Something great, but also disappointing happened to me the other day.
I wrote a guest post for CNBC that did well about how it may now require $350,000 a year to live a middle-class lifestyle in an expensive city with a family.
Then MarketWatch decided to pick up the post on their website. The article was the #1 most popular post for two days as well.
Then Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasia-Ortez (AOC) noticed MarketWatch’s tweet about the post and retweeted it out to her 5.6 million followers.
If I was a digital marketing manager or worked in PR at a startup, I’d immediately give myself a raise! This was an incredible concurrence of events that lead to a tremendous amount of publicity and traffic. Slate, The Atlantic, Bored Panda, and a bunch of other sites wrote about AOC’s tweet as well.
But do you notice something missing from AOC’s tweet? The image credit for “Source: FinancialSamurai.com” got cut out! That hurt, since I spent so much time creating the budget.
The Struggle Is Real For Bloggers, Creators, And Online Entrepreneurs
When I reached out to the MarketWatch author about a follow up article I wrote entitled, How AOC And Other Congressional Members Can Afford Two Kids In Washington, DC, he apologized for cutting me out as the source of the chart. He said in his haste, he just cropped it too quickly and that it was purely accidental. I believe him because he’s a good guy and one of my favorite journalists. He’s featured FS many times before, and I always appreciate it.
It just bummed me out that Financial Samurai could have gained exposure to potentially 5.6 million folks over Twitter, but didn’t. Instead, the folks who saw AOC’s retweet clicked on the article that lead to MarketWatch, which at least linked to Financial Samurai.
What am I going to do? Whine and give up? No. The best thing all of us creators can do is keep on going and be appreciative of getting featured in the first place. The alternative is not getting mentioned at all.
The second best thing we can do is simply ask those journalists we’ve helped with their article or who’ve featured our work but didn’t give us credit, to give us credit through a link back. The worst thing they can do is ignore or say no.
We creators must gain some perspective. Before the widespread adoption of the internet, it was good enough to get credit by getting your name or business mentioned in an article. Nowadays, standard practice is to at least mention the source, and to credit the source with a link back if s/he has a website.
We all know that link backs are the vital currency of the web. They may not pay off in the short term, but in the long term, a good variety of link backs from a wide range of authoritative sites boost our own website’s authority.
At the same time, we bloggers and website operators should also freely link back to other sites and creators who’ve we’ve found useful. Besides, Google says having an outbound link in blog posts is good for SEO anyway.
What goes around, comes around. I’m thankful that Shawn from MW decided to write an update post and link bank and keep Financial Samurai in the budget. Thanks Shawn!
Never Stop Fighting For The Recognition You Deserve
If you are getting quoted by major media outlets, you should not have impostor syndrome. You and/or your website are the real deal, especially if you’ve been around for at least 10 years. You’ve become a trusted expert in your field.
As a trusted expert in your field, you should command the recognition you deserve if your work has been used, but not credited. You’re not charging any money when you’re helping a reporter make an amazing story, so getting a link back shouldn’t be too hard.
I don’t demand a link back from anybody. But if an article is doing amazingly well and is on the front page, like the below feature on The Atlantic which is based on the article I originally wrote and the budget chart that I originally created, then I absolutely will reach out and request a link back. Our work is helping bring traffic and revenue to their sites.
I spent 43 minutes talking to the author of The Atlantic, who does mention Financial Samurai in writing. But there is no obvious outbound link from my name or the mention of my site. She can say “no” or ignore me, but at least I will have tried by asking.
Why A Job Might Be An Inevitability
I’ve been unemployed/retired since 2012. It’s been a great run so far. But with a wife and son to take care of now, I’m feeling the strains of not having a steady paycheck with subsidized healthcare. We pay $1,940/month for healthcare premiums now, which will go up by $440/month if we have another child.
If it becomes general practice to no longer get a link back for work you’ve created or for help you’ve provided, then it’s going to be hard for Financial Samurai and other creators to keep on growing. If it’s harder to grow, then it will be harder to earn. We already have a situation where it’s harder to earn advertising revenue due to the rise of ad blockers.
Paying for ever-increasing healthcare costs and tuition are not two things any of us creators with families should take lightly.
My hope is that my example is just a one-off and that all journalists and creators online are willing to give standard credit in 2020 beyond. But I’m not so sure, which makes me constantly reassess the future.
Despite potential difficulties, I encourage everyone to keep on creating, keep on trying, and keep on fighting for recognition. There will be amazing times and there will be disappointing times.
Overall, nothing feels better than doing something you love without having a boss.
Creators, have you ever not been credited for your work? If so, how did you go about fixing that? Are you noticing a trend where more and more larger publications are not providing a link bank? What are your thoughts about the future for bloggers, creators, and online entrepreneurs?
Related: How To Start A Profitable Blog Today