Bloggers work for free

An interesting follow-up to my recent post on blogging. This piece of commentary comes from the UK’s Guardian and talks about how a growing number of writing professionals are now charging nothing for their work.

(Click on the link to read the article)

Other professionals don’t work for free. So why are writers expected to?

I’d like to know what you think about the piece. Do you believe that writers are being exploited or are they playing the game as much as the media companies that control the rights? Do you think democracy is being threatened or should so-called writers get a ‘real’ job and stop complaining? After all, no one is forcing them to do this kind of work for free. Most do it willingly. Others might feel that they have no choice.

After reading this, though, I’m thinking of forgetting about freelance writing as a bit of a stop-gap between careers. How will you make money if so many of your colleagues don’t care if they are paid nothing? That’s part of the problem.

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5 Comments

Filed under Media, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Bloggers work for free

  1. someone on twitter compared it with telling a waitress to work a free shift in return for getting to wear a name badge. it’s really unacceptable – but not just linked to writing i fear. My husband is a film-maker and people are always trying to get freebies out of him. Or only want to pay expenses. How do they think we actually LIVE?!

    • That’s a great comparison. Perhaps these so-called employers believe that people who are the tiniest bit creative are a bunch of hippies. We all forage for food in the forest, pick truffles in the autumn and live in communes.

  2. Hi Carla, I live by writing, I have never and will never write for free (except for my own terrible poetry which no one but me will ever see – thank goodness). To be honest I’ve never been asked to work for free. I hope I never will be, but if I am rest assured my very Anglo Saxon answer is ready.

  3. Graphic designers are very often being expected to work for free. (Very occasionally I do it by choice, but that is only if it’s something I think will enhance my portfolio and it’s for a good cause). But free pitches are the scourge of the design industry. Sadly it only takes a few companies to agree to do it, and it ruins it for everyone else. The companies who will pitch for free tend to be big organisations – only they can dedicate the time and resources to winning a design pitch. I think it stinks, but someone will always be prepared to do it. Its true that no profession other than the creative industry would ever entertain the idea of working for free, and no one would have the gall to ask a law firm to pitch on a job! Imagine a lawyer being asked by a potential client ‘Tell me how I’m going to get out of this shit – I’ll pay the law firm who gives me the best answer’. It’s laughable but we designers can only blame ourselves – we opened the floodgates to free pitching by not standing united against it.

    • It’s a worrying trend and you’re right, of course – the big agencies will have infinitely more resources and money to land the big contracts. They won’t mind pitching for free because the cost of doing this is swallowed up by the profits of the company. I hope things start to change, but I fear that it’s a slippery slope.
      Lawyers work for free! You’ve got to be kidding. I know what they’d say…

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