I am constantly in search of top-notch writers who can blog.
You’d think it would be easy to find good freelancers, especially considering we want to PAY them, but the truth is, it can be a difficult task. It’s not difficult to find writers, mind you; it’s difficult to find good writers.
Why do I want to pay bloggers? Because my company manages a handful of blogs, and we need people to write for them. (Speaking of, here’s a list of our writing opportunities. You can also sign up for our Freelance Bloggers Database.)
Specifically, we need solid writers we can turn to when we want to assign a blog post, bloggers who are able to turn around assignments within a week or two.
We call these reported blog posts. What the heck is a reported blog post? This isn’t a term you should already know; it’s one I invented for my Socialexis team. A reported blog post often has a newsy angle and quotes from sources and/or examples, but it’s not written in formal news style. Instead, it has an informal and fun voice throughout the post, as well as a playful introduction that pulls in the reader. It feels like a blog post, but includes reported information.
You can read the full definition of a reported blog post here, and that link also offers some examples. (And if you’re going to participate in the opportunity outlined below, make sure you check it out!)
With my background in journalism, I figured reporters would be a good choice for this type of work. But they often lack creativity and are unable to write in the informal, fun voice we use for most of our blogs. So I tried coming at it from the opposite angle, approaching people who billed themselves as freelance writers and asking them to report on a topic, but non-reporter freelancers tend to turn down posts when they’re not an expert on the topic.
Here’s a secret I learned in journalism school: a good reporter or freelancer can cover anything. You might specialize in certain topics, but if you’re asked to write about something, you can use research and interviews and sources to make it happen.
Anyhow, this leaves us in the current predicament: we’re always looking for bloggers. So today I’m offering a trial opportunity: write a blog post about one of the topics below, and if we choose to run your post, we’ll not only pay you for it — $75/post — we’ll also turn to you in the future when we want to assign paid posts.
Interested? Here’s how this will work. (Click here to tweet about the contest!)
The deadline to submit is July 15. Once that deadline passes, my team and I will read all the submissions and choose a winner for each topic. Those three winners will each be paid $75, and their post will run on the corresponding blog. Best of all, we’ll also look to work with those winners in the future, assigning them paid posts when we have the need.
To be honest, my mission here is not to get these three posts written, although that’s a perk. My mission is to find quality writers. That means if your post sticks out to us as well-done, we might ask you to write for our blogs down the line even if you aren’t chosen as a winner.
Sound good? Here are the topics:
Blog: Brazen Life, which covers professional development, with a focus on networking. Here are guidelines for writing the post.
What to include: You don’t have to live in San Diego to write this post, so long as you have solid research and interview skills. Include 8-12 recurring networking events that take place in the San Diego area. Feel free to quote people you interview or link to event details you find online. Check out these three posts as examples.
Blog: The Penny Hoarder, which is about weird ways to earn and save money. Guidelines for writing the post are here.
What to include: Lots of people dream about running a B&B: enjoying a quiet place in the country, forming friendships with out-of-town visitors and making some money all the while. But what’s the reality of running a bed and breakfast? What should you keep in mind if you’re considering it? What does the job really entail, and how easy is it to turn a profit? Can it really be a full-time job, or is it more of a side income? You’ll want to include real examples, so talk to several people who live the B&B lifestyle to see what they suggest.
Blog: IWA Wine, which covers all things wine, with a focus on storage. Here are guidelines for writing the post.
What to include: Obviously you won’t be able to write this off the top of your head if you don’t know much about wine or wine cellars, but what you can do is research the topic and interview experts. This has the added bonus of helping you include real people and examples in the post, which will make it that much better. This blog has a more serious tone than the other blogs we manage — we look for a sophisticated voice — but you can still be creative in how you write the post.
Once your blog post is complete…
1. Cut and paste it into Google Docs (if you didn’t write it there originally).
2. Change the title of your Doc so it’s your name, plus the blog you wrote a post for. Example: Alexis Grant, The Penny Hoarder.
3. Share that Doc with email@example.com.
We’ll add to this section as questions arise…
Can I submit for more than one topic? Yes! Go for it.
What’s the deadline again? July 15, 2014
How do I go about sharing via Google Docs? Here’s a link that explains it.
Do only the winners get paid? That’s right. By submitting a post, you are taking the risk of not getting paid. We’ll only pay for posts we decide to run, and we’re only planning to run one from each category.
If you have questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to reading your submission!
19 Replies to “Writing Contest for Bloggers and Reporters: Three $75 Prizes”
Alexis,I loved this opp so much, I had to blog about it on Seawoman\’s Caribbean Writing Opps (though it crossed my mind to keep it to myself to increase my OWN odds) :p.
Very cool — thanks for spreading the word!
I am SUPER excited about this contest, but also a little bummed as I’m in your database, I know I’m an awesome blogger and sent a couple e-mails regarding the blogs you described but didn’t got a response. Thanks so much for these ideas. I’m going to blow this contest up!
Glad you’re participating! My team and I try to respond to all emails, even when something’s not a good fit, just to let you know — so apologies if yours fell through the cracks!
Fun! I’ve been meaning to pitch The Penny Hoarder this month so this is a great opportunity for me! Plus I’ll go ahead and sign up for your database. Sweet!
I love this contest ““ passing it on 🙂
And I have been wondering about a term for a “reported blog post” since I started reading your blog, Lexi! I’ve done and read so much of this style of writing, and I’m so glad you’ve finally offered a way to define it. You’re so at the front of this new wave in writing careers ““ I love seeing what you have to share!
Thanks, Dana! A background in journalism will do that to you =)
Alexis, assuming we don’t “win,” the original writer retains ALL rights to the content submitted, correct?
Good question! You would retain rights to the content, but we’d ask that you publish it with a different headline than assigned so it’s not the same one we use.
Hi. What is the max word number for the blog competition?
Regards Tony Dawson
Hi Tony — The guidelines for each blog explain word count. Thanks!
this contest availabe for worldwide?
I’m from Indonesia. thank you 🙂
I submitted my post early yesterday, but the editor in me has one more line to add at the end. Was the deadline at midnight on the 14th, or is it this evening? Thank you!
Go ahead and add it today, as we’re just starting to go through them!
Awesome. I added it and resent. Thank you!