Bloggers: When to Write for Free

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post detailing where bloggers can get paid for their writing. I also had some in-depth follow-up discussions with some of my closest blogging friends about syndicating content and when and if we should ever write for free. There was a resounding NO to the latter. While I agree, that blogging for money is better than blogging for peanuts (or t-shirts or mugs), I do believe there are several exceptions to this rule. When writing a post can generate a lot of eyeballs and drive traffic to your blog, I say go for it! Page views and unique visits are the long-tail aspects of monetization.

Below are a few rules of thumb:

  • Don’t spend hours or days on a post you’re not being compensated for or posting to your own blog.
  • Opt for short, quick posts that answer a specific question or are in how-to format.
  • Test the waters with sites that receive a significant amount of traffic and heavily promote trending content.
  • To track performance, refer to Google Analytics.
  • Reach out to other bloggers in your niche and ask for recommendations. Ask where have they published content that has generated traffic for their blogs.

Three places I recommend checking out:

LinkedIn Publishing Platform

LinkedIn recently announced that its publishing platform, which had previously only been available to LinkedIn “Influencers”, is now available to regular users. When you post original content on LinkedIn it immediately becomes associated with your professional profile and shared with your network. LinkedIn receives over 214M global monthly uniques and over a billion page views! That’s a lot of eyeballs! Be sure to check out LinkedIn’s Publishing Plaftorm Help Center to learn what type of posts will be removed if they are not deemed beneficial to the community. Don’t fret if this option hasn’t been made available to you. LinkedIn is slowly rolling this out to all users.

Answers Writers Community

The Answers network of websites boasts more than 200M users. They recently opened up their writing platform to the general public and it’s definitely one to test drive. I receive a good chuck of traffic to my blog simply from the link I placed on my Answers profile. You can select from various templates and easily create SEO-optimized, user-friendly pieces of content in minutes.

answers

Business 2 Community

Business 2 Community is not just a place to syndicate content. Once you’re accepted into their publishing network, you’re also free to post original pieces. My posts have performed exceptionally well, syndicated and otherwise. While their audience isn’t as large as LinkedIn or Answers, they do a tremendous job promoting trending content across their social channels. Larger media sites often run B2C posts, too. One of my top B2C posts showed up on the homepage of Yahoo! Small Business Community last year.

Where have you published content that has generated traffic for your blog?

Posted on by Crystal in MommiFried Extras

10 Responses to Bloggers: When to Write for Free

  1. Angela Gilmore

    This is such a great list, thanks for sharing! Most of my referral traffic, believe it or not, comes from Top Mommy Blog. The figure shocks me every time I see it. I know there is a lot of debate about doing posts for free or for products, but I agree that sometimes it can be a great avenue for exposure and more work.
    Angela Gilmore recently posted..Lullaby Light Up Pillow {Review + Giveaway}My Profile

    • Crystal

      Totally believe it! I used to get a lot of referral traffic from Top Mommy Blogs! It’s a great platform. :)

  2. Seana Turner

    Very interesting discussion! I’m generally very open to sharing my content, but don’t often craft original content for free. Exposure is definitely the upside, so at the end of the day it comes down to your business mix, available time, revenue goals, etc. Decisions like these should be made within context, not in isolation.
    Seana Turner recently posted..Making Change HappenMy Profile

    • Crystal

      Great points! Each blog/blogger has different goals, etc. so it’s definitely important to take everything into consideration.

  3. WriterMom Angela

    Great tips, as always. I have an invitation to test the LinkedIn publishing platform so I’m eager to give it a whirl. I’ll look into Answers as well.
    WriterMom Angela recently posted..Motherhood is an Extreme SportMy Profile

    • Crystal

      Let me know if you publish to LI and what the return is for you. I know a few other bloggers who have published on there and received some good traffic. I can’t wait to get my invite!

  4. Rea Alducente

    Wow, these are all helpful tips. May want to try this soon :) Thanks for sharing!
    Rea Alducente recently posted..5 Things You’ll Need For An “About” PageMy Profile

  5. Michelle

    Helpful tips Crystal. I get asked frequently to do reviews for free and I am starting to really think about what I am and am not willing to give away.
    Michelle recently posted..Friends Asking Friends: #AskAwayFriday with Tamara CameraMy Profile

  6. Dana

    Timely post for me, Crystal! I just wrote my first and last post for free for one large site. From now on I will think about whether the possible exposure and referrals are worth the work of creating content for someone else.
    Dana recently posted..Old YellerMy Profile

  7. Daire

    Hi fellow Group 3 member, I’ve scheduled this post to be shared on my Facebook page over the weekend :) Although I have to admit – I’m more than happy to write for free, purely because I enjoy it!
    Daire recently posted..Book HaulMy Profile

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