Write for free? I don’t think so.

Barry Gluck wrote a magnificent post about companies who try to solicit writing services for free or next to nothing. I highly suggest reading his post in its entirety by clicking here.

Barry makes the point of how,

“In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are ‘professional’ copywriters. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are seventy times as many people in the IT field.

So tell me…why do you think it is okay to live out the same, delusional, ridiculous fantasy of getting something for nothing (or next to nothing) when seeking someone whose abilities are even less in supply than these folks?

Given that they are less rare, and therefore individually less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street?

Would you offer a neurosurgeon the ‘opportunity’ to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him a few bucks for materials. What a deal!)

Would you be able to seriously even consider offering your web hosting service the chance to have people see their work, by viewing your website, as their payment for hosting you?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re obviously crazy. If you answered no, then kudos for living in the real world.”

Cheers to you, Barry for putting it out there. Copywriting is a talent – and worth compensation.

4 thoughts on “Write for free? I don’t think so.

  1. Thanks for the kudos, Andrea, but I can’t take all the credit for that post. Received something similar to it in an email quite some time ago. I rewrote it a bit so that it became relevant to the writing profession.

    It amazes me how many ads on Craigslist demean our profession by asking for gratis work. Or the many postings by legitimate businesses offering to pay the Princely sum of $5.00 per article, or even the Kingly sum of 2 cents per word…or, are you ready for this…payment in copies of your work.

    Makes me want to give back (rather violently) the breakfast I ate this morning.


  2. Pingback: Cheap, Fast, Good - Pick TWO

  3. “write on”, Andrea and Barry. Thanks for making copywriters around the world feel a little better about our invaluable-and obviously overlooked-semantic contributions.

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