Hey, Austin! Do you love the city as much as we do? Are you able to string a couple of sentences together…in English?
I’m Eric Highland, founder of The Austinot. People often ask me if we are looking for any new writers. Truth is, we are always looking for genuinely kind and fun people (who can write) to join our growing team.
We’re a small team. Well, we’re actually more like a family and our team has a great chemistry. So we’re not looking for everyone to sign up, but rather people who get what The Austinot is all about and want to write unique articles about the city.
Our reach is pretty out of control, so we get invited to some of the coolest things in town.
Our social reach is currently in the hundreds of thousands per week. The Austinot is regularly ranked in the top 300,000 websites on the Internet and in the top 60,000 websites in the United States, according to Alexa.com. Currently, we are a verified page on Facebook with nearly 45,000 Facebook fans. We also have more than 18,000 followers on Twitter, 15,000 on Instagram, and you can find us on G+ and Pinterest, too.
You can also find us on TV once a month on KXAN’s Studio512. Needless to say, it is a lot of fun being a part of The Austinot.
Here’s how the process works. If you are interested in being a writer for The Austinot, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In your email, do the following:
- Introduce yourself. Tell us about who you are and why you’d like to write for The Austinot. The challenge here is to do it in one well crafted and creative paragraph. Have fun with it and show us your personality. Remember, just one paragraph.
- Show us your social prowess. Send us your social links. You know, Facebook profile, Twitter handle, Pinterest page, Instagram, Google +, so we can check out your online personality. At this point you might say, meh, not interested. Even if we didn’t ask for this, you know we were going to look anyway. So you may as well submit your links and save us the step of tracking you down.
- Smile. Include a photo of your lovely Austiny self. Note: if you don’t know how to add a photo to an email, you should probably stop reading now.
- Writing Samples: Provide at least two writing samples. We prefer articles you’ve written, but anything you’ve written (we’ve seen college essays and various other creative samples) will suffice. We want to know you can string and sling words.
I Submitted My Package, What Happens Next?
Our Editor will take a look at all complete packages and contact you within five business days of submission.
Please don’t be offended if we say no. Like I said, The Austinot is like a family, so we’re pretty protective of our team members.
If we do say yes, the next step will be a few guest articles from you. Once your guest articles are approved, they will be published on The Austinot and publicized to our readers. We want to see how our readers and fans respond to you as a writer. During this trial period, we are also looking at how well you do with deadlines and how timely your communication with the Editor is.
If all goes well, we’ll offer you a spot as an Austinot Contributing Blogger.
What Do Austinot Contributing Bloggers Get?
If you’re going to be one of us, hopefully you realize that what you give is more important than what you get out of this. But being an Austinot Contributing Blogger is certainly not without its perks.
You can imagine that with the reach level The Austinot has, we are invited to pretty much everything in town. Music concerts to grand openings, events, private parties, you name it. Heck, we’ve even been invited to play bee keepers for a day, jump out of perfectly good aircraft (literally), stay in amazing bed and breakfasts and hotels, ride in helicopters, go ziplining, flyboarding, eat at all kinds of restaurants, and more. Our team of Contributing Bloggers get first right of refusal on all our invites.
You get business cards and a press credential, and invites to hang out at our private Austinot Blogger parties which happen every 3-6 months depending on what is going on around the city.
It also goes without saying that you get your writing seen by a ridiculous number of people. As a Contributing Blogger, your bio will appear on our About page, with a link to your social media account or website if you like.
What Is Required of Me as an Austinot Contributing Blogger?
This part is pretty straight forward. We ask for a 6-month commitment of two high quality, 400+ word articles per month. You must meet all deadlines and maintain a high level of professionalism at all events. You also need to have solid communication with our Editor, but we make that easy for you with our private Facebook group for Contributing Bloggers only.
We review each blogger internally after 6 months and decide whether they are meeting all of the requirements to remain in their position. But we constantly communicate with our bloggers, so there are really no surprises here.
Q. Am I paid for the articles I write?
A. No. No Austinot blogger (myself included) has ever accepted payment for an Austinot article. We want to stay objective in all that we write. We all volunteer to do this because we love the city of Austin.
Q. Is there any way for me to earn money by working as a Contributing Blogger for The Austinot?
A. Yes. Any contributing blogger who brings in a sponsor will receive 50% of whatever the sponsor pays each month for the first sponsor, as long as they remain a sponsor of the Austinot, and 20% of any additional sponsors they bring in.
Q. Can I write about anything I want to?
A. All article topics must be approved by the Editor. But generally, if your idea is about Austin, you can write about it. The exceptions to this are we don’t publish articles related to politics, religion, or anything more than PG-13 in nature.
Q. That’s lame, why can’t I write about those things?
A. Well, we hope to always have sponsors. Sponsors can be pretty picky about what they get behind, so we don’t dabble in those sort of things.
Q. What is the average time commitment for writing two articles per month?
A. The short answer is probably 3-5 hours per month, depending on your writing speed and the preparation required for your article. But figure it this way. You are going to be out and about in Austin anyway. Snap a few shots, do a quick interview and write 400+ interesting words. Then send them to the Editor and that’s it.
So there are your answers, folks. Yes, we are looking for writers. Right NOW we are looking for writers. But we have to find the right people. I don’t care if you have tattoos or not, if you are gay or straight, if you are sporting a hipster beard or are clean shaven, or if you lean to the left or the right. What I do care about is that you have a passion for the city of Austin, you can write, and you are genuinely kind. If that is you and you are interested, let us know!
Founder, The Austinot