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Old 04-01-2013, 05:23 PM
Awesome WAHM
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Default About Guide

I applied to become an about.com guide and received an email saying I was selected to start the evaluation process. They were a little vague on a few things and it is making it hard to decide if this is a good option or not.

Has anyone hear had experience with their program, working for their site, etc?
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:06 PM
Awesome WAHM
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwinter View Post
I applied to become an about.com guide and received an email saying I was selected to start the evaluation process. They were a little vague on a few things and it is making it hard to decide if this is a good option or not.

Has anyone {hear} had experience with their program, working for their site, etc?

I read about the program and it sounded great. If I remember correctly, the application process is complex. I did not apply. However, maybe someday I will. It definitely looks good on a resume. One important thing is that I did sign up for some of the newsletters. I really am disappointed in the poor level of writing I have seen.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:47 PM
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If it is for a guide, you go through the process without getting paid along with a handful of other candidates. Then they pick the one they want to run the site. I noticed they used to post what guides would be paid but in the sign up area they are vague about that now. There used to be a monthly amount guaranteed for so many months and then the site would be evaluated and the pay would be based on how well it was doing (fixed + pay per views).

I haven't been through the process but read a lot from writers here and at BellaOnline.com and in the AbsoluteWrite.com forums.

Good luck if you decide to do it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:20 PM
Awesome WAHM
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From what I understand so far I will have an evaluation period that is unpaid. If they choose not to use my work then my work is mine to keep, resell, etc.

They weren't very clear after that point. It just said I would move to the next stage of three stages. I know what they used to advertise as pay. My big questions are 1) is it still the same and 2) how many articles will I be expected to write each week. That's what is going to make the big difference for me. I mean at a point the number of articles, word count and time spent on the articles could overrun the amount of money that I receive which would make the job worthless.

I did email in and ask my questions, but the response was equally as vague. It's making me uneasy.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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I have worked as a guide at About.com for more than five years. The pay is more than fair and the expectations are manageable. If I break it down into an hourly wage for my time and effort, it is one of my highest paying gigs. I like it because the work I did five years ago is affecting how much I am paid now. It is worth going through the effort of applying. The process is different now then when I applied, so I can't help you there, but I did want to state that it is worth the effort. I can't go into details about pay due to confidentiality agreements.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:23 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Default I've been through evaluation twice...

I was accepted to evaluation twice within the past year. Both times, I was told that though they liked my writing a lot, my photos weren't good enough and I didn't create a good enough look for the site, or something like that.

One of the topics I tested for is STILL available.

The process is quite lengthy, and their content management system is not easy to use. You will get a little bit of guidance, but not a whole lot. I spent a LOT of time just trying to figure out how to use their system and what was expected. It was very frustrating.

I really, really wanted the About gig, and was incredibly disappointed to miss out.

You will have a week to write five pieces of content. A couple of articles and a couple of blogs. Five is a minimum, it's smart to do a lot more than that. You will be given a list of ideas to choose from. The editor will look over your content at the end of the week, and let you know if you are going to continue in the process.

If you continue, you'll have another week or two to mock up a site. You will use the content you wrote the first week, and will need to have headlines, tags, photos and meta information. If it's a new topic, you will also need to establish the categories.

You won't be paid for any of the evaluation process. If you pass, that content will start your site. If not, you can try to use it elsewhere, though most won't really be usable for any other site.

You will also need to submit your bio. I suspect that if you don't look "impressive" enough, they won't accept you.

It's a good paying gig for the freelance world, with steady, creative work. I check available topics frequently, and would apply in a heartbeat if I saw something suitable. It kills me that I was turned down for not having great photos, and the topic I wanted still sits open months later.

Last edited by mitako; 04-02-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:17 PM
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I went through the evaluation for a medical topic back in October. I took a risk and did the evaluation instead of taking another job, which was a sure thing. I just could not fit everything in I had to do. You are not paid for any of it. This is how mine went:
I was given a week to write three articles and two blogs. After I wrote the first one, my editor was supposed to critique it and send back feedback, which I could implement for the next ones. She never emailed back, so I had to submit all the writing without any feedback. If your writing is good enough, you make it to the next phase.
She did respond after I sent everything with a few tips, but said I made it to the next phase, which was building the site. You build it with your articles and blogs you wrote. There is coding involved and stuff like that. The first week was easy, but the second week building the site was hard, but I don’t have a lot of tech knowledge.
Anyway, it took weeks for a response, but that was when the floods happened in NYC and that is where there office was. I was not selected, she said my voice was not passionate enough.
I reviewed the sight in depth before I wrote and the doctor who was writing about my topic was not very passionate. Not every topic allows the same amount of passion. I think with medical topics, people reading want easy to understand facts to answer their questions not necessarily “passion”.
Also if my writing was the problem, I should not have been allowed to continue, because she already saw my style before I continued on to the second phase, which was using their tools and site building. So I felt she gave no feedback like she said she would, and wasted my time. I think basically she sucked. (Or maybe I am just bitter
I think if you get a good editor, it can be a better experience. If you land the job, compensation seems good. If you have the time, it can also be a good experience. Just my two cents.
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