This is a guest article by Melissa Dean. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
Many blog writers hope to start getting paid for airing their views on every imaginable topic. Actually, it can be insulting to our ignorance to live in a world where someone can pay several thousand dollars for Britney Spears’ half-eaten sandwich, but we won’t get a dime for our efforts as writers. Some take it further than fussing about writing for free. The self-proclaimed labor activist Jonathan Tasini is suing the Huffington Post, property of AOL, in a class action suit with over 9,000 writers who never got a penny. To be fair to the Post, all these people did agree to work for free, but Tasini’s argument is that bloggers should get paid despite that fact. In a less noted action, FindLaw’s legal blogger Jason Beahm sued Thomson Reuters for not paying overtime hours, asking writers to work during lunch breaks for free, among other things.
Is it important to get paid for writing on an influential website?
We can’t buy your work
In the old days, magazines and newspapers were profitable, and many wrote for money. Exposure was important but came only second. Today, with cutthroat competition among writers, they need media outlets more than the outlets need them. And exposure is used as an excuse not to pay the writers. Notably, spokesman of the Huffington Post Mario Ruiz explained that bloggers can use the Post’s platform in the same way as other unpaid group blogs around the Web. It helps them connect and “their work be seen by as many people as possible,” Ruiz added. CNN, which does not pay to its contributing columnists, the Post, and others of that rank are simply saying – we like your work, we will take it, but we cannot buy it.
The options writers are left with
Back to writing to get exposure. In the beginning, people used blogs to air their views, give opinions on different things, and express themselves. Blogs started getting very popular, and the best ones were received with high anticipation. Web surfers became fans, and every imaginable kind of blogs started popping up for eager readers. Advertisers will hone in on newly developing niches and that is just what they did. With time, though, there was a surplus of blogs. It became hard to sustain them, especially without advertising. With these prospects outlined, is really the choice between writing for free and … writing for free?
Why will you blog without pay?
Blogging without pay has one undeniable advantage, and that is the complete lack of responsibility. You do not owe anyone anything. You can write what you want and be yourself. You will not be restricted by your sponsors as regards to content. It will keep you busy too. If you lost your job recently or experienced some kind of traumatic event, blogging will help you deal with this. Your readers are likely to lend support. If you had a notable and positive experience, writing about it will help develop it beyond all immediate implications. In other words, you will feel even better about it. Finally, putting your thoughts down on the screen always helps get them in order! So, would you write without pay?