It’s been awhile since my last installment in this Adventures in SEO series. I can tell because I keep a spreadsheet of all the jobs I work on, and when. The last job I discussed took place at the beginning of February, so we’ll pick up there.
Now, most of the jobs I’ve had this year have been good. In fact, nearly all of the jobs I work on get finished in just a couple days and everyone’s happy. But there are a few jobs that just go right to hell. These are those jobs.
People Hate to Pay for Writing
I got a job from some guy in the U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates), or some such place. He had a short “novel,” and after taking a look I called his project “Lover’s Quarrel.”
The story was about Deborah and her lying, cheating, and scheming fiancé, Martin.
The guy wanted me to expand his story from around 1,500 words to around 6,000. The whole job was to write 4,000 words, and I did so, creating a couple new characters, moving to some new locations (the bedroom is great for a one-act play), and generally getting this thing into working order.
The guy was not happy. I was supposed to get about $200 for the job and I only got $80 out of him before he pulled the plug and took off. Since I was working on Freelancer I filed a dispute to get my money, but they sided with him, saying that despite my 4,000 words, he was not happy.
I hate it when businesses always side with who they think will give them the better word-of-mouth, or perhaps more business in the future. This man in the Middle East has done neither, as he hasn’t posted anymore projects, and therefore hasn’t paid anymore commission fees to Freelancer.
Goddamn College Kids
Work was slow, money wasn’t rolling in, and therefore I was bidding on jobs I normally would pass by. (It feels like that today as well).
Yep, when I first started writing for money I did at least one university paper a week. I quickly got sick of that nonsense because these students have two main qualities that make them a pain in the ass to work with:
- They don’t know what they want;
- They think they know what they want.
Both of these make them dangerous to work with. And then I guess there’s the ethical considerations of helping a student commit plagiarism.
Anyways, back to this job. It was writing a few slides of a PPT for a college student, one that had a class on criminal procedures or business law or something.
He needed just 5 slides on the procedure a police officer would have to go through to get a warrant. I asked him for some examples, or a crime, but he gave me nothing. So I made up a situation where a neighbor smells pot, calls the cops, the cops smell pot, and now they’ve got to wake up a judge.
It was a really simple job for $30 and took me about 15 minutes, if even that.
But then the bastard said he didn’t like it and would not pay me. So I filed a dispute, and then after he did nothing for 4 days I got the money automatically.
It’s just a pain in the ass when people refuse to do business in accepted ways.
The first was a book about bitcoins. This guy actually called me up on the phone to get this going, and I thought the subject interesting enough to take it on.
See, I often do jobs like this, on a subject I want to learn a little more about. It’s like being paid to learn.
So we made a short eBook about bitcoins, which came in at about 7,000 words. That might not seem like a whole lot, but through spacing and inserting pictures we were able to get it up to 30 pages.
Considering he was doing nothing more than offering this for free on his Bitcoin Wallet site, I think it’s a pretty good deal.
The other job I got at the same time was a sci-fi novel, which went up to 50,000 words. I talked a bit about that in one of my monthly reports, so if you’re foaming at the mouth you can check there.
High School Elections
It was a guy in Australia that needed to get his son’s election campaign speech squared away.
Shit, I’m running for office right now, so this is pretty much right up my alley! We did a few back and forths on it, but what was getting me was the same thing that gets me today – people want the wrong things. And is it really that hard to believe?
I see this a lot the more experience I get. It’s especially relevant to jobs where you’re trying to sell something, like this one, in which you’re trying to sell a person.
People do not want to be bored. The moment they start to get bored they’ll tune your ass right out. The speech this man had for his son was boring as hell.
We went back and forth a few times, me bristling at the dad’s inability to let his kid sound cool, the dad wondering why the hell he’d hired me.
After about an hour we got it and I got paid and he got his speech. Whether the kid was elected or not is beyond me. See, I don’t hear much from a lot of these people after that final payment goes through.
Well, I think the final payment has gone through on this installment of Adventures in SEO. That brings us up right about to the end of the first quarter of 2014, but trust me, there are plenty more exciting jobs to bitch about!