Quickie: When It’s Okay To Write For Free…

I’ve been really inspired by recent posts demanding freelance writers get paid what they are worth and how much effort and time they put into their work. It saddens me to see job postings where they want writers to pay for less than a few bucks.

But I just wanted to quickly share some personally good news on the “free” freelance front:

1) I did my first guest post on another topic I love and hope to cater to in my business – the paralegal industry: “3 Tips for the Successful Paralegal Student”

2) I’m going to be a community blogger for AL.com! Very excited about it, as it will allow me to talk about localized versions of the things I love.

I’m trying to establish expertise in multiple areas – which I know goes against everything you learn about business. But I’m also learning that I am a “multipotentialite” – I have many different interests I can put together with an overarching theme. Still working on that.

Also, the AL.com site is the largest in Alabama, so it will give me an opportunity to share my writing with more people.

Thanks for letting me gab about my excitement. I know that’s also a big no-no for a business blog. 🙂

When do you think it’s okay to write for free? Or are you completely against it? Tell me about it.


11 thoughts on “Quickie: When It’s Okay To Write For Free…

  1. That makes a lot of sense, Joanna – never really thought about it that way. I guess in terms of advertising they are, but they aren’t actually selling the article. Great point.

  2. I respectfully disagree with Joanna. Every person is different, and you have to follow what makes the most sense to you. But for me, there are times it makes sense to write for free.

    I’ve written for free (guest posting on blogs, for example) to get my name in front of thousands of people who otherwise wouldn’t know I exist. Some of those people can hire me. Others become lifelong personal and business relationships.

    If you’re going to write for free, though, make sure you’re clear about why you’re doing it. How will this help your business? I’ve written for free to help a cause I believe in, while getting samples that show my writing can deliver.

    Of course, I’m a different kind of dude. I’m practical. In an ideal world, people would realize what an amazing writer I am and pay me $250 for their articles. That’s not the real world. You have to market. Sometimes, that means writing for free.

    On the flip side, writing for free all the time and without a clear purpose for each piece isn’t a business. It’s just writing.

    See? I wrote all of that for free. 🙂

  3. Aha–the post you told me you intended to write! Great choices in the places you choose to write gratis! Strategic moves–they will pay off down the road. 🙂

  4. Good post. I wrote on this idea back in November in a post called, To Free or Not to Free. Congratulations on your successes including your marriage. Have a great day.

  5. You will find you are never writing “for free” if you reframe the question. You may not be paid in cash dollars, but what *else* are you getting from it? Writing to help advance a cause you believe in? Writing to get visibility for your name or business? Writing to get good feedback/practice? Writing to get your foot in the door with a new potential employer? All may be good reasons to write for perks other than cash.

    1. Dan – that is an excellent response! You are so right. If you are gaining subscribers, clients or bettering your writing, those are all great rewards for doing so. Thanks so much for commenting!

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