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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More Opportunities at About.com

The giant About.com website is actively looking for new Subject Guides right now. I noticed they had even placed an advertisement for UK Guides in my Sunday newspaper last week.

For those who don't know, About.com Guides are home-based freelances who take responsibility for a particular content area on the About.com site. Guides are expected to build up 'their' sites by sourcing (and writing) articles, adding links, hosting web-based discussions, and so on.

Payment is based on the advertising revenue generated by your site, but as long as you fulfil the company's requirements they guarantee you will earn a minimum of $725 a month. Maximum earnings are unlimited, based on a percentage of advertising turnover - according to the About.com website, they have some Guides who earn in excess of $100,000 a year. Good writing skills are required, along with knowledge of your chosen subject area, but training in the necessary technical skills is provided. Although for most Guides the work is part-time, it is a serious commitment, and you must expect to devote at least 10 to 20 hours a week to it.

Here is a selection of topics for which About.com is currently looking for Guides:

19th Century History
ADD/ADHD
All-Terrain Vehicles
Alzheimer's Disease
American Food
Animal Rights
Anthropology
Arabic Language
Arrhythmia

And I haven't even got past the A's!

For the benefit of my UK readers, here are a few topics specifically for this country:

Birmingham, England
Brighton, England
UK Cars
UK Cricket
UK Dance Music
UK Football
UK Gossip
UK Home Business
UK Reality TV

Usefully, for each available topic, the information page now displays a panel showing the candidate profile the company is looking for.

Anyone can apply to be a Guide. Qualified applicants with proven expertise in a topic are accepted into Prep, which is a 17 day-long self-guided online training program. During Prep, prospective Guides become familiar with About.com's tools and demonstrate their knowledge by building sample sites. Experienced editors evaluate these sample sites and choose the most qualified applicant for the topic concerned.

If I was just starting out as a freelance writer, I would definitely want to look into the About.com opportunity. It's a good chance to earn a steady income from researching and writing about a subject that interests you. In addition, you'll immediately get a high profile in that subject on the web, and you'll learn some useful technical skills too. For full details, visit http://beaguide.about.com.

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