Freelance For Tips!

Yolander sent me a Craigslist posting today that calls for two sassy bloggers to write on various topics. The only catch to this mainly unoriginal posting is that you would not be paid by your employer at all. Not one teensy bit! In fact, you would have to rely on your audience to feed you! See, the employer would set up a tip jar, basically, and people would pay you. Let me show you.

screenshot of a Craigslist ad soliciting freelance writers under the condition they work for tips

What a deal! You can talk about sex, politics, religion, and money. Surprisingly, those are topics that have a high SEO value, so I am sort of surprised that the employer picked them. With a gig like this, I assumed that you might talk about how to best tie a bindle or what restaurants throw out food when so that you can eat the freshest garbage around. I would have blogged extensively about hobo codes and how you can figure out how to decipher them while running the rails.

I know what some of you are going to say–Clint, working for tips is not viable! I am a freelancer! Audiences are fickle! This is clearly a way for an employer to wash his hands of any responsibility in terms of payment while reaping all the benefits of traffic! And you know what? You are so dead wrong. Let me explain why this is different!

I used to wait tables. I worked for tips! And that is how I made my living for awhile. It was pretty neat. I would take food from the kitchen and carry it to people, and then they would leave me money. I did not really have to do anything aside from walk! I got paid a lot of money to do that too. It helped me through a lot of tough times. And that is what you would be doing at this job! It is exactly the same.

There are a couple minor differences. Like if I were to extend the metaphor to waiting tables, it would be more like if you had a giant buffet that no one had to pay for and could take as much as they like while placing a small jar next to the bar for them to leave money. Well, okay. Except for it's PayPal. So you wouldn't be able to leave cash. You'd have to swipe your credit card. Oh and it's PayPal so you'd have to have a PayPal account. So that would be like having a big bouncer in front of the jar who would shake you down for your credit card.

But that's about all the difference! Well except when you wait tables, you are paid a minimum wage of $2.13 an hour assuming that you receive enough tips to adequately compensate for the federal minimum wage, depending on your state. If you fail to make the amount, then the employer must compensate you the difference. But that's it! Well, except for most corporate restaurants offer vacation time, sick time, health benefits, and a 401(k).

But that's it! I hope that you guys enjoy applying for this exciting new opportunity. It looks fun!

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Clint Osterholz is a freelance writer who thinks he's awfully funny, and is surprisingly not a disappointment to his parents. You're always free to check out his portfolio if you'd like someone to be funny, or maybe write something a little more serious. Subscribe to my posts (only posts from this author).

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8 thoughts on “Freelance For Tips!”

  1. You truly earned your title as Life of the Party today, Clint. I haven’t been this excited about an opportunity since, well, being an unpaid intern and eating Velveeta sammiches every day!11!!!1!

    By the way, since you’ve brought up hobos and might blog about them in the future (when they don’t get enough Paypal tips), my teenage son brought this site to my attention:

    (My favorite is a yegg: Can you get lower than a hobo that steals from other hobos?)

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Hey now. I dated a couple of bouncers during my younger years, and they’re good for much more than shaking people down. Way to stereotype Clint. 😛

    And nooooowwww I understand that weird brief email you sent earlier. I couldn’t figure out why you were explaining “live” vs “live” and I really didn’t want to be bothered to ask. lol

  3. Dude, you totally missed a golden opportunity by not posting your Paypal email address for tips on this post. Also, thanks for bringing the exclamation point back from obscurity. This post needs more cowbell.

  4. The most annoying thing about this gig is that they probably WILL end up finding a writer, because that’s how desperate some people are to “get published.”

    • It’s definitely sad. Some people will do anything for a buck. Others are naive and easily misled into thinking things like this are great ideas. The only plus side is that anyone who gets suckered into it will likely learn the hard way and change their approach for the better when they wise up and leave it behind.


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