You almost have to stay up all night to stay ahead of the new wrinkles creasing the Internet.
First came blogging and the chance to carry Google ads and maybe get a pence or two back at some point. A woman called me the other day and exclaimed that she had just made 50 cents on AdSense.
Now, several sites have sprung up to spread your blog entries around – at no compensation to you, of course – and supposedly increase your cachet in the blogosphere.
For this “service,” these entrepreneurs either sell ads of their own or charge users and keep the money for themselves.
Notice that the writer–the creative, the idea generator and implementer–is not exactly the centerpiece of this?
One such enterprise, ezinearticles.com, invites you to “Submit Your Articles Where Tens of Thousands of Content-Hungry Ezine Publishers Feed.” Is it me, or does the verb “feed” give you the jeebs? Why am I thinking of piranhas stripping a cow?
The owner of this site, Christopher Knight, seemed pretty indignant when I emailed asking if the writers got paid. Apparently, they get paid in honor. I have never seen a recipe for cooking and eating honor!
His materials say having your work picked up gratis will boost your credibility, bring waves of traffic to your website, make you an instant expert, make you more trusted as an authority (“I see that guy everywhere, he must be brilliant!”). You might also be able to talk the ezines that use you into free ads, he writes. And your articles (a few words anyway) will be on his site where more than a million people a month will cruise by.
Well, if our articles are bringing people to his website, he should be paying us. And not in honor, either.
This “you will get exposure” thing is getting old.
Check out another site, blogburst.com. This one is sending out blog entries to newspapers. Naturally, the writer is not being compensated except in those precious intangibles – love and honor. But think about it. If the paper prints the name of the blog and an online user of that paper links over, he or she is leaving the original paper. How could that be good for that paper?
As the companyís press release states, though, this is good for papers because it gives them coverage where they may not have a reporter.
That would be you “reporting” for free.
I am starting to feel like Old Lady Lawrence, the crab on the block. I write a very cool website. It even has pictures, which I pay for out of pocket. I am trying to build enough traffic to sell my own ads. I gave myself a year.
I just don’t think giving my content away to the type of people who would take free content from writers is going to help me.
The testimonials posted by this Christopher Knight guy said over and over that giving away their content brought traffic to their site. Then what? Does AdSense sell more product?
Where is the writer in this equation?
If you think I am all wet, speak up. Let’s discuss.
Star Lawrence has been a full-time freelancer for 24 years. She has seen it come and go. She can be reached at jkellaw – at – aol.com.