Long term readers of this blog will be aware of my view on writing guest posts for free. Before you all start screaming, yes… I am aware of the benefits of guest blogging. Please re-read my post from last year to get a better understanding of how I feel about the issue.
I was thinking about the subject once again as I received an invite from InkThemes the other day to write a guest post for them. They stressed the fact they their blog had a good Google PageRank value. I’ve probably received several requests like this over the last few months.
My response to them was quite simple: I only blog for money. Writing for free devalues what I do. I also added a comment at the end of the email asking if they would like to redesign my website for free in exchange . Sadly, they ignored this question in their reply.
I find it a little insulting to get these requests; particularly from companies who are making tens of thousands of dollars per month through their business. Why do they place so little value on good content? If I blog, I increase their traffic. More traffic for their website means more sales. So why shouldn’t I be compensated financially?
Who is to Blame?
The blogging community has to take some responsibility for this situation as bloggers jumped on the whole guest post bandwagon enthusiastically. Unfortunately, this has done more harm than good in the long-term. Finding paid work has gotten more difficult as so many people will happily work for free if they get a link back to their website.
Of course, guest posting does not tell the full story. Blame also has to sit with the whole Google PageRank system being targeted (read: manipulated) by website owners. Lately, Google has been active in reducing the benefit of guest posting and buying links. At least, that is what they are telling the world. In reality, trading links is still active. You only need to look at blogging job boards to see an abundance of website owners looking for guest posts to be written to promote their websites.
Many websites, such as InkThemes, appear to be taking advantage of their Google PageRank by contacting bloggers directly and asking for articles to be written free. “Free” content in exchange for a “Free” link. Sounds like a good deal for everyone, doesn’t it?
Mmmm. Not really. The website owner loses nothing, yet they gain an article. An article that may have taken you hours to research and write. In my eyes, this is a very one-sided transaction.
The problem is that this has perpetuated the situation of bloggers not getting paid for their time, energy and experience. Until bloggers start placing more value on their time, this situation is never going to change. We cannot blame Google and other website owners. If we all stopped writing for free, they would have to start paying for content.
It is your choice whether you write for others free of charge (obviously!). What I will say to those of you who do is to ask yourself some questions:
- How much is your time worth?
- Is a link at the bottom of an article worth a few hours of your time?
- Would it be better to publish the article on your own blog?
- Is there paid work out there than includes your bio and pays a good rate?
I realise that this is a subject that I tackled last year though it is a problem that continues to this day. If anything, the situation has got worse. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. 🙂
Thanks for reading.