Homer the Freelancer in Boots!
Dear readers, this fuzzy man has spent a good deal of time with the Guardian Liberty Voice, formerly known as the Las Vegas Guardian. It was an amazing experience that didn't turn out quite how I had imagined, but it was very valuable all the same.
Basically, this is a training opportunity and short internship with the publication, meant to lead to a writing position at GLV. The process takes about 2 weeks, and requires at least 2 hours of dedicated work time per day. The schedule is based on that of the Editor, DiMarkco Chandler, and classes usually start at 12:00 am EDT every week day.
During the course of the 2 weeks, DiMarkco and his colleagues teach recruits about tracking news trends and producing articles that will be spotted by Google. It's not fluff - these guys have a pretty good system. DiMarkco gave us lessons in using Bottlenose, an online trend-spotting machine, and in understanding the different "layers" of Google News.
Trend-tracking is complex and tough to get a hang of right away, but with practise it becomes more straight-forward and your chosen topics become less risky to bet on. Since the Guardian, like most other online publications, earns its revenues from ad sales, it is important that articles get seen by the viewers. This is why we are all taken through "trend" training.
As for the training - phenomenal. The position at the end of it all? Not so much. I despaired, only able to make money off of "trending" news articles - those that had already gained momentum from other news sites. Writing about Miley Cyrus and other trendy pop stars is not what this cat had in mind for his foray into professional journalism.This has been a depressing look at the inner workings of online news publishing.
If you are considering going through GLV training - which is totally free - I say do it! You'll learn invaluable things about SEO and online trends. On the other hand, if what you really want is a paid position writing news articles that are important to you, look elsewhere.
Down on the Content Farm