How to Make $594 a Person by Making Misleading Claims in the Title of Your Free Webinar

I’m a skeptic, so take all of the following with a grain of salt, as I’m sure there are people who benefit from how-to seminars, but after writing about the state of freelance writing two weeks ago (and sifting through all the comments and links people brought to my attention), I decided it’d be interesting to sit through a webinar, and while I was impressed with the person running it (who will remain unnamed), it wasn’t because of what he was supposedly teaching. What I took away from the lesson was that writing isn’t nearly as valuable a skill as one’s ability to come up with popular content (quality be damned) . . . and that even these ideas are worth nothing if you don’t have a product to sell. The title of this seminar, “How to Make $500+ Per Post Writing for Popular Blogs, Even If You’re a Total Newbie,” is misleading–in fact, he stressed that the writing of guest posts did not come with a pay check, and his calculations were based not on words or hits but on your ability to monetize the 6% or so of the readers clicking through. So, here’s my answer:

How To Make $594 A Person:

  1. Offer a free service and then introduce an optional product (yourself, in this instance) for six payments of $99. Make sure that long before you introduce the fees, you allow people to connect to you (preferably with a touching personal narrative that makes people want to invest in you); when you talk about the costs, make sure you stretch them into smaller-looking payments. (Why stop at six payments? Why not twelve monthly payments of $49.50?) Stress that you can get by without this service, but make sure you stress even more how essential this service is, much in the same way that you can explain how it is theoretically possible to walk through the desert without bringing water along, though you certainly wouldn’t want to do so.

That’s it. That’s the only step. There’s other chicanery, and I suppose I’m willing to educate those readers who are interested in more, for a low, low fee of $20, payable to CASH. Continue reading

Who knows if I’ll ever again have as many comments as my “Freshly Pressed” article on freelance journalism (reblogged again, today, as one of the three best from the 40 that ran this week) brought in. But at least for this week, I’ll make a feature out of recapping (and perhaps rethinking) some of the things I wrote about, read about, and responded to in the time that’s passed since their original run.

So, appropriately enough for an article about the merits of writing for exposure (as opposed to pay), here’s the change brought about by having my article mentioned on the front page of WordPress:

The previous spike, if you’re interested, came after I posted a positive review of the play Clown Bar, which was, I’m assuming, reblogged or linked through on Facebook by members of the cast/crew. One of the dangers of a writer not being paid, as I’ve mentioned before, is that those with questionable ethics might write to the traffic, throwing positive reviews — or negatives ones — so as to stand out from the average and thereby draw the more curious readers who are looking for a devilish advocate. I should also add that I’d only just taken this site from Blogger to WordPress; on the strength of its archive of content–dating back five years–it still manages to get about a hundred hits a day, even though I no longer post there. I just want it to be clear that while traffic can be driven by any number of factors, the stats you’re looking at here are almost without exception due to this post about freelance journalism. Continue reading

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