Monday, June 7, 2010
Should You Blog For Free?
A few months ago, I was reading a question posted to a popular forum for writers and bloggers.
A young woman, relatively new to the blogging world, but whom had a pretty decent portfolio in publishing work in different genres, was eager to start a "career" in blogging.
On one job that she happened upon, the requirements were realistic and the topics requested were within her range of interests and experience.
She was pleased as punch!
There was just one problem.
The guy (potential employer) told her that she would have to work for 3 months for free, and they would discuss pay after that trial period.
Confused, she asked an "expert" in the field for feedback.
Maybe you've experienced something similar on your path to success.
Should you or shouldn't you blog for free?
Well...the answer is yes and no.
Here are a few factors to consider.
1. It's a new site---Is it a quality publication, but perhaps new? There's nothing wrong with writing or blogging for free, if you are passionate about the subject matter and the publication. Free work is one of the potential down-sides of start-ups. It's your call. I still work for free, even though I have established enough "credits" not to have to. With one publication that I contribute to for free currently, I do so because the blog owner is just so sweet to work with, and she seems to get so excited about everything I write! Not just that, it's a quality site that I'm happy to be associated with.
2. You're a new blogger. Sometimes I'm really amazed at how many folks feel they should be paid for their writing without paying their dues. Huh? Before you seek cash seek to hone your craft. Sometimes the experience can be more valuable than a few bucks from blogging efforts.
3. The cause is worthy! Perhaps you feel strongly about animal rights, or immigration, or education, and there's a site that does a good job highlighting relevant issues that mirror your principles. Go for it! You'll feel that you have made a difference; and that's worth being proud of.
4. Consider that nothing in writing or blogging is really for "free". Sometimes you get paid in exposure. Sometimes the fringe benefits might add up in "new friends" and important networking opportunities. Sometimes you get paid upfront. Sometimes you get paid down the line. You alone have to decide what's most important based upon your goals, your experience, and your lifestyle.
Don't blog for free for long. And never if you feel taken advantage of.
What's your take on the topic? Have you ever blogged for free? Would you?
IMAGE: SALVATORE VUONO