Your Words Matters: My Thoughts On Guest Posts

I’ve been blogging now for four years. In that time I’ve been able to accomplish a lot through this medium. Along the way I’ve collaborated with a host of smart professionals in order to create content that readers enjoy. That’s part of the beauty of social media, this ability to reach across job titles, geography, and time zones to do great work.

Of late I’ve been rethinking the nature of collaboration, specifically around guest posts. I’ve been both a host for others to display their work, as well as a contributor to numerous sites. I’ve done guest posts to gain exposure. I’ve encouraged them on my blog in order to give exposure. Guest posts have served me well. Now it’s time to take it to the next level.

Effective immediately, if I publish your guest post on my blog I will pay you.

What’s my reasoning for this? I have a two main ones:

  • Writing for free should be the exception, not the rule. Part of the reason I’m passionate about blogging and using social media is because I see its intrinsic value. I enjoy it for its own sake. That being said, that doesn’t mean that it’s a piece of cake. After four years, the words come easier. But it’s still labor–the research, formatting, consultation and discussions with colleagues that occur in order to create a post is work. Much like in our “work” lives, if we produce something of value then that person should be compensated.
  • People attach value to money. For those of you who may not know, I started a mentoring program last year for HR practitioners called Project: Social HR. The concept seemed sound–provide a free platform for people to learn from each other, and voila–the profession grows as a result. I thought that I could make it a sustainable venture. I couldn’t, for a number of reasons. One is due to perceived value. When people purchase a product or service, they tend to use it. For PSHR, the level of commitment from users that was needed to sustain it wasn’t there. It being a free resource wasn’t enough of a draw. 

There’s a time and place for people to guest post for the exposure and experience. I believe in paying dues and earning the respect of the HR blogging community. It’s now time to rethink assumptions we may have about guest posts. If we value people’s time, energy, and contributions, then compensation needs to be discussed. With my blog, I want to support people who want to write and signal to the world that their words matter, enough to be paid for the effort.

Image courtesy of Ben Crick

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