Local BuzzFeed quizmaker quits amid layoffs

Ottawa County

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’ve ever wondered who’s behind all those wild, personal and sometimes wacky quizzes on BuzzFeed, chances are it was Rachel McMahon.

Now a sophomore at Grand Valley State University, she started making the quizzes when she was in high school in Hudsonville.  

“it was in my high school yearbook class just doing it for fun because there was a computer in front of me. I didn’t think it would take off,” McMahon remembers.

Over the past two years, she has created 700 online quizzes for BuzzFeed without getting paid, all for fun. Some of them racked up more than 800,000 page views and generated big revenue for BuzzFeed.  

“If you go on Twitter, people talk about BuzzFeed quizzes. I even saw some tweets (saying) ‘So a teen in Michigan was telling me all these answers?’ I mean, it’s just for fun,” McMahon said with a laugh.

BuzzFeed recently said it would lay off up to 200 employees, citing a massive overhaul to start making money. The move was a wake-up call for McMahon, who is now refusing to create any more quizzes for the site.

“I was like their second-largest traffic driver worldwide and so that was crazy, and I think I shouldn’t be giving them anything for free if I can get paid for it,” she said.

But she doesn’t want to burn bridges and in fact said BuzzFeed contacted her about a paid internship. But the talk has already led to calls from other big names, including HBO and Netflix, looking to tell her story.

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