Compensation for your work’s value: Exposure or something more?

Posted on - in Life, Other Stories

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry about that. Got too busy with a lot of stuff. Anyhoo…

Some weeks ago, I stumbled upon the blog of Mr. Wil Wheaton. For those my age, you’d recognize him as the cute Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation (and probably had a crush on him, too) or, if you were already a film buff in the 80s, as one of the leads in the movie Stand By Me. Or if you’re the millennial and into TV, you’ll know him as Sheldon Cooper’s nemesis-turned-friend (?) in The Big Bang Theory.

Anyway, what made me come to his blog was his post about compensation for writers and bloggers (and others in the creative and freelance fields). Backstory: Mr. Wheaton was contacted by Huffington Post asking permission to publish one of his posts on its site. He recognized the reach of HuffPost, got “intrigued” by the offer, and asked how much they are paying contributors. HuffPost’s answer: the “value in the unique platform and reach our site provides”. In short: exposure.

And so he declined.

He explained in his Tweet: “(i)f you write something that an editor thinks is worth being published, you are worth being paid for it. Period.”

Mr. Wheaton further noted that HuffPost can actually pay their contributors, and the fact that they don’t disturbs him. He also pointed out that there is a difference when it’s the writer or blogger who approaches a known online portal such as HuffPost to have his or her blog post published, as opposed to what happened to him. It already becomes a conscious choice to not be compensated, monetarily or in kind, because what he or she wanted was really exposure. And that website can provide it.


Reading this post made me value myself more as a writer and blogger, and what I put out there on my blog or any site that publishes my work.

I’m glad to have occasional (and maybe sporadic) freelance writing work that pays okay, not to mention my day job as a web content writer that gives me a regular monthly salary. As for blogging, well, I haven’t been paid in monetary form, though I’ve had received some tokens for posts I’ve done. Thing is, in the world of blogging, I still haven’t reached that “influencer” level where I can dictate how much I charge per post (after 8 years of blogging, but because majority of those years was for my personal consumption). I’m still that blogger who needs that “exposure” and would be okay in posting pro bono.

But of course, the topic should be well-aligned to my blog’s theme. That’s where I become choosy.

I’ve nothing against those who choose to be paid, nor do I have anything against those getting their posts published for free. Because it’s their conscious choice. One would want to build their identity as an influencer in the blogging world, the other, already one and is probably blogging on a professional level (and needs to support a family as well).

The thing is, I believe that in whatever we do with much dedication, there is great value in that work. And it must be acknowledged.

It now depends on you if what you need and want is just exposure (for now) or something more.


Mr. Wheaton is lucky to be among those who have a wide reach and are influencers in the World Wide Web. Me, I guess I’ll have to work my way up first.

Hopefully to be on that level soon. 😀


  1. The Monching Kray

    HuffPost, alongside BuzzFeed, EliteDaily, or any other site belonging to the Gawker network, does not even pay their contributors for creating content while their owners rake in the cash for every click directed to their site.

    And they only offer “value in the unique platform and reach our site provides” to people who squeeze their brains so they can deliver something meaningful? I call bullcrap on that one.

    7 years ago
    • Michelle Roldan

      From what Wil Wheaton said, yes, they don’t pay in cash. They just get contributions from other writers for free/”exposure”. That’s why he ranted about it.

      Actually, it seems like it’s a normal thing. There’s a similar local site that doesn’t pay their contributors in cash. When their writers have to cover something, they’re not even provided transpo allowance… 🙁

      7 years ago
      • The Monching Kray

        Reminds me a bit of that old issue about the designers who aren’t compensated and are only promised “exposure”. :

        Wow, that’s just sad if that’s the case. 🙁 That’s why I don’t join a lot of blogger groups; I have complete control over how I produce my content. My blog, my rules – to put it that way.

        7 years ago
  2. On Shout-outs, X-Deals, and Other Forms of Compensation - Hits and Mrs.

    […] I wrote something similar years before, when I encountered the post of Wil Wheaton about artists getting compensated for their work. Back then, I was the blogger that needed the “exposure.” […]

    4 years ago

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