Reciprocity anticipates a need -- the good balance to strike between the entitled quid pro quo, and the lazy status quo.
We all occasionally are in need of help. As Colleen Wainwright says:
There’s also nothing wrong with asking what you can do to help someone, if that is what it takes for you to really help someone. Asking is a marvelous way to gather useful intelligence with which to shape your loving and generous impulses.
[...] Where it gets tricky is when the helping is “helping”: asking how you can help as your secret judo way of soliciting it for yourself, or asking when you have zero intention of following through. This is the kind of “helping” that gives helping a bad name, and unfortunately, it’s as rampant as hollow, meaningless inquiries into the state of one’s health.
Love in motion, love in action. I like that. Help does show up and flows through networks. It's made of small and big choices, attitude and spirit surround it. You feel the sincerity all the way down into your gut.
Where it gets a little tricky -- and obvious -- is the blatant photo opp; the how can *I help* that makes support you the weak cousin of "how are you doing?", you know the one with the tone that implies it's all about them, those extending the offer.
To be sure, do provide your community, the people you support, with ways to thank you and support you in return. For example, there are many ways to do that here -- from becoming a sponsor to subscribing to the premium newsletter, to commenting on posts and sharing my work.
Which is why it always comes as a surprise when an unsolicited request to help me becomes a way to get me to work for free on content for sites that look to build value -- and traffic -- off the free work of others supposedly to "promote them".
What would you say to that?