I have a theory I need you to confirm. I’m thinking that the days of giving away free content are waning.
I’m talking about when a website or media person wants to repurpose a blog post or asks you for free content in exchange for “exposure” rather than cash. As a result, you’re supposed to get more traffic and prestige.
If you’re not sure what I mean, there are dozens of websites that ask for free recipes, and here’s a website that gets bloggers to post content for free.
I’m not saying it’s wrong. It seems to make sense to provide free content when:
- You already published the blog post and a website wants to recirculate it
- You want to be published outside your blog to grow your platform
- You perceive the site to be prestigious.
(Where it’s not so cool, however, is when someone takes advantage. A blogger I met in one of my classes said an editor from big daily newspaper contacted her and asked for a recipe. They never discussed money. Now she has the prestige of being published there, but every other writer for that section gets paid.)
Now, I may be smoking something, but it seems as the blogging world matures, people are tired of the idea of increased “exposure” in exchange for free content. In conversations and in comments on this blog, many food bloggers say that the dramatic changes in traffic did not occur, the advantages were overstated, or providing free content was more work than it was worth. And many would like some cold, hard cash.
So tell me, do I have this right? Do you still give away content? If so, under what circumstances, and what makes it worthwhile? Or if you’ve stopped, tell me what caused you to do so.
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)