So You Want “overall good karma”? Try Paying for It.

I know, you’re all sick of hearing about how The Huffington Post got rich by stiffing its writers, and how now that Arianna scored the big deal she’s still asking journalists to write for free. You’re sick of hearing us writers whine about it. But the thing is, it’s not just HuffPo. Not by a long shot. You’d be shocked–SHOCKED–at how many outlets are asking professional journalists to write for free. And not just asking, but making it sound like it’s the greatest opportunity ever, ZOMG!

These offers to write for no pay come from companies large and small, established and scrappy. The other day, a friend politely declined an offer to pen a story sans compensation for the web site of a highly influential and well-read monthly magazine that pays its print writers upwards of $2 a word.

But more often, these flattering offers come from web sites we’ve never heard of and wouldn’t consider writing for even if they were throwing money at us. This is one of my favorites, received yesterday by a freelance science writer friend. Who, by the way, does not have a blog. Or a “message.”

My name is XXXX and I am the assistant producer of a television show called XXXXX. I am following you on Twitter and I am thoroughly impressed by your blog. I find your articles to be very knowledgeable and your writing style is unique and offers a great perspective on green issues.

We are in the process of redesigning the website for XXXX, and are looking to create a community of worldwide leaders who are making a difference in for our planet. We are very interested in sustainability, green issues, the environment and creating overall good karma! My production staff here is in the process of contacting people from all over the world, who we think have a voice that needs to be heard. I have really enjoyed your message and what you stand for, and would like to include you as one of our professional contributors on our redesigned site.

We would be looking for you to contribute a couple of content pieces per month (articles, vlogs, blogs, podcasts…..whatever you would like to contribute). In return, we would give you a professional profile page on our site, and note you as one of our professional contributors. This would provide you with a place that you can expose you personal/business online presence.

Let me know if you are interested. And if so, I will send you over the professional contributor guidelines. We would love to have you on board!


OMFG, I LOVE good karma!

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2 Responses to So You Want “overall good karma”? Try Paying for It.

  1. casey says:

    I feel ya. I’m getting tired of ppl asking me to do free jobs, too. Compliment, compliment, stiff. For me, it seems like a never-ending train of post-college internships.

    I want to actually be a writer now, ppl. For real.

  2. Russ says:

    Did you get paid for writing this post?