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Stop Hating HuffPo & Focus On Your Work

huffington post doesn't pay so what

*deep breaths*

I am a Huffington Post blogger. And I am proud of it.

*pauses to check MailChimp for unsubscribes*

Recently, Huffington Post brass said they’re proud to have unpaid writers, because they know their work is authentic.

I don’t agree with the reasoning behind this. A company leader should never use the words “proud” and “unpaid” in the same context.

But forget about that for now. Let’s address the (apparently invisible) blue and white elephant in the room.

I don’t just publish for free on the Huffington Post. (And when I do, it’s mostly work that’s republished from here and my personal blog.)

I’ve also posted content on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

*dun dun duunnnnn*

And (gasp!) LinkedIn makes money from my work. That’s right: a company posting $780 million in revenue can use my work and never pay me.

So why are we hating on Huffington Post, a company that broke even last year with $146 million in revenue?

And, most importantly, why aren’t we this angry about being paid crap for companies who force writers, virtual assistants and other creatives to churn out work just to survive?

What I publish on Huffington Post is quality work, because I’m a good writer. There may be a lot of bloggers for HuffPo who aren’t that great, and that’s too bad.

I do agree that poor quality work hurts the writing community, because it devalues our worth to potential clients.  (Although many bloggers put so much work into their content for HuffPo, they ended up suing the company.)

What say you about some of the content agencies? Google has changed its search algorithm to specifically punish the unadulterated crap that gets put out there as “content.”

And may I say once more, most of what I publish on Huffington Post is not original work and, like LinkedIn, I still own the work and can publish it elsewhere.

The original pieces I did weren’t very difficult. So HuffPo is a blogging platform that happens to have a large audience.

What’s the difference between it and LinkedIn?

“Well, *huff*, they are a media company, so they should be paying its journalists” you say. (See what I did there?)

Most of the top news stories and programming in HuffPo are written by paid employees. And there’s plenty of sites who offer unpaid blogging as a way for people to get experience and join a community.

Please don’t mistake this for me “settling” for unpaid work. When I write, it’s for a purpose and my end goal is to make money. I don’t get paid for blogging here, but I do it, because I enjoy sharing my opinions and expertise in hopes of attracting clients.

Writing is my job. Another part of my job is encouraging entrepreneurs to seek out paid guest blogging gigs first. That’s the intent of my ebook “4Qs to 1K.”

And posting blogs on Huffington Post is in no way affecting your income. I am not responsible for whether or not your work is paying your bills. But if you choose to write crap for pennies, well, that’s on you.

I do it, because I enjoy it. I do it, because it’s not always easy to be accepted as a blogger there (unlike LinkedIn).

My work is vetted and one time, the vetting process with medical experts was taking so long (it was about the affects of alcohol with anti-depressants) that I ended up pulling it out of the queue and placing it on my blog.

So, no, we aren’t allowed to just post whatever we want (unlike LinkedIn).

I thought the online writing community was one of fellowship and encouragement. Why am I being shamed for doing what I love?

I have a friend who creates beautiful paintings and even does art shows, but she’s not selling her work. Am I supposed to tell her that what she’s doing is horrible and hurting other artists?

Of course not. So I guess I’ll just take the hate.

Some of my fellow writers aren’t proud of me, but my friends and family are.

And the many people who share in my struggle with anxiety and depression certainly appreciated what I wrote – since that was the first thing I placed on Huffington Post after Robin Williams’ suicide.

There are recent, major issues I have with LinkedIn that I can’t address quite yet (still an unresolved customer support ticket). Facebook is offering shared revenue when they reveal its platform. Maybe I’ll head there.

I’m definitely going to focus on publishing content on Huffington Post and move away from the LinkedIn platform.

That’s right. Because of my customer service issue and all of this vitriolic nonsense I intend to publish even more for HuffPo.

Sorry. Your intention to shame isn’t working.

Let’s hear from you. Do you hate HuffPo because of those comments? Or do you actually enjoy reading or writing for the platform? Where else do you publish your work? 

10 thoughts on “Stop Hating HuffPo & Focus On Your Work

  1. So, I’m just going to put a few opinions and perspectives out there…

    1) I’m proud of any writer who puts his/her work out there. Any time you put your work up for public dissemination and discussion, paid or not, it’s a brave thing to do.

    2) It’s up to each writer to determine which platform to use to put his/her work out there. Want to get paid? Go for it. Willing to write for free? That’s up to each writer.

    3) No matter what we writers do, there will be other writers who tell us that we’re ruining it for whatever reason.

    I don’t know enough about Huff Po’s or LinkedIn’s content platforms to offer an opinion about either. I don’t write for them, and I don’t publish on them. Personally, I’m not up for writing for free (not counting my own blog, obviously). But that’s my decision. That doesn’t mean I think you or any writer who chooses to write for free is ruining it for everyone else.

    For what it’s worth, I see that you write and put yourself out there quite often. And that’s pretty awesome. I’m proud of you.

    1. Thanks Erica – and I do consider you a friend, not just a writing colleague, so I know you’re proud. 🙂 And it means a ton. And #1 is probably the best thing I’ve read about this topic. It’s absolutely true.

  2. Hi Williesha!

    I’m technically a Huffington Post blogger (I have a login and a page.) but I haven’t written in a really long time. When I do write content I like to keep it for my own website.

    I do plan on getting more active writing now that I have a full time assistant and actually have time. 🙂

    I think its okay to write for the Huff because even though I don’t technically get paid I’m creating great backlinks to my website that really helps with my SEO. Not only that but it is great exposure. So I don’t get paid in $$ but it does have other benefits.

    Tammy

  3. “Posting blogs on Huffington Post is in no way affecting your income. I am not responsible for whether or not your work is paying your bills. ”

    That made me stop and think for a minute. When I was just starting out, I had people tell me to my face that the low rates I was charging was making it difficult for them to make a living. Problem was, I had no idea that my rates were low back then! I had no clue what to charge at first, I had just set an hourly rate that was comparable to what I had been making, with money added for taxes and expenses. The thing that gets me is that the person chose to be hostile and blame me for whatever imaginary work they weren’t getting, instead of just offering to share their own rates to give me a starting point. Of course, I never expected any free help like that–the person had no obligation to me or the success of my business, and it wouldn’t have been their fault if I’d failed. But I wasn’t responsible for their business, either.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a client looking for lower rates will never be convinced to pay top dollar for an expert. The newbies charging low rates and the veterans getting lucrative consulting fees aren’t pulling from the same pool of clients–they’re two totally different ball games. I’ve also had proposals rejected because the client had found someone willing to do the work cheaper–but that has never made me angry at the other freelancers who were charging lower rates! It just made me shrug and pitch someone else.

    Writing isn’t a commodity, we’re all professionals getting paid for a specialized skill. You get what you pay for. The absolute last thing we should be doing as freelancers is encouraging clients to think of our writing as a commodity that can be gotten anywhere from anyone, and punishing the people who are getting lower rates. How about reaching out a hand and pulling each other up, instead?

    Great post, Williesha.

  4. Hi Williesha, and All Other Great Writers,

    What to say?? I am speechless too 🙂 I have been into writing as a Freelancer since January 2012, just after returning from Goa. I read an article in a newspaper in Goa, while being with one of my Internet American friends,. Article was about Christopher Hitchens. I think, all or most of you great authors might be aware of him or his work. He was a famous critical Author.
    I said to my Amercan friend right then, I’m gonna be a Writer, a full-time one. So, as soon as I returned in fist week of January 2012, after the world survived the biggest threat//prediction about its End 🙂 Yes, I believed in it, and was really thinking that it may very well happen 🙂 so wanted to die in Goa 🙂
    Anyway, I also thought and wrote about writers being paid for writing as much as they can, not only to survive on that much income, but even live like any other professional in the world. Hence, with this idea in mind, I planned to do something for the welfare of the international Writers. Write2earn.co was Born. It is still running since 2014, other similar websites launched internationally failed and shut down, but mine prevailed despite lot of criticism and rumors spread by my enemies, although my site is not running very well, at least in terms of me or my writers making much on it moneywise, but my will power is not letting it go down. I fulfilled my promise, which I made to myself, more than anyone else, by creating a website for Writers. I term the website as “Writers/Members Website,” not my website, but our website.
    I have written for American news/articles websites also, and others also in these last few years, including writing Guest Posts, which earned me anywhere from $5 to $100 per post/article.

    Thanks a lot for writing such a nice article, and being such an awesome inspiring writer for poor writers like me..God Bless Every Writer Forever

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