Hi fellow journalists,

I recently got an opportunity to be a contributor to the info site, Examiner.com. I was wondering if anyone else here has had experience with them, and any recommendations or thoughts about whether working with them is worth it (I'm a freelance travel writer with about 15 years of experience). Any thoughts would be most welcome!


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  • Hi everyone,

    Thanks so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it. This is more or less the types of answers I expected, as I know that most of these sites are far from certain ways to make money as a journalist. I am looking to build my own new Website, LatinFlyer.com, and companion blog, so thought this might be another way to get the word out, but it sounds like the time necessary for Examiner would actually take away from time I should be spending doing my own thing. Negotiating the evolving world of the freelancer is certainly a challenge nowadays!

    Thanks so much everyone!

    LatinFlyer.com – Latin America Travel Intelligence
    Latin America Travel Intelligence
  • Mark --

    I started writing for them in Fall 2008 when there were just 2,000 Examiners and just a few cities. They are now past 40,000 writers, some 100 cities, and still 'hiring', so it's increasingly difficult to get PVs.

    When I started, I was the only one covering my niche (I started as a National Examiner). Today, there are at least five other National writers and more than a dozen local 'city' writers covering the same niche. My entire National 'segment' group is down in PVs by close to half from this time last year. And I have a track record, 300-ish articles which I can link to as "related articles" to boost my PVs, subscribers, and group of like-minded Examiners who cross-promote one another's articles -- so I can't imagine that it would be cost-effective to start with them now.

    Another issue is that with 40,000+ writers, Examiner is not exactly on Google's BFF list. It's almost impossible any more to get indexed, which means you have to do it yourself with digging and twittering and facebook-ing, and that takes more time.

    I'm down from 3-5 articles a week to 3-5 a month because I would rather spend my time writing something that actually pays the rent -- like my just published Peaceful Places New York City guidebook that is Tripatini's Read of the Week this week. Thank you Tripatini!

    Let me know what you decide.

    Evelyn Kanter
  • Yikes---steer clear. It sounds like Stacey below spends a TON of time on it, but she said she makes only $104/month. That's nothing. She said a friend makes over $400, but that's still nothing considering the fact that you're contributing at least three times a week! Articles and blog posts take a while to compile, at least if you're generating any original content. I make more money in advertising dollars than that on my personal blog, and I don't have anyone telling me how often to post.

    Sorry if I sound harsh. I just have a fellow journalist friend who found out about Examiner.com about two years ago and was so excited and put so much work into her site, but was disgusted to realize she only earned 1 penny per pageview (the contract in the sign-up process doesn't say what amount they will pay you--in fact, it tells you there is no minimum or obligation to pay at all--I read it myself.). I have been wooed by Examiner before--they apparently approach a lot of people about writing for them or getting the word out. They even have an affiliate program--it's all about generating tons of low-cost writers who can just churn out copy, good or bad. Their reputation isn't very good among most journalists and its not surprising why.

    If you're a real journalist, please, don't do it! It just sets the expectations for companies to pay writers a pittance. Some people are so desperate to get published that they don't mind getting paid peanuts, but for those of us that make a living doing it, it drives the prices down everywhere. I can't tell you how many posts I see on Craigslist and other job boards with companies looking to pay writers just $5 or $10 a pop and are shocked when I ask for more, even with my credentials. It's so insulting.

    So in my opinion, if you are a true journalist or a writer who prefers getting paid more than the minimum wage, I would avoid it. If you're just a hobbyist and don't care about making a dime, I guess that's fine, though you might as well invest in your own blog and brand if you're putting that kind of time in.

    Sorry if I offended anyone. As you can tell, this is a topic I've put a lot of thought into.
  • I have been writing for them since Dec 15, 2009 as Phoenix Hiking Examiner. Then added Grand Canyon Hiking Examiner, and just recently Grand Canyon NAtional PArk Examiner. It is fun and rather addicting... check out my latest http://www.examiner.com/x-46280-Grand-Canyon-National-Park-Examiner

    I set up a Google acct just for my Examiner stuff. Have RSS feeds and email Press Releases coming in from related sources. Post the Press releases with a slight re-write to make it local and appropriate for my Examiner site. Tweet links out (Twitter is connected to my FAceBook following. I get paid on traffic as you probably know.) Think about SEO when titling and writing.

    I can also re-use old stories, etc. here. The secret to success, I think, is to get a NATIONAL topic. When you are searching for topics, don't search by your own city, but search by NATIONAL. Unless of course you live in LA or NYC where's you'd have a GI-NORMOUS audience locally. (I live in Flagstaff and Phoenix isn't even that huge for hits.) You can call me and I can help you with that, if you can't figure it out on-line.

    If you haven't signed up yet, please use my name as a referral. (I get paid a spiff, and I told you all my secrets!) You won't make much to start, but after awhile the residuals start kicking in. One girlfriend here in Flagstaff makes $400+/month on her National site. I just hit $104/mo. and expect it to keep increasing (as it has ev mo.) I have a Travel writer friend in DC who was doing $150/mo and happy w/his effort:pay ratio.

    I try to work it as a "hobby" so it is fun, and it keeps me writing and editing. What's better than that?
  • Hi Mark,

    Sorry half asleep, I have just re read. Best of luck, hope it works out for you

  • Yes, I've written for the Examiner for about a year now. They don't pay per article - but rather you get paid by page views. That can be good if you have a strong following or write in one of the more popular areas, but pretty bad if you're not.
  • OK many thanks Ena. I actually have already been contacted by someone at the Examiner, so I was just wondering if other journalists have had good or bad experiences working with them, and any tips to share. But many thanks anyway!
  • They expect you to contribute at least three times a week, which is great, but I just had too many things going on to keep up. And you're constantly hounded to do your own viral marketing to create hits, for which you're paid about a penny each. It's a lot of work for what amounts to almost zero pay. Just my two cents, so to speak.
  • Hi Mark

    I've a contact in Examiner and have asked that they contact you. Let me know if do

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