For the past two years, my contact page has said this:
My Contact page used to encourage readers to email for any reason. I love hearing from you all and would always respond, but as this site and my business grow, I’m realizing a girl needs her sanity. So due to unforseen Inbox Terrorism, I am now unable to respond to every email I receive. This doesn’t mean I won’t read it! Or appreciate your feedback, comments, questions and praises of my beauty, but there aren’t enough hours in the day and I have a full time job, various writing gigs, blog on a regular basis and attempt to have some form of a social life off my computer.
Friendly, but not encouraging.
But it’s not like anyone actually listened to me. Just the other day I got a TWENTY-SEVEN PARAGRAPH EMAIL from a reader telling me his entire life story followed by a general request to provide thoughts on his career. I don’t mean to sound harsh (okay, I do), but that is just too damn much. I would love to be able to help every single person who actually thinks I have the answers, but I just don’t. So I actively discouraged people from getting in touch.
Fast-forward a few years. And enter Clarity.
My latest discovery is a site called Clarity and it’s so wonderful it deserves a shout-out. Simply put, Clarity is a simple platform that allows you to call anyone and ask them a question. So let’s say I just quit my job and decided to be a freelance writer. It would be great to talk to a successful freelance writer for 10 minutes and get their feedback on my latest query letter. Or let’s say I was traveling to Japan next week and wanted to talk to a restaurant reviewer who’s been to Japan and get the name of their favorite restaurant.
Some people offer their advice for free, others charge a small fee. You pay by the minute (no, not like that, pervert), and it’s usually around $1-3. Clarity let’s you schedule based on time zone, sends you reminders beforehand, and gives you a number to call. They pay you via PayPal after 14 days. So far I’ve made about $50 and both calls have been lots of fun.
To get the most out of the service, it’s best to have a list of questions beforehand. And it definitely helps if you’re in front of a computer just in case.
I haven’t had a ton of people look at my profile, and there are definitely a plethora or people listing their skills as “social media” or “blogging”. Which of course makes perfect sense given the medium.
So I’ve decided to revamp my contact page. Because of these emails I keep complaining about, instead of taking an hour to review someone’s resume/explain for the billionth time how I used Facebook ads/do a Twitter view, I can instead encourage readers to visit my Clarity profile for quicky advice. This way, readers get the tips they want and I get compensated for said time. Makes sense, right?
My only concern is this: Is it fair for a blogger to direct readers to a paid service or should I count my flooding inbox as a “first world problem”, be nicer and answer everyone? What do you think? Would you pay a blogger for 15 minutes of their time?
I’ll report back on how it went…