Please don’t ask me for advice beyond what’s on this blog.
Today I got yet another request for help from a reader. That’s the third one this week.
Back in the old days, the requests were for help about using computers. They all followed the same two-part format:
- I’ve read your [book/article/blog post] and I think it’s [informative/helpful/great]! You’re a great writer and your work has been so helpful!
- Can you tell me how to [do something specific that is only vaguely related to what you wrote about and that isn’t covered in any source I can find for free on the Internet]?
Simple formula: complement and then ask for free information.
At one point, I was getting at least a dozen of these a week. So many, in fact, that I modified my Contact page so it warned would-be contacts that I’d delete any requests for help or information. It was really out of control. I could have easily spent several hours a day just researching and composing answers for these people.
Times change. My books, some of which were once bestsellers, are now dead. After all, what do you think the average life span of a computer how-to book is?
Now my blog attracts more helicopter pilots/owners and would-be helicopter pilots/owners. And guess what? They write to me using the same exact formula as above: complement and then ask for free information.
Well, times may have changed but my policy about researching and composing answers for people in search of free information has not.
I am not a helicopter consultant. I can’t help you buy a helicopter. I can’t help you get hooked up with a flight school. I can’t advise you on a career as a helicopter pilot. I can’t tell you which helicopter is best for you to buy. I can’t tell you what it costs to operate a helicopter — other than the one I own, which I detailed here. I can’t help you get your Part 135 certificate. I can’t tell you how to start your own helicopter charter business.
I blog about helicopters, among other things. I blog about my own experiences and the topics that interest me.
I am not a free resource for every bit of information you might need about anything remotely related to helicopters and flying.
I make a living as a pilot and a writer. People pay me for my work. What you’ll find on this blog is what I’m willing to give away for free. When the bank and grocery story and utility companies start accepting your complements as payment for my bills, I’ll rethink my policy.
Until then, good luck with Google.
Whew. That feels better.