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    When to Write for Free

    Posted by Charles Gray on April 24, 2013

    If you are a freelance writer, or intending to become one, and especially if you hope to pay your bills with your writing, then “writing for free” seems to be a pretty foolish idea.

    And in an ideal world, you would be right.  But the fact is that freelance writing is a career that requires that you be able to market yourself, and one of the best ways to do that is to have a portfolio of articles you can show off.  But most clients will want to see proof that you can deliver before they will pay you.

    No doubt, you’re seeing the problem with this state of affairs.  You can’t get work until you have proof that you have done work.

    That’s where writing for free comes in.  Now, I’m including things like Ezine articles, and any of the revenue sharing sites.  What this allows you to do is to get a certain amount of exposure and allow you to pad out your writing portfolio.  For a freelance writer, that’s the real value of these sites, not the (dubious) amount of money you may make via revenue sharing.  Not only that, but they’re something you can do when you’re not working on a paying gig.

    Not only that, but by being on another site, they will often help create the impression that you already have a certain presence as a professional writer.  Don’t count on this, but many editors will find articles on another site more impressive than one sitting on your blog.  Finally, if you should ever change your blog or website address, by being on another site, these articles, and any positive comments they have garnered, will remain available to prospective clients.

    But remember– for a freelance writer, writing for free, is merely the first step to writing for pay.

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