How to Write for Examiner.com

by ChrisHugh

Write for Examiner.com and become a citizen journalist. If you qualify and continue to meet their standards, there are real rewards.

Have you ever wanted to be a member of the press? In many ways, Examiner.com is a news aggregator, but there are outstanding citizen reporters who do real interviews and dig out the truth. Examiner.com is not an open platform. You must apply and be selected and you can only write in your topic area. If this sounds like something you want to do, here's how to start. Please note that as of this writing, only Canadians and Americans can apply.

What is Examiner.com?

Examiner.com is a highly-selective, high-quality news aggregator and content mill. Writers ("Examiners") must apply for a specific topic and be accepted. They can only write in their own topic area. All articles are reviewed and scored by the staff. 

Most Examiners are local reporters. For example, there is a Palo Alto Floral Design Examiner, a San Jose Restaurant Examiner, and so forth.

But not everyone who writes for Examiner.com is a reporter and not everyone is local. For example, I'm the National Home Gadgets Examiner. There is also a National Motocycle Examiner, National Green Living Examiner, National Housing Examiner, and many more.

Step One: Get Accepted

If you'd like to apply to become an Examiner, I invite you to go to my referral link and register as a user. Then click on "Become an Examiner." You'll get a chance to choose from among the available topics.

Do a good job on your application, but don't stress over it. And don't delay. You don't want your topic to be assigned to someone else while you are creating the world's greatest application.

Good luck!

Step Two: Start Writing

Once you're accepted, Examiner.com will let you know their writing guidelines. You won't have an individual editor, but Examiner.com offers plenty of instruction and support, so don't worry. If you have questions, try the Forums. People are very friendly there. Of course you're welcome to ask me as well. I'm friendly too. The best way to reach me is through my own blog, The Gadget Tree.

In the rest of this article, I'll offer a few tips I've learned along the way.

A Quick Recap of the Basic Scoring Guidelines

Every article you write will be given a score from 1 to 8. If the score is below 3, it will not be published. Competent, careful writers will score between 6 and 8 nearly all the time. Here are some quick reminders, but be sure to read Examiner's own guidelines.

  1. Use at least 150 words.
  2. No English usage errors. No typos.
  3. Only the first word of the title should be capitalized.
  4. Format your articles well and don't use too much boldface. No all-caps.
  5. Check that any links you add really work.
  6. Stay on topic.

How to Link to other Examiner Articles

Each time you write an article, before you can submit it, you will be required to link to two other Examiner articles.

I found this difficult at first, so let me walk you through how to do it.

First step: find an article you want to link to. Then, in the box provided (you'll know it when you get there), start typing in the exact title of the article. It is case sensitive.

The computer is searching for the article as you type. Once it starts finding articles with the same name as the one you want, it'll offer you a list to choose from. Click on the article you want to link to.

Add Great Pictures

Everyone loves pictures. Include at least one very good one so that you can pin it on Pinterest.

Examiner offers Getty Images and other images as well for you to use for free.

Pixabay offers public domain images. 

If you've never downloaded images before, click here for a super-quick tutorial.

I recently created a lightbox, which is allowing me to take my own pictures of the gadgets I review. I took many of the pictures for this article using my new lightbox. I also wrote a tutorial on how to make your own lightbox for free with items you probably have around the house. Click here to see it.

One thing to watch out for: There's a limit to how large your photos can be. If you need to trim your photos down to size, fotoflexer.com lets you do it for free.

Lightbox in action
Lightbox in action
Chris Hugh
A very nice can opener
A very nice can opener
Chris Hugh
A not-as-nice can opener
A not-as-nice can opener
Chris Hugh

Add Slideshows

You get paid extra for slideshows, so if you can find five relevant images, create a slideshow with them.

Publish Often

There are several advantages to publishing often:

  1. It seems to drive more traffic to all your articles if you have recently published.
  2. As long as you publish once a month, you continue to earn money on all your articles. If you quit Examiner.com or get eliminated for not being productive, you lose that.
  3. Examiner.com pays well compared to other content mills, so it deserves a good effort.

Promote Your Articles

Get people to read your articles on Examiner.com. Here are some ways:

  • Post a link on Facebook.
  • Announce the article on your blog.
  • Sign up with Pinterest and "pin" your pictures.
  • Share your article on Google+.
  • Submit a link on RedGage.
Promote Your Articles!
Promote Your Articles!
Microsoft Images

Conclusion

I hope this article has given you the information you need to decide whether you'd like to write for Examiner.com. My own experience has been positive. The site is professional and mercifully free of spam. I'm proud of the citizen journalists I see there and I'm glad to be in their company.

'See you on Examiner.com!

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Updated: 07/09/2012, ChrisHugh
 
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ChrisHugh on 07/08/2012

Hi @Tolovaj and tribute, thanks for reading and commenting. I like Examiner. I just posted another article there--about an excellent can opener, of all things. http://www.examiner.com/review/if-the...

Tolovaj on 07/07/2012

Examiner sounds like a future of e-publishing in the world of news. Thanks for the presentation and all the tips.

tribute_to_erasmus on 07/07/2012

Awesome article!

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