I get upset when people ask for something and are not willing to pay for it. It happens all the time in the world of blogging. A publication needs content but doesn’t want to pay for it, so they put a call out to the world and people respond who are looking for an outlet for their work. Bloggers want recognition and what better way than to use someone else’s platform that many already have many followers.
Recently I found a post from the folks at the flying winemaker saying that they are looking to start up a wine publication and were looking for writers. Turns out they are looking for free content and even want writers to give up the rights to their work. This is their pitch to get you to write for them.
I am not sure who to blame for this situation, the writer or the publication. Both benefit in some way. The writer may reach an audience that they may not otherwise reach. The publication gets content. Win win.
But there are so many problems with this. Often the bloggers seeking attention want an outlet and may not be the best writers or have little knowledge on the topic. They are simply looking for a quick way to gain recognition and some publications know and prey on this.
Such publications ask for free services in order for promote their brand on the back of other peoples hard work and passion. It always amazing me how such publications think they can retain quality writers without paying for them. This in turn diminimshes the publication’s credibility and every other blogger or writer who is in the publication. Many writers many be extremely credible and leaders in their field, however in an attempt to build a brand, publications find content from writers that may not be suitable.
I am not saying that I should get paid for every publication that I have ever written for. Nor am I saying that I will want to get paid for every publication I might get published in. There are many where it looks good to be published in. Decanter, World of Fine Wine, Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages. Such publications have writers who have spent years writing and have so much more knowledge than I may ever have. I would write for any of these publication if they would have me.
People give it away for free all the time. Don’t do it. Work hard. Never stop.