Why You Should Blog for Free
Despite it’s meteoric rise and growing business importance, blogging, to many employers, is still (incorrectly) considered the basement of the writing world. I’m consistently amazed at how little people expect to pay bloggers.
Of course it’s ultimately the blogger’s choice to determine what the value of their service is. Ninety-nine percent of bloggers do not expect to get rich from their work, but most, will gladly take a few dollars off the table for their work. And while making money blogging is awesome, sometimes it makes sense to do some pro bono work. Here are the advantages of writing for other blogs for free.
BUILD CREDIBILITY. Attaching yourself with an established brand improves your trust quotient and helps position you as an expert. And if you ever want to make REAL money blogging, you will need to be an expert.
NEW AUDIENCE. A longer reach means you are getting your goods in front of people who might not have found you otherwise. That can mean additional subscribers, more page views, and additional clicks on external links.
CONTENT ARRANGEMENTS. Many media companies now rely on syndication agreements to fill their content void. So when you lend an article to Blog B, there’s a chance it winds up on Blog A. A good example of this is how Mashable posts wind up on the CNN homepage or how a recent post I wrote for U.S. News & World Report ended up on the front page of Yahoo!.
NETWORKING. Every successful blog post you deliver to another publisher opens the door for communication, This can lead to future opportunities that are paid. It’s also a great way to build up a stockpile of endorsements and references.
GUEST BLOGGING. You’ve already heard a million times how guest blogging can help you build back links and increase your exposure. Guesting is usually a one-off experience, but if it works well for both parties, it can’t hurt to ask for a recurring guest spot. Publishers are always looking for (free) great content and if you’ve delivered a solid article, they will likely be more than happy to let you contribute on a regular basis.
I believe people should be rewarded for their work, and in the case of blogging, that reward is not always monetary. Have you ever written blog content for another website for free? If so, did you gain anything from the experience?