I’m feeling a bit frustrated this morning. If you follow me on Twitter, (if not you probably should 😉) you may have already seen my little rant/purge this morning. I thought I would explain my frustration here because it’s easier than doing so in 280 characters.
While I don’t often talk about this, I’ve built up a decent following over the years. I’m verified on both Twitter and Facebook (which isn’t easy) with much larger followings than the average person. I only say this to provide some context for this post. I’ve worked very hard to build this platform and I do my very best to use it for the betterment of the community as a whole. At the same time, it’s also my job and because I’m a work from home Dad and fulltime caregiver to four people with Special needs, it’s incredibly important that I succeed. My options otherwise, are very limited.
Something else I don’t often talk about are the ways I help people and companies that I believe have a positive/important message to share. Whether it’s helping to promote a young, Autistic adults writing, listening to a parent in distress or helping a company providing an amazing service, to reach the people they’re trying to help. I do this without compensation because it’s the right thing to do and often times, I’m in a better place than the people I’m helping. It’s always been important to me that I give back whenever I can because we’ve been on the receiving end of generosity ourselves and I know how big of an impact it can have on someone’s life.
Having said that, I find it incredibly frustrating that I receive a constant stream of emails from people or companies, wanting me to publish content or embed links for free, that they’re being paid to get published or embedded. I know how this works and I’ve been around this block a few times.
A company or website that’s much bigger than me, will try to convince me to publish a guest post from them. They cover it in this content will be great for your readers gift wrap and try to sell it to me as this hugely beneficial thing. Here’s the reality though. Sure, they’ll provide me with a free guest post but that post will contain multiple embedded links that someone is paying them to get embedded on mine or someone else’s site. I explain that I focus on paid or sponsored content because this is how I put food on the table, as well as finance my efforts and that I’m happy to work with them but there is a fee involved. Sometimes they get indignant and unpleasant. Other times, they simply don’t respond because it’s not what they want to hear.
One of the most frequent requests I get are from people who will compliment me on an article I’ve written and then ask me to link back to their site as a refrence. This translates to please link back to my site from within your article. I politely reply that I’m happy to embed their link (assuming it’s legit and relevant to the post) for a small fee of $25. The response I get is that I’m sorry but we don’t have a budget for this and we’re only looking to work with sites like yours for free. First of all, $25 is grossly underselling myself. My site has been evaluated and I shouldn’t be accepting any kind of guest post without receiving at least $500 in compensation. I shouldn’t be accepting links for less than $200 each. That’s how much my time and platform are worth at this point and yet people scoff at the idea of having to pay $25 for a link embed or $60 for a guest post publication.