BuzzFeed’s fifth-highest traffic driver for quizzes is a teen from Michigan named Rachel McMahon who said she’s just “struggling to get through college.”
#buzzfeed #BuzzfeedLayoffs #RachelMcMahon #quiz
Rachel McMahon, 19, told The Post that since 2017, she’s written about 692 quizzes for BuzzFeed — for free. Her quizzes have earned the company at least $200,000, but all she ever got from them in return is some $30 Amazon gift cards and swag, like T-shirts and mugs.
Check out her quizzes here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/raechilling
From ‘This girl made BuzzFeed bundles of cash — and all she got was a lousy T-shirt’ – https://nypost.com/2019/01/31/this-girl-made-buzzfeed-millions-and-all-she-got-was-a-lousy-t-shirt/
“They’re taking advantage of your hobby,” McMahon said.
McMahon said in a Twitter post that she felt bad if her free content contributed to BuzzFeed’s recent layoffs, which prompted Ryan Houlihan, a consultant at Input magazine, to tweet in response: “Between April 2017 and December 2018, Rachel drove a conservative estimate of $3.8 million in revenue for BuzzFeed (or 1 percent of their entire 2018 revenue). For free.”
BuzzFeed takes issue with Houlihan’s assessment, telling The Post it “indicates we sell against CPMs — which we don’t, and certainly not a rate of $12. We sell against RPM through programmatic sales and the actual figure her posts would have generated is about $200K — real money, to be sure, but not material to our business.”
McMahon — who once earned 851,000 views on a single quiz — said she knew she was making BuzzFeed money but never knew how much, adding that she made the quizzes in her high school yearbook class “for fun.”
“I don’t know — BuzzFeed might as well not have these people at all, because they would just pay their workers, but know they’re just going to rely on what sounds like the community members for free,” she said. “Like it was for fun for me, but now they’re firing all these hard workers who have put in so much time and effort, and they’ve helped us so much, and I just don’t think it’s really right for them to not have to pay like anyone especially when they’re this big company with all this money.”
McMahon added that she was “confused” when she first heard about the BuzzFeed layoffs. She later visited Matthew Perpetua’s FluxBlog and saw an entry on the blog about the mass firings that mentioned a 19-year-old girl from Michigan.
“‘That’s me — that’s not good,’” she recalled thinking. “When I read that, I just felt this weight on my shoulders, I was like, ‘I am probably a big reason for this.’”
At the time of the interview, McMahon said she hadn’t been able to get in touch with anyone at BuzzFeed and that she found it “weird” that no one from the company tried to reach out to her. BuzzFeed said they’ve since been in touch with her.
McMahon said if she could have a conversation with the CEO of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti, she’d be nervous because “he’s a very powerful man,” but that she’d probably ask for “some form of payment or just something more for the community users who are doing this.”
McMahon, a sophomore at Grand Valley State University, said the most eye-opening aspect of the experience is learning how many job opportunities there are for her out there.
“I didn’t know how I could use my talents to do anything. There’s a lot more things out there that I can do than I first imagined, and it makes me feel a lot better,” she said.
BuzzFeed spoke highly of McMahon’s contributions.
“Rachel is a phenomenal creator with an intuitive understanding of what makes quizzes so irresistible, and we’d be all too lucky to hire her when she graduates from college,” the company told The Post in a statement.
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