Sunday, May 3, 2009

Giving Digital Journal a shot

Ever heard of Digital Journal? I hadn't either. But the site is actually an intriguing one: It's filled with news stories contributed by one of two types of writers. There are both citizen writers and paid digital journalists.

The citizen writers part doesn't interest me. There's no pay involved. But digital journalists do get paid, depending on a number of factors. The main two are pretty much common to all online content sites: page views and popularity. The more page views a news story gets, the more its writer earns. If readers vote for a writer's story, that writer gets extra money.

Writers, though, also can earn bonuses. They get paid more for writing a news story instead of a simple opinion piece. And they earn bonuses for actually interviewing -- by e-mail or phone -- sources for a story.

Now, the key here is how quickly the pay adds up. It might not be worth it to write for Digital Journal if the pay builds too slowly. Interviewing sources is something I do for my real clients, the print magazines that pay at least $400 or more for their assignments. I'd rather not interview someone if my story is going to earn $10 or less on Digital Journal.

The strategy now is to wait and see what happens. I applied to become a digital journalist earlier today. If I'm approved -- and it'll be a serious blow to my ego if I'm not! -- then I'll submit a story or two that includes a few quick e-mail interviews. If those stories earn peanuts, then I'll move on.

Stay tuned ...

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