Cash vs NonCash Compensation

Last week Erin and I [Toni] spoke at the 2013 Type A Conference on the topic of monetization. A lot has changed since I started blogging seven years ago, but one thing has remained fairly consistent. Many companies still consider gift cards and product reasonable compensation for work.

We often talk about not working for free or working for product, but everyone has a compensation point. While one blogger might not blog for a gift card, another might. I’ve been very vocal over the past few years about not blogging for product, but I have exchanged blog posts for a new bed and blender in the past 12 months.

In business you have to determine what you are willing to do for non cash compensation. This looks different for all of us. The important thing to remember is that trading work for product does not actually pay the bills. You can’t pay for web hosting or assistants with gift cards or a new mattress.

When building your business, capital (cash) is essential. It will pay for assistants, needed tools, and training. While there might be times that it is worth it to trade work for product, keep in mind that it isn’t a business plan.

Set income goals every month and don’t use non cash compensation to reach them. When you work for product or trade you are taking time away from work that will earn you revenue. While most of us would probably be happy to trade work for an all expense paid trip to Disney or a six thousand dollar mattress, these are one-offs and should not be a major part of your business plan if your goal is to make a full-time income.

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  1. Excellent point to remind everyone, especially me, Toni! I’ve been blogging for the same amount of time you have (7 years), but it didn’t dawn on me until way late that people were making incomes at this. In the last several months, I have received a lot of free products (my favorite being a compound miter saw and a $400 pressure washer–YEAH!). But you brought the point home in this post that regardless of that, it’s not a model that’s going to paid the bills. Thank you for reminding me of this and that I shouldn’t get too caught up in non-cash compensation, because that sort of distraction tears me away from the things I could be doing that bring in cash–like eBooks! 🙂 P.S. Love the Monday chats!

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