Website design and development is still a mystery to the majority of the internet-using public. Sure, they've meddled with Frontpage or maybe even Dreamweaver; they've made a page about Led Zeppelin in the 90's with “Under Construction” .gifs, and have used some sort of service to bling-out their space; they consider themselves internet power users. Why then, when someone hears I make websites, is the knee–jerk reaction to request services from me for free or for a nominal fee or trade? The only other parallel I can draw is a doctor: people do ask doctors to look at things for them, or ask their advice. That's fine, and in many cases, I'm sure they're glad to help. In many cases, I'm glad to be of assistance with my friends' or family's website needs. At the same time, can I or that doctor really say no? Can we deny a friend's request for help, guidance, or assistance? Not unless you want to seem like a megajerk.
I don't ask you to scratch my back or remodel my house, work on my range-of-motion post-injury, paint me free art for my wall, balance my checkbook, do my taxes, refinance my home, scratch my back, give me a pedicure, teach me to salsa, give me discounts on electronics, give me your couch, be my personal shopper, publish my book, give me your bike, let me sleep with your sister, or teach me calculus. Why should you?