Hi Felicia —
Yes, I do think it would be fair to vilify certain authors (although I didn’t use that word). But you’re not one.
The word I used was corrupt and I’d stand by that. Am I right that you’re mostly writing fiction?
Well, in that case, I’d imagine the corruption is exceedingly minor when you write free stories in order to generate a call to action onto your mailing list. Maybe you’re able to devote a little bit more time to pieces when you’re paid directly, or maybe you frame the title and opening to be more viral when you’re writing free pieces. But that’s the world you live in and you have to make tradeoffs to keep your business going. That’s better than not having these stories exist at all.
However, what I was originally talking about was specific to articles written in my genre: non-fiction personal development.
Many of the authors in this space are trash, although they probably wouldn’t agree. They’re writing advice that doesn’t work, stealing page views from people who actually know what they’re talking about, and generally lowering the level of trust across the board.
I imagine that for these authors they feel like they are doing world positive work because every page view or clap must feel like they motivated someone. But they’re not able to see the results or lack of results, or the disappointment that comes with a failed effort. Or that they crowd out and dilute better advice.
In my estimation, kicking content marketers out of this space would raise the life expectancy of the readers. I’m not here to police anyone, but if you ask, and you did, yes, I do think many of these authors are villains.