By Caleb Parker ’19
For two years (2017-2019) I worked as a freelance writer for a website called Totalfratmove.com (TFM) and – albeit to a lesser extent – Postgradproblems.com (PGP).
Back in the Spring of 2017, TFM’s Vice President of Media (pictured above) put out an ad on both Instagram and Twitter inviting funny college writers to apply for the position of “remote freelancer.”
And so, I applied!
The process was surprisingly official, believe it or not. I sent in a résumé, a writing sample, and a brief cover-letter about much I enjoyed their content.
A few days later, I got an email back saying that they found my writing to be tolerable, and that they were going to put me on an “unpaid trial period.”
This meant that I would publish columns and articles, for free. And if those pieces trafficked well, drove page views, and stayed on-brand, I would get some sort of financial compensation in the future. Awesome! I was in.
It felt like trying out for a team. And, as a washed-up high-school athlete, this motivated me.
I wrote my ass off during that week. I was putting out columns and articles at least once a day. I was like goddamn Christopher Column-bus during my trial period!
I definitely skipped a few of my classes to get the writing done… But, hey, sometimes you gotta risk it all to achieve your dreams.
It’s just like Abraham Lincoln before said before writing the Gettysburg Address, “Hard lovin, straight thuggin, bitch I ain’t doin this shit for nothin.”
Oh wait…no, that was Ja Rule. Yeah, I’m sorry you guys. That was for sure Ja Rule who said that. My bad. The principle still applies, I suppose.
Anyways, after that busy week of cranking out content like the volume-shooting grind-boy that I always aspired to be, I got an email!
It was from TFM.
Subject: “Let’s get you paid.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when I learned that it IS in fact possible to pass out from nutting too hard. Just kidding. I was super stoked, though.
That day, my brief career as a semi-professional paid internet potty-mouth began in earnest. I made the team. I was amped. I could finally afford things like laundry soap and toothpaste! Yes! College!
Now, the year is 2019, and TFM doesn’t do written content anymore… They have fired the majority of their in-house editorial staff and all of us freelancers. Although, you don’t really get fired as a freelancer, you just get removed from some payroll software and then disappear into the ether like you never existed. Still sucks, though.
So here we are. My brief stint as a small-to-medium-sized internet personality has come to an end. For now, anyway.
TFM’s decision to focus more time and resources on photos, videos, and podcasts is totally understandable given the nature of the social media marketplace in 2019.
People just don’t read anymore, unfortunately. Especially not when there’s so many videos of people jumping through pong tables to watch instead.
And butt-luges… can’t forget about the butt-luges.
In case you’re wondering, I am in no way bitter about the way things shook out this past year at Total Frat Move. My checking account has certainly taken a light hit because of it, however… But hey, that’s life.
That’s why it’s so important to stay on your toes and keep your head on a swivel because opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.
If there’s one thing I learned from the whole experience it’s to always apply for shit even if you think you might not get it.
When I applied for the writing job, it was almost as a joke. I had no expectation of actually getting it. But, I did!
So, when you’re applying for jobs, this spring or whenever, remember this stupid column and remind yourself that it’s always worth it to just pull the trigger and apply for a job even if it seems unrealistic.
Because honestly, you’ll probably get it.