If you are an online writer perhaps you have thought of writing articles and trading for free stuff from companies you write for? This is a totally wise choice and is a great way to get paid "in kind" for your writing skills for the things you need.
Indeed it is a great idea but also be careful to disclose that you have a relationship with that company because if not that could be considered "Buzz Marketing" and the FTC Federal Trade Commission has a big problem with it; you will recall last year sometime when a couple of companies had to pay a big fine.
So, you may wish to review those cases and also be upfront in your writing about the bartering transaction. Similar laws exist at the SEC to prevent people from using the media to hype stocks that they own so they go up and the people can sell them at a profit. You will notice on the financial news now that those being interviewed have to disclose on the air if they own or do not own the stocks they are discussing.
As a writer I believe that bartering for writing of articles makes sense for some writers, but I think you may need to be careful about this stuff. There are so many laws often people inadvertently break them unknowingly doing something that seems like a perfectly honest idea.
The Federal Government way over-regulates business in this country and it is really too bad, because they hurt all the good people while those who really break the law do not care. So be sure to be above board and ethical when trading writing for free stuff, coupons or trades. Consider all this in 2006.