Begging in Paris
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alex E. Proimos

I read a blog post over the weekend on Men With Pens. In it the author argued that Blogging is Turning Into a Sweatshop, with people working their butts off for little or no money. I’ve been doing this blogging thing now for over 7 years, and really I’d be lucky to make a year’s wages in my 7 years if I was to quit now. I’m not really too bothered, as I do get a lot of pleasure from blogging. Also, I am a firm believer in alternate forms of building income, and surely the fact that running a fairly successful blog for 7 years shows for something to potential future employers, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I understand that not everybody feels the same, and a few bloggers are questioning the fact that they are giving away all this free content, with very little return. Personally, I think the fact they’re questioning it shouldn’t be an issue. Nobody is asking them to be a blogger, so if they don’t like it, leave, or if it’s worth it, continue with guest writers, paid guest writers.

However, if you work for free on your blog, you shouldn’t work for free on other people’s blogs. Freetards have annoyed me recently, and here’s why.

I’ve done a website for somebody as a freebie, a friend (at the time) who I built a pretty good WordPress blog, with 3 hours of training on how to use it. It lay dormant for a year, during which the friendship between myself & the person in question broke down. The first I’ve heard from him in a year was a text earlier today asking how to access the website, as they’ve “forgot”. I’m apprehensive in doing so, so much so that a “google it” email will be sent if he pushes.

I’ve also been marking a few comments as spam for people who have been giving personal attacks because my wordpress plugins won’t work on their setup, despite emails trying to sort it. At the end of the day, I’m only one person working on the plugin. I can try to help,  but I will only do so much for free, please understand that.

I’m a firm believer in what Aaron Wall has said on his website – that he cares more for money than links, so much so that there’ll be a bunch of things I’ll be working on with my plugins in the next few months, to hopefully streamline or eliminate a lot of the technical support requests, I’m actually genuinely excited for these, so I’ll be happy to support a lot more after this.

Will they be paid for support? Maybe. After what Gaping Void said not so eloquently in a tweet: I’m not paid to write software, but I should be paid for answering your problems.

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