A Place to Write About What You Love.
Hello fellow writers! If you’re like us, you’re unappreciated, under-paid, and perennially frustrated by a dearth of opportunities. Even when you land steady work, it might often involve covering less-than-inspiring topics.
Our small group is attempting to remedy this.
Pooling our efforts, the result is “Local Write Up” (www.localwriteup.com), a new interactive blog and cultural magazine. Hobbyist and freelance writers can create profiles, log in, and post about varied local cultural events and interests—anything from art to food, theater, film, books / readings, music, local news and beyond.
It’s easy to think that once a site is in existence, payment of some form comes commensurate with writing. However, big national sites take almost all digital ad revenue, leaving us with mere pennies (seriously, pennies) for our contributions! The increasingly digital world we live in makes reasonable (or any) pay-rates tougher and tougher to come by.
We’ve experimented with many revenue-generating mechanisms on our site, and the only thing we’ve come up that has seemed to stick has been a paywall across almost the entire site. The paywall is only $2/month. Though this leads to a drop-off in readership, the few readers that embrace the paywall (and your writing) are perhaps the only source of revenue for yourself and the site.
Revenue from subscribers is shared with our contributors, first under a revenue sharing plan but later with a flat fee payment system.
Unfortunately, the paywall software is rather stringent (we tried another company in the past and this one is only a little better), and so you will have to subscribe yourself (aka, pay $2) to engage the site. Of course, you could launch your own blog (using one of the free services out there, which are usually ugly, and where you can only earn pennies in ads), or you could launch your own custom site (but then you’d be paying much more than $2, and you would still only earn pennies in ads–though you could build your own paywall, but people would be buying in to you alone, not the combined efforts of many).
Writers who have used the site under our paywall model to their (and our) success have reached out to multiple circles of friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances, and asked them to “pay in” to the paywall as a personal favor (sometimes even offering to reimburse them the $2 for the first month). Others have joined together as a group and all paid in at the same time, then produced a variety of content in the same geographic region that enticed others to follow along.
Other strategies are still out there that may also work. But let’s be clear: there is no guarantee that those who use the site will reach a level of subscribers where they will earn money. Your writing has to be interesting and engaging enough that people choose to buy in.
A quick word about us: we are poor, over-worked and under-paid journalists and freelance writers who decided to try to do something about it. Help us grow a site that increases opportunities and we’ll be happy to make sure it grows with you (and with everyone benefitting).
Frequently asked questions (including how to log in and get started, along with explanations of still existing revenue-generating mechanisms we tried previously, but didn’t work for most): http://www.localwriteup.com/frequently-asked-questions-faq/
CEO & Founder
Local Write Up, LLC
Previous ideas included crowd-funded stories, whereby you can ask interested readers to pitch in together to make a story (or a further part or series of a story) come to fruition.
An earlier (and still existing) idea involved advertisement slots that appear on writers’ postings, where the ad revenue goes directly to the contributors. However, writers must recruit advertisers themselves. Some other ideas are still around as well. We’re looking at every plausible solution to ensure writers can be compensated for their contributions.
We review all submissions before publication, and (sadly) don’t always accept everything that comes our way. However, we’re keeping an open mind, allowing as wide an array of offerings as possible. But to best ensure your work is accepted, please consult our Rules to get a sense of what we’re looking for, and our Tips for our preferred writing style. You’re welcome to check in and ask our thoughts before submitting a piece, but it’s not mandatory. Instead, so long as you can conform to these guidelines and provide quality writing, we’ll likely be proud to display your work (and help you set up advertisements and other features on your pages, to earn revenue).
Local Write Up got started in the New York City area–where we’re from–and is now expanding. The site is geared to accept posts nationwide.
We have no big investors, which we think is a good thing—-it keeps the focus writer-centric. If you can spread the site’s message to other talented people, with good taste and writing ability, that would increase attention to the site and our ability to figure out more ways to make sure you (and other contributors) can be compensated increasing amounts in the future.
Thanks. We look forward to reading what matters to you.
CEO & Founder
Local Write Up, LLC
(Beta launch: December 15, 2013)