OLD Media Moves

How Work.com is using business journalists to drive traffic

March 31, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Daniel Kehrer, editor of Business.com, tells Talking Biz News that the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company has been using dozens of freelance business journalists across the country to get content up for its new website venture, called Work.com, launched last October.

Currently, there are 1,565 “how-to” guides on the site. More are added daily, and there’s a counter on the Work.comhome page that lists the total. That’s some 1.2 million words of original content by independent business journalists ranked and rated by popularity, as determined by total page views and reader “usefulness” rankings.

Authors have profile pages that include bios, photos, links and contact info — unless they’ve requested no contact. Anyone with expertise to share can write an article for the site. The range of articles includes broad topics such as franchising, business plans and financing, as well as niche needs on everything from workbenches and doing business in Ghana, to dealing with office romance and the latest postal rate changes.Â

The ‘Leaderboard’ of most popular articles is a barometer of what small business readers are most interested in now.  Hundreds of our guides already show on on Page 1 of Yahoo search listings under popular business search terms (“business line of creditâ€? to use one example).

Says Kehrer via e-mail: “We have a small in-house editorial staff of four people (the company overall is about 100).

“Given that, but with a budget to work with, we initially created the first 1,000 articles/guides using a small army of freelance business editors and writers located throughout the United States — about 70 people altogether. It was a high-quality group that included former staffers from places like Inc., WSJ, Money and a wide range of other business and trade pubs and websites. In about four months, this army researched, wrote, edited and uploaded about 750,000 words.

“Currently we have a scaled-down version of this in place, with maybe 10 regulars and another dozen or so semi-regulars producing another 20 or so pieces weekly. And then there’s the ‘Web 2.0’ component to the site, where we get user generated content (UGC) articles from a surprisingly wide range of experts worldwide on a fascinating range of topics. There’s a range of quality to this too, but much of it has amazed us. The lesser items get low ratings and fall to the wayside.”  

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