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Why I don’t write for free (And you shouldn’t either)
By Ritika Tiwari / June 15, 2016 / Comments: 6

Ever since I started working as a freelance writer, I had one goal in my mind – I needed to earn from it.

Not because I needed the money, but because I wanted to prove to myself and to everyone else that I could in fact make a living through freelance writing.

I had already been writing on my own blog for years, and even though I loved it, I knew it couldn’t help me quit my horrible job. And that was probably what made me so driven.


Why I don't write for free

Working for more exposure and no money? No thanks.


While I was trying to find some lucrative clients, I also met some people who wanted me to work for free, just because they claimed to get a lot of traffic which they thought would get me more attention. And of course, there is the usual ‘we don’t have funds right now, but we will pay you in the future.’

You and I both know it’s never going to happen.

There are many big websites that I know which don’t pay contributors, even when they themselves are earning staggering money thanks to the ads and sponsors.

They claim to be giving ‘exposure’ to their writers instead.

But, will exposure help me pay my rent?

I might have still done it if I did writing part-time, but I don’t. Every hour that I spend working, helps me pay my expenses and I am thankful for that. It would honestly be detrimental to my finances if I gave my heart and soul into an article just for a few ‘good’ comments.

By doing that, I would only be encouraging websites to lure more writers in for no pay at all.

Are writers not people?

Clients are ready to pay website developers or graphic designers for their work, but for some reason, writers do not get the same treatment, and I don’t understand why.

I had a person contact me once for a writing job who said – “I could have written this on my own, you know, but I am still letting you write this and pay you something for it. You should be lucky.”

Excuse me? First of all you want me to take 70% less of what I initially asked and then you have the nerves to say that? If you are such a great writer, then why don’t you do it yourself?

Then there are people who have a ‘business proposition’ to share adsense revenue. Dear Newbie Freelance Writers, its a scam and you will never see a penny of that revenue.

It’s not worth it

I had to let go of a lot of big publishing newspapers just because they didn’t want to pay me. You could call me crude, but these are my principles. If one of the biggest newspapers in the country cannot ‘afford’ to pay a writer then who will?

I mean seriously, you have got an entire front page occupied by Macbook ad but you cannot pay me for a small piece? Why would I want to work with an organization like that?

And I don’t think any freelance writer should. Of course, it is an individual choice and some times writing articles on a big websites can get you prospective clients too. But, that’s a risk which you should be willing to take.

Be the change you want to see in this world

Ever since I decided that I wanted other freelance writers to contribute on this website as well, I also decided I would pay them even if the website doesn’t earn much. Because if I let them write for free on my website, then I would be a hypocrite.

If you have freelance writing experience and you want to share it while getting paid, then write for us



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6 Comments on "Why I don’t write for free (And you shouldn’t either)"

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Nikhil Jain
1 year 9 months ago

Damn galvanising article…. I feel one’s work must be acknowledged in the best way possible and with a true spirit !!!!

Shampa Sadhya
Shampa Sadhya
1 year 10 months ago

It’s wonderfully written. I completely and sincerely respect your opinion and even follow the same principle. I believe that one should not allow someone else to earn on his/her own hard work. One’s effort should be rewarded appropriately.

Rohit Upadhyaya
Rohit Upadhyaya
1 year 10 months ago

I guess most of us have written hidden talents which needs a platform..
This start from the habbit of writing diary , travelling dairy n then writhing autobiography