Not really semantic at all, so it does matter. Employee connotes something completely different. An employee has an expectation of regular pay. A contractor has an expectation of being paid by the hour or project, depending on the agreement. What you are suggesting is a role that is neither employee nor contractor. In fact, you’ve come up with a completely new model of payment for services rendered.
For the right person – likely very very rare – it might work. But for most, it’s just insulting. If you took on the writer as a partner, that’s a different story. But you are asking them to risk far more than you are risking. You don’t seem to have factored that in. What are you risking by not actually paying the writer? There’s no risk in that at all, unless I’m missing something. If I am going to take the risk of spending 20-100 hours of effort and not earn more than $2-10/hr, I’m a complete fool, or really ballsy, or I know how to game social media sites.
On the other hand, if most athletes and performers got paid under this model, maybe they’d do better.
I am trialling CPM pay on my video game blog – with a fair 50/50 revenue split and complete transparency in reporting – however finding dedicated writers to write under this payment scheme is proving difficult.
My understanding is that in the exchange of money for services, the payer and the receiver of services is the employer and the receiver of pay and provider of services is the employee.
Maybe that’s a mistaken understanding. But it doesn’t matter. It’s semantic.
I’m not an employee – i’m a business person as well, a freelancer. The publisher goes into business to make a profit yes, but why should the blogger get nothing if the publisher can’t promote? It’s utterly ridiculous and insulting to expect to take the lion’s share of the potential profit yet not want to take any risk. In that case, you don’t need freelance bloggers, you need partner bloggers.
In theory it’s much easier to succeed if you share tasks, work as a disciplined team and have common ROI goal(s).
It’s not a good idea to rely on a “Micheal Jordan” publisher or “Superstar” blogger(s) to carry the entire load of Internet Marketing.
“then I should do the work AND retain the copyright by publishing it on my own blog.”
Yes, I’ve always pushed the idea that the best philosophy online is to build your own assets. It’s the best way to gain stability, and to get the most out of your work long term.
“Outmoded my ass. Entitlement?”
It’s entitlement to think that an employer owes you a job under YOUR conditions. I stand by that 100%. If you don’t like the conditions of an employer, then hopefully the market is big enough to provide alternatives that match your conditions.
The fact of the matter is that it’s owners who feel economic pressure first, not employees. Owners are the ones under pressure to earn a profit, not employees. Owners make a living through their assets, not employees (though employees certainly share in that wealth by being given an opportunity).
So at the end of the day, an employee who has a very specific vision of proper working conditions is tasked with the responsibility of finding an employer who shares those same operating principles.
Outmoded my ass. Entitlement? Is it entitlement to think that you should get paid for your work, when someone else is benefitting long-term? Is it outmoded to expect to be paid for work done? You obviously didn’t read my article on what’s wrong with the blogosphere. I wrote that from the perspective of someone who was a print publisher and now works online.
Too many web publishers have this notion that they should make money on the backs of writers, and that writer’s shouldn’t have any expectation of compensation if they can’t succeed in social media. This is turning writing into a popularity contest and is fine if you want to live in that kind of stressful environment. But you get long-term value, “I” get nothing. There is really no incentive left, then, for the blogger not to work for themselves. I mean, if I’m not going to eat this month because Digg takes 300+ votes for a page to go popular, and hence I won’t get paid, then I should do the work AND retain the copyright by publishing it on my own blog. At least that way I might get to eat in two or three months, when cumulative traffic adds up.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that the publisher did the marketing.”
That’s an outdated, entitlement mode of thinking. We live in a multi-skilled work environment. Publishers want the most for their money. I know for a fact that the major blog networks train and require their bloggers to use social media.
Here’s an article I wrote a while back:
Raj, the other angle to consider this from is the publishers. As almost everyone knows, the Internet economy is tightening. Money is not flowing as loosely as it had been for 7+ years. Performance based pay is actually a way for a business owner to discipline his own spending (hint: if you haven’t guessed yet, I’m transitioning into a performance based model for some of my writers).
Let’s say that you are a business owner and you are throwing $3600 per month at a site that only generates $500 per month. You might have been doing this with the expectation of building long-term equity. But as ad revenue dries up, the economic pressure to discipline your spending increases. One of the best way to discipline your spending is to only spend on *results* -> but you might argue that the writing itself is the result.
In business, ROI is the bottom line, and as the global economy tightens, owners are going to be pressured into paying for results as opposed to theories.
What is CPM? If you’re not familiar with the term, CPM means Cost per Mille, or a fee for a thousand of something. In the case of website advertising, if an advertiser will pay $X CPM, then they are paying $X for every full 1,000 pageviews that their ad gets on your site.
There are a few web publishers who give their writers incentives based on traffic. So if you’re social media friendly/ connected, it could mean earning extra income on your articles. However, some publishers have recently decided to go full-CPM on articles. That means that if you don’t succeed on social media sites, you get zilch – or near enough to it. So if they pay you, say, $2 CPM, then if your article gets 300,000 page views, you’d earn $600. But if you know how hard it’s been to get on Digg’s home page lately, then you know how dangerous to your financial health it is to blog for CPM-only pay.
Another example: if you had a gig earning $1000+ on a linkbait or a comprehensive content project, you might be putting in 20-100 hours. That is, earning $10-50/hr, depending on your speed. But under a CPM-only model, you might only earn $200-300 if the article doesn’t hit the home page of Digg. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that the publisher did the marketing.) So that’s $2-$15/hr.
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