If you get a lot of requests from folks asking to reprint your tutorials free of charge, you really should have a “Guest Blogger Available” page telling them exactly what you are willing to do and give up as a guest blogger. It can save you tons of headaches and keep you from getting bitter.
Because truth-be-told, after hearing “Can I reprint this how-to?” or “Can I use this image?” . . . free of charge . . . for the hundredth time, you’re gonna get a little testy. And you could quite possibly get testy with the wrong person . . . with a person who just might have wanted to do other paying business with you, or at the very least, refer you to someone who could actually pay for your services.
Now, I do one better. I keep traffic focused on me as long as possible by offering my own “article directory” via my blog, Zero Dollar Reprints. And I have an official “Guest Blogger Available” page on each of my blogs and websites. You can check them out here and here.
The reason I did this is to KEEP MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE TO MY OWN PERSONAL GOALS.
It can get so easy to get caught up in the “giving stuff away” mentality that you forget to make time for your own business: for marketing yourself, for promoting your work, and yes, even for working on your product line.
By having something in place, you no longer have to feel guilty for telling someone no, and you don’t have to second guess the purpose of your business… your mission.
You get a request for a reprint that’s not on your “Guest Blogger Available” page, you simply shoot them back a note that says something like, “I’m sorry, I have to pass on that offer. That article (image or product) is not available for free reprint (or distribution). However, if you hop on over to my guest blogger page, you will find a list of articles (or images) that are available for free reprint, along with the guidelines for using them.”
And you know what happens?
If the person really isn’t trying to take advantage of you and simply cannot afford to pay for your services, he/she will thank you and then promote the heck out of you with that FREE reprint. (Which actually was my case this weekend!)
Now, if the person was only looking out for him- or herself, then bad attitudes may arise, in which case, you simply put that person\’s email address in your spam blocker, then hit delete. You would never want to work with a person like that anyway!
And yes… personal experience applies here. I can honestly, and sadly, say that about 6 years ago I really got bitter about the whole give it to me free but when I finally have money to pay someone I’ll go with someone else crap. And it’s just not a good place to be.
You need to know your boundaries. And you should not have to keep producing NEW and FRESH content for individuals, for free, in exchange for exposure only. You just shouldn’t.
You cannot pay your bills that way.
And if they give you a sob story, plug your ears because 9 times out of 10 it is just a ploy to get something for nothing. If they want something for free, they can select from your pre-authorized, pre-approved, pre-written, pre-performed list.
Oh, one more thing . . .
If someone asks you for an interview . . . think fresh, new content.
You really need to give the interviewer something new! Nobody wants to read the same information about you in every interview, on every website or blog or publication. Of course, there are some things you cannot change, facts are facts no matter how many times they are asked… but you get my drift, right?
Enough said . . . have a great weekend everyone!