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freelance writing moneyA few days ago I received an email congratulating me on being voted one of a site’s favorite bloggers.

Yay!

The rest of the email explained that I would need to mention said company here on my lovely Write Naked blog in order to receive the recognition. Upon posting the company’s name here I would then receive the notoriety its users have apparently mutually agreed upon and I would receive $25.

Non-yay.

Yesterday I received another email from the same company, apparently oblivious to their earlier correspondence and expecting me to be equally unaware, congratulating me for being named a favorite blogger. If I briefly mentioned them in a future post I would receive $15.

Um, wouldn’t it make more sense if their offer went up? Maybe tomorrow I’ll be offered a whole USD $1. If I were to take money from any entity when posting information here or on my writer website, I would disclose this. I choose not to because I believe mentions and referrals should be legitimate and earned organically. How could my blog be authentic if posts are written on commercially-serving slants?

Three years ago I was writing a few features for a magazine. They did not pay particularly well, but I wanted to break into their industry so that I could pitch better markets in that field. The last article I wrote for them (and I turned down future assignments) was sent in at least a week before deadline. Weeks later, the day before their own print deadline, they contacted me and said I must include quotes from two of their advertisers. I had 24 hours to contact the advertisers’ respective marketing reps to pull quotes for the piece and gather product images. I also needed to omit sources I had already interviewed and quoted, and then revise the article to meet the word count.

My article turned into an advertorial. It felt unreal. Seeing it in print was sad. The advertisements bordering the article were like the print equivalent of walking into one of the back closets on Canal Street with Kate Spate purses and Lois Vuitton knock-offs.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for a site or other entity to contact me with a lovely blogger award, monetarily or otherwise, because it is real? Wouldn’t it be logical that any blogger in receipt of such an award would then mention that award in a future post without being wrangled into doing so, maybe even include an award badge along their blog’s sidebar?

Let’s think long and real about this one.