There are a whole lot of people writing for free these days. My question is why? Why would you give away your time? Yes, I believe there are plenty of situations that warrant donating your time to a cause. Open source software projects like WordPress are just one such example. Even contributing blog posts to a charitable website makes sense to me. Writing unique content for a profit-making venture and not being paid for it? Nonsense.
Sure there are exceptions. You’re just starting a business or a blog and need to grow your audience. In such a case, you would seek out guest posts on large successful blogs in the niche you intend to serve. In this instance, the compensation is the eyeballs that will see your writing. Also, remember that in this example, you sought out the opportunity to post on their platform.
How about when you are an established writer or blogger and you are contacted and asked to submit content with no compensation? Are you kidding me? How about I approach you and ask for a free advertisement on your blog, website or in your newspaper? It doesn’t pass the smell test when you turn it around, does it?
Control your free content
I was not paid or even asked to write this post. My compensation is twofold. First, the satisfaction of completing another post to fulfill my goal of publishing five days a week every week. Second, the potential that someone who reads it will want to do business with me and then reach out to me. It may not today or even next week or next month, but sometime in the future they will see that working together makes sense.
I don’t produce this content for free. I choose to not do other productive sales and marketing activities when I write a post. The cost is an opportunity cost and I must weigh that against the potential future revenue this post and my entire body of work will generate.
You get to read what I choose to write for free. Please don’t ask me to write what you want to read for free. Instead, let’s work out an economic exchange that makes sense for both of us and doesn’t leave one of us feeling used and cheap.