Why Won't We Share Your Stuff?
I've been writing online for almost 10 years. For the better part of that time, I've had the usual social networking accounts, accounts I use to network and share my writing. Do you know how online writers make a living? The more visible our work is, the more we make. That's true even if we are ghostwriting and managing a client's network. Other writers know this, which is why we constantly share things for each other.
When you share something, it's because you have an interest in it, want to win a contest, or what have you. When you share it on my page, you're relying on my social network to promote your interest. When I delete it from my network, it's because I believe in being fair. I worked hard to develop my network, as every other successful writer has. You can either be a part of it or not, by sharing and networking along with us, but you should not use our hard work for your own means without so much as a thank you.
Also, don't ask us to promote someone who took a class and decided they were an overnight professional in some area if you have never promoted us. It's downright rude and I will actually go out of my way to avoid using or recommending their services. For one thing, I'm not willing to put my reputation on the line for someone who is going through a fad. For another thing, where were you when I needed help promoting?
It's a Real Job, Deal with It
I've been supporting my household for almost a decade with this work. In fact, I just paid off my house. That would seem to indicate that this IS a real job. It's an insult to keep asking a writer when they are going to find a "real job". Are you miserable at work? Sorry to hear that, but those of us who write are compelled to do so, and fortunate enough to make a living doing something we love. More people should seek out their own happiness instead of trying to convince us to join the misery train.
Writing is Work
I love my job, no doubt about that. Yet, there are days when I have to write about things I don't necessarily enjoy. I have come to a point in my career where I can turn away work that I don't believe in (like making up truths about the latest weight loss scam). I also tend to be a very giving person, so if your kid needs help, or you need assistance as you try to better your life through school or work, I'm totally willing to help out and I am not likely to charge you. I assume other writers are the same.
However, if my writing skills contribute to your business in any way, I'm going to expect payment. Why? See the section titled "It's a Real Job, Deal with It." Some of you think it's easy because those of us with experience make it look easy. That skill takes years of hard work to develop. And if it's online work, there is far more that goes into it than just typing. Research, keywords, target audience, demographics--these things all play a part. Don't insult us by saying anything remotely like "All you do is..." or "You're so lucky..." because there is no "All you do" and there certainly isn't any luck involved.
Look at it like this: If you've installed flooring for 10 years and I ask you to come install it in my home, you're probably going to be able to do it faster than I would. You may even make it look fun and easy. That's because you've cultivated that skill. It doesn't mean I'm going to shrug my shoulders, tell you how easy that was, and send you on your way. No, I'm either going to pay you or you are going to rip my flooring back up and take it with you.