don't knock the bustle

Bustle Writer: It Pays, Okay?

Photo: Christel Gerstenberg/Corbis

Bustle founder Bryan Goldberg is an easy target. The successful Bleacher Report entrepreneur has almost hubristic confidence in his ability to create a women’s site like nobody’s ever seen — at half the cost, and with half the apparent interest in women’s media. (And despite being, you know, not a woman.) But it would be a mistake to lump all of the young women manning the fledgling site in with Goldberg.

As Bustle news writer Jenny Hollander wrote in Cosmo today, it’s hard out there for a J-school grad. She was applying for an internship at a drugstore-news website when she saw Bustle’s listing for “paid writing opportunities.” Although its pay structure seemed cultish at first, the gig secured her the work visa she needed to stay in the United States.

“I was lucky to find work at a tiny place teeming with possibility, one that wasn’t afraid to take a risk on (not to mention, hand a paycheck to) a young writer that wasn’t even slightly established. I’m lucky that those places exist, and indeed they’re popping up left, right and center in this “new media” landscape. The site launched in June, flew relatively under the radar for a couple of months, and then, overnight, become controversial. And sure, it’s felt shitty to read strangers on Twitter making fun of articles you’ve worked hard at, topics that you believe in, and pieces your friends have written. But it’s par for the course: Vice faced a hell of a backlash, as did Jezebel, both of which have more than had the last laugh. For every person that shares the site critically, it reaches someone in their network who clicks on and enjoys the content, and comes back for more.”

She has a point — and it even sounds slightly less cultlike than the $100-a-day, work-from-a-townhouse arrangement.

Bustle Writer: It Pays, Okay?