Two more Writer Mills: Voyage.tv and Trails.com
Voyage.tv calls itself "is a newly launched travel and lifestyle media company" with a focus on luxury travel:
The cornerstone of the Voyage experience is our original lifestyle and destination video programming, which inspires, informs and entertains. Shot in vivid High Definition, our Hotel & Resort Profiles, Activity & Tour videos, and Signature Series deliver content that is unbiased, current, accurate and above all, personal. Original feature articles written for the discerning traveler supplement this video programming.They want articles that don't exceed 600 words. And how much does this video-oriented, luxury pursuing site pay per article? A flat $25. Don't look for the zeros to the right of the five unless they fall after the decimal place. Instead of not exceeding 600 words, how about not exceeding 25 words? That would be at least be a buck a word.
As for Trails.com, apparently it has outsourced editorial to Demand Studios. Assignments vary in length and pay ... wait for it ... $15 each. And it gets better, "with some rates higher or lower depending on the length and format of the assignment." Lower than $15? That's even worse than the numbers I've been hearing about Demand Studios in general, though at $30 or so, they are also risible.
At least this ad and the one from Voyage.tv said up front how much they wanted to spend, which means you can keep moving on to other ads. That's better than most Demand Studio ads or anything I've seen from Helium.com. When a company typically (and incessantly) trolls for writers without saying what they're paying, it might be that they know what the reaction would be.
There's a sales psychology at work - and, yes, someone is trying to sell you because they want something for next to nothing. When you've invested time into checking out an opportunity, you become more open to it because you don't want to feel as though you were suckered. Just remind yourself that you're not really suckered unless someone gets you to spend the time writing for such a laughable amount. I don't care how many damage-controlling writer mill executives come leaving comments or emailing me and I don't care how many writers want to say how they can make a living doing this. There is no way that at a freakin' $15 -- or even $25 or $30 or $50 -- an article you can make a living -- or even supplement one.
Maybe some people who want to be writers don't have the drive or the skills to do better. In that case, they should simply recognize that fact and enjoy writing for its own sake. Guess what? I'm not going to appear on the stage of the Met singing a lead in a Handel opera, nor dance in a professional ballet, nor be made the CEO of some large company. That's fine. We all have to learn where we can excel. And there's nothing wrong with singing in the shower, if you enjoy it. However, grinding out intellectual sausage for the sake of money that wouldn't even buy a hardcover book is nuts.