If you’re an up-and-coming writer like myself, you know how difficult it can be to simply find someone who will pay for your talents. Not everyone is the next Great American Novelist; some people just want to receive an assignment, crank out a few hundred words, and receive their direct deposit.
Article Contributed by Seth Weinstein from Tiny Work
Enter Blogmutt, a new service focused on providing blog content for small businesses through crowdsourcing. The concept is simple and elegant; businesses set up a profile page, describing themselves and the type of writing they’d like to receive. They list a few title keywords, throw up a website link, and toss it to the “Blogmutt pack”.
Writers are then free to select, write for, and submit any sort of content that fits the criteria. The posts go into a queue to be accepted, rejected, or edited by the company; if your post is selected, you’re paid, and that’s that.
The straightforward presentation of the transaction is a major perk for Blogmutt, and they tend to not beat around the bush. Even their FAQ states they expect most writers are on their platform simply 'to get paid'.
The advantages don’t stop there. As a burgeoning platform, Blogmutt has attracted a lot of customers but not a lot of writers. Combine this with the fact that the contests go on indefinitely, and it means that there is a very good chance that any writer’s given submission will eventually be approved.
The platform also allows customers to tag posts as “needs revision,” which allows failed posts to get another shot instead of simply being discarded.
Being a new platform has its downsides, though, and these manifest in Blogmutt in the form of interface issues. The first thing I noticed is that the menu sidebar disappears when you go to any page other than the homepage. Of course, the homepage is the only place you probably won’t need it, so be prepared to make liberal use of scrolling and the “back” button until they bring the menu to the rest of the site.
Company profiles are also tricky. Some suggested keywords show up as blank spaces, and other were clearly just supposed to be notes the companies left to themselves. Some company descriptions are intimidating walls of text; a few custom fields for “who we are,” “what we’re looking for,” and “avoid writing about…” would be extremely useful for faster comprehension. Fortunately, Blogmutt's CEO, Scott Yates, told me that this kind of change is currently in the process of being implemented.
And as a writing platform, Blogmutt needs an overhaul of their text editor, which is currently pretty bare-bones. The fact that one has to know HTML to change font size or add a table is a major turnoff, and if their site is concerned with word count, they need a counter that actually updates consistently in real-time. Yates told me this is less of a concern because Blogmutt actually prohibits images, leaving clients to find and post their own images. Yates reports that they like the bare-bones platform because, "the only thing we ask our writers to do is write". Be that as it may, some basic upgrades would make the process easier.
Despite some graphical stumbling blocks, there is a wonderful underlying concept here.
A decent, or even mediocre writer could make a nice chunk of pocket change in their spare time if this platform takes off. Plus it’s great for the small business owners, who certainly have enough on the plates but nonetheless realize the value of engaging content. If you’re a starving writer, throw together a few writing samples and go for it!
Is this the future of blogging? Let us know what you think in the comments below.