Some writers turn their nose up at the prospect of penning pieces for no pay.
They contend that doing so cheapens our profession, while enriching the businesses of deadbeats that build their success off of free labor. And I don't disagree that there is some legitimacy to this argument.
In fact, it's been a topic that's been hotly debated in writers' forums for years.
So consider this a sequel.
As for me and where I stand?
Well, I have certainly paid my dues over the last decade as a writer; as such, I don't feel the need to take on free assignments that promise to promote me and "build my platform" by publishing my work.
Been there. Done that. Bought the teeshirt.
Still, there are times when I will provide my professional services without a fee.
You should too. It all depends on a few important factors.
Today we'll examine and explore some of these.
So, if you suffer from the "freebies hebeejeebies," here's a guide to decide what work to take and what to pass on, in the overall scheme of things.
CASES WHEN WRITING FOR FREE MAY BE WARRANTED...
- Blogging Guest Posts
Why? I see it as a form of networking and building relationships in the blogosphere.
It also provides important links to expand your fan base and increase your Google Page Rank.
Additionally, blogging typically requires a small investment of time, as posts can be as brief as 250 words. When possible, blog for top sites that have a decent amount of traffic for it to "pay off" in terms of readership.
One that I participated in a few years back initially started out as non-paying, but later I pitched the publisher, and she actually hired me to do some marketing and Blog work that ultimately paid a pretty hefty sum.
Be strategic. Think ahead.
- Writing for important causes-"Passion Projects"
- Assisting start-ups to STand up
Before I accept these types of assignments, I try to do my homework, though. I research their website, their advertisers, their market, to try to assess their true ability to pay. Not a bad idea for you either.
- Building your portfolio
- Short term projects to get your foot in the door in new arenas
What should you take a "pass" on?
Anything that potentially poses itself to be a strain or drain on your time and creative resources.
Anything that compromises your belief system or work ethic.
Summing things up here...
When you come to think of it, most of us have been able to benefit from the "free" services of other professionals in some point in our creative careers. Whether it was a veteran writer who provided advice as a mentor, and didn't charge us, or a friend who "donated" art work or photos for our Blog projects, when we were struggling and broke.
When the situation dictates, maybe you should too.
Pay it forward...
Keep in mind that turning down free work can actually be costly. So, choose wisely.
Make a comment. It won't cost you. :-)