Another Writer Relays Experience of Working with

Gabe Goldberg, a well-known and well-established writer was also contacted by to become a columnist and this is what he had to say:

“Current hot button of mine! I was solicited by a recruiter to become a
“National Examiner”, write for their nationwide Web site, etc. Pay for
clicks, as you noted, but would be writing in an area of interest with
possibility of increased pay rate.

But there were several red flags, including the background check (for
which they had at least an arguable justification, that they'd be widely
promoting contributors, didn't want any nasty surprises). The reddest
flag was that during the recruiting/vetting process — during which I
spoke to at least five people of increasing seniority in the
organization — nobody would show me the contract under which I'd work.
That's only available after the whole startup process, when you're ready
to post your first item, when you can read it and click OK. I kept
telling them to show me the contract to avoid wasting everyone's time.

So I write two short posts, get ready, log on, see the agreement — as
usual, a LONG document visible through a tiny window. I copy/print/read
the document. Bzzzt. It explicitly notes that no payments will be made;
that if Examiner decides to establish a paying relationship, that will
require a separate agreement. Talk to my contact there — who's shocked
at the disconnect between promises and the contract. She does some
research, says that a new contract — with payment details — is in the

The agreement offered is NOT something thrown together — it's a highly
lawyered piece of writing. So it's hard to imagine that the “no payment”
clause is accidental or that management isn't aware of the language.
It's been a couple weeks and — surprise — there's been no revised
contract sent. So it's hard not to believe that the verbal promises
aren't deliberate deception, aided by the no-advance-review-of-contract
policy. So they wasted a lot of their and my time, and a bunch of their
money on preparation for my work.

I know at least one person who's writing for them, who accepted the
document without reading it, was promised payments and hasn't received
any. I suspect that more than a few people did this.

All in all, amazing.”