LISTEN:

I love to leave comments on other blogs and 99% of the time they are simply adding to the discussion, providing positive encouragement, or asking a question. I try to avoid “getting into it” with other readers who leave comments because 1) it’s usually futile, and 2) there’s just not enough time in the day.

But once in a while a comment gets my attention and I can’t resist. This happened the other day over on my friend Danny’s blog – FirePole Marketing where the question was posed: should blogs charge for guest posts? Would you pay to guest post?

A lot of comments were left but one in particular caught my attention and ended up in several exchanges. The text of that thread is below.  After you read it, leave a comment and let me know:

  • What do you think about big blogs that charge for guests posts?
  • Would you pay someone to let you guest post?
  • What is your opinion of the discussion below?

I’m a big boy… if you disagree with me, tell me why.

The Topic:

Should blogs charge for guest posts? Would you pay to guest post?

The Comments:

Jeremy wrote:

No. And I would stop reading any blog that did this.

Such a tactic screams of money-grubbing-self-important-too-big-for-their-britches bloggers.

Blogging and writing needs more honesty and humility, so that people who make it to the top of the pile actually help those who are trying to climb up, rather than come up with schemes to get rich off of all the “little people.”

– – – – – – – – – –

Brent Riggs  wrote:

“Such a tactic screams of money-grubbing-self-important-too-big-for-their-britches bloggers.”

No, such a “tactic” screams of someone who owns their own blog and has the freedom to do with it as they please.

If they have worked their butts off for years, built up an audience, and choose to charge for guest posts, it’s only the “little people” (little in free market and business intelligence) that jump to arguments of class warfare and call them egotistical and greedy for choosing to do what THEY want with THEIR blog. When a blog reaches a certain size and status, it becomes a product and commodity in and of itself, a result of hard work, commitment, and sacrifice.

If you want to create a successful blog solely for altruism and not business, go for it. That’s your freedom. Best wishes to you. But if a successful blogger decides they want to charge for guest posts (which is simply now a product they offer) it serves two purposes: 1) they profit from THEIR hard work and perseverance, and 2) they will typically get people who are willing to invest in their blogging success. It is typical class-warfare nonsense to say they climbed to the top on the backs of the little people.

Who built the blog? Who did the hard work? Who made the sacrifice? You want to benefit from their blood, sweat, and tears by getting FREE guest posts, but HOW DARE THEY want to benefit from their years of hard work! That kind of thinking truly is little. No matter what thing you charge for on your blog, including guests posts, it is up to that blog owner to make sure they are willing to accept payment only for that which is high quality, relevant, and valuable to their audience. If they turn their blog into a “pay to play” to the detriment of quality and integrity, they will quickly lose audience. If it is a “pay to play” blog that results in even more and better content/products, do you think the audience will cry “greed”? Hardly. They’ll be clamoring to learn the secrets of the success.

It is the freedom and choice of the successful blogger to decide if they want to charge for guest posts. It is the freedom and choice of the guest-post submitter to determine if they want to pay. It is the freedom and choice of the blog audience to read it or not. Who gets to choose which of those three don’t get that freedom? It’s called the free market, a concept that is getting buried today in class warfare. Today the simple process of doing honest business and choosing what to do with YOUR OWN BLOG is a “scheme” against “little people.” Ridiculous.

I can prove the hypocrisy of most nay-sayers on this topic: if you could pay $100 to guest post tomorrow on CopyBlogger or Seth Godin, would you do it? That’s what I thought.

– – – – – – – – – –

Brenda wrote:

I agree with you, Brent.

As long as the blog owner continues to pursue quality content and refuse trash, what’s the problem? It is the joy of the free market. I think the complaints boil down to jealosy. If they’re not in the position to charge or to pay, some people choose to attack. I believe in supporting the success of other writers. We all benefit in the end.

– – – – – – – – – –

Jeremy wrote:

Would I pay $100 to guest post on CopyBlogger or Seth Godin? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t pay $10. I wouldn’t pay anything. So, no hypocrisy here.

– – – – – – – – – –

Brent Riggs wrote:

I propose that someone who would not pay $10 to guest post on Seth Godin’s blog or Copyblogger is not serious about their own blog for ANY reason, altruistic or monetary.

If you are trying to change the world, leave a legacy, or influence humanity with your writing and ideas, why would you pass up paying $10 to reach hundreds of thousands of people? I call B.S. on that… or, you don’t really care about making a difference.

Either way, there is no high-road reason that passes muster in this situation. It’s just an emotional feel-good argument. If you did truly care about making a difference, $10 or $100 or even a thousand would be worth reaching hundreds of thousands of people with your inspiration. We aren’t talking about Larry Flynt’s blog… we’re talking about honorable and decent bloggers.

– – – – – – – – – –

Jeremy wrote:

Brent, It is very strange. You say that bloggers should be able to do whatever they want with their own blogs, but when I suggest that I have a different strategy and approach than yours and so would not pay money for a guest post, I get blasted for being hypocritical and full of BS? Really?

– – – – – – – – – –

Brent Riggs wrote:

I said I called B.S. on THE POINT YOU MADE. And I do for the reasons stated and I stand by it.

We aren’t children. Don’t exaggerate what I said to make it sound personal when I addressed the POINT you made, not you personally. I’m sure you are fine person and good guy.

When did we lose the ability to have a healthy discussion without it getting personal or defensive? This post is debating two positions. I’m addressing your POSITION, not your character.

– – – – – – – – – –

Jeremy wrote:

I am not taking it personally. I am defending my point. It’s not BS or hypocritical. It is my blogging strategy.

I would never pay any blogger, no matter how much traffic it might get me, to publish anything of mine. If others want to do that, fine. But it is not MY strategy, and therefore, is not BS or hypocritical. And as it turns out, my blog is doing just fine, by the way. Is it perfect? No. Do I hope to get more readers? Of course. Am I doing what I can to expand my audience? You bet. But one thing I have never done and will never do, is pay for a Guest Post.

Even if it was only $10 for a post with Seth Godin. These are my principles and values, and I stand by them. What I might do is PAY someone to write a Guest Post as Cindy Brown suggested in the comments below. That sounds like my kind of blogger! That sort of approach reveals a spirit of generosity and humility that I like to see in the bloggers I read and follow.

– – – – – – – – – –

Brent Riggs wrote:

Fair enough. Point taken… BR

– – – – – – – – – –

Okay, your turn: 

  • What do you think about big blogs that charge for guests posts?
  • Would you pay someone to let you guest post?
  • What is your opinion of the discussion? Was I wrong?  Right? What’s your opinion?

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