Is writing for free worth your time and effort?

writing for free

I came across many people who say that you have to be writing for free in the beginning to get the paid job.

Well! Is this true?

We will check it out later but that true many beginners find it difficult to get paid job without having past work to prove their credibility.

I have been in a similar situation when I started out but believe me, I didn’t work for free.

Why would you throw off your skin for free?

Not getting the job initially doesn’t mean that you should be writing for free whereas your work will be helping someone to make money of it.

Confused Nah?

In this article, I will cover some situations when to work free or not so that you don’t hesitate while taking this decision.

Weak reasons why people prefer writing for free

Here are some weak reasons when they people are giving away their services for free:

1. Want to get exposure

I have heard this argument quite often which is right that your work will be published in front of a big audience and you have a chance of attracting them.

But why not charge for that work?

Many huge organizations pay people for writing without looking at their experience level, they just have a look at your writing and you are good to go.

Whereas many small firms with smaller followings that pretend to be bigger ones, looks for free service.

I recommend avoiding those as you won’t get anything out of it except wasting your time.

2. Want to check abilities

I am writing for free because I want to check my abilities?

Hell no, everyone is a writer in himself. You don’t need to verify your skills by others who are just a step or two ahead of yours.

What if they reject? Will this prove you are not a good writer?

The ideal way is to improve your writing skills and then start writing, as no one is perfect and you will improve as you move.

3. Building a Portfolio

You might be saying, “This man has gone mad?”

Yeah, I know building a portfolio is important as it serves pavement for the jobs to come.

But you can charge some amount for your published work. Writers Job posting services can serve you with good initial start without any experience.

Bamidele has listed 30 websites that pay even for beginners. Surely this is a great resource for anybody looking for legit websites.

Most Important…

Your pitch is the turning point whether clients what’s to hire you or not? Most wise clients don’t care about your previous work as they can easily judge you from the pitch.

Moreover, many clients that do ask for your previous work sample usually don’t open. They just want it to get inner peace I am not the first one to try this service.


If you really want to build a portfolio by writing for free then only go for 3-4 published articles, as that would be enough for someone to hire you.

4. Excited about the name in the byline

Who doesn’t want their name in the byline?

Well, it sounds great if you are rewarded for it in the form of payment and not just blessed without your name there.

When I started out, I had the same feelings. I wanted my name in the byline at any cost, but things have changed quite a lot since then.

Now, most people often ignore the byline while some websites prefer to place it above featured image which results in lower eye-balls towards that section.

If you are a good writer then you should get paid for writing but if you are an average one then you are good to go 🙂

5. Low self-esteem or confidence

I cannot ask for money because I am…?

Yeah, most people are very much under confident that they don’t even explore their capabilities.

I have come across many people who are just a good writer as I am (boasting right :)) but they don’t think of charging their efforts. They just want to write for a free year or so and then charge!

Mark my words, you will continue to improve as you grow and it is not like “If I can publish 100 free articles then I would become a good writer!”

The main difference between a successful writer and a beginner writer is the amount of money they charge, but you have to charge something to nurture your passion in the beginning.

Strong reasons why people prefer writing for free

Here come the actual reasons where you can opt writing for free:

1. They love and enjoy writing

Many people love writing so it is not bad at all to write for free.

These people are just a hobbyist who utilizes their spare time in writing for free.

If you are among these people then you can write for free.

But many people including me are here in this online world to earn some extra to pay off our debt, so you will find very few of these type of people and I can assure you are not among them like me 🙂

2. Want to support a cause

I think it should be the top reason for anyone who has decided writing for free.

Many people donate something for someone, but you will be donating in the form of services that you are offering.

This can be writing to people to get the donation, running their blog or even spreading awareness through your writing.

I have worked with numerous NGOs in my college life, and it is actually very good in terms of your personal and intellectual growth.

3. Work for an organization

Working for an organization is just fabulous!

I am talking about a non-profit organization who are serving people in a different medium. You can easily give your services there as they are always in requirement of new volunteers who know the art to write fast to spread their message.

You will also enjoy working with a group of people who are in a similar field like yours (as you won’t be single out there), so this will create a good learning environment for you and you will eventually improve your writing skills.

4. Helping others

Besides this blog, I have other blogs in which I share my experiences and tips with the people who are just starting out.

You can publish some case study or even a blog posts with the sole purpose of helping others and giving them the right information.

I personally know many people who have various types of free courses for people to learn free of cost.

If you have a plan for doing so, then Congratulation who are among those 80% people of the world who actually care for others and share their knowledge publicly without personal interests.

5. Building Credibility

Yeah! You got me!

Writing for free can help you build credibility but not in a way you are thinking…

My influencer around us shares their useful thoughts with us without aiming to get something out of it.

They are actually building credibility and authority in their field which eventually pays off in the longer run.

But, like me, you won’t be having a huge audience like not having 1M plus email subscribers or 1M plus youtube views on a single video in a single day after uploading.

In that case, it won’t be as helpful to you as it should be. But if you get the opportunity to write something for bigger publications like Forbes, fortune, Inc then go for it free (if required).

Wrapping it up…

If you are just starting out, it doesn’t mean that you should start writing for free. Everyone out there advice to start crawling then walking and eventually running.

In fact, if you are good at writing meaning you are good at grammar, spelling, formatting, sentence structures then you can get started by paid work.

Publishing for free for the sake of improvement doesn’t help, as everyone around you is there to de-motivate you. 

Just believe in yourself as you will learn quite a lot during your journey.

Hope, it helped you, looking for your feedback in the comments below.


writing for free

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