ProBlogger and Writing

Hot off the ProBlogger Training Event in Melbourne, it’s time to throw light on what I gained from the experience.  I won’t be attempting to put all the information I absorbed into one blog post because a) I have to make that baby work for me and b) it would probably be boring.  So today I’m focusing on one of my goals which was to clarify some issues surrounding freelance writing.

Building your freelance writing opportunities requires building a portfolio.  Taking on unpaid work is actively encouraged in Communications (Journalism) and there are many online publications that will provide you with exposure in exchange for your writing.

Freelance writer and editor Karen Pickering recently stated that it was ‘unfair to your fellow writers to write for free’.  I agree with her that writing is a trade and where you take work for free you are possibly empowering a publication not to offer rates to the next person.  But it’s a trade I’m still working on and a competitive one at that.

I’m a firm believer in writing for free where there is a mutual benefit.  Learning your own value takes time to establish and if journalists are struggling to get paid at The Daily Telegraph, I consider myself lucky to get published at all.

One thing that came out of the conference is the demand for content creation.  I think a side effect of this is that occasionally bloggers are being exploited to do this for free.  It was a question raised during the ‘Get Paid to Write’ panel at ProBlogger and so obviously not a revelation to others.  It has the potential to aggravate conflict between writers/journalists and bloggers and I’m not entirely sure that I’ve reconciled this one.

Sarah Wilson gave the final keynote at the ProBlogger event and she spoke a little about trusting your instincts.  Asking yourself if what you’re being asked to do makes you feel ‘grubby’.  She was certainly one of the highlights of the event for me (aside from Kim from All Consuming’s impromptu show tune) and I think it pays to regularly assess your value.

If you value your writing and you’re not sure what to expect in regards to rates, use your contacts or two great resources are here and here.  Ask yourself what the mutual benefit is and try not to empower others with the liberty of exploiting others.

How do you feel about blogging and freelance writing?  I would love it if you could share some tips with readers.