As of the middle of May 2015, I completely stopped writing for the site. I’d cut back considerably since February 2015, when I stopped getting paid. It took a couple of Skype calls from DiMarkco Chandler, but I was eventually paid most of what I was owed before not being paid again. Promises weren’t met, so I decided to leave completely.
I was also falling out of love with writing.
Six months on, I’ve decided that it’s time to share a new Guardian Liberty Voice review. I wanted to share my full story.
Joining Guardian Liberty Voice
Back in November 2013, I got an email to offer me a place in the site’s Bootcamp. It was a two week process with evening meetings. Each meeting never took more than 90 minutes and I could always get other things done at the time.
Basically, the meetings were to teach everyone about the GLV way and WordPress. Needless to say, I tended not to need them all. Within a couple of days, I’d gotten used to the system and was able to craft articles quickly. Some of those articles quickly took off, and by the end of the Bootcamp I was happy to take on writing at the site.
Hell Day wasn’t that bad, either; not as bad as anyone was making it out to be. Maybe it helped that I was ahead of the site. I wrote six articles between 10am and 2pm and then waited until 6pm for the assigned article. That was quickly finished and by 8pm I was finished with meetings with various editors. That was me done.
The process has changed, apparently. I’m not sure how much, though. It could be harder, easier or a complete waste of time.
Starting Out at the Site
This was my first chance at real journalism. At least, what I thought was real journalism. It was my first chance to report on news and keep an unbiased view.
During the first year, it certainly was more about the news. It all really went downhill from November 2014. The only issue I had was the very first month at getting paid. There were issues with the editor I was assigned to who left and I had to be transferred to another editor. Once that was finalized, I was receiving regular payments. I had viral articles each month that netted me a good $200+ per month plus a $300 stipend.
For the hours that I was putting in, the $500 per month was good for me. It was half the amount I needed to make each month at the time, and I knew I could always find something. I found topics that would cause controversy (sometimes without even trying) or ones that would naturally get the views because they were big stories.
Then it all came crashing down. Suddenly the site incurred a huge Google penalty and income dropped from $200 per month from the views to $14 at the lowest point. Needless to say, it was time for me to move on.
Finding a Site to Replace the Income
I didn’t just want to leave. I’d learned quite a bit at the site and built up friendships with some of the writers. I also didn’t just want to lose the money that I was making; I still had that stipend. So, I needed to find a site to replace the income.
It didn’t take long for that to happen. Within a week or so of looking, I found one and applied. A week later, I was a member at the site and still am.
But I still didn’t leave GLV to start with. Why? Because I believe in given people the benefit of the doubt. The first month of missed payment could be explained. A cash flow issue, a mistake in the system. I emailed about it and was paid. So, I stayed for another month. That month, we got an email to say that pay would be delayed. The upfront (what I thought was) honesty didn’t make me question anything.
But then at the start of 2015 I began to question everything. People who I respected at the site started to leave. In droves!
Then two emails were leaked out and red flags went up. I spoke to my husband and he suggest that I stop writing. I had something to replace the income. I’d already made sure that was in place.
When I stopped writing, that was when I got the emails from DiMarkco, asking me to Skype him. I didn’t intentionally ignore the emails, but the times he would send them were during the middle of the night for me. I get up for no-one, except my daughter. He eventually got in touch with me and I aired concerns.
I was quickly paid and my quota was reduced without my income being reduced. I decided to see what one more month would do.
I didn’t get to the end of that month. There were too many changes, and some that would have had legal consequences. I wasn’t interested in writing for the site, so completely left. I never did hear anything.
Other Writers Left Guardian Liberty Voice
It looks like I was one of the lucky freelancers. I managed to get the majority of the money I was owed. I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what I was owed anymore because I simply don’t care. I’m putting it all behind me and moving on.
Something sparked my interest this month, though. It took me to the GLV site and then I started to wonder if anyone who used to write there still did. As I realized that most the prolific writers had left, I started to Google about it.
I’ve found so many writers who were once editors and great writers no longer there. Janette Verdnik was the first blog I found and that led me to The Lyrical Elitist. With a bit more digging I found MikesFilmTalk, an Entertainment Editor that I had a lot of respect for on the site. Reading their stories made me raise my eyebrows. I hadn’t realized things were that bad, but it was great to see it from behind the scenes.
That was when I landed on Carol Tice’s blog post about it. I’ve followed Carol for a while, although I don’t always agree with what she writes. That’s one of the joys of opinions; we all have our own. Reading her post about the 10 writers’ experiences at Guardian Liberty Voice and then all the comments really made it clear that Guardian Liberty Voice is a scam. Back in July 2015 I wouldn’t have said it—as I said on Daily Two Cents—but now I do. DiMarkco is only out for himself.
Those who are thinking about getting into journalism, this is not the place to start. Inquisitr is a good place to start for writing. This was the site that helped me replace my income. Changes have happened, but I’m still making a decent amount and the site pays weekly; and more importantly on time each week! If you’ve already broken into journalism, The Daily Voice News is a place to check out. This is by far my favorite, but is just starting out. I don’t need to worry about income as much as many other writers, so I’m more than happy to spend time on the site, but it does have promise and I completely trust the owners.