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Does On Topic Media have no shame?

May 12, 2011

Does On Topic Media have no shame?

Here is an example of On Topic Media’s latest job advertisement as advertised on


Review Fun Leisure Activites for – On Topic Media PTY LTD

Review Fun Leisure Activites for

WeekendNotes is an email newsletter which gives readers ideas for fun and interesting things to do in their city.

Click Here to view the WeekendNotes Sydney website.

We are looking for entertaining writers to review fun things to do in Sydney.

For examples of the kind of articles we are looking for see the WeekendNotes Sydney Archive and the WeekendNotes Melbourne Archive.

Writers are paid $3.30 to $30 upfront per review which should take around from 10 to 90 minutes to write.

Productive and popular writers should earn around $20 per hour in upfront payments.

For more more information read the WeekendNotes Writer FAQ.

To apply follow the instructions on the FAQ, or send an example WeekendNotes article to Do not click on the Seek “apply” button.

Application articles should be between 150 and 400 words long.

Articles should be both entertaining and informative, and written in a relaxed informal style. Choosing an interesting idea for something to do is just as important as good writing.

We are looking for things which can be done on any weekend in Sydney such as a good picnic spot or restaurant review, as well as upcoming events.


After using a similar tactic some years ago for their blog site On Topic Media hire very few people at all. Writers were lured with an ad placed in offering cash for submitted articles. There were the usual promises of an easy job that should take only half an hour a day and the possibility of being a paid writer. Yet how many people were actually paid?

The site grew from a few hundred writers to a few thousand where the only payment going to any of the writers was via Google Adword accounts that the writers had to set up themselves.

You do not have to be a genius to work out that very few people made more than a dollar a day. In short if money and a fair wage was your motivation to work for On Topic Media then you were duped.

Why is On Topic Media still using this lure for the naive and unsuspecting? How many people will donate their time to a time wasting venture that basically does not even pay for the internet connect needed to upload to their site.

Worse still writers find that there is little honour in the writing fraternity and no protection from stalkers and cyber bullying that was routine practice on A situation that was so toxic that one writer was temporarily banned for complaining about his wife’s photo being subjected to racial slur. The cup of ethics does not flow over from the owners of On Topic Media.

Now we have this ad slipped into website of posing as a legitimate role for some aspiring writer. With the track record of to look back on, one can only image what horror will spring forth from this latest recruitment drive. If you can call it that.


It seems that Ontopic Media have no shame at all:

here is their latest ad on the Seek New Zealand website

Persistent little blighters.

Update 2:

Here is another viewpoint of Ontopic Media and its CEO:



8 Comments leave one →
  1. similimodo permalink
    May 13, 2011 5:37 am

    “Productive and popular writers should earn around $20 per hour in upfront payments.”

    They should, but don’t. And won’t.

    The ad should read: Would you like to earn $2.20/hr for writing? That’s how much On Topic Media pays if we publish 90 minutes of your work. For those of you who don’t get published, try On Topic Media’s Orble blogsite, and write for free.

    Orble’s also an On Topic Media scam. I set it up using the same type of ads and conned a lot of people into joining thinking they were going to get paid to write.

    I had to stop the ‘be paid for writing’ Orble ads because a few people on the site were on to me, and I don’t want to go to jail for fraud.



  2. January 9, 2012 9:26 pm

    I have no idea about this other OnTopic media site, but I’ve been able to earn more than $20 an hour from WeekendNotes so far. Please don’t judge before you try it :) It’s actually kept me afloat during difficult uni periods.


    • March 24, 2012 11:34 am

      Belated reply.
      Thanks for comments Miss*Maz Serena R.

      “Please don’t judge before you try”

      It is because I do have a deep experience with Ontopic Media and its CEO that I am in excellent possition to judge.
      $20 per hour does not sound like the award wage for a writer. I could be wrong.


  3. January 11, 2013 2:55 pm

    Hate to break it to you, but $20/hr is well above award.
    I also write for and have found those who run it to be respectful and helpful (as well as paying what they say they will).

    It’s certainly not something to do if you want to get rich quick, but it pays more than maccas, for doing something that I truly enjoy.


    • January 11, 2013 8:01 pm

      I wish you ever luck with your future.

      City: Melbourne
      “I’m a uni student, and love to write. Check out my blog at:
      I’m happy to mentor you if you want to start writing for weekend notes yourself. Please follow the link below:

      From the Ontopic Media website:
      “The average payment is around $8 per article, per year. However it’s common to make upwards of $40 for a popular article.”

      $8.00 a per article, per year. When do I quit Maccas?


  4. September 16, 2013 12:46 pm

    Hi MyApologetics.
    I randomly found your blog again and saw that you had replied to me :)
    Yes, that excerpt is from my profile. I’m not sure if you had a point with it? I am a student, I do like writing, and I do have a blog. I’m also happy to help people if they want to start writing with weekend notes.

    If you’re over 21 at macca’s you get paid $14.83/per hour (or you did a year or so ago). If you’re younger, you can be paid as little as $7 an hour when you’re starting out. Payments for weekend notes are regardless of age.

    I can write an article for weekend notes in less than half an hour, so as far as I can see, it’s better paid. Personally, I average more than $8/article. It’s determined by the number of readers you get. I’ve not been writing for a year yet and have already gotten more. Probably my best earning single article has earnt $39 (in 8 months) plus an initial $5 editors bonus.

    Writing online like this is definitely not for everyone, and you do need to be able to write quality articles quickly, following the requirements of the site.

    However, to call it shameful and implying it’s a scam is a bit much when there are real scam websites out there that make you pay to join (joining weekend notes is free), and then don’t pay you anything at all for your work. There are also sites that rely on you getting your own advertisers, or don’t promote your articles.

    Personally, I think Weekend Notes does a good thing for writers. I’d of course like to be paid more, and equally, it doesn’t pay enough for really high quality articles or any true investigative journalism, but it doesn’t pretend to.
    That’s just my opinion. You are welcome to disapprove of Weekend Notes of course, but a balanced view with appropriate research is required.

    PS. I have no idea how ethical or not Orble was-I’ve never been involved with that site at all. I also mean no offence to maccas, people who work there, or eat there. I personally would prefer to write than make burgers for those wages. That doesn’t mean everyone should or could.


    • September 16, 2013 10:21 pm

      Rachael Koch,
      It has been nearly 9 months for your rather verbose reply.
      9 months. I could have had another kid in that time.
      I am not worried about where you have been for 9 months but what on earth made you come back?

      If you are happy writing for On-Topic Media then good luck to you.

      However the information that I put in my post that was created way back in May 2011 stands as it was written.

      My ethical objection to a company that places job ads that do not exist also stands.

      Needless to say On Topic Media is not a company that will be getting my endorsement.


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