Saturday, 25 February 2012

Just Write!

HBIC is proud that it can deliver daily articles to you. I love the game of hockey in all its forms, from the NHL to the grassroots level and everything in between, and there are so many stories that really should be told. I love the historical aspect of hockey, from the Original Six to the WHA to the current 30-team NHL, and there are so many stories from that era that just need to be unearthed so that we may learn more about this great game. I have encouraged you, the readers, to send me your articles so that they may be read because I like hearing about your thoughts on the game. Heck, I've even offered up prizing for those that want their thoughts published! Please, send me your articles if you want to write about hockey!

In saying this, I have begun to receive vast amounts of email from people who want to write for me in exchange for pushing their own agendas. These people will claim that they only want to write, but they send emails with fancy website names attached to them with an offer.

For example, I received an email from a person named "Henry" on February 17 who writes,

"Hi Teebz,

"I was surfing the Internet and recently came across - we were impressed with your site!

"(website name omitted) would love to write an article on a topic of your choice for you. Articles are typically 500-800 words long, but could be longer or shorter. If you're interested, send me some topic suggestions or I'd be more than happy to give some options.

"I look forward to hearing back from you!"
While I appreciate the kind words about my site, I certainly am not going to tell anyone what to write, especially one associated to a site that has the word "promotional" in its web address. I want someone who is willing to write about their passion for the game of hockey.

It comes down to a simple adage: "If work was fun, it wouldn't be called 'work'". I'm pretty sure that everyone reading this right now understands that adage, and can attest to it being true. It's why I blog - I don't find it to be work as much as I find it being fun.

So with it happening once, I usually chalk this up as spam, but I received an email from "Imogen" on February 21 who writes,
"Howdy there,

"hope you're keeping well. I'm just getting in touch to ask if you're in need of any freelance writing at Hockey Day In Canada - if so, it'd be an honor to help out and I would love to get involved if you have any need for me.

"I'm 29 have been working full-time as a professional writer and researcher for five years now; in that time there isn't a lot I haven't already covered (there are a few samples below for you to check out). Anything I send over would be written with the site's readership in mind - as long as you're happy with the resulting material, you'd be welcome to publish it as you see fit and the content will be owned by you entirely (in that I won't send it to anyone else, either before or after publication).

"The good news is that I'd be able to offer my services at no charge; the only thing I would ask in return is that I'm able to include a link to a site within the article - nothing shady or unethical, just one of the professional businesses I freelance on behalf of. Otherwise I'd be happy to chat about alternative arrangements.

"Do let me know if you're interested, and if so I can get something written for you over the course of the next few days. Needless to say, the offer is open to any other sites you might own as well as I appreciate that this kind of offer is not for everyone however, so if I don't hear from you, no offense taken and I won't trouble you again."
This eloquently-written email offers me a 29 year-old's abilities as a "professional writer and researcher" that she's been doing for five years at no cost. Pretty good deal, right?

Note the fine print: "the only thing I would ask in return is that I'm able to include a link to a site within the article - nothing shady or unethical, just one of the professional businesses I freelance on behalf of". So you want to offer me your services for free in order to advertise for someone else? How many advertisements do you see on HBIC right now? I won't be using your services, Imogen, so I hope there is "no offense taken".

Of course, Imogen is welcome to send in anything she wants published relating to the game of hockey. In exchange, I'll give her full credit for writing an article, and it will be hosted by HBIC for the world to read. Isn't that exchange good enough for a "professional writer and researcher"?

I appreciate the work done by Peter Santellan and Mike Engle in January because they had something they wanted to say, and they put pen to paper... or fingers to keys. Peter has a great blog, but he's a valued reader here on HBIC because he makes excellent comments and he contributes his thoughts and ideas to make this site better. Mike also contributes with solid comments, emails, and articles, and he is another valued member of HBIC.

While having "professional" writers offer me pieces is a nice gesture, I am not in the blogging world to further someone else's agenda. If there is a hockey-related story that needs to get out, I am more than happy to present that story on HBIC, and, if it results in helping someone out, all the more power to them because they presented the information in a way that helps themselves and HBIC.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again here today: this is a blog of the people, by the people, and for the people, and I happen to respect my readers far too much to allow someone to advertise something on my site that my readers will find little value in. If you want to write something about hockey, please submit it to me and I'll post it. Your thoughts on the game are just as important and relevant as mine are, and I will never deny someone from having HBIC as their soapbox if they have something to say.

If you come to me asking what you can write or offering to write a post in exchange to promote something non-hockey in nature, don't waste time writing the email because I will mark it, and any future emails, as spam.

Please, readers, feel free to write. I want to hear your thoughts on the game as much as I want to vent my ideas. Prizes are still available for February, and I will be giving away prizes every month for the best reader-submitted article! Get your pencils sharpened, and start writing for a chance at great stuff!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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