Update 2/4/2014: Thank you for your interest, but we are not currently accepting any new writers. The Category Expert Program is now closed.
Viewpoints helps people decide what to buy by providing honest product feedback. We are the voice of the consumer.
In addition to collecting reviews from consumers (496,000+ reviews to date), we’re now recruiting experts in specific lifestyle and product categories to create articles and video content to guide consumers in making the overall smartest purchase decision for their budgets and needs. Authors will be rewarded based on the size of the audience the articles attract.
How to apply to be a Viewpoints Expert
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A brief note introducing yourself and the category of your interest. Previous blogging experience not necessary, but if you have examples of published work, please provide. And oh yes, let us know how we can best reach you.
Want to know more?
What is a category expert?
Viewpoints strives to give a 360° view of products. While our consumer reviews give important information in how an appliance, stroller or mattress performs after purchase, we believe there are other valuable perspectives. The Viewpoints experts will provide insights that consumer reviews alone cannot, i.e. product previews, tests of new products, head-to-head brand comparisons, product and brand recommendations, trend analysis, etc.
Honesty and transparency are important. Our experts give advice and recommendations without conflict of interest or hidden agenda, in the same way they would advise their own friends and family. To that end, we require the authors to fully disclose any financial ties to the industry and/or products they write about.
Although there are 465 product categories on Viewpoints, not all lend themselves to a high volume of original, engaging editorial content. So we’ve identified 51 product categories with the greatest potential for engagement, as measured by audience interest, value to Viewpoints as a business and the competitive landscape. In other words, these are subjects that both consumers and advertisers care about, yet there’s a relative void of compelling content.
What’s the difference between a consumer reviewer and an expert reviewer?
We’ve gotten several inquiries about this program from people who love writing reviews, but would probably fall into the category of “enthusiast” rather than “expert.” Enthusiasts are vital to Viewpoints.com — serving an important role in keeping the community conversation going. For this expert program, professional credentials are ideal, but not necessary if your knowledge has come through real-world experience. To better understand if you are a good fit for this program, ask yourself:
- Do I understand the technology?
It’s one thing to use a refrigerator; it is another to know how and why they are designed as they are and what could go wrong and why.
- Do I know the attributes by which to judge the product?
Your reviews will need to cover the common things people want to know about when deciding what to buy. If you aren’t up to speed, writing for us will be difficult.
These are currently the 51 priority categories on Viewpoints. If you click on the category, you’ll see examples of articles we’ve published on that topic. In a few cases, you’ll be led to the category page on Viewpoints. That means we currently have no editorial content on that subject, so your expertise would be especially welcome.
To increase the visibility of our editorial content, Viewpoints is creating dedicated category pages that will showcase expert reviews and articles along with consumer tips, videos, graphics, top product round-ups, curated off-site content, etc. Once category pages are built, the next step will be dedicated content channel pages that will showcase the freshest, most engaging content in each of the broader eight content areas:
- Kitchen Appliances
- Laundry & Cleaning
- Home & Garden
- Bath & Beauty
- Babies & Kids
- Computers & Electronics
Articles and videos will be selected to be showcased on these pages based on relevance and popularity, as determined by traffic to the blog and category pages. All articles will be published first on the Viewpoints blog.
Types of people we’re recruiting
Our plan is to partner with 3 kinds of writers in each of the categories:
1. Professional writers with a strong social following and demonstrated expertise in one of our key categories
2. Experts wishing to have an impact in the consumer reviews space and/or build a greater online presence for themselves or their businesses
- 3. Bloggers who want more influence and visibility in the reviews space
We hope you’re the type of person who will delight in ‘taking ownership’ of your subject. That means monitoring new products, staying on top of trends, setting Google Alerts, reading reviews on site, etc. As such, we’ll depend on you to actively suggest article ideas based on your expertise of the category. We also work with you to come up with topics that are fresh and connect with the Viewpoints audience.
To gain the traffic we’ll need to make our partnership mutually rewarding, it is important that you are already active in social media. Aside from the passion and expertise in the content categories outlined, any one of these is required:
–>500 followers on Twitter
–>500 combined friends/followers on Facebook
–>500 connections on LinkedIn
–>100 followers on Google+
–>1,000 followers on Pinterest
Viewpoints will be sharing all of your posts on our social platforms, and you’ll be expected to do the same. Be creative in how you leverage your community on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and others. You’ll be encouraged to record short videos for Viewpoints blog posts, which you’ll then easily upload to our account on the video sharing site, Pixorial. Viewpoints will then edit, add music or finishing touches before publishing on our YouTube channel for embed in your article. We view this as a social partnership and will actively brainstorm on ways to create buzz.
What’s in it for you
>Work is displayed in a credible editorial environment adhering to highest standards of quality and relevance
>Audience reach: Site receives 1 million+ unique visitors monthly, and work is showcased in Viewpoints email newsletters to 240,000
>Compensation is based on traffic generated to article, with $25 minimum per article (details below)
>We will link from every article to author’s personal website or business site
>Contributors will have access to the WordPress dashboard to monitor their own article traffic
>Viewpoints works directly with manufacturers to provide you with innovative and new products to review
>Viewpoints creates pages to showcase an author’s picture, bio, social channels and published work on our site
>Content created will be showcased on PRNewswire, as appropriate
>Your standing as an authority greatly benefits from our reputation in the consumer reviews space
>In most cases, you are free to keep or donate any products we provide you to review, which will be disclosed to readers
Details of the compensation as follows:
Paid contributors must commit to at least one article/week
Flat fee ($100) for 4 articles a month
Unpaid contributors can provide content less frequently than 4 times a month
Bonus for all authors after 2,500 page views ($10 for every additional 1,000 views per article up to one year from publication)
All earnings are credited on 1st day of month to contributor’s PayPal account and will be reported to the IRS in 1099
Before you start
A few housekeeping items before you can start writing:
1. Become a member of the Viewpoints community. Register as a user on Viewpoints.com, and write your first (consumer) review.
2. Provide your PayPal email. Here’s the PayPal signup page if you don’t have an account.
3. Create a Google+ profile with your picture and list that you are a “Contributor to” www.viewpoints.com/expert-reviews (see image). Go into the ‘About’ section> ‘Links’>’Contributor to’> Add ‘www.viewpoints.com/expert-reviews’ with the label of ‘Viewpoints’. (This can be a bit confusing, so if you have any questions, just ask!). Google Authorship is tied to the author — so if your business has multiple authors, each would need to set this up.
–400-800 words in length
–Gives both pros and cons
–Quotes consumer reviews, as appropriate
–Includes any photos or video you take. Don’t overlook YouTube as a source of related content. We will supply product and stock images if you don’t have any.
–Discloses your ties to a brand, industry or products that represent a conflict of interest, real or perceived
–Not previously published, either in whole or in part, on another site. The content you create for us will be unique to Viewpoints. Acts of plagiarism are unacceptable and will result in immediate termination
–Post a shorter version of any product review on the Viewpoints site (as a consumer review)
–Respond to comments on authored articles with overall goal of getting more meaningful comments over time (key measure of success)
While you’re getting acquainted with Viewpoints, plan to email articles to Viewpoints as attached Word document. Once established, authors will file directly into our Word Press dashboard in draft form, pending publication.