How do you know when to charge people for your assistance and when to do it for free? This is something I struggle with every day. A lot of people email me or tweet at me asking for help and I LOVE helping them. They want to know how to do x on their blog, or how to fix y, or how to change this colour, or HELP I’M LOCKED OUT OF MY BLOG WHAT DO I DO?!?!
Most of the time, the things people ask me for are super quick, so I just do them for free. But even simple, quick things can add up. If 20 people start asking me for something that takes 5 minutes each, suddenly there’s over 1.5 hours of my time. I know that after a certain point I need to start charging for help, but sometimes I feel really bad about it, particularly when it’s not just an aesthetic/design thing and is actually a huge deal. Like if someone can’t access their blog at all and doesn’t know what the problem is and comes running to me for help. I’d love to help them, but unless I immediately know the answer, I’d have to spend my time digging around their blog to find the problem. What if it takes me an hour? Can I really keep doing stuff like this for free?
I guess I just hate the idea of someone coming crying to me because they can’t get into their site and me saying, “I’ll help you but you have to pay me! MUAHAHHA! Obviously it wouldn’t quite go down like that, but that’s how it sounds in my head.
It’s hard to know where to draw the line
As I said, I do love helping people. I just struggle with where to draw the line. I don’t want to charge everyone for every little thing, but at the same time, I do have to be mindful of my time. For some reason I just hate the thought of telling someone they have to pay me in order to get help.. that’s kind of silly of me though, isn’t it? I mean, surely it’s not that big of a deal, right? Would those people think I’m being greedy or unfair, or would they understand?