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Breddings
01-22-2010, 08:58 PM
I used to write for free a lot. Back when I was trying to find my place, I took any assignment that was offered to me. Those free jobs gave me enough of a history to start getting paying jobs. Then about a year ago - maybe more - I decided that I was too busy to accept or even consider writing for free. Since then that's been my rule.

Then this week I found myself offering to write for free. A brewery in Ireland liked one of the recipes that I have on my About.com site. The webmaster emailed me and asked if they could use it on their site. I directed him to the page that explains About's reprint terms which include a fee. Then, because I've been looking for incoming links lately, I offered to rewrite the recipe for free. It's short, less than 300 words, and I figured that a link from a site with .ie at the end might help me a bit in the unending Google wars.

So, I did it. Less than ten minutes work and soon, if all goes as promised, I'll have that one more link. I guess that means it wasn't for free but you take my meaning.

Not sure why I'm sharing this. It just felt a little strange; I've been adamant about my little rule since I put it in place then all of a sudden I found myself offering to violate it.

Thoughts? Do you/Would you write for someone else at no charge after becoming established? Why?

KTC
01-22-2010, 09:11 PM
I would only do it for charity...cause. I don't have any problems finding paid work.

HighDesertBrat
01-22-2010, 09:39 PM
I do some stuff for charity, but I don't consider that free, since it comes off my income tax at the end of the year.
I won't say I never would, because I don't like to name the well from which I will not drink, but I really can't think of a situation where I would.

Jamesaritchie
01-22-2010, 09:53 PM
In business, and writing is a business, you are valued by the value you place on yourself. I've write for free when those with day jobs do the nine to five for free.

Breddings
01-22-2010, 10:01 PM
Agreed, James. That's been my position. But then I found myself doing it for a reason that made sense to me. To take the business analogy, businessmen join and become active in the chamber of commerce; even though there is no direct profit from it they still see a benefit.

Dawnny Baby
01-22-2010, 10:29 PM
Agreed, James. That's been my position. But then I found myself doing it for a reason that made sense to me. To take the business analogy, businessmen join and become active in the chamber of commerce; even though there is no direct profit from it they still see a benefit.
Exactly! I think what you just did might turn out to be shrewd marketing. If not, it was a free lesson, for you. BUT it does seem to make sense.

Breddings
01-22-2010, 10:49 PM
Besides, Dawnny, if I ever make it to County Down on an Irish beer tour - and I plan to someday - I've now made a friend of a brewery. No downside there!

Dawnny Baby
01-22-2010, 11:35 PM
Score! :D

(True story: when I was nineteen, my family went to Ireland to experience its culture for a week. Our first night there we walked into a quaint little pub in Cork with live Irish music. But just as we sat down the band said, "And now we're going to play something by John Denver." !?!)

blacbird
01-23-2010, 12:04 AM
I write for free all the time. It's just . . . nobody ever reads any of it.

caw

Ken
01-23-2010, 12:16 AM
... made a pledge myself not to write for free anymore at the beginning of last year. Have stuck to it. Pledges needn't be absolute, though. If there are good grounds for wavering from them, occasionally, then one should go ahead and do so, imo.

HighDesertBrat
01-23-2010, 03:00 AM
Writing for free and writing for considerations other than money (like a potentially valuable linkage) are two different beasties to my mind

icerose
01-23-2010, 03:06 AM
It really depends. I have my own mantra "I don't write for free." because there are plenty of people out there who would gladly soak up all of my time for free or the promise of a percentage which boils down to free and I simply don't have the time for it. I've never written for someone else for free I'd be damned if I start now.

The exception to that is if the perks they're offering is worth whatever effort I'm putting into it. Like if it's a barter, a short for massive exposure and the like. But as yet, I've never worked for free.

Breddings
01-23-2010, 03:10 AM
Good point, HDB