Writing and “Everything’s FREE on the Internet!”

Why is it so hard to “make it” as a writer these days?  It could have something to do with the magical combination that everyone thinks they are a writer, everything’s free on the Internet, and the complete lack of any sense of quality control.

Taken together these factors go a long way towards explaining the state of professional writing these days.

We have millions of bloggers, most working for nothing or very, very close to that.  Then you have most online magazines and papers who pay nothing for the content they take from blogs.  Content farms like ThirdAge.com or the Huffington Post judiciously select the cream of the crop, while thousands of bloggers feel honored to have the opportunity to give away their content for free, in hopes of popularity, some type of notoriety, or more sales of products advertised on their blogs.

In short, American businesses are making a KILLING on the backs of “free” content while most writers make NOTHING or very close to that.

Here’s a great example.  Crest has a new “Pro Health” ad campaign directed at older Americans.  They contacted me for some free article placement.  I responded by requesting some small payment for their Internet advertising.  They say they don’t pay!  Let me get this straight.  CREST refuses to pay some small amount for their online advertising campaign, which you know has a budget of millions?

That, in summary, is how Crest and other gigantic magazines, news organizations, and multinational corporations make out while freelance writers lose all in this zero sum game.

And I thought writers were supposed to be smart…


About Laura Lee Carter

Laura Lee Carter is the author of this blog and she holds copyright on all materials published.
This entry was posted in Becoming an author in midlife, Believing in yourself as a writer, Learning how to become a writer, Making a living as a writer, Marketing your blog, Marketing yourself as a writer, Publicity for writers, Stress Management for Writers, Stresses of authorship, Stresses of becoming a writer, The psychological challenges of becoming a writer, Why self-publish?, Why stress management is essential, Writer's anxiety, writing as a business and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Writing and “Everything’s FREE on the Internet!”

  1. Feel like we are sitting at a moment of inflection as these industries are being remade. So interesting to watch history in the making.

  2. Can’t afford to starve while industry remakes itself!

  3. Pingback: Writing for the Internet « The Midlife Queen Blows Off Steam

  4. I’ve begun saying no. And when they offer to pay in product, I point out that, unfortunately, the bank won’t take toothpaste (or tissue or glass cleaner or mascara) as a mortgage payment.

  5. LOL Lori!!! Thanks I needed that this AM! Let’s get offline and get serious about planning a GenFab get together in Colorado next summer!!! – LLC

  6. traigo12 says:

    I don’t think there’s any escaping the law of “You Get What You Pay For.” Sure, competition drives down prices, but I think there will always be a premium on quality. We just need to step up our game and start demanding what we’re worth.

  7. Have you heard of the expression pathologically optimistic?

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