1 million people who come to our site each month.
You can link back to your site on any Quick Guide that you write, boosting traffic to your site.
We share your work on all of our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
You can earn loads of fun badges! Earn enough and you rise to the level of Guru, which can lead to a paid writing gig as one of our Idiot’s Guides book authors!
Right, so after working for free for some unspecified period of time to earn nothing but exposure and badges(REALLY? Who do you think we writers are, 8 year-olds?) you may finally move up to considered for a job that could pay you. In the interim, I suppose you're supposed to live on air or bunk in your parents' house. Maybe they really do think they're getting children to write for badges and are waiting for them to grow up before actually expecting any real compensation for work.
You know what I would be sure to include if I were writing an Idiot's Guide for writers? It would be not to fall for the exposure line from someone who claims to be offering you the gig because of the exposure you've already achieved on your own. I'd also go over the information I included in http://writewaypro.blogspot.com/2016/05/writing-for-free-is-not-deductible.html