Blurring the Line Between “Writer” and “Expert”

This week I’m happy to share a letter I received recently from someone seeking slave labor, along with my response. Enjoy!



I’m a subscriber to your e-zine and am looking for women to serve as *experts* on my web site. I had two questions before submitting more information.

1. This is not a *position* that pays and I know from reading your e-zine your stance on paying. However, the writer (or expert) is not asked to write articles. Instead, the *expert* is asked to join the team of experts (picture and bio on a website), participate in a discussion forum and answer questions from subscribers (for a Q&A format). They will also be invited to blog, but that is not a requirement. The benefit for the *expert* is that the exposure on the site adds to their self promotion efforts. Is this type of opportunity something you would consider sharing with your subscribers?

2. And, if so….does this sound more like an announcement you would share or would I need to buy an ad?

Thanks for your consideration.


So, you’re asking people to work for free? We don’t promote companies that utilize slave labor. And what you’re expecting them to do will be far more work than the value of the “exposure” you’re offering.

I looked up your site and it’s far too new to offer anyone any exposure. You registered the URL less than 3 weeks ago!

If you can’t afford to pay people, find another line of business. Smearing the line between writer and “expert” is even more dishonorable. That’s a common scam used by people who can’t afford to pay writers.

Angela Hoy