Of Paid In Exposure and Non Disclosure

Hello September…. New Month New Folder.

September Folder

This month my blog will be about my no good, absolutely bad, unscrupulous, questionable and otherwise dodgy dealings with the truth, business, relationships, love and even life.. From the time my parents told me that the lady who read the news on TV had a flu so they had taken the TV to hospital to get her treated and then came back with my baby sister, hospitals were a miracle sort of place where babies where swapped for TVs… to the time a Nigerian Princess wanted to split with me the inheritance from her warlord father….

We start this month with oldest scam in the book a creative will come across when trying to make a name for themselves being paid by exposure. You will be told how the esteem of seeing your name in print should sustain you instead of being paid cold hard cash.


These days when a corporate tells me that they will give me exposure I usually tell them maybe first we exchange analytics I might actually be able to give them more exposure than they can give me…

Don’t get me wrong, exposure can be a valuable currency that makes cents but unscrupulous organisations use it for free labour.

You're doing it for the EXPOSURE - The Oatmeal

When I ask for guest contributors on my site, I usually state that I cant yet afford to pay for articles which is mostly because this website does not directly pay me… How To Make Money From Blogging is the scam I will be highlighting in my next post.

My proudest blogging was when a very reputable corporation head-hunted me to head a team for a short-term demo project after seeing my guest post on some other website which led them to my blog. So sometimes that exposure thing is not a total scam…

How to Determine if Getting Paid in Exposure Is Worth

Anyway the thing with this project was that I had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement with clauses which stated that I could never ever disclose the nature of my work or the business relationship between the company and myself or even the existence of the NDA… I was like a dirty little secret.

Non-Disclosure photos,

I handled a project which I can never add to my resume, I cant even point out and say those guys think I am big deal I worked with them and they liked my work ethic and creativity. We pass each other on the streets and I have to pretend like for a very short time we never created something wonderful together…

Had I fully appreciated what the NDA meant, maybe I would have asked for a lot of money for my silence but I was young and naïve, thought they would do the right thing and instead watched helplessly as someone else took the credit for my work and I footnote on an NDA Clause initialled and signed …well I agreed to this.

NDA Clause

When you are signing those contracts make sure you understand exactly what you signing, knowing what I know now, I should have challenged aspects of the NDA, some of it was meant to protect the business but ultimately it served to leave me with the short end of the stick.

Recently I was asked what my highlight blogging moment was and the first rule of my highlight blogging moment is that I cannot talk about it, the second rule is, I cannot talk about it, the third rule is I cannot talk about it, the fourth rule is I cannot talk about why I cannot talk about it…

Pay attention to what you sign in those contracts…


PS feel free to join in this ScamTember blogging challenge and write about any scams you have encountered, for awareness, closure and even laughs. #ScamTember




  1. ScamTember! That exposure scam is used at its peak in the Zim music industry… A recently disbanded music organisation was reportedly notorious for that…. Source: The Grapevine…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been seeing this “pay by exposure” thing a lot recently… At least people are coming out and standing against it, I mean the exposure is good but it’s not like you can pay your expenses with it. Mehn! I’ve never signed a NDA but now I know… Didn’t think they can play you like that 🙆🏾‍♀️
    Great post

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly!!! I saw someone say it was literally slave labour… just like some internship positions hmm speaking of which let me jot that down for a potential post.

      NDAs can be such tricky lil bastards and they seem to be becoming a thing especially as companies engage more remote workers and digital consultants

      Thanks Peshy

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an excellent question Thando…
      It’s an interesting balance, finding where to place the line, first it will depend on which part of your journey you are.
      When you are starting you might have to invest in some building your social capital to make a name for yourself or at least to network with the value adding connections.
      While you do this you have to assess the value of the work you are doing so that when you do start rating your work you know your worth.
      Finally consider how much conversion the work you are doing is getting the people you do it for,
      If they are directly earning from your creativity and efforts then you cannot settle for exposure alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will never work for free because I know I will never be paid for doing nothing. unpaid internships, exposure and s/o can miss me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unpaid internships are the worst!!!
      In fact the wheels of capitalism turn on the backs of those who labour beneath, their sweat and blood greasing the way while someone else reaps the profit….

      We need to know our worth and how to value it


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heheheee… Do you want me to start with how many times I’ve heard this in the movie/TV industry? My gawd! 😂

    You will use your clothes, shoes, make-up, hair and still, they won’t pay you all in the name of exposure. Let me not even start because… Okay now 🤦🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know!!!
      Like at least cover some of the basics…
      No? Well make sure you are really providing value for exposure and not just exploiting people. 🤣

      But I see creatives are now boldly saying no to exploitation… 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes please! I say now say no to exploitation. I’d rather sit at home and blog than use up my (limited) hard earned resources on “exposure”. Eish!

        Liked by 1 person

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