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Thread: About.com?

  1. #1
    Last person who isn't on Facebook cool_st_elizabeth's Avatar
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    About.com?

    Has anyone been a guide on About.com? I'd appreciate any info!

  2. #2
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Guide

    Hello,

    I've been lurking for a while and thought this was a good point to jump in since I am an About.com guide. I've been a guide for several years and really enjoy work. They give you a lot of freedom to write about your topic, the other guides are friendly and helpful, and they pay well.

    It can be difficult to get started. They have prospective guides go through a prep program where you compete with other potential guides for the same subject. You need to create content and write articles. It works out well if you get the job. But, it can be a bummer if you end up doing all that work without getting paid! So, if you get accepted to the prep program, I'd suggest you spend a lot of time getting the site together upfront.

    If you haven't already read this page, it's a good source of info: http://beaguide.about.com/index.htm

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Royal Bibliomaniac Marilyn Braun's Avatar
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    Interesting. There are a list of topics, none of which I really know anything about. Is it possible to submit an application for an area of expertise which isn't presently listed? It doesn't look like it but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.
    Not just a Royal Wannabe, I also own the blog and its companion blog.

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  4. #4
    Last person who isn't on Facebook cool_st_elizabeth's Avatar
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    Competing with others for same job

    Quote Originally Posted by JamieL
    They have prospective guides go through a prep program where you compete with other potential guides for the same subject.
    Thanx JamieL. I applied only three days ago, and the email I got from them said it might take up to eight weeks to get accepted into the prep program, and not to inquire because that would delay the process further!

    I knew I wouldn't get paid for the prep program, if I get in. But I didn't realize other ppl would be prepping for the same subject category at the same time ... the topic I applied for has to do with medicine. I can make a credible website & I know I can write well on my chosen topic, but I may lose out in the end because I'm not a physician. I'm planning to go for it anyway though!

  5. #5
    Summer time Blues Pamster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieL
    Hello,

    I've been lurking for a while and thought this was a good point to jump in since I am an About.com guide. I've been a guide for several years and really enjoy work. They give you a lot of freedom to write about your topic, the other guides are friendly and helpful, and they pay well.

    It can be difficult to get started. They have prospective guides go through a prep program where you compete with other potential guides for the same subject. You need to create content and write articles. It works out well if you get the job. But, it can be a bummer if you end up doing all that work without getting paid! So, if you get accepted to the prep program, I'd suggest you spend a lot of time getting the site together upfront.

    If you haven't already read this page, it's a good source of info: http://beaguide.about.com/index.htm

    Good luck!
    Thanks for posting JamieL, welcome to the Cooler! That's a lot of real good info, thank you.

  6. #6
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    I've heard that they've significantly reduced payments to guides. Is that true? Do they retain the rights to your work?
    I feel God in this Chili's.
    -Pam Beesley









  7. #7
    The Tony Award-winning TemlynWriting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassenach
    I've heard that they've significantly reduced payments to guides. Is that true? Do they retain the rights to your work?
    Deb Ng was recently hired on as an About.com guide, and has indicated in this thread that the pay has actually increased from the minimum of $500 per month, though I'm not sure by how much. I do know someone else who is currently working for them and mentioned that the pay has, indeed, increased.
    Julia Temlyn, Word Therapist
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  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Guides are paid based on page views, but also have a base pay. New guides are guaranteed to make at least the base pay for the first two years. The base pay went up quite a bit this year too.

    cool_st_elizabeth: They have really been pushing to make the medical sites stellar. It's a good sign that you were accepted into prep. It is true that it can take forever to hear back from them! I waited weeks!

    Marilyn Braun: I don't think there's a way to apply for a guide position that isn't listed on the available topics page.

  9. #9
    Last person who isn't on Facebook cool_st_elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieL
    cool_st_elizabeth: They have really been pushing to make the medical sites stellar. It's a good sign that you were accepted into prep. It is true that it can take forever to hear back from them! I waited weeks!
    LOL ... nope, I'm not accepted into prep, not yet anyway ... I got an autoresponse type of email thanking me for my application & saying I might not hear anything else for up to eight weeks!

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Sorry, I must have read through your response too fast.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW cattywampus's Avatar
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    I tried to get into this a year or so ago. I was approved with no problem, and fairly quickly. But at that time, you had to set up your own site using HTML, inserting code into their code. I couldn't get it to work, although I followed their instructions. I spent a couple of weeks with this, then I guess they got tired of all my questions and more or less barred me. They seem extremely picky, but some of their sites must really be making money.

  12. #12
    The Tony Award-winning TemlynWriting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cattywampus
    I tried to get into this a year or so ago. I was approved with no problem, and fairly quickly. But at that time, you had to set up your own site using HTML, inserting code into their code. I couldn't get it to work, although I followed their instructions. I spent a couple of weeks with this, then I guess they got tired of all my questions and more or less barred me. They seem extremely picky, but some of their sites must really be making money.
    Actually, that was Allinfoabout.com, Catty. I remember when that was happening. About.com is different.

    Hope that helps!
    Julia Temlyn, Word Therapist
    Temlyn Writing - editing, writing, moderating, social media consulting/management

    Blogs: Musical Reviewer Writers Remember Mrs. Write Right, Word Therapist A Mom at Heart: an infertility blog Houston Theatre
    Etc.: Twitter: @JuliaTemlyn & @MusicalReviewer Facebook Linkedin


  13. #13
    Bang head here for service ModoReese's Avatar
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    Does anyone know about who writes the daily or weekly email lessons for the AboutU part of About.com? There's a few subjects I'd love to pitch if they're still taking new ideas.

    Thanks!

    Michelle
    My blogs:

    Hiking Blog: Hip Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Outdoors Blog @ CW: Outdoor-Weblog

    Plus check out my Gadgets columns @ Canoe.ca

  14. #14
    Royal Bibliomaniac Marilyn Braun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieL

    Marilyn Braun: I don't think there's a way to apply for a guide position that isn't listed on the available topics page.
    I actually looked up my subject and it's a sub-category of the main topic. There are openings for a topic expert, so I applied in that way.

    Fingers crossed!!
    Not just a Royal Wannabe, I also own the blog and its companion blog.

    Did you know The Queen has her own blog?

    And yet another one: All Kate, All the time

    Listen to my podcast: The Royal Report.

    WIP: Everyone Who Knew Me
    Current word count: 15,815
    Goal: 70,000

  15. #15
    Last person who isn't on Facebook cool_st_elizabeth's Avatar
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    Good luck Marilyn ;-)

  16. #16
    gestating a plot
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    After reading this thread and following the links, I decided to apply for a topic, too. I used the same style and perspective that I use when counseling women. (I applied for the contraceptive piece).
    BIC 5 days a week.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    I decided to go for it, too! I applied today. It looks like fun!

  18. #18
    Knows notebooks can kill. BlueBadger's Avatar
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    I just applied too! I sort of had my hours drastically cut at my day job, so I guess this is as good a time as any to get serious about my freelancing.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW Aesposito's Avatar
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    I applied too this weekend, just for some extra cash....chose Heart Attacks, since I teach cardiac stuff at local hospital... fingers crossed!

    Audrey


  20. #20
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I stopped actually using the about site when the ads got more aggressive and started to include popups.

  21. #21
    Knows notebooks can kill. BlueBadger's Avatar
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    I didn't even notice. God bless Firefox.

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW
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    I just applied as well... I've been waiting for a particular topic to open up and it looks like it finally did. I applied for inline skating a while ago, but didn't get accepted. I was kind of expecting that though, it was a stretch. This one I think I stand a better chance hopefully...

    I'm also a guide on suite101.com for pretty much the same topic so maybe that will help me out as well. Now just the wait.

  23. #23
    Going through the motions DTNg's Avatar
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    I'm the new Guide to Weblogs, the site should be up shortly. I found prep simple and didn't have to email my mentor once with a technical question. I heard all of these horror stories about how prep takes up all of your time and there are all of these tools and templates to learn, but I found it to be a breeze. I was able to handle About and my other work and only had to spend a few extra hours at my computer.

    Incidentally, I was accepted into prep only two days after I applied. The thing that scared me was how I would be competing with others for the site. I'm technically challenged and felt this would be a detriment. I'm happy to report the tools are easy for beginners. Even if I didn't make prep, it was an incredible learning experience. I could have taken everything I wrote for prep and turned it into an informative site or blog.
    Freelance Writing Jobs
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  24. #24
    Going through the motions DTNg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueBadger
    I didn't even notice. God bless Firefox.
    Same here. I never see popups.
    Freelance Writing Jobs
    Twitter: @debng or @FreelanceWJ for job updates


  25. #25
    figuring it all out
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    I heard all of these horror stories about how prep takes up all of your time and there are all of these tools and templates to learn, but I found it to be a breeze.
    I was accepted to host a site back in 1997, but I could not make it through orientation because of technical difficulties. At that time, they required you to download a series of templates, fill them out off-line and upload them via FTP software. I did not even know what FTP was, but I found help and learned. However, I could never get my files into the right folders and generally made a mess of the whole thing. I now regularly use FTP software for another job, but the software of today is so much more user-friendly than it was ten years ago. I imagine that About.com no longer uses this system as it would be quite cumbersome for a computer novice to learn and navigate. I do not consider myself technically challenged either, so it was a real disappointment when I could not solve the problems I was having. Maybe the horror stories come from people who had a similar experience to mine.

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