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Is exposure worth it?

Discussion in 'Freelancing' started by Heather, Oct 28, 2015.

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  1. I'd say it's a bit different coming from him - while he's not as well known as any given "A-list" celebrity, a lot of people in the nerd culture niche at the very least know of him - so he's right in that $200-300 for his writing is worth more than being exposed on Huffington Post. However, I know that if I managed to catch the attention of HuffPo (or any major website), and they said my work - in whatever form - could not be paid for, but I would receive exposure to millions of readers, I'd gladly throw out the $200 (assuming that's what the going rate for my work was worth). 4-5 hours of "free" work would lead to God knows how much name and brand equity - people would want to work with me simply because of my 15 minutes of fame, which in turn allows me to be rather picky with my projects. Wheaton, on the other hand, already has that going for him - so HuffPo really would be getting the better end of the deal. If anything Wheaton's semi-celebrity status would demand a higher rate, as more people are likely to read his work than any given no-name.
  2. I fully support Will Wheaton on this.

    Large websites such as Huffington Post and Buzzfeed are adding nothing to the web. They are parasites that rely on others to produce content for them.

    I am sure you are all aware of Matthew Inman's fantastic comic website The Oatmeal.

    Two days ago a lazy blogger (if you can call him that) posted about Matthew's comic Baby vs Cat. Rather than link to the original story or even attempt to put his own mark on the story and put a different spin on it, he simply added a simple paragraph for an introduction and then hotlinked all of Matthew's images (which he had obviously spent a huge amount of time designing and writing).

    Matthew responded to this by ensuring that every single image they hotlinked was replaced with an image that asked the Huffington Post to stop hotlinking images. Underneath was a copy of his Amazon S3's CDN bill.


    Matthew replaced the very last image with this one :)


    No doubt this was an embarrassing affair for Huffington Post as it the incident was on the front page of Reddit and was covered on many other news websites.

    They have since backtracked and now simply link to the original article.

    I really do hate the audacity of websites that do this.

    I have been approached by websites and organisations before asking to completely republish my full article without any compensation. Their offer of "Exposure" or "A link back" does not cut it. I spend days writing my best articles. Other websites can quote my article, but they cannot republish it without compensation.

    I realise this is the internet and people will still cut and paste content, however large news corporations should stop doing this. Websites such as HP, BuzzFeed, and Mashable, are ripping off content creators on a daily basis and frequently they do not even cite the original source.
    Heather likes this.
  3. And to bring it full circle - http://theoatmeal.com/comics/exposure :)

    I hate this! I hate being asked for exposure. My time is valuable. Everybody's time is valuable. You should do it for something. Not just exposure.
    Heather and Kevin Muldoon like this.
  4. haha that comic is sooo true. He hits the nail on it.

    I have literally turned down thousands of people who have asked me to write a long article in return for "A link".
  5. @k06mars I know what you mean, too, Kevin. At this stage, with my teeny tiny blog and my very tiny readership, if HuffPost approached me to publish an article for exposure, I'd be crazy not to take that offer. If I had more time and energy I'd be approaching them to try to get guest posts published, so if they approached me, at least that would make it easy. So I have mixed feelings.

    But I do agree with the principle that "exposure" is not equal to payment and people who work hard to write and create should be appropriately compensated for their time and work.

    I remember reading something like this where this woman was asked to travel and speak at a conference totally free, for exposure only. That was kind of crazy.
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  6. The more successful you and/or your blog becomes, the more you will get requests for you to do something free of charge.

    For example, every week I get emails asking me to take part in text, audio, or video interviews. Or I get asked a simple question that is also being sent to 100 other bloggers. It is simply a waste of my time to participate in these kind of things as I get next to no exposure.

    I pretty much only do interviews nowadays if the request comes from someone I know well or have worked closely with in the past.
    Heather likes this.
  7. Yes, I can imagine. I started so maybe one day I'll have that problem, but I just remembered I've already experience that a little...And so far I've just said no, mainly because I don't have time.

    I know what you mean about that "answer this one question" thing. I'm sure that's annoying.

    By the way, Kevin, there's something I've been meaning to ask you.... ;)
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  8. Depending on the worth of your name alone, the value of exposure will fluctuate greatly. 9 years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor to my local newspaper:

    http://www.newsday.com/opinion/new-voices-1.636999 (excuse the pretty poorly formatted text - archiving apparently is not a strong suit for this paper)

    At the time, the only people who knew me were family, and those at THF (one of Kevin's old forums). In short, my name meant jack shit. Immediately after my letter was published, I received friend requests on facebook and messages of support. If only I realized the value of what I just gained! Instead, I simply said thank you to the requests, and continued on with my life. I wasn't paid for the content I wrote, but if I used the exposure I gained in any meaningful way (such as launching a news coverage blog) I would have an instant network and a blog with plenty of local viewership. A few years later I applied for an internship with The Daily Show - it was ignored as I didn't have anything outstanding to show for myself, and they get plenty of requests like this daily. Just think if I had built up some decent viewership!

    At this point in your career, your name is relatively well-known in WordPress circles, so "exposure" is worth very little to you. Think back 10 years though, what you could do with instant viewership while you were still competing for it.
    Heather likes this.
  9. That's a very good point Kevin.

    I refuse 99% of requests for interviews and blogger roundups because I receive next to nothing in return. If a high traffic website asked to interview me, I would, of course, be interested in participating.

    The more your raise your profile, the less time you need to spend raising it. To use an extreme example, it's not like Mark Zuckerberg would benefit from participating in interviews every day. I suspect he only partakes in interviews when he wants to promote something i.e. when it is in his interest, not theirs.
  10. Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  11. I agree so much with this.

    I am beginning to get a few more of these, and whilst I still entertain them, they're getting a bit boring (and I am being asked for an opinion on things that - quite frankly - I couldn't care less about).

    Though recently I did one where I tried and fit as many song titles from the Sterophonics into it :) - that was fun.
    Kevin Muldoon and Heather like this.
  12. Another gripe I have with interviews is that most bloggers are simply sending out the same generic questions to every single person. They do not personalise their interviews in any shape or form.
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