If you missed the big news this past week: The Huffington Post (now officially known as HuffPost) ended its free-contributor channel, which had over 100,000 participating writers. Many writers online have bemoaned the death of free HuffPo posts, but I have a different reaction.
The end of unpaid HuffPo articles is part of a trend we’ll likely see more of this year — and I think it’s a good thing.
Yes, a tiny handful of writers seemed to get good clients through their unpaid HuffPo bylines, though the value of HuffPo exposure declined over time.
And quite a few writers were earning good money ghostwriting free HuffPo posts for thought leader/speaker/CEO types who didn’t have time to write their own authority-building pieces. So it wasn’t all bad.
But in the main, hordes of writers writing for free isn’t good.
Whether you’re happy or sad about the end of free HuffPo content, it’s important to understand what this change signifies in the marketplace. There are plenty of ways writers can benefit from these changing tides.
Here are seven key action items for freelance writers as the free HuffPo contributor channel fades away: