8 responses

  1. Lori
    February 29, 2012

    Doctor Jake, I think you know my take on this. Any time someone needs your copy, that indicates your work has value.

    I like all your points. If you know going in it’s charity, then you can make your decision based on that knowledge.

    I think I’d add this question – how much money will THEY make from it? We all remember Arianna Huffington’s infamous sale and the writers’ shock after the fact. I’d much rather place a dollar value on it for the recipient of my work before deciding if they truly can’t afford to pay me.

  2. Cathy Miller
    February 29, 2012

    Great advice, Jake. It really is a case-by-case analysis. For example, I wrote an article in a health reform magazine that totally runs on the backs of experts writing their content. While it somewhat rubs me the wrong way, I still get inquiries and some business from that single article (written almost 2 years ago).

    It included my bio with links and established my credibility. So, in that regard, it paid off.

    On the other hand, I recently had an insurance broker (a targeted market for me) inquire about me posting to their blog in exchange they would deliver guest posts for my blog. I didn’t see the win/win like they did. By me posting on their blog, I am not hitting my targeted market (I’m hitting theirs). Heck, I have paying gigs writing for broker sites.

    So, the answer really is it depends.

  3. John Soares
    February 29, 2012

    If this is essentially a guest post, find out how many links you can add to your site in the bio, along with important keywords in those links.

    And I agree with Jake — you need to know how many people will read your post, and if they are the kind of people that can help your business in some way.

  4. Dr. Freelance
    February 29, 2012

    Good additional thoughts across the board—thanks!

    @Lori, indeed. If HuffPo didn’t cure the naivety epidemic, I’m not sure what will.

    @Cathy, when you look at it from a Long Tail perspective, it can pay off. Had to chuckle at “it depends,” because just about question WRT freelancing can be answered with that…then again, it’d make a darn boring blog :) But you *have* sparked an idea for a Freelance Follies video, coming soon to a YouTube theatre near you. So, thanks!

    @John Soares, excellent thought on imbedding as many links and keywords as you can get away with.

  5. Anne Wayman
    February 29, 2012

    Yes, by all means before you give it away ask for pay! You might be pleasantly surprised – hey, it happens.

    I’m of the middle ground too Jake, and think you’ve pretty much nailed it with the questions you suggest.

    I’ve written for free and had it work, written for free and had it not work.

    But I also smell a rat in the question… if the writer is an expert they probably know the site in question, right? Wouldn’t they know if it’s an honor or hokum?

    Ah well,

  6. Cathy Miller
    February 29, 2012

    Oh, I’m so glad-I’ve missed the Freelance Follies. :-D

  7. Dr. Freelance
    February 29, 2012

    Thanks for dropping in, Anne, and for reinforcement of my “it depends” answer!

    Cathy, I’ll try to live up/down to my FF rep.

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