You pay peanuts, you get … (A follow-up)

Posted on Mon 11 Feb 2013 @ 5.17am UTC

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It had to happen sooner or later, I suppose.

On the first day of the Chinese New Year (Year of the Black Snake, no less), someone sent LEOS an email commenting off-site about our last post (“You pay peanuts, you get … a punch in the googlies,” 05 Feb 2013) that it was:—

  1. hard to follow because the explanations had been set apart from the text they were referring to
  2. the original Craigslist advert quoted in the article was from around two years ago already and is outdated
  3. the original advert is no longer accessible online

The original post appeared in The Naked Listener’s Weblog on 25 March 2011 and had been reprinted here as an updated crosspost.

What can I say? If people enjoy the sheer lunacy of commenting about a post with an off-site email rather than comment on the post itself (as most normal, breathing human beings tend to do things), then fine by us.

If people enjoy the sheer psychopathy of writing emails on the first day of a major cultural holiday like Chinese New Year complaining about the ostensible hard-to-read quality of a English-language blog post, then that’s fine by us too.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see through the email writer is deliberately trolling and trying to pick a fight. Exactly what for, I can’t speak intelligently on that score. But I’m sure we do enjoy getting a sense of how mentally disturbed some people can get when left unsupervised.

Before getting to the meat of things, let’s answer our email writer:—

  1. All right, we’ll accept at face value that setting the explanation away from the text of the advert is hard to follow. It is possible that the email writer himself/herself just might possibly not have the necessary brainpower to follow things — but we never pass judgment on other people’s genetic makeup.
  2. The last post already explained that the original article had been reposted because we are seeing the same kind of lousy job ad “is on the rise over the past fortnight or so.”
  3. Craigslist, as far as LEOS understands it, is designed to be a classified advertisement website. Its contents are accessible on a FIFO (‘first in, first out’) basis. Therefore, the website is a semi-permanent medium. Adverts from (say) 2011 are highly unlikely to be retained as of today.
  4. LEOS disclaims all liability over the nature, quality, content and accessibility of contents in third-party websites so pointed by hyperlinks as they are not under the control of LEOS.
  5. Is it possible that some people can be THIS stupid???

Since the email writer took the time and effort to write to LEOS on a public holiday, LEOS will go the extra mile just for that person and present a reformatted version of that entire post.

Nobody can accuse us of not being accommodating.

* * *

The original Craigslist advertisement from the crosspost in its unannotated form:—

English writers needed

Date: 2011-02-14, 10:54PM

We are looking for English writers to write articles on music, beauty and fitness topics.

We are looking for writers who are looking for long term work.

Here are the basic requirements:

1. Min. of 1 year experience
2. Articles should be error free
3. Articles should pass copyscape
4. Well researched articles
5. Articles should be minimum 500 words


$1.00 per article of 500 words
$2.00 per article of 1000 words

Should be able to start now.

The keyword phrase needs to be in the article title, first sentence and used another 5–6 times throughout the article for a total keyword density of 1.5–2.5%. We pay via PayPal within 24 hours of completion of each article project of 25 articles, so the sooner you can finish the articles the sooner you will receive payment.

When we hire a new writer we pay them $11 at completion of the first 10 article batch to show that we pay. The articles need to be informative to the reader with 100% correct grammar, punctuation and free from factual errors.

Also, the articles must be 100% unique; they will be reviewed through Copyscape and Plagiarism Detect for plagiarism . If an article you submit does not pass Copyscape, or has spelling and punctuation mistakes, you will not be paid for that article until it is corrected and resubmitted to us for approval. We will not be able to pay if all requirements in this listing are not met, so please don’t apply if you can’t meet these requirements.

You agree that upon sending us the articles all rights to the articles transfer to us. This means you will not sell, reproduce or re-use these articles in any way. Please be able to communicate at least one time per day via email or messenger. Application will only be considered with a sample article on a topic that we choose.

• Compensation: $1.00 per article of 500 words, $2.00 per article of 1000 words
• Telecommuting is ok.
• Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
• Please, no phone calls about this job!
• Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Total 340 words.

Original URL:

* * *

Workmanlike alternative

WE won’t be bothering to produce a reformatted version of the explanations. The last post stands as-is.

It’s just pointless because, to be perfectly honest, if people such as the email writer can’t follow the original post or the crosspost, it just makes sense that the same person can’t likely follow re-explanations, whatever the format may be.

It’s also pointless because we also strongly suspect the email writer was pretending to complain and messing with others just for lulz. Let’s not pretend that it wasn’t, because there’s no point otherwise.

Instead, LEOS will offer an alternative version to show how a proper, workmanlike job advert should look like:—


We are a [e.g. magazine] looking for writers to write English-language articles on music, beauty and fitness topics.

Applicant requirements:

1. Long-term freelance engagement
2. Distance working: no workplace attendance necessary
3. Minimum 1 year’s writing experience for print/online publications
4. Immediate start
5. Must be able to communicate with us at least once a day via email or MSN
6. Apply with sample writing on our choice of topic

Article specifications:

7. Article length 500–1,000 words
8. Turnaround 10–25 articles [per month]
9. Original content and factually accurate about the topic
10. Be able to pass Copyscape and Plagiarism Detect for plagiarism
11. Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
12. Keyword or keyphrase must be in the article headline and first sentence
13. Keyword or phrase must be used 5 or 6 times again in the bodytext to achieve a 1.5% to 2.5% total keyword density


14. $10.00 per article of 500 words
15. $20.00 per article of 1,000 words
16. Payment turnaround on every batch of 10 articles accepted.

Important notes:

17. Should you be engaged by us, you begin by submitting your first batch of 10 articles to us. For this first batch, we pay a flat fee of $75.00 regardless of word count. Payment via PayPal will be within 24 hours of our acceptance.

18. After that first batch, we will pay at the rate stated above on every batch of 10 articles accepted.

19. All rights in articles accepted become fully transferable to us, so your articles cannot be reproduced, resold or reused in whatever form elsewhere by you.

20. Any article that fails to pass Copyscape (or if it contains spelling, grammar or punctuation errors) will be returnable to you for corrections and resubmission, and no payment made until final acceptance.

Write to the publisher at [details] for information.

No phone calls please. No recruiters please.

And that’s how it should be. Total 271 words (or 20½% fewer words to read).


© Learn English or Starve, 2013. Featured image via c4c. (B13049)