On a writers listserv I subscribe to, a writer posted a message that she’d been asked to write for More.com — the online presence for More magazine.
More.com wants her to write for free. And this writer wonders if it will be good exposure for her to do so.
Here’s my take. You can expose yourself, night and day, all over the web. And it will get you exactly nothing. Why would you think that the exploiter will pay you for what you’re giving away for free? Why would other magazines rush to offer you big money if they know you’ll write for free (and trust me, they’ll know).
The only time it makes sense to write for exposure is when you’re publicizing something else that you want readers to know about and buy (your book, for example). If you don’t have something to sell to readers, working for nothing gets you exactly that.
Don’t allow profit-making ventures to make money from your labors.
But for those who still aren’t convinced, who think it might make sense to write for “exposure” only, here’s a suggestion. Contact one of your favorite charities and offer to write something that lets the charity spend its limited funds on doing good deeds. In these difficult economic times, that would be a great way to get web exposure while helping out those who really need your help.
– Anita Bartholomew