Yes, grasshopper, today we're talking about marketing. But don't think you can skip out because it's marketing. It's marketing having to do with writing. And I'll try to be quick about it.
A few years ago, when I first started column writing, I willingly, happily gave my columns to a regional magazine. For free. I needed to learn the ropes, and fortunately for me, a local rope dangled right there in front of me. I learned quite a bit about deadline writing, fitting in the word count, and being funny whether I felt funny or not. So, it was all good.
After a year or so, a new publisher bought the magazine and I worked out a compensation deal for the column. It was all, um, good-er. And then I thought, as Webster is my dictionary, I'll never write for free again!
Now, I can't tell you what to do, grasshopper (though that is kinda the point here at WNTD), but making absolute statements is not such a good idea. Like when it comes to writing for free. Sometimes, I'll write something for free. Because sometimes, I just want to lend a helping (writing) hand to a friend or colleague. But other times, I'll consider WIIFM.
I didn't know there was an actual acronym for "What's in it for me?" but you learn something every day. I learned that tidbit when I read Jane Friedman's spot-on post, "The Most Important Marketing Acronym: WIIFM." She makes a few excellent points on marketing. And you might want to read the comments, too. You'll find some excellent points among her readers' views.
I know what you're thinking, grasshopper. WIIFM has kind of a harsh ring to it. So maybe a new acronym, more polite-sounding, is needed (with the same sentiment). How about "PAPTDAFFYASMYCRTF."
Hmmm. My next What Not To Do will be on Southerners and why we shouldn't put them in charge of writing acronyms.
*Pleased As Punch To Do A Favor For You And Someday Maybe You Can Return The Favor