💸 Should you write for free? | Internetly Vol. 76
On being a prolific creator, earning six figures, and if you should write for free.
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Greetings from Sayulita, Mexico! 🇲🇽
I’m on another solo trip, and chose Sayulita so I could surf and practice my Spanish. However, I’ve been here for three days now and haven’t left the co-working spot — I’m slammed (this is the less glamorous side of digital nomadism).
So far, Sayulita is an intense place — far from the beach-chilled vibe I’d been expecting. I went on a quick stroll on the beach last night, and the air was a melange of EDM, mariachi bands, and bells from the elote and gelato vendors.
I’ll embrace the chaos once I become a part of it. This means throwing myself out there and meeting people, even if it feels as awkward as the small talk you have with a coworker you barely know while waiting for other team members to hop on Zoom. IYKYK.
Here’s to hoping I meet some cool people (and don’t get food poisoning like I did the last time I was in Mexico 🙃).
Walkin’ through Sayulita’s town square
✍️ Quick Writing Tip
If you’re an old subscriber, you might remember this section was once called “How to Be a Prolific Creator.” I’m psyched to announce this section now has its very own column called ‘In Bloom’, hosted by Lens! 🤸🏼♀️
Lens is a digital home for authentic creator stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. ‘In Bloom’ explores the intersection of productivity and wellness in the creative realm.
Here are some examples of the stuff In Bloom covers:
This week, I’m letting readers (AKA, you) take the lead on deciding the topic of the next In Bloom column. You can cast your vote below, or come up with something new entirely! ⬇️
What part of the creative process would you like to get smarter on?
P.S. — Lens is looking for talented writers. If that’s you, submit your portfolio and ideas at [email protected].
🥒 Content Diet
📚 If Books Could Kill by Michael Hobbes & Peter Shamshiri – This podcast has me dying of laughter. Each episode dissects (or more accurately, rips apart) books that are “superspreader events of American stupidity.” A few literary victims include Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus and my personal favorite, Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
💰 How to Make 100K to 400K as a Freelance Content Writer by Mighty Freelancer – This article interviews seven content writers who scaled their writing business from zero to six figures.There is a lot of great advice in here, such as this gem: “Your draft should be 97% ready to go. If it’s not, you’re creating extra work for your client.”
And now, the digitization of the desk:
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: Should You Work For Free?
No one can seem to agree.
Is working for free a “hell yes” or an “absolutely not”?
Personally, I’ve never written for free (unless you count Medium articles or essays that’ve been featured in other people’s newsletters). But it wasn’t until I stumbled on Chris Do’s video on this that everything clicked.
Here’s the low-down:
First, never approach a client out of desperation. They can smell it on you and it’ll hurt your chances of writing for them, even if you’re perfectly capable.
Tell the client why you’re excited about the idea of writing for them. Then, tell them that even though your usual rate is X, you’ll be willing to do this for free of charge. This helps position you in a place of expertise, even though you’re giving away free labor.
Reframe this exchange. This is no longer a business transaction but a marketing expense. You are now doing this project for yourself, in exchange for a testimonial or byline which acts as a marketing asset for your services.
Once the project is over, ask the client for the market value of the deliverable generated. Even if it’s just $100, you can then use this information as a deduction on your taxes. Genius. 🧠
Have you written for free before? How did it pan out for you? Let me know, I’d love to hear about your experience!
That’s it for this week!
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a beautiful week, wherever you are.