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Thread: About.com?

  1. #3551
    figuring it all out MrAlex'sMommy's Avatar
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    Holy wow! I just got accepted into prep!!! Please keep all crossables crossed for me, because it just came at a time when I could really use it!


  2. #3552
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Woo hoo! Everything possible is crossed for you!

  3. #3553
    figuring it all out MrAlex'sMommy's Avatar
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    Thank you so much, Barb! I'm a bit overwhelmed right now, but I know that's normal. I'm really excited to get started.


  4. #3554
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Yes indeed, I remember that overwhelmed feeling. But it's probably good that it starts in Prep because if you make it through, be prepared to be overwhelmed on another whole level! I mean that in a good way, as it's so exciting to work on your site and make plans for it and then make them reality.

    Are you in prep for an existing topic or a brand new one? Mine was brand new.

  5. #3555
    figuring it all out MrAlex'sMommy's Avatar
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    An existing one, thank goodness. I'm sure I'd be a million times more overwhelmed if I had to start from scratch. It's nice to be able to look at previous work to see the direction they've taken and build upon that.

    The only thing I'm not too sure about is the timeline. I plan to get my samples in by Sunday. But I'm assuming they wait until all samples are in to give the go-ahead for everyone. Does the second week start at exactly 7 days, or will they take a few days to let me know whether or not I've made it and then start the countdown?


  6. #3556
    Reader first, writer second Melville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrAlex'sMommy View Post
    An existing one, thank goodness. I'm sure I'd be a million times more overwhelmed if I had to start from scratch. It's nice to be able to look at previous work to see the direction they've taken and build upon that.

    The only thing I'm not too sure about is the timeline. I plan to get my samples in by Sunday. But I'm assuming they wait until all samples are in to give the go-ahead for everyone. Does the second week start at exactly 7 days, or will they take a few days to let me know whether or not I've made it and then start the countdown?
    I'm in prep for a brand new topic, now heading toward the third week.

    Here's how I understand it works (or at least for my topic in prep):

    Keep in mind, it's not a horse race. Nobody blew a whistle and everybody started running. I know that a couple of people started before me, and a couple people started afterwards. The editorial staff won't make a decision until all the work is done -- that's why they allow a week to decide in the end as hopefuls finish up.

    I sent in my samples on a weekday morning and heard back before lunch that same day. That's when I was given my two week deadline.

    So, good luck to you but, remember, it's not a timed competition, at least not you against the others. If you meet your own established deadlines, your work will be judged against others but in terms of quality rather than crossing a finish line.

    Hope this helps!
    Mel
    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
    --Herman Melville

  7. #3557
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    IIRC, I also heard back quickly about moving into the second phase. I didn't get a ton a feedback, which I think, looking back, was a good thing. Just be sure to carefully follow whatever feedback/suggestions you receive.

  8. #3558
    I didn't get much feedback either. Good luck to everyone in prep!
    Read all about the iPad.

  9. #3559
    figuring it all out MrAlex'sMommy's Avatar
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    Just jumping on to say I didn't make it to the second round. Wasn't meant to be! I wasn't able to access my contract preview until today, so I was pretty blind as far as what they were expecting from Schedules A and B. I tried my best to model it after the existing content, but maybe they're looking to take it in a different direction.

    Mel, I hope things are going much better for you! Best of luck with the rest of it, if you're still in your third week!


  10. #3560
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Outside links ?

    Are you allowed to link to non-about content on about? There's a Topic Writer position I'm a bit tempted to try for (I'm not especially qualified, but it could be interesting!) However, the few about sites I've encountered lately while goodsearching seem light on content and heavy on about links (since more page views lead to more income?) While searching for info, I find this annoying, and tend to look elsewhere. As a contributor, are you allowed to point to helpful outside sources? Thanks!
    Last edited by tigerlily; 05-02-2012 at 05:40 AM.

  11. #3561
    Yes, you are allowed to link to outside sources. In fact, it is encouraged. But there are some guides who don't understand how this can be beneficial to both themselves and their readers.

    One thing to note is that the ethical policy strongly discourages linking to your own material outside of About.com except in the bio. Technically, you are allowed to link to it if no other external links can be found that satisfy the need to link, but in reality, you simply shouldn't link to your own stuff.
    Read all about the iPad.

  12. #3562
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you herdon!

  13. #3563
    figuring it all out LStein's Avatar
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    I just applied to be a guide. I'm so glad there's an absolute write thread about it!

    They said it could take several months to hear back so I'll update when that happens. I like that they email you either way.

    I'm definitely going to try to take someone's advice and forget about the application. No sense freaking out for four months.
    "Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." - E.L. Doctorow

    "If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison

    WIP: Annabel; short, sweet, thrillerish. First Draft done at 65,287 words! - Now editing!

  14. #3564
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Here's a few hot topics for which About.com is currently actively seeking guides:
    . Autos - Corvettes . B2B - Pharmacy and Conventions & Hospitality . Food - Fish & Seafood Cooking and Meat & Game Cooking . Home & Garden - Bathrooms . Sports - BMX and Darts & Bar Sports . Style - Etiquette . Travel - Vacation Homes . Entertainment - Young Adult Books . Money - Event Planning . Home & Garden - Mobile Homes

  15. #3565
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    for people who are guides already

    Once you get hired at about.com are their forums so you can talk to other guides? How much support do you get after you are hired? I know a lot of the income guides make is based on page views so I'm curious how easy it is to share ideas amongst other guides.

  16. #3566
    Sockpuppet
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    Forums have no bearing at all on guide performance reviews. So far as I know, there is no guide forum, although there are editors (I think that's their title) for support, and there's a help desk for guides.

  17. #3567
    Quote Originally Posted by emilys View Post
    Once you get hired at about.com are their forums so you can talk to other guides? How much support do you get after you are hired? I know a lot of the income guides make is based on page views so I'm curious how easy it is to share ideas amongst other guides.
    Yes, there are forums where guides can ask questions and share tips. There are also email groups.
    Read all about the iPad.

  18. #3568
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Great thanks Herdon!

  19. #3569
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Tonic's Avatar
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    Wow, this thread has been really informative! The prep information is so useful. I have one question, though... has anyone been a Topic Writer for About? There's a topic I have experience in available in the Topic Writers section. Is it worth applying?
    Find me on: Good Reads

  20. #3570
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I think it is too early to tell if it is worth it to be a topic writer. I just got hired as a topic writer and it looks like the base pay is okay. There is less work than if you were a full guide but there are less opportunities for page views and you don't get some of the perks like free images to use.

  21. #3571
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin JD Laukkonen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkkognito View Post
    They give us a list pretty regularly, so I'll keep posting them here whenever I get the info. I was very blessed to get into About.com when I did so I'm happy to try to return the favor by helping others do the same.
    Well, you definitely helped me out. If you hadn't posted that About was looking for a guide to "car tech" back in February, I probably wouldn't have noticed. (I'd checked into writing for About before, but I never actually applied because it seemed like a lot of waiting (and work) with very little chance of actually getting in.)

    They actually accepted me into prep less than a month after I applied, and my site went live at the end of April (prep took a little longer than normal because they asked me to redo pictures I took for a how to article).

    I'm nearing the end of my second full month, and writing for About is definitely the best experience I've had since I started freelancing.

  22. #3572
    Reader first, writer second Melville's Avatar
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    Hi All!
    I went into prep back in the Spring as a Topic writer for a topic I adore and then... prep was cancelled. The editor was very nice, saying that the topic would be "revisited" at a future date and I could reapply (????????????).

    I thought maybe they accepted someone from "in house", or maybe someone recommended by the Guide, and so I went on my way, glad to have gotten just that far... but it's been 3 months and the topic is still listed. Could it be that they just don't update the list or can it be that the topic is still open and they do plan to revisit it in the future?

    I was thinking maybe (at prep) they had too many candidates drop out and, maybe, I was the only one left. (If so, too bad I couldn't get the gig by default!)

    For those of you at About.com, what do you think? Should I reapply? Or is it just a case of a list not being updated?

    Thanks!
    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
    --Herman Melville

  23. #3573
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I just finished my first month live of being a Topic Writer, and save for a developer error in reporting my blog links (which affects my paycheck... eep), it's been a great experience. My eval period took the full three weeks, and then a week to hear back from them, and then another two weeks to go live, so more than a month of work before I even had a website live.

    From what I understand of my parent-site guide, the TopicWriter position is pretty much brand new and they're still working out all the kinks. I would say it's worth reapplying for prep if your topic is still available. They do update the list because since my site has gone live, they removed my topic, but it was up even after I got my grad note.

    Good luck! I really do like it, and the people all seem really helpful and friendly!

  24. #3574
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin JD Laukkonen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVMom View Post
    I just finished my first month live of being a Topic Writer, and save for a developer error in reporting my blog links (which affects my paycheck... eep), it's been a great experience. My eval period took the full three weeks, and then a week to hear back from them, and then another two weeks to go live, so more than a month of work before I even had a website live.

    From what I understand of my parent-site guide, the TopicWriter position is pretty much brand new and they're still working out all the kinks. I would say it's worth reapplying for prep if your topic is still available. They do update the list because since my site has gone live, they removed my topic, but it was up even after I got my grad note.

    Good luck! I really do like it, and the people all seem really helpful and friendly!
    Yeah, I had gotten the impression before that there were already topic writers, but when they made the announcement recently it sounded like you guys are the very first batch. Congratulations on making it in.

    Your experience sounds similar to mine. I'm a regular guide, but it was well over a month between the start of eval and my site going live. I received my initial email on March 8th, and my site went live on
    April 27th.

    I also had a weird issue with pay calculations my first month (for some reason, one of my pieces of content didn't get counted. Whoops.) Support straightened it out though, so no problems.

  25. #3575
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin JD Laukkonen's Avatar
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    About is actively looking for guides in the following areas:


    • AIDS/HIV
    • Asthma
    • Dental Care
    • Headaches/Migraines
    • Kosher Food
    • Sugar-Free Cooking
    • Business Insurance
    • Cheerleading
    • Snowboarding


    http://guide.about.com/

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