Is It Ever OK to Write for Free?

In our previous post, we cautioned writers about writing for free or ridiculously low compensation. And we meant it. However, is it NEVER a good idea to write for free? After all, lawyers work pro bono; doctors and nurses often donate their time for good causes. If you have a true passion for an idea or organization and want to help out, by all means, share your skills with no expectation of payment. Just make sure your goodwill doesn’t eat up so much of your time that you don’t have any hours left to work for paying clients.

Writer warning flag

And don’t be lured by companies offering to allow you to “write for free exposure.” That’s a big red flag! Translated, it means writing for nothing while the company makes money from your content. If you want exposure and portfolio clips, start your own blog and create well-crafted entries you’re proud of. You can even earn a little bit of money from your blog by monetizing it with your own Google AdSense account. Another idea: write an article for the AMWA Journal. You’ll be reaching colleagues and prospective clients at the same time.

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