Tim Kreider writing for the New York Times on being asked to write for free:
My parents blew tens of thousands of 1980s dollars on tuition at a prestigious institution to train me for this job. They also put my sister the pulmonologist through medical school, and as far as I know nobody ever asks her to perform a quick lobectomy — doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe just in her spare time, whatever she can do would be great — because it’ll help get her name out there.
I wrote a piece for TidBITS years ago for free because it was fun and quick to write, outside their normal serious technical coverage and, holy crap, I was writing for the guy who wrote the book that I used to get on the Internet the first time. I don’t regret that at all. But now I write for money and I’ve turned down writing pieces that I thought didn’t pay enough based on the amount of work it would have been and fact that the site was a well-known, for-profit venture.
A lot of this is a judgement call. Value your work. I’d write for free again for a friend, for fun or for a good cause, but this is my job now. If you’re making money off of it and expect me not to, fuck you, pay me.