Writing for Examiner.com can be very rewarding, more rewarding than almost any other site you write for. But unless you understand how the site works and how to use it to your benefit, it’s just like any other type of online writing – you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
Choosing your title is the most important step you’ll take so before you even go to the application page, let’s take a look at some tips.
Like I said, there are a number of benefits to writing for Examiner.com. In broad terms:
- You make money from pageviews
- You increase your online exposure
- You can drive huge amounts of traffic
When you first apply to Examiner.com you’re shown a list of available titles. Examiner.com focuses on two types of traffic, local and national. This means that you can choose to be the Columbus Health Spa Examiner or you can choose to be the National Health Spa Examiner.
At first glance it might appear that it would make more sense to choose that national title because you’ll have a lot more you can write about. But let’s take a look at how Examiner.com operates first.
No More “Local Only” Requirement
Examiner.com recently lifted the “Local Only” requirement which technically means that even if you are the Columbus Health Spa Examiner you can write about anything related to Health Spas anywhere in the country. (Or world, for that matter.)
However, there’s always the chance that somewhere down the road they’ll put that rule back into play. More important, though, are the personal benefits of a national versus a local title. Because that’s why we’re here, right? This is all about you!
Generally speaking, here are the Pros and Cons of writing as a national Examiner (and I’ll show you how this all goes out the window in a minute):
- Larger audience equals more page views
- More ideas for content equals more article opportunities equals more page views
- Frequent opportunities to be picked up by Google News which equals syndication and… more page views
The cons include:
- More competition within Examiner.com which may limit your Google News submissions
- More competition on the Internet which makes it harder to get page views
And generally speaking again, here are the benefits of writing under a local title:
- The audience may be smaller but they’re more loyal because you’re giving them local information
- You’ll have fewer article opportunities but the ones you do have will always attract a targeted audience
- You’ll have fewer opportunities to be picked up by Google News but your articles may be syndicated by local news sites and blogs.
Based on my own personal experience with Examiner.com, here is how I would make the choice between a national or local title:
Choose a national title if you:
- Live in a small town or city, making it difficult for you to find something to write about long-term
- Want exposure as a writer to increase your opportunites
- Want to promote your business, blog or website to a broad audience
Remember, with a national title you’re going to have much more competition for page views so you’re going to have to write more than the required minimum of two articles per month. I try to write at least three articles a week for all my national titles and trust me, it’s not always easy to keep up.
Choose a local title if you:
- Live in a major metropolitan area where you’ll never run out of things to write about
- Want to promote your local business, blog or website
- Want to promote yourself on a local level, such as politicians, restaurant reviewers, reporters, clergy, etc.
Now, to blow these Pros and Cons and benefits completely out of the water….
You have to start with only one article but you can always take on more. Some Examiners have a dozen or more titles. You can also drop titles if you want.
The key to deciding on a national or local title is to determine what you want to get out of your work and then work toward achieving that goal. There is no “Best Choice” .
If you think a national title would be best because you have a larger audience, you have to remember you also have more competition for page views, both inside Examiner.com and from other blogs and websites. So just having a national title doesn’t guarantee results.
On the other hand, choosing a local title that’s too narrow will leave you wondering why you’re even bothering to write, especially if you’re in it for the money.
Here’s where most people who write for Examiner.com fail…
They don’t identify their reason for writing.
If you’re writing for money then you know you’re going to have to do the work. But don’t tell yourself you’re writing “for the exposure” or worse – “For the pure joy of writing” unless you really mean it.
If you’re writing “for the exposure” that’s fine – do the work to get the exposure and don’t complain about page views and compensation. If it’s not working, then choose another title. There’s no shame in admitting you chose the wrong title to start with. Quit beating a dead horse and do something about it.
If you’re writing for the “Pure joy of writing” go wash your mouth out with soap. You could do that with a journal, but you’re writing online, so admit you have an ulterior motive: You either want the recognition or the money. In either case, you’re still going to have to do the work and choosing the right title is the most important step.
Now that I’ve given you something to think about, don’t go apply with Examiner.com just yet. Tomorrow I’ll give you some ideas about how to choose the best title. It’s not all about national vs. local. You also need to know how to choose the right niche.
In the meantime, read “Top 5 Reasons I Write For Examiner.com” for a little more information.
Second in series: How To Choose The Best Title For Your Examiner.com Column