Compensation: nil – comrades in alms

I enjoy Craigslist. Just so we’re clear on that from the beginning.

I used to love it and flit from opportunity to opportunity like a beguiled honey bee. Then the novelty eventually wore off a little.
Still, I’ve made great contacts, earned good money and even, here and there, made enduring cyber buddies. Increasingly though, there’s a wave of start-ups and try-outs that subscribe to the myth of the writer who lives on air and warm fuzzies. (And sometimes just tepid fuzzies.)
I’ve said my piece before, here and there, but it’s always reassuring to see someone else waving a red flag at the bull (see what I did there…). So it’s my great pleasure to quote freelance writer Daniel P Curran, who likes to tell it how it is.

Writers do not work for free.

For you to come on here and offer “publicity” or “exposure” who do you think you’re trying to appeal to here? High school students?

Let me clarify many of us charge between $25-50 an hour for our services. 99% of us are way past the stage where just seeing our work published was enough. Guess what, we’re mostly working adults who need to earn a living, JUST LIKE YOU!

By offering an “internship” you are basically dressing up a request for someone to work for free. What benefit will your no-name website be to me on my resume? None.

Writers do not work for free.

Would you ask your web designer to work for free? Your plumber? Your accountant? Do you think we have this disposable skill that can just pour itself out on the ground for your benefit? Oh sure, let me just draft some free content to drive your web traffic so you can pull in the cash!

Please, we’re not idiots. We do not have time to “invest in a potentially great marketing opportunity where writers will receive a percentage of ad revenue once the site is up and successful!”

If you find someone who wants to be your “intern” they are either a terrible writer or just very naive and will soon quit when they realize they are wasting their time.

Fellow writers, I encourage you to flag posts where companies and individuals ask for free content under the paper thin pretense of an “internship” or “the opportunity to get noticed!” This is bullshit.

Writers do not work for free.

My thanks to Daniel for permission to share his thoughts.

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