Should a Blogger Pay To Post Content on a Website?

Filed as General on April 27, 2012 8:00 am

As a full-time guest blogger, I sometimes feel like I’ve seen it all—fake names, odd responses, rude comments, the absent-minded who forgot who I was—but the majority are, of course, normal. However, editors asking me, the writer, to pay to put my content on their site has been a growing trend. Quite frankly, I found this a bit odd. Many websites are thrilled to have my content because they feel it is quality content, I promote the content to a new audience, and the site does not have to put in the work of creating content.

Just the other day and editor explained to me that my content could be featured on the blog for $700, and a few weeks earlier an editor wanted to charge me $250. Naturally, both blogs were very authoritative and had a list of reasons why their blog was so wonderful, but I couldn’t help but think to myself: Shouldn’t you be paying me?

The Pros and Cons to Paying for Exposure

It seemed bad enough to blog for exposure and not get paid, as in offer your content for free, but paying for content seems to bring things to an entirely new level. I can see both sides to the issue, which makes this dilemma a bit harder to solve. On the one hand, paying to put your content on an authoritative site can be very beneficial:

  • Paying for Exposure Pros: Your content gets put in front of the eyes of thousands. The site that was going to charge me $700 to feature my content would promote that content to 200,000 social media contacts and it will be seen by over 100,000 visitors per month. Naturally I would do a bit of research to see if this were in fact true, but if so then this is a great way to help kick-start my brand. I can let people know that I was published on this very authoritative site, and that would make me look great.

On the other hand, I keep thinking of reasons that I simply do not want to pay that fee.

  • Paying for Exposure Cons: There are quite a few very authoritative websites out there that will allow me to publish my content for free including Social Media Today and Kissmetrics. These sites have turned down my writing before, but in general they are open to posting content that is really valuable to readers. When my writing finally made it to the site, I had almost 400 tweets on each article. If you’re a site that asks writers to pay to be on the site, isn’t there a chance that you’re just getting a bunch of content from rich people and not good writers?

As of now, I have never paid to have my writing featured on a site. I want my writing to be placed on a site that really values my writing, and so far I haven’t gotten that feeling from the sites that ask me to pay for the exposure they have to offer. If I was willing to pay, which I’m not opposed to, I’m not sure how much “exposure” is really worth.

If anyone has an answer to this question or an opinion they would like to share, I’d love to hear some more thoughts on this topic!

Photo Credit: stevecozartphotography.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to business credit cards. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including 401k plans to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.

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