I noticed a thread on another discussion board talking about whether more established writers should help newbies. Apparently, some people think that we should leave the newbies to their own devices and not answer questions or give them a helping hand along the way.
This attitude is just plain wrong. Ever since I’ve been working online, I have been impressed more times than not about how generous people have been with their time and their advice. Some of them were people I was working with at the time, and others were just people who popped up to share their experiences on a message board and then went on their way.
People who will only share what they know if the WIIFM factor has been dealt with exist in the brick and mortar world, too. I wonder if they get some kind of a power trip from hanging onto their knowledge like a piece of hidden treasure.
One of the things I like about writing for a living is that I am constantly learning something. It might be an interesting fact, a great quote that I hadn’t heard before, or how to tackle an assignment in a different way. If it weren’t for people I’ve “met” online sharing what they know, I wouldn’t have learned
- How to Calculate Keyword Density
- How to Work Awkward Keywords into an Article
- How to Find Information Online
- How to Drive Traffic to a Website
and a lot of other things….
I’ve mentioned a few times here that the business of writing is about building relationships, and when we are generous with what we know by sharing information with other people, we are doing just that. We all have to start somewhere, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to share what you know with your colleagues. Even if you don’t see any “benefit” from doing it immediately, doing the right thing is always in style.
Besides, at some point that new writer may be in a position to hire you!