As a blogger sometimes it is so flattering when a big media company comes knocking at your door that you simply want to work with them and work with them now! I’ve been there and done that and am here to tell you that you must always protect your interests no matter how attractive an opportunity looks.
Recently I was asked to write weekly for a large, well-known Web site. I was happy to be asked and was glad to have fallen on their radar. But when it came time to read and sign the contract I had to laugh and laugh I did!
The contract contained a lot of double speak as well as their right to own my content perpetually worldwide. How funny is that, friends? So, in other words, they could repackage my content and publish it in a book and I wouldn’t see a dime from sales. Or, they could take my content and re-run it on a Web site they might launch five years down the road. Needless to say I turned down that faux opportunity because I have to protect my interests first and foremost. No potential opportunity is worth the possibility that your content will be used over and over again without your consent or proper payment.
I want to tell you a quick story, one that I have told before. When I was a newbie blogger a big media company came to me and wanted me to join their ad network. I was so thrilled to be speaking with this company that I lost my marbles. I became a part of their ad network and signed an exclusivity contract, and signed away my traffic to them in the process. Sure, I was able to write for said media company and it was a great byline, but I was stuck in a contract for a year that limited my earning potential. We all know how ad networks can do that sometimes.
This is all to say that while I have learned a lot along the way and can share my advice with you I had to walk through the fire first before becoming wiser. Always remember, don’t be flattered just because a brand or media company comes your way. Carefully weigh the pros and cons then make a measured decision.