Writing for Guardian Liberty Voice: 10 Writers’ Stories

Revenue share writing promises pay that often doesn't materialize.

I started this blog to help writers find freelance markets that pay well…and to warn writers away from sites that don’t.

All of which has led me to spend some time looking into startup news and op-ed website Guardian Liberty Voice, a 2-year-old, Las Vegas-based online news site started by entrepreneur and former chain restaurant manager DiMarkco Chandler.

What I learned led me to talk to writers with experience at GLV, to find out more. Before I launch into the writers’ stories, a little background on what GLV is and how I learned of them:

First contact

Earlier this year, a GLV manager emailed me, asking me to write for them and recruit a team of writers to work under me. They are seeking to hire 900 more writers in their quest to “raise the bar on citizen journalism.”

At that point, I’d never heard of them.

They explained that they paid per-ad-impression…in other words, for eyeballs on ads. I responded that I didn’t work for clients without at least some guaranteed pay. But I wondered if they might be a pay opportunity for political writers, a niche with few paying markets.

So I started asking around to find people who’d been writing for Guardian Liberty Voice. I also asked GLV if they could provide a referral to a happy current GLV writer who wasn’t part of GLV’s editorial or management staff, and spoke to one. In all, I spoke to more than ten writers.

To respond to some of the issues the writers raised, GLV senior managing editor Rebecca Savastio served as GLV’s spokeswoman, and Chandler also spoke with me on Skype.

GLV 101

First off, some basics on how GLV works, and what’s been said about the company publicly:

  • As GLV describes on its own About page, the company began as the Las Vegas Guardian, but had to change its name after the highly regarded Guardian newspaper of London objected, evolving to Guardian Liberty Voice. After a brief time as a print publication, GLV switched to digital-only.
  • Writers who apply to GLV are put through a two-week training bootcamp, during which they typically write upwards of 20 posts. On the final day alone, writers are required to write six articles.
  • GLV reports that 80 percent of writers fail to graduate from bootcamp, which means they earn nothing for posts written during bootcamp.
  • Writers must continue to write for GLV for at least 50 days and see royalties top $50 to receive a paycheck.
  • From there, every month that writers have at least two posts published, they remain current with GLV and can continue to receive pay, based on how many views their articles have had. Royalty percentages increase if you post more. Cease writing for them, and all royalties end, even on previously posted work.
  • At least one formal complaint has been filed against GLV with the Las Vegas attorney general’s office by a former GLV writer and editor. In the April 14 filing, Idaho-based Heather Pilkinton reports she ended up working long hours for what penciled out to 47 cents an hour.

The short version

Despite its claims of groundbreaking pay models and carving a new path for citizen journalism, GLV appears to be simply a low-paying revenue-share platform where most of the articles are quick rewrites of items found through Google News.

Writers — many of them brand-new freelancers — often end up earning nothing. Payout documents supplied to this blog provide a single-month snapshot: of 50 writers who were with GLV in June 2013, only two made more than $500 in one month. For the rest, average pay was just $45 a month.

Company founder Chandler is widely described as a charismatic man who draws people to his projects, but promises things he doesn’t always deliver. Among those who feel lied to by Chandler are his former employers at the Las Vegas Tribune. There is much more to the story of Chandler than I have included here — I’ve restricted my focus to what I think might directly affect freelance writers.

For more details, read on to hear from GLV’s writers in their own words.

Earning more with his own blog

Brand-new Toronto freelancer Jonathan Holowka initially spotted a Craigslist ad for GLV. He raved about his GLV bootcamp experience in a post on his blog. Within weeks of posting it, though, he had quit.

In a Skype call, Holowka explained why his viewpoint on GLV quickly changed:

“On the first day of bootcamp, they did show us how much people were earning, and I remember the numbers being quite small. But I saw those numbers and thought, ‘I’m sure I can do better than that.’ I got in my mind that I could surpass that, somehow. And they really seemed to like my writing.”

As a writer with absolutely no previous online writing experience, Holowka says he found the bootcamp “really good, and free…we learned how to write organically and not word-stuff.” He passed bootcamp and was certified.

His pay for 65 articles written over two months? It was $85, or about $1.30 per post.

Holowka’s conclusion was that he could do better putting up his own website — and he has. His site, What To Do When Bored, has made $450 off the first 50 articles he posted on it in just its first weeks, Holowka reports.

Some quit during bootcamp

One of the reasons 80 percent of GLV writers wash out may be because many realize little income is likely, and quit before the bootcamp ends. That’s what Reno-based writer Hamilton Tolson did back in February, after writing just three articles. Here’s a digest of GLV impressions he emailed me:

“I’ll be honest — knowing nothing about finding a job as a writer, other than that I had a marked interest in politics, I was stoked with what I thought was a real job opportunity. [GLV] had me write three articles.

“Then he clued me in to the whole ‘team building’ bullshit by telling me that I too could, perhaps, have a team under me in the future.

“As soon as I attended the first class of bootcamp, I quit.  The first class was a round robin of glad-handing, as DiMarkco and others praised each other back and forth, while we all listened.  I realized I was in a virtual classroom with many others who barely spoke, or typed, English.

“I only wish I had done the diligence to research the company a bit. These people prey on the desperation of young, uninformed writers. I’m ashamed to have been stupid enough not to know better.”

GLV’s Savastio says writers who make it through their initial 50 days are paid a flat $30 for their first three “tryout” posts, and that Tolson went unpaid because he didn’t stay long enough.

Creating fake social-media identities

In contrast to Holowka’s reaction, Denver-based freelance writer Danyelle Overbo told me she found the bootcamp a mind-numbing waste of time. She waited an hour or more while Chandler logged writers in, went over SEO basics, and repeatedly showed writers the GLV categories they needed to use for posting.

“It was really nonsensical,” she says. “He would say things that were wrong about grammar.”

Perhaps the single biggest issue that made Overbo quit was the black-hat social-media techniques she saw demonstrated. In some post-bootcamp meetings, Savastio has shared how she creates multiple fake Facebook identities so she can pose as a fan and promote her posts more aggressively, which she describes as key to helping posts “go viral.”

Savastio says she’s aware this violates Facebook’s terms of service, but says she considers the move “guerrilla marketing” and has no ethical qualms about using this promotional technique.

When she estimated what she’d be earning, Overbo says it appeared to be roughly a penny an article.

“I was trying to launch a freelance writing business,” she says, “and it was just a huge waste of time.”

Earnings: zero

L.A. based new freelance writer Luke Sargent is among the 80 percent of GLV writers who quit by the end of bootcamp. Sargent says he wised up when one editor accidentally opened a payout spreadsheet and he saw the small amounts writers were owed.

“They got 30 articles from me, all free,” he says. “They sell it as, ‘You’re building your business,’ but of course you’re not — you’re building their business.”

He also saw that the premise of earning on an ongoing basis from the news articles was unlikely to pan out.

“That can never happen, because it’s a news site,” he says, “and people aren’t interested in old news.”

GLV’s Chandler says he’s straight with writers from the start — that it could take six months to start earning anything, and that for some, it might turn out to be more of a hobby than a revenue generator.

Who’s his ideal writer? “We’re looking for housewives, and people who don’t have anything to do,” he says. “They love writing and use it to supplement their income.”

Payment delays

If they can get a check, that is. That proved a struggle for Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada, a Pakistani attorney who does freelance writing in his spare time to bring in extra money. He started with GLV in September and wrote 229 articles in all — over 100,000 published words, he relates.

He says his dashboard shows he’s owed $126 for that effort, having hit the $50 minimum last October. But despite repeated requests over a period of several months, a payment was never sent until March — and that was for $108, not $126.

Khanzada feels his distant locale made GLV managers feel paying him was optional. “What could I do to them, from here?” he told me in a Skype call.

This particularly rankled because in meetings, when writers complained, Chandler would tell them to look at their long-term earning potential with fast-rising GLV. He’d direct them to business-valuation site WorthofWeb, which at one point indicated GLV was worth more than $25 million, and talk about how they could end up earning big if they stuck with GLV.

“[Chandler] boasts that he’s buying a Mercedes, and his company has a $25 million valuation, but he can’t pay me $100?” Khanzada asks. “That’s paradoxical. Writers shouldn’t be writing for this scam.”

Overworked editors

To help grow its writing staff, GLV editors encourage writers to recruit a team and become editors. GLV’s Savastio says it is not a multi-level marketing model — writers only earn from the team they directly recruit. There is no “downline.”

Editors are paid a stipend ranging from $100-$800 per month. Though this brings some guaranteed income, the hourly rate for editors may work out even worse than it does for writers.

In the complaint she filed with the Las Vegas attorney general, former GLV editor Heather Pilkinton says that while some editors and key writers were repeatedly promised they’d be given 1 percent equity stakes in GLV worth $250,000, nothing materialized except a stipend raise for Pilkinton to $500 a month. Writer Overbo says she also heard the $250K spiel, but Savastio says she’s never heard that promise.

A few quotes from Pilkinton’s complaint:

“…The saturation of writers is so high in order for writers to actually earn money by writing for the GLV, they must write an exorbitant number of articles. This also means that there are so many articles going up that many articles get lost with only a minimum amount of reads. Because of the 50-day payout and because of the $50 minimum required to receive payout, many writers leave without ever seeing any of the money their articles have earned, meaning [GLV] has accumulated a bunch of free content.

“Editors often find themselves working 7 days a week, upwards of 15 hours a day. [Once, Chandler] decided he needed to call me at 1 a.m.  Very rarely does the total payout for the editors reach $1,000 for an entire month, and that includes the stipend and the commissions. Plus, in order for commissions to be paid out, editors, on top of their other duties, are expected to [write] anywhere between 29 and 112 articles per month.

She also points out that writers see pay only from one of the ad networks that serve ads onto GLV’s pages — Tribal Fusion — while GLV works with several ad networks. Savastio confirms that writers only get paid from Tribal Fusion, adding that revenue from the other ad networks is minimal in comparison, and goes toward the editor stipend payments.

The biggest month she had during her five month stay, Pilkinton made $685, working more than full-time hours. She estimates that given the time she put in, it came out to 47 cents an hour.

For her part, Savastio says she earns little from her editing chores, but enjoys mentoring writers. “Not everything is about money for me,” she says.

A self-described “mediocre” writer who says she doesn’t have the chops to write for higher-paying magazine markets, Savastio adds that she considers the chance to earn a living as a writer a dream come true, despite the 12-hour days.

Her total pay last month, thanks mostly to a couple of posts that got lots of views, was roughly $2,000, or $7.75 per hour. She says that in the world of revshare, GLV’s stipends are rare — when she was looking for a new gig after leaving AOL’s imploding Patch network, she says AllVoices didn’t offer stipends, for instance.

Cloudy visibility

While some writers report they were able to keep tabs on how much they were earning, others felt the information was hard to come by.

For instance, Costa Rica-based writer Mimi Mudd did the bootcamp in February, and wrote over 50 articles over the course of two months. She says requests to see what her income would be were met with weeks of stonewalling. Finally, one editor showed her she’d accumulated just $4.50, not enough to receive a check under GLV’s payout rules. Mudd departed in April.

“If you’re looking for exposure as a writer,” Mudd says, “if you’re looking to get articles published and get clips, there are far better ways to do it.”

Savastio says since Mudd’s departure, she has strengthened the training on how to view earnings and stresses that if posts don’t get huge traffic, writers will not earn enough to see a paycheck.

Article spinning

Then there’s the quality of work GLV writers do. While a small portion of the posts involve unique interviews, writers say the vast majority are simply quickly rewritten from items found searching Google News. Former GLV writer Juana Poareo, reports she earned $800 for 173 articles — or about $4.62 per piece — over the course of four months. The L.A.-based writer says posts are cranked out fast, and that she routinely ran her own articles through Copyscape, to make sure they’d been rewritten enough that they wouldn’t be considered duplicate copy.

Why are writers article spinning? Time pressure to meet their posting goals and keep earning, Poareo says, as well as to quickly recycle the hottest topics currently trending online, in hopes of catching some of the big traffic needed to get paid.

“Writers are pressured to perform and get their articles to go viral,” Poareo, who is deaf, said in a Skype chat interview.

Reading the site myself, I found most stories simply recycle trending news or research press releases, as with this story about 3D-printed cancer cures. Adding insult to injury, GLV’s style is to put the links to the original sources at the bottom of stories, rather than appearing with relevant key words in the parts of the post that derive from each source, thereby minimizing their prominence and the likelihood they’ll be clicked — and also leaving readers to guess which facts came from where.

Vague, unsupported sentences are typical, such as this one from the 3D printing story: “Doctors will agree that current cancer therapies are horribly imprecise.”

Good grammar also appears to be optional, as with the opening sentence of this energy story, reproduced exactly as it appears:

Natural gas vs. oil, which is more affordable -when considering efficiency- to heat a home?

Chandler says GLV now has over 300 writers. Won’t the pay pool be diluted as ever more stories and writers vie for the same eyeballs? Chandler’s plan is to reassign many of the writers to some of the nearly dozen other sites he’s created, to keep things stable at GLV.

The (sort of) happy camper

You may be wondering — who enjoys writing for GLV? In general, new freelance writers who are unaware of any other way to make more money from writing.

One of these is Douglas Cobb, a former teacher and current Arkansas resident with multiple advanced degrees. Cobb has been writing for GLV for over a year, usually writing 40 or more posts a month in his off hours from his regular job at an auto-parts store. He estimates he spends 15 or more hours a week writing his posts.

He’s been given the title senior review editor, though no extra pay comes with this. With an emphasis on writing TV and entertainment-related stories that sometimes include interviews, Cobb has done fairly well by GLV standards.

His pay has ranged from about $250 a month — around $4 an hour — to over $1,000. When I explained what I’ve earned as a blogger, he was interested to learn how to find better markets.

“I knew getting into it that it’s not a way to make a whole lot of money,” he says of GLV. “But it is a way to make some. If I knew of any other places, I’d try them out.”

What will Google do?

The final question about GLV is how Google will respond to the site’s mass of recycled content. Savastio said she’s well aware that a tweak in the wrong direction by Google’s algorithms, and much of GLV’s traffic could vanish overnight. Alexa reports that roughly one-third of the site’s traffic comes through the search engine.

GLV’s Chandler says the worst has already happened.

He reports that earlier this month, he discovered Google had removed all GLV’s stories from its News results. Chandler worked frantically to remove ads from the site and create a cleaner layout, which he says helped GLV return to News results. He admits he may need to remove more ads — and that this reduced ability to advertise may hit writers’ paychecks.

GLV has gotten tougher about who it lets graduate from bootcamp, Savastio says, trying to screen out lower-quality writers to help keep Google happy. Which means that now, likely even more than 80 percent of the bootcamp writers will wash out.

“This pay model is definitely not for everyone,” Savastio says. “It’s performance-based pay. Then again, no one is making anyone work here.”

The past is prologue

Prior to starting GLV, founder Chandler was employed at the Las Vegas Tribune, for about six months that ended with his firing (or quitting, depending on who you believe) in February 2012. The paper’s founder, editor-in-chief and publisher Rolando Larraz, recalls Chandler was so broke when he arrived, he didn’t own a car and was staying in a weekly-rate hotel, for which Larraz footed the bill. Larraz took him under his wing, and soon Chandler had password access to company computers and bank accounts — which Larraz quickly came to regret.

“He wanted to be the publisher, and I didn’t want him to be,” Larraz told me in a recent phone conversation.

In an op-ed piece in the paper in the wake of Chandler’s departure, Chandler’s hire was termed a “fiasco” by managing editor Maramis Choufani. Larraz actually ran a front page article headlined, “DiMarkco Chandler Is Not Affiliated With the Las Vegas Tribune In Any Way,” on Feb. 29, 2012. In it, Larraz warns his paper’s readers and advertisers that he’d discovered Chandler was soliciting ad checks from Tribune advertisers after he’d left the paper, while claiming to still be with the Tribune.

Chandler remembers it differently. In his version, Larraz’s paper was failing financially, Chandler was working to save and relaunch it in a more viable form, and Chandler ended up out of pocket for a new Spanish/English version of the paper the two were partnering on, for which Chandler printed multiple editions.

“I worked without him paying me a dime,” he says.

Interestingly, the Tribune‘s policy of paying writers nothing is what inspired Chandler to create his pay model at GLV. He’s proud to be offering writers at least the chance to earn something, compared with what he saw at the Tribune.

“My writers are making more money than me,” Chandler says, “and they get to write whatever they want.”

In her op-ed piece after his firing, Choufani writes that Chandler had “ill intent, betrayed us, and took what wasn’t his,” leaving “a trail of deceit and lies.” She calls him “a really great con artist.”

“If DiMarkco is still out there fooling others,” Choufani writes, “I feel sorry for them.”

What’s your reaction? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

 

  1. Great expose! This must have been gratifying, and maybe even fun, to write. More than 10 years ago during my first stint freelancing, I got caught up in one of these called Internet Illuminations. The guy sounds so similar! Charismatic. Enthusiastic. I ended up writing about six entire websites. Never saw a penny. The best thing that came out of it is it made me wary.
    Leslie Jordan Clary recently posted..Home

    • Carol Tice says:

      Exhausting is the word that springs to mind…but I considered it public service to the writer community, as it’s a new platform and little is known about it.

  2. Jonathan Holowka here from the interview. Thanks Carol for taking the time to interview me and publish this post. I had no idea about Heather, interesting because she was essentially the second-in-command during my time writing there.

    Yes, when I started at GLV I was quite optimistic and enthusiastic that I could do quite well. But it seemed that the only way to make a real income was to recruit a team or writers to work under you at which point you were essentially a multi-level marketer and no longer a writer. Since then I’ve started my new website, What to Do When Bored and have been taking Jon Morrow’s guest blogging course as recommended by Carol.

    I do enjoy writing and think there are valuable ways to write and get results, but the best way to write for yourself and get paid is to start your own venture (such as I did) or seek out well paying opportunities. For anyone interested in keeping in touch with me, I’m working on putting some type of course together on my website (not the What to Do When Bored one) on how to market yourself online. I’ve definitely had some real success with my newer website and am looking forward to seeing how these grow.

    It’s nice to have full ownership over your content :D
    Jonathan Holowka recently posted..Writing Viral Content That Gets Traffic and 3 Simple Ways to Do It Yourself

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yes, Jonathan, when I looked back at the original comment thread that piqued my interest in GLV, it’s funny to see that almost all of the commenters who wrote in support of GLV just a few months back are now naysayers.

      And agree with you — if you’re going to blog a lot, either get paid well by clients, or write your own site. Or both..which is what I’ve done. ;-)

    • Juana says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Like you, I was enthusiastic about writing for a digital pub. I did cotton on that GLV wasn’t a good place to write for because it smelled scammy but I was getting back into writing again and loved just being able to write. What made me stay longer was the people I was working with (NOT D or Becky but Heather and others).

  3. Ray Burow says:

    Thank you for this informative email. I was contacted by Guardian. Feeling that it was too good to be true, and the fact that it sounded very content mill like, I passed. However, I wasn’t completely sure if I made the right decision.
    I am now.

  4. Kinya Shelley says:

    Excellent article Carol. I have seen these Guardian posts all over the place. The setup sounds like a scam. The language of those in charge give it away. “No one is forcing you to work here.” “This pay model is not for everyone.” Using undrthanded tactics to get views and make your posts go viral…I’m shaking my head. Looks like the 80% who don’t graduate are better off.

  5. Angie Mansfield says:

    I’m always sad when I hear writers get taken in by these sites that pay so very little. With even the bare minimum of marketing, they could be making so much more — without having to kill themselves trying to work 24/7.

    And if you’re a “housewife, or people with nothing better to do,” you’re better off starting your own blog. At least your content will be YOURS.

    • peachfront says:

      Housewives or other people with nothing to do — assuming these people with nothing to do even exist — should write on WattPad or some other place where they can write stories they actually enjoy without any concern for commercial results. If someone is not in it for the money, yet has a lower disposable income to spend on their hobby, they can still blog on WattPad, Tumblr, or even publish a Kindle Amazon short without spending anything but their time. They sure don’t need to sign on to write somebody else’s stories for 47 cents an hour. And many of these “writers” are not writing for 47 cents an hour. They are stealing for 47 cents an hour.

      I agree that not everyone needs to write for profit. However, if you are writing for pleasure, then it should be pleasure. Writing a fanfic is a better use of your time than “spinning,” which is just another word for good old fashioned plagiarism under any university’s honor code.

      Starting one’s own blog will probably end up costing a few hundred dollars a year, and 9 out of 10 writers won’t earn more than that. So I get why some low income writers don’t start their own blog. But if it’s a hobby, write for 12 hours a week and do it well and enjoy it. Don’t rip-off other writers for12 hours a day and then wonder why karma comes back to bite you in the rear.
      peachfront recently posted..When You’re Bigger Than Just Amazon Reviews…

      • Not sure how starting your own blog would cost you a few hundred dollars a year. Use blogger if you don’t want to worry about hosting costs. I’ve spent a grand total of $30 on What to Do When Bored ($10 for domain and $20 for some Facebook ads) and have made about $600 off of Adsense so far.

        • Laurie Swenson says:

          Jonathan, can you explain how you make money from Adsense on “What to Do When Bored?” I’m vaguely aware of Adsense, but I’m curious about the nuts and bolts for you, a specific person using it. Thanks! The site is fun, btw.

          • Thanks Laurie! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my site. Adsense works pretty straight forward. You make a certain amount of money from every one thousand views you get as long as their are Google ads on your site; this is your CPM. I receive anywhere from 5,000 – 35,000 page views a day right now so my earnings are based off that of that. I make around $5 on a low day to almost $40 on a good one. It’s certainly not a full-time income but it’s a nice side income right now, until I figure out better ways to monetize and build the site better.

            Does that answer your question? I’m wondering if I can write a post about using Adsense in some way.
            Jonathan Holowka recently posted..Writing Viral Content That Gets Traffic and 3 Simple Ways to Do It Yourself

      • Angie Mansfield says:

        I agree with Jonathan – there’s no reason you’d have to spend hundreds per year on a blog. Even my self-hosted WordPress sites only cost me around $100 for both the hosting and the domain registration.

        We agree, however, that nobody — even if you’re just looking for a few extra spending dollars — should have to spin other people’s content for 47 cents an hour.

  6. Allen Taylor says:

    I read the GLV ad looking for writers. As soon as I discovered it was revenue share I lost interest. I’ve never seen a good revenue share “opportunity.” I’ve written for both HubPages and the Yahoo! Contributor Network and you have to write a lot of articles and promote them heavily to make any money. If you wanted to write for a revenue-share website, I would say go with HubPages or Yahoo! Both are at least established companies with some level of legitimacy. Startups are a wash.

    Great article, Carol.
    Allen Taylor recently posted..Is There Room For Digital Non-Fiction Books?

  7. Karen Walcott says:

    All of the stories in this article are extremely accurate. I worked for the GLV briefly. I wrote about 30 articles in 2 weeks because I was promised a stipend if I completed bootcamp. Then when I completed bootcamp I was told that stipends were only for editors. It’s bullshit. Chandler is a con artist. He is very convincing and I completely bought into his spiel.

  8. Kathleen says:

    I’m sorry this happened to these writers. I hope they won’t get fooled again.

    To Johnnie Cochran-ize a valuable lesson: “If they don’t pay, just walk away.”

  9. art williams says:

    Very obviously a scam albeit one where, just like Obama, the perpetrator is delusional. I write about the Multilevel Marketing industry in my position right now and we’ve just been through several weeks of being bothered by news about a huge MLM ponzi scheme called TelexFREE. They scammed people out of many millions of dollars. The owner made it out of the country and is back in Brazil but everybody else got nailed here in the US…. including his wife.

    This guy, DiMarko, is doing the same thing that some MLM scammers do…i.e. taking advantage of people’s desperation and frankly I don’t know if anybody can protect those kind of people from their own ‘bad genes’. Some will eventually figure it out and some won’t.

    Long term, I think the lack of quality in DiMarko’s product and/or his own greed and lack of long-term good business sense will be his undoing.

    regards,
    art

  10. Juana says:

    I think you did a good job with this, Carol! I appreciate all the hard work I know you put into this, all for the benefit of freelance writers everywhere.

    I have to admit I was surprised to hear Savastio call herself a “mediocre” writer. I’m not sure how to react to that, but I think this admission would probably explain why she writes for publications that pay shit.

    Also, I don’t know whether the omission was intentional but I also worked as a junior editor the last two or three months, which entailed working one full-time evening shift per week. I was frustrated by the poor writing quality and often found myself trying to clean up copy any chance I could. It was embarrassing being associated with awful writers, because I do not consider myself a mediocre writer at all.

    Even while saying this, I don’t regret writing for GLV, because I met some awesome people like Heather and others, and because it showed me how much I should value my writing.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Juana — I don’t think you mentioned that you ended up in an editorial role to me, is the only reason why it’s not included…or it’s my oversight.

      • Juana says:

        No problem, Carol ;) I hope with this coming out, GLV will be shut down. But there is the small matter of DiMarkco creating offshoots of GLV.

  11. So, you only get paid on previous work…work for which you received no royalties…so long as you still continue to write for them? This sounds like slavery to me. No thank you. I feel terrible for those with so little business experience that they don’t see through this. You really are doing an important service for freelance writers, Carol. Nobody should be allowed to exploit the hard work and talent of another. It’s just sad.
    Kimberly Jones recently posted..Top 10 Children’s Books to Celebrate Mother’s Day

  12. Heather Pilkinton says:

    While I wasn’t quite expecting to see my name, I will say what ultimately drove me to leave. The constant demands on my time, including the 1 am phone call (among others) and the email accusing me of not taking the publication seriously were only two of the reasons. The main one, however, was that GLV was putting a serious strain on my marriage and my family. My husband was getting angrier and angrier, and I found myself constantly defending GLV, DiMarkco and the promises to him to the point where he was threatening to get on the phone to DiMarkco and find out when all these promises were actually going to take place. The ultimate end came when he came home to find me enraged because I had been ripped into in front of an entire group of people. He told me no job was worth the damage this one was doing not only to our marriage and family, but to my self respect. I will also say it is a good thing we don’t live in Vegas.

    I was the one telling people that this was their own business, they had to work for it…but the more I said it, the less I believed it. I had others tell me they knew the promises were empty, but they could write what they wanted, so they stayed.

    I applied for freelance positions after I quit, but I have not been able to write. I have no desire to. I can’t even bring myself to sit in my office at this point…nearly two months later.

    I will say my husband and kids are definitely glad to have me back.

  13. Silvia says:

    Isn’t it a pure scam? I too fell into the believe something would happen. DiMarkco is a pure liar. He makes more than all 300 of his writers combined. His wife flaunted her massive diamond ring, and $60,000 car all over Facebook, including their brand new home, which can fit 5 apartments. This is a content mill and I highly suggest everyone to stay away!

  14. Chet says:

    I am a new-ish GLV writer. This article kind of reinforces my concern that I got drawn into something that will not pay off. My contract is to deliver 16 articles a month, which isn’t too much of a burden. On the downside, I haven’t earned enough yet to get any payout. In boot camp I wrote a total of…pauses to do some math…27 articles over two weeks. While writers in boot camp are paid, in theory, I don’t think I earned much. Of the 27 articles, only 1 or 2 got much traffic. While I would like to keep up the science writing, I am not going to do any serious research and interviewing unless I have a legitimate shot at making at least a few cents per word from a sale.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sixteen articles “not too much of a burden?” That is a TON of work, all on spec that maybe you’ll make a dime. Put that energy toward proactively marketing to find legitimate clients, and your whole income picture could be radically different.

    • Silvia says:

      Chet, you can use Blogger, or even develop a WordPress site through a great host like Webhost.pro, Bluehost, etc. for a little bit of money and develop an excellent brand. You can become a powerhouse, guiding your own level of income with affiliates and sponsors. I was there for quite some time, and the “mental” abuse of the owner is insane. The fact he told Carol it is was “housewives” and those who do nothing? Insulting, and utterly disgusting.

    • Angie Mansfield says:

      Science writing is a highly marketable skill. If you’ve got the experience, I’d suggest setting up your own website with a blog. You can market yourself to real clients that pay professional rates, and probably attract a few more with a well-written blog that builds a decent audience. And ALL of your work will be benefiting you in some way — instead of just being largely wasted effort.

  15. Julie Mahfood says:

    I also wrote and edited at GLV, which apparently has just changed its name again to include the word “university.” One can only presume this is to rewrite the business model to either justify the low pay or even cease pay altogether, under the premise writers are being taught. I did learn a few things while there. It is a fact I had never used Google Analytics before. I also became better acquainted with WordPress, as I am a middle-aged writer more accustomed to word processing than online publishing.

    I went in fairly certain I would make little, and okay with this as I was gaining experiences I didn’t have, mostly to do with online publishing and social media. Despite having accepted from the start I would make little, I left after two months, because a stream of good people began leaving. I took bootcamp under Heather and she included me in her brood when my team lead turned out not to be very communicative. Other editors too were very enthusiastic and supportive, though less clued in with reality perhaps than Heather in terms of what might be possible with GLV.

    When Heather left, and someone else I worked with who I tremendously respected, I asked about it at a team meeting. I asked for a venue to discuss the issue and was told there was nothing to talk about. I insisted on some discussion and was shut down at the meeting and then in an email later the same day. I felt zealous about Heather I suppose, because I admit to holding no punches in my reply (no swearing or anything that unprofessional, just the unvarnished truth). I then had an email from Rebecca DiSavastio who I had never, ever heard of, much less been introduced to. The self-professed mediocre writer lambasted me and every single other “newbie.” We had come in and had the gall to have opinions or make suggestions, when the battle- hardened like her were the only ones making any money. She attacked my writing, my character, and had the tenacity to further reference my page views as being less than desirable, again making this a general comment against the new recruits in general.

    I replied not half as unprofessionally, but again with the unvarnished truth. I was suspended for a week and I quickly quit.

    Last week I finally got paid $93 for almost 50 articles. When I told DiMarcko about the over 9 million views I have had for one piece on another site, he asked for a link, which I admit I gleefully provided. After seeing I was telling the truth, he requested that I Skype him. I did not, but the incredible cohones of the man to think I might either provide any kind of aid or my services again after how everyone had been treated…well, all I have to say about Rebecca DiSavastio’s ongoing loyalty to him is that someone should point out to her he’s already married. He clearly has groupies.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Julie, I’m starting to feel like I’m hosting a GLV reunion on here!

      The university side is their effort to market their bootcamp training more widely, from what Chandler told me. And it’s Savastio – don’t know if that’s some kind of Freudian slip there. ;-)

      Sounds like you were able to find a better gig where you can get good traffic.

  16. Wow! I just stumbled upon a GLV ad a few days ago and passed it by because of the “pay per click” compensation.
    The more I read of your expose, Carol, the more nauseated I became. I’m one of those housewives with nothing to do except…
    absolutely everything that keeps a home going with seven people living in it, homeschooling two of the kids, and attempting to raise most of our food.
    Plus, I run a freelance writing business part-time that actually earns our family money to put in the bank.
    Where can I go to let this guy know what housewives do all day? I’d love to inform him.

  17. Julia says:

    Hi Carol,

    I just read your article and wow! I’m blown away. It’s an incredible story but even more, it’s well written and researched. It really shows how much you know what you’re doing.

    Which brings me to my point–

    I want to highlight to all the people who want to start a freelance writing career how much Carol could help them in the Den. She knows how to write and she knows how to run a freelance writing career. She walks her talk.

    One of the complaints that new writers worry about is how they’ll get ideas for their stories. Here Carol took a series of comments from her blog and turned them into a huge expose. She knew how to research the company, find sources, do interviews and pull all of it together into a substantial article.

    If you have dreams of doing that, Carol shows you how in the Den.

    To be clear–I’m not making money off of this testimonial. In fact, I pay to be part of the Den. It’s just that I’ve watched Carol’s commitment to helping writers for years. Now I have a chance to point out proof of what I’ve seen. (Carol–are you blushing yet?)

    So…

    My advice to all you GLV writers who really dream of being a freelance writer. Get on Carol’s email list and find out how to join the Den.

    Thank you, Carol, for helping so many writers.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Now cut that out, Julia!

      But seriously, thanks for the endorsement. Helping Den members is a serious thrill for me. I didn’t think of this piece as a teaching moment, but I guess it is.

      Writers who want to stand out: You can do magazine-level work on your blog. Just commit.

  18. Sherri says:

    “We’re looking for housewives, and people who don’t have anything to do.” This is code word for- you’d better have some means of financial support behind you ’cause you won’t see any money here.
    I saw the Craigslist ad for this. It sounded scammy so I passed it up.
    Whatever happened to the US minimum wage law which, I understand, is approx. $7.25 an hour, and why doesn’t it apply here? Something needs to be done…

  19. All I can say is wow. Hats off to you for taking the time to write this expose Carol.

    It’s yet another example for new freelancers that pay per view or pay per click is never a good money making model – even on your own site.

    Knocking on virtual doors and telling people you’re a freelance writer who can write for them yields better results.

    I read a comment where the lady said she was under contract to write 16 articles for them. If I wrote 16 articles and offered them as guest posts – I’d be inundated with work queries!

    In fact, every GLV writer, please do that. Don’t waste you time on the boot camp. I bet they’re not teaching you anything you can’t learn yourself or on the job.
    Samar | Freelance Flyer recently posted..10 Step Guide To Setting Up Your Freelance Writing Business For Success (From Day One)

    • Carol Tice says:

      I know — imagine if you had 16 free guest posts on high-reputation, popular blogs. At this point I’m only regularly writing for one blog like that, and it’s brought me some amazing clients. Better than earning $45 for them.

  20. Cinthia says:

    Jeez, I work as a newspaper editor and I’m embarrassed to pay freelancers a mere $100-$150 per story. I can’t imagine having the balls to expect writers to work (slave!) for free.
    Cinthia recently posted..Amazon behaving badly

  21. Steve Johnson says:

    Good grief.This is not an article, this is a one sided rant from a competitor. The writer of the blog has a conflict of interest in that she is a direct competitor of GLV’s boot camp in that she has a paid writers boot camp. Her efforts to damn the GLV are clearly motivated by her charging people to join her “writers den” and this obviously impacts the objectivity of her piece and this fact is never disclosed in her article. Granted, this is just her personal blog not a news agency but still…..

    It is also sort of off putting that the people who were the sources of the article are clammering to chime in under the comments section. That does not scream of a balanced approach as does the omission of a comparison to other similar businesses. The GLV is taken under analysis with no context or frame of reference. You all come across like people with a personal axe to grind, not real writing professionals.

    I went through GLV underneath her and only posted an article or two but have no beef. Rebecca was my mentor and always supportive to me, I felt like she wanted me to succeed and I think going after a non owner publicly like this and posting her earnings is sophomoric and rude. The self professed “mediocre writer” quip is an interesting spin because if she were self congratulatory of her writing then you’d have spun that she was arrogant and pompous. Rebecca has had several multi million click articles, no one else I know of has had one. Not even close. When she was my mentor she had an article picked up by Huffington Post. Is it fair to denigrate her has a mediocre writer when in fact she has had success.I wonder how many million click articles those trashing her on this page have had or ever WILL have? How about the author of this article? Easy to throw stones….

    I was only there a brief time cause my articles weren’t selling so I got out but I saw a lot of petty jealousy from the people who were not performing towards those that do.This article clearly influenced by those sorts of sources. Probably these people complaining just didn’t have well performing articles. In my case, the GLV was up front, I knew my articles had to perform to get paid. They didn’t so I stopped writing. Plus too many meetings. But I would never go around trashing others, that’s life, you win some you lose some.

    Seriously- Reading some of these comments is mind boggling. People are saying new people’s ideas were dismissed. Well, I don’t know of any business where you come in and new people’s ideas overtake the existing culture. Have you people ever worked anywhere before? You come in at bottom of barrel and pay dues, then you get influence. That’s life in business world.

    What would have been interesting would have been an expose on the whole pay per click model and an analysis of how it effects writers and writing itself, not a bash session. Seems to me like you are lacking the broader perspective of objectivity. I doubt this article will appeal to anyone not directly involved with GLV.

    • Juana says:

      Rebecca, is that you?

      • Steve Johnson says:

        My name is Steven Johnson and I guess you proved my point. This is not an article, just a personal bash session by people with an axe to grind for whatever reason. Believe it or not people have other experiences and perspectives than you.

        • Carol Tice says:

          In our defense, Steve, we’ve got someone on GLV’s editorial staff who freely admits they create fake social media identities…so you can understand the suspicion.

    • ^ Someone has some butthurt.

      “It is also sort of off putting that the people who were the sources of the article are clammering to chime in under the comments section.”

      Yep, I was interviewed and I want to be a part of the conversation. I am a terrible person.

      My pay per hour as Carol pointed out was on average $1.30. For Heather it was 47 cents. I was there for a couple of months and Heather was there for MUCH longer. Writing longer would have NOT paid higher. In fact, I was told flat out when I joined by DiMarkco himself that “the way you are going to make money here is by recruiting a team to work under you.”

      At that point as I said in another comment, you are not a writer. You are a multi-level marketer. The hours I put in were not worth the time. It’s that simple. If I wanted to work for minimum wage I would get a job at McDonalds. I was optimistically naive.

      There was an upside though, I met some great people and I wouldn’t have found Carol’s blog and Jon Morrow’s course if I hadn’t.

      If you have to say “this is not multi-level marketing” then it is multi-level marketing. If you have to say “this is not a scam” then it’s a scam.
      Jonathan Holowka recently posted..23 Mind-Blowing Animal Pictures

    • Carol Tice says:

      I don’t have a competing revenue-share platform I want writers to join, Steve, and don’t have an SEO bootcamp in the Den. I don’t even need writers to join the Den — at 1,200 members, it’s really fulfilled all my expectations and more.

      I don’t have a conflict, I have a mission — to help writers earn a living wage. Most revenue-share sites don’t help with that. I was motivated to write this article because of the number of GLV writers I heard from who felt ripped off. It’s a fairly new place, not Squidoo or something, so as I’ve stated farther up, it seemed to serve the writer community to look into GLV’s business model and how they treat writers.

      I’m not in control of who chooses to comment on my blog.

      You say people have other experiences, but oddly enough, it sounds like your GLV experience was much like everyone else’s profiled in the piece. I gave GLV over a week to refer me writers with at least six months’ tenure, who was happy and earning well — and not part of their editorial/recruiting scheme — and they were able to come up with one person out of over 300 writers, who as you read isn’t completely thrilled.

      I was actually hoping there’d be more balance to the story with more current writers reporting positive experiences…but even with GLV’s help, I wasn’t able to turn up more success stories.

      I’ve written about the revshare model at length in the past, and my regular readers have a fair grounding in its pitfalls.

      I’m hoping to do additional pieces in future about some of the other emerging platforms out there, to learn more about how they work. I’m just trying to bring information about opportunities and warnings about scams to readers. That’s been my role since 2008, and I’m not stopping because it comes off like a ‘gripe session’ to someone.

      Over 40,000 writers a month read my blog, and want to learn about the marketplace, so I think the relevance is far beyond writers who’ve worked for GLV. Hopefully, when writers see similar promises on other platforms, this post will help ring a bell in their heads that these sort of setups aren’t usually useful for serious professional writers who need to feed their families with writing income.

    • Silvia says:

      Come now, let’s not deliver drivel. I have a slew of e-mails where DiMarkco Chandler sent meetings and demands from writers/editors to counter Danyelle’s comment on Carol’s blog that start this whole truth reveal. Not to be crass, but you are full of it.

      The bootcamp is a place where DiMarkco demands several articles on a weekly basis, unpaid. Additionally, the instructors are not paid for teaching the class. They are promised pay of 5 ads- meaning they have to write quite a bit, and hope something goes “viral.”

      There are, perhaps, four, maybe now three solid writers who keep DiMarkco swimming in ad revenue. Basically, he is running a massive blog, with loads of free guest posts, and thanks you for your ignorance. He has no journalists in the field, and has been blacklisted from Google a few times due to the amount of ad-linked malware.

      He has held meetings with senior editors, going insane about how to clear his name. One simply has to review the type of articles, the insane eye-popping block paragraphs to understand there is no real journalism going on here.

      The Tribune openly penned an article on his sham presentation, atop of your aloof leader being arrested for domestic violence earlier this year. This is a modern day corruption- scheme ring, and should be shut down by Google/Bing and any other site directing traffic to it.

      Additionally, I never received a 1099 and when I made an inquiry to a senior manager, I was told the owner has no intention of filing taxes. He may want to check the IRS stance on not issuing 1099′s. So, Steve, if that is your real name, or an alias, do not try to pull the wool over people who have been there, and seen how bad his blog is.

      Carol is not a competitor. She delivers content that is original, delivers results, and most of all – is highly respected in the blog community.

      • Carol Tice says:

        Silvia, sounds like you had another negative experience at GLV…but I think one experience not getting a 1099 doesn’t necessarily mean a company doesn’t file its taxes. I’d suspect 1099s are not routinely issued at GLV because so few writers are ever going to earn $600, the revenue floor at which 1099s need to be issued. Since earning that amount is so rare, it’s probably handled more case by case.

        • Silvia says:

          True lol the $600 mark, but when I inquired directly, I was told not to worry about filing, and I made well beyond $600. Then I was told to check PayPal…but I wasn’t paid via PayPal, but by check. I did file anyway, claiming the income. I hope I am wrong about that :D

          • Carol Tice says:

            Fascinating story there, Silvia. The whole PayPal situation has created a mess, since the company filing doesn’t know if the contractor will get a tax form from PayPal or not. Since I do get one, I find myself running around telling people to be sure to NOT send me a separate 1099, or it means I’ve declared the income twice! Creates a lot of problems.

            But a company paying by check that tells you to look to PayPal to send you a tax form? That doesn’t add up.

            My sense is there’s a lot of editorial turnover at GLV, so it’s possible you were talking to someone who was misinformed or steered you wrong.

  22. Wow. Thank you Carol for writing this (10 interviews + research= *lots* of time away from other projects!) and my sympathies with each of the writers and editors who were sucked into this scam. It makes me so sad to read of writers who actually don’t realize they can command fair wages for their work.

    EWM

    • Carol Tice says:

      You’re welcome, Emily. That was a real common thread in many of the interviews — writers who were brand-new to freelancing and unaware there were better-paying markets.

  23. Raul says:

    Coming from someone who is no stranger to freelance work, I can write that GLV is not the scam you are making it out to be. I went to College to become a Graphic Designer. After some years, I went back to school to become a Photographer. All of the work I have ever done is freelance. I am well aware of scams and empty promises. I can write that GLV has promised me nothing but the freedom of writing and some compensation.

    I started the GLV Boot Camp in early April and on DAY ONE was told NOT to expect to make a living from GLV. Most of the first online class was taken up with explaining how getting paid worked and what we had to do make money. The way we got paid was laid out in front of us and we were able to decide to go ahead with it or leave. Of course, I stayed.

    What I was promised was the training and education to become a better writer than I thought I was. The education started with the first article that I wrote during Boot Camp. I submitted the article and received an e-mail from the editor. I was told specifically what my writing needed to become a great article and was given tips on how to improve. I chose to take that criticism and use it as an educational tool.

    After Boot Camp I was place on Rebecca Savastio’s writing team. Savastio has been nothing but open about her support of our writing. She makes herself available for questions and responds almost immediately whenever possible. During my time on her team, she has in no way tried to “sell” me on GLV or promised me anything beyond the help of become a better writer. Savastio has not taught us any tricks or schemes beyond self-promotion. During her weekly team meetings, she has gone through the payroll system multiple times and offers any help to get paid. She wants her team members to be paid and she stresses the steps on how to do so. I understand that you need villains to make your article entertaining, but Rebecca Savastio is far from the scoundrel you make her out to be.

    I understand that people want to be paid, yet their level of writing does not prove that much worth. Do I think I should be paid handsomely for the articles I have written so far? Barely. I am still in the beginning stages and have to work my way forward.

    GLV is about the freedom to write. I have written articles where I have done my own research and done my own footwork. Around Easter, I did a full article about the Egg-stravaganza egg hunt at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. That article came from me visiting the parks, participating in the egg hunt, visiting all the attractions, and then going home and writing about it. I mean, come on, that was fun. And GLV wants to pay me for writing about my fun? Yes, please.

    Do I think your article will help people decide about GLV? Sure.
    Do I think GLV is a scam? Nope.
    Is GLV an underdog? Perhaps.
    Was I told what to expect from GLV? Sure was.
    Is what I expected happening? Yup.

    GLV is not for everyone and everyone is not for GLV. Take GLV for what it is and enjoy the writing that comes from it.

    Wow. I just wrote over 550 words on your blog. And I did it for free. Boy, do I feel scammed.

    • Hey Raul,

      You started in early May so it sounds like you’ve been writing for about the same amount of time (currently) as I had when I chose to leave.

      You mentioned that GLV gives you freedom to write, but that isn’t necessarily true. You have to maintain a monthly quota of at least two articles. If you don’t maintain that quota then you no longer earn revenue from any of the articles you have written. That means all your work you are doing now will be for naught when you stop.

      Freedom to write is easy to get. All you have to do is start a blog and you have all the freedom in the world to write what you want, whenever you want. I’ve written far less for my personal blog I started after leaving and have earned far more. In fact, over seven times more at this point. Having this type of freedom, maintaining full ownership of my content and making that much more is a far better deal than anything GLV offered. All I’ve done to promote what I wrote in this blog was use social media. If I can do it, so can anyone.

      I agree with you that the people there are supportive. The best thing that came out of GLV for me was some of the connections I made. I met some really great people and am still in touch with many of them. However, almost all of them have also quit for one reason or another and I haven’t seen any of them regretting those decisions either.

      While there, I was an editor and provided feedback to others on their articles so I do know first hand about the training and support that was there, such as the kind you have received.

      However, you can find that training and support elsewhere too. I know that Carol’s mailing list has some great advice. If you come over to my website, I have some too on how you can achieve self-promotion.

      You clearly have things you enjoy writing about, as do I. Why would you want someone else to own that content and take more than half your earnings when you could write for yourself, and keep everything that you create and earn? Personally, I like this option far better.
      Jonathan Holowka recently posted..Writing Viral Content That Gets Traffic and 3 Simple Ways to Do It Yourself

    • Carol Tice says:

      All I can say, Raul, is nearly every single person who told us GLV was great on a post thread 90 days ago, who had recently joined, has now quit. Come on back in July or so and tell us if you’re still loving writing for GLV.

      I’m glad your training experience at least made it clear what was on offer…hopefully GLV is getting better at making sure writers understand exactly what the pay situation is from the start.

  24. Willi Morris says:

    So, I have this terrible habit of wanting to resolve problems as soon as I encounter them. And unfortunately, this meant getting out of bed, putting on some clothes and making tea in this case, because it’s so late.

    I don’t like being super blunt, but here’s the thing:

    If you have ever worked or are currently working for a site like GLV, you are being scammed. Plain and simple. If you don’t feel as though you are being scammed, congratulations – you are also being brainwashed.

    For instance, if you include time for research and interviews, I’m making around $25-$50 an hour minimum freelance writing. I don’t even think I’ve written 100 articles in the past *two* years – for my blog, or any one else’s. And I’m not some ultra fancy freelance writer – I’m an ex-journalist who still has a very long way to go before I’m considered a huge success.

    But I’ve hustled. And the training you can get is free – on this site and many others. I have a list of places for *free* training on my own web site, because I use them all the time myself.

    This is not Carol attempting to sway you to join her Den. She has plenty of good advice right here for free on her site. (I include her site in my list of resources -http://www.myfreelancelife.com/free-business-resources/)

    Bottom line – if they are asking for a quota, you are being scammed. If you aren’t getting bylines, you are being scammed…I can’t emphasize enough to you how horrible this is. This is essentially an online writing sweat shop and it needs to be stopped. If you are a part of this organization and any others, get out. Now. Start your own blog using WordPress or some other free site and show off your talent to people on your own.

    You are much better off getting paid nothing but have your own work to show for it than getting paid these abysmal amunts.
    Willi Morris recently posted..2 Easy-Peasy Ways to Beef Up Facebook Fan Reach

  25. Alex J. Rhowuniong says:

    Carol, thanks for the warning. Sad to see folks conned like that.

    But you know there are many writers from third world countries that wouldn’t mind writing for that kind of pay. And that kills us too…

    Now, come to think of it, it’s possible there might be some in the mix that stay who passed his bootcamp.

  26. So glad to see this come out, Carol! Great piece. Thank you so much for including our stories and for warning others away from this freelancing scam. When you first start out, you are just so vulnerable. I wish I’d found Make A Living Writing first, then I would never have wasted my time with that site! Thank goodness you’re out here, Carol, fighting the good fight!
    Danyelle C. Overbo recently posted..5 Exercises That Will Make You a Better Storyteller

  27. Jackie says:

    I too was sucked in by the owner of GLV, DiMarkco Chandler. I made very little money while with GLV and was promised, like others (including at least one person who denies it in this article), an ownership interest in the company for all of my dedication and hard work. Obviously, that never happened.

    Not only do writers make very little, but it is also more difficult than it should be to get the money that they do make. Writers are regularly forced to make multiple requests to receive the money that they are owed at which time they may or may not recieve it. The idea that DiMarkco makes less than his writers is absurd. I don’t see any GLV writers making enough to afford a large new home, luxury car, diamond jewelry and expensive vacations for their spouses (all of which his wife has flaunted on social media in recent months).

    I would recommend avoiding this content mill at all costs.

    As an aside, the comment about housewives and people with nothing to do is nothing but sexist ass-hattery.

  28. There are so many garbage traps that new writers get sucked into, and it’s such a shame that people want to take advantage of them. Occasionally I’ll hire a copywriter to help me out with a project, and the stories I’ve heard are atrocious. It’s really sad, and you’ve done a big service to new writers by putting in all the hours necessary to get the real story. :)
    Angie Johnston recently posted..Social Media for Lawyers

  29. Ashley Nance says:

    This sounds exactly like my experience with Examiner.com! Very few differences from what you write here, except Examiner splits it up locally, so they can make it feel like they’re a specialized local news site where you can write articles in the vertical of your choice and actually make a difference in your community. In reality, unless you’re one of their chosen spokeswriters, you only get hits from traffic you drive to the site yourself. I wrote a good sample and two excellent articles, all for about $0.25 total. And I didn’t even get that – because you had to earn a certain amount before they actually paid you. At least it only took me two articles to do my research – a writer from No Job For Mom gave a great review that helped me know I was not alone. Now I know!
    Ashley Nance recently posted..My Resolution to “Let It Go” in 2014

  30. Wow. This site sounds even slimier than a content mill. At least with Textbroker you definitely will get paid. $10 an article sucks, but $200 total is a heck of a lot better than 20 artices free! Thanks for doing the digging for us, Carol.

  31. Anthony says:

    So, people going through bootcamp and meetings while working at GLV were told about you and this article… and in case you were wondering, they’re being told that it’s all about misquotes, disgruntled former workers and other negative things.

    Sadly, and as much as it hurts my heart to admit, it’s all very much true. I’m departing the site at the end of the month with over 110,000 views on my articles and about $120 to show for it.

    If anyone is reading this article — or Jonathan’s article, which I’ve also read — mark my words: DO NOT WORK FOR THE GUARDIAN LIBERTY VOICE. You will end up heartbroken and without much to show for it.

    Off to look for something else….

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Anthony –

      Thanks for letting me know what the chatter is back at GLV!

      It’s easy to say, “Oh, those are disgruntled writers…” but there do seem to be so very many of those disgruntled writers, and I think that tells you what you need to know.

  1. […] as much ideologically driven as it was hurried, I can’t help but think that the Guardian’s “boot-camp” program, in which new writers have to produce a set number of articles, had something to do with the […]

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