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I Can't Feed My Kids on Your Gratitude

Image credit: Freelanceaintfree.com

Like many of you, my inbox is littered with press releases, opportunities to “win” compensation for product reviews, and requests for guest posts.

This morning I awoke to a request from a children’s entertainment company asking me to write five specific service articles on my own blog pertaining to children’s entertainment.

Five.

I was like, “Whoa, cool beans. Sure, there’s no mention of compensation but surely a request for five such intensive service pieces would include payment in cash money.”

Oh, naive Mommyfriend.

I responded politely with my rate for service articles. Whether I write the articles for you on your site, or for you on my site, I’m writing for you and thus, deserve to be compensated.

Ding! A reply.

“At this time we cannot pay for guest posts, however I can make sure the article will perfectly fit into your blog and will be an asset. If you’re okay to make an exception this time I would appreciate that.”

Well hell, if you’d seriously appreciate it. Are you kidding me? I would seriously appreciate it if my mortgage would make an exception from payment but they won’t. You know why? It doesn’t benefit my mortgage company to allow me to live in my house for free.

Mr. Children’s Entertainment, I know you’d appreciate the countless hours of research I’d put into creating these kickass service pieces. I know you’d appreciate the traffic it would drive your way. I know you’d appreciate getting something for nothing but I can’t feed my kids on your gratitude. Not anymore.

As fired up as I felt in that moment, I found myself composing an apologetic reply until I realized I didn’t have to. I worked my ass off for free for the better part of two years but when I decided to quit my secure job to try feeding my family through freelance writing, I stopped working for free.

Until we start demanding what we’re worth, pathetic pitches like these will just keep wasting our precious time.

We’re worth more than gratitude, chances to win free tampons, or a measly link. We’re worth a damn paycheck. If anybody could blog, they wouldn’t be asking us. Just remember that.

Freelance ain’t free.

What’s your stance on working for free?

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