Would an advertiser ever dream of contacting an ad agency and asking them to run their commercial for free because their audience would be really interested in it? No, of course not. So why ask a blogger to advertise for you for free?
When you ask a blogger to share your content you are asking them for exposure and a backlink. This is advertising and advertising isn’t free. You may not be asking to run a commercial or a print ad in a magazine, but it is advertising nonetheless. You are asking to be seen by our audience and show up in our search results.
I get asked to “share content with my readers” several times a week. When you ask me to share your content for free you are telling me that you want to benefit from the past 2½ years of work that I’ve put into this blog building an audience, a decent Google ranking, and relationships but don’t think that I deserve anything in return. It’s insulting. Do you work for free? No? So why should I?
If you are a blogger who is willing to do this when asked, please don’t. You are worth more than, well, nothing. If you continue to share free content you are telling these people that they don’t have to respect what we do because someone will give them free exposure. It’s not fair to you or to bloggers as a whole. It continues to perpetuate the idea that what we do isn’t important when that is far from the truth. Don’t allow yourself to be used because you’re too awesome for that and so am I.