This guest post is by Ashkan of iPhoneAppCafe.com.
I started iPhoneAppCafe.com back in 2010 with the aim of making it a profitable blog—a goal that I eventually achieved. However, after my first blogging venture, one thing became clear to me: writing is not actually my greatest strength.
I have always had lots of ideas and I recognize a good article when I see it. But when it comes to actually writing one, it often takes me far too long, and time is something that I can’t really spare because of my day job and other commitments.
So, here was my challenge: how could I approach the blog with a more businesslike attitude and employ the right team to help with the content?
That’s when it occurred to me that I could start a multi-writer blog.
If I focused on what I was good at, which is the design, development, and optimization of the blog (I manage ecommerce projects for a day job), then all I had to do was find writers who would write about what they are passionate about. They wouldn’t have to worry about the other boring jobs that go along with creating a successful site, such as how to setup a blog, publish content and promote it, and so on.
In 2010, the iPhone was still fairly new and everybody was talking about apps, with hundreds of new ones filling up the App Store every month. There wasn’t too much competition from the likes of Android to worry about either! iPhoneAppCafe’s promise was to share each app’s experience and help iPhone users discover great new apps.
How did I get writers for my blog?
This bit was pretty simple: I placed a number of ads on a local classified website and also on the ProBlogger job board. To my delight, what I found was that there are many iPhone enthusiasts who would happily rate and review their favourite apps for next to nothing. I even managed to get a number of people to write for free!
In addition to the standard app reviews, I also came up with ideas for a number of good top-10 lists and delegated the writing to the most suitable contributors. Some of the lists got shared on social media and did really well in terms of traffic; even today, some of the best ones still get top ranking in Google and generate lots of traffic.
5 keys to a successful multi-writer blog
Hiring authors is the first step, but there are five key elements you’ll need to work on if your multi-author blog is to be a success.
1. A popular subject
Blogging about a topically popular subject will enable you to find passionate writers. In my case iPhone and apps were very popular at the time I launched the blog and still continue to be topical and talked about.
2. An appealing job ad
Create an appealing ad and communicate your vision in a way that involves and includes your contributors. Here are two of the ads I used.
Get Free iPhone Apps By Writing For iPhoneAppCafe
If you love your iPhone and enjoy reviewing apps, then why not apply to join our team of contributors? You will receive promotional codes for free apps and get the opportunity for your reviews to be featured on one of the foremost iPhone app websites on the Internet!
To apply, simply send us a short (200-300 word) review of any iPhone app, along with a star ranking, the name of the developer, the latest release date, the price and an image caption, (all of which are available from the iTunes store) and a picture or screen shot of the app. Those who get through will join the iPhoneAppCafe team and will receive free apps, a showcase for their writing and the opportunity to advance to paid article writing!
Get Paid For Writing About Apps You Love
Do you have a certain passion in life? Can you write enthusiastically about that passion? Could you use some extra pocket money? Most importantly, do you have an iPhone?!
If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then we want to hear from you! There are a few openings in the team at iPhoneAppCafe.com for talented writers who can write reviews of apps that are relevant to what they love. For example, if you are a teacher then you could write about apps that help educate children; if you are a whiz in the kitchen, then you may want to write about cooking apps.
We are looking for contributors from different walks of life, in particular:
- Sports people
- Health and fitness enthusiasts
- Food critics
If you are interested in earning money to write about what you love, then simply send us a short (200-300 word) review of one of your favourite iPhone app, along with a star ranking and a picture or screen shot of the app. Those who get through will join the iPhoneAppCafe team and will receive free apps to review, a showcase for your writing skills and, best of all, you’ll get paid £10-£15 to write top 5 and top 10 lists!
3. Create author profiles
Allow each contributor to have a profile containing their contact details. This will encourage graduates and those just starting out to write for free for you in the interest of building up their profiles and CVs. We have had writers who wrote for free and used their profile on our blog to get writing jobs in the tech industry.
4. Select a topic that benefits from multiple viewpoints
As an example, I had a musician writing about his favorite music apps, and a keen globetrotter writing about good travel apps. This goes hand in hand with our blog’s community aspect and the sharing of mutual and individual experiences.
5. Share behind-the-scenes info
Keep your writers engaged by sharing website statistics and traffic figures with them. You can also create traffic-related incentives—something that I experimented with, which gave mixed results.
There were certainly times when I felt the traffic-related bonuses motivated the writers to spend more time in sharing and bookmarking the articles.
What’s your story?
These are the basic strategies I’ve used to build a successful blog without writing a word. What’s your story? Do you run a multi-author blog—or write for one? Share your experiences and tips with us.
Ashkan is the founder of iPhoneAppCafe.com, a community blog dedicated to reviewing and sharing the best iPhone apps. He started the blog in 2010 and got it to 5000 visitors a day within 9 months. He shares his experience on Twitter: @AshkanTalk.