John Rush who happens to be one of my favorite tweeters, posted this today, and honestly, it ticks me off.
I am so tired of people thinking that content creators are people just building up their resumes, that we don’t actually deserve the respect that we command.
WordPress is a site with millions of users, but without those users, it’d just be another website on the internet. We the writers and Content Creators are the reason that so many people around the world know the name WordPress, and yet we’re the last to get the respect we deserve because we’re individually only one small piece of the pie.
John Rush is at the very least locally famous for being a Winnipeg Football player, I on the other hand am not, but both of us work incredibly hard at creating the content that we create.
Content Creators aren’t just writers anymore, we are all the damned things:
- Scientists: Everything we do is an experiment
- Mathmeticians: Because we have to budget for EVERYTHING
- Artists: Because we often have to create something amazing out of nothing
- Entertainers: Because a bored audience is a non-paying audience
There is a lot of pressure for us to get it right the first time because any mistake that we as internet Content Creators make will haunt us FOR EVER, and there’s nothing you can do about what gets put on the internet.
Like it’s not enough of a pain in the ass to be human, we also have to focus on creating art that we can sell, on OTHER people’s platforms where we can lose our livelihood at a moment’s notice because enough people decide they hate us.
So when you are hiring a content creator, here are some things to look at before you even reach out to us:
- What is your budget? Do you have a budget? Seriously though, what are you going to pay me? We need to eat, we have bills, if you’re offering anything under $1000 it’s probably more than likely not worth it, because you’re expecting a LOT of work for very little pay.
- How long is your deadline? Got two days left and you want me to spend my time pulling away from other work to provide work for you for under a grand? Really?
- Do I really reflect your brand? Or alternatively do you just want me because I have a lot of followers? Yes it matters, because you’ll be getting someone different depending on who you want. If you want me because you think we vibe together I’m giving you 100000%. If you want me because I have a lot of followers and you think that MY followers are easily manipulated I’m still giving 100000% I’m just doing it for way more money.
In all seriousness this stuff isn’t just a hobby anymore, it’s a career path for millions of people around the world, and because there are no real “standards”, people think often too often, that they can take advantage of people on the internet WHILE reminding us to be careful about who we trust.
The worst part is that there is no in-between when you’re a small-time content creator. I don’t have a manager like John does, I don’t have a team of people to check and re-check to make sure that offers are genuine, I have to rely on my gut. If it takes you more than a week to respond to “what is your budget?” then to my mind I’ve already kicked you off my list. We will not be working together.
I take representation seriously. Very seriously. Sometimes it takes me a while to get back to people because a) I’m busy and b) a lot of my time is spent dealing with severe mental health issues and trauma, and so sometimes I’m too sick to work, but I ALWAYS respond.
You expect me to work but you don’t want to pay me? That tells me precisely where your priorities lie. I have a list of women eager and willing to get onto the Brown Girl Bloggers list, and I am giving them 100% free advertising, but the difference is that I am making them work for it. There is a list of rules that must be adhered to before they can even be considered to be on the list, because I am trying to set the standard for Brown Girl Bloggers everywhere, for Bloggers, period.
The “how much are you going to pay me?” conversation is always awkward, but if you aren’t prepared to even consider having that conversation, then why are you contacting me? I got an email asking me to rep a product, so I responded with “sure, but I need to try it first before I promote it, and also you need to pay me.” No response.
Really? So you think I’m going to put all this hard work at risk so that I can work for you for free? L.O.L. Are you serious? No really, are you serious?!
Oh, you want me to put aside 4 years of work that’s been building up that’s only getting increasingly more difficult and interesting so that I can spend 2 days working for you for $300? Are you insane? No, I mean no offense, but really, you have mental health issues too right? Because CLEARLY, you’re confused about what it is that I do.
Yeah, $300 for two days of work sounds good but break that down by minimum wage in BC which is $15.20 an hour. That’s 19 dollars a friggen hour and you think I’m only spending two or three hours on the work that I create for you? Chances are if I’m doing something for a brand the work that I am creating in those two days you give me, will actually take closer to 2-3 weeks, at about 5 hours a day to make sure that I offer you the best of my abilities.
For $19.00 an hour? Get the fuck outta here.
I’m serious about this, and while John is certainly MUCH kinder than I am, I will tell you to fuck the fuck off, because of no. No, I have severe anxiety and I am doing this because I am trying to feed myself, I am trying to build a foundation here, and you’re offering me less than half of what I am worth to feed your already full wallet, at my literal expense.
It costs me more to make the content than it takes you to post it. 5-10 hours worth of content creation (more likely 40-100 hours actually,) takes ten seconds to post. You aren’t being fair out there and we see you, and the more that we see you the harder we work so that we can be the brands offering ACTUAL payment to content creators so that we can cut you out altogether.
Be willing to work with us, or watch us surpass you, the choice is yours.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall