What’s In Store for Associated Content Contributors?

In News, Writing for AC on October 30, 2009 at 1:27 pm

As some of you already know, I jetted off to Associated Content’s New York HQ this past Monday to get the grand tour of the AC digs and meet with the staff (yes, they do exist!).

I had the opportunity to sit down with several AC staff members to share my impressions of the site and ask questions about their short and long term goals, content strategy, and also learn about the role each member of the team plays in the company.

Here’s a quick rundown of Q&As we covered:

Q:  What’s in store for Contributors in the next six months?
A: AC’s CEO Patrick Keane reports that AC will be focusing on creating higher quality content across all categories.

This means there’s a need for strong writers and a high demand for unique, highly-specific content. AC is on the lookout for niche experts, and will be rolling out a verticalization strategy so that Contributors are publishing highly targeted content. Contributors whose content consistently performs well will see the highest returns on their investments in the oncoming years.

AC Darnell and AC Brenna also mentioned the Featured Contributor Program, the first step in rounding up the niche experts in different categories. This is a new opportunity for select Contributors who continue to publish outstanding work in a given niche, and who also have expertise in a certain field.

The Community team is also working on an organized system for newbies who want to learn the ropes at AC…more to come soon.

Other things in store:

  • More Assignments (yay!)
  • A fresh new accounts page with detailed reports
  • Gallery of images that can be used by any Contributor (rights cleared)
  • Overall improvement in quality content
  • More aggressive promotion and distribution of published content
  • Increased demand for hyper-specific, usable content

Q: Can we expect to see increases in upfronts, pageview bonuses and/or paid assignments in the near future?

A: AC’s CEO and Chief Financial Officer answered this one, emphasizing the strong need for high quality content. Ultimately, AC is looking for unique content that can’t be found readily on the web. This is why personal experience is often asked for in various Assignments, and very specific details are encouraged. Contributors that want the highest upfronts and offers for Assignments need to focus on generating high quality work as often as possible.

Q: How many Contributors does AC have now?

A: Approximately 300,000 Contributors are registered on the site, and about 70,000 published Contributors.

Q: Are there any new AC Partners we should be excited about?

A: AC’s CEO answered this one…Contributors can look forward to seeing Assignments from major media partners (names cannot be disclosed at this time). AC has been very successful with creating media partner relationships and turning in content from Contributors with a 90% approval rate. This will continue as AC expands into different partnerships, which means prolific, experienced and dedicated Contributors will start to receive more premium Assignments.

Q: Does AC have plans to build out its video library in the near future?

A: AC will be upgrading its Video and Slideshow platforms, and integrating multimedia content into new areas of the site. Stay tuned for updates on the Video section of AC.

Q: Will the annual Contributor awards categories be the same for 2010?

A: AC Darnell says that there will be new award categories for 2010, in addition to the PMA Contributor of the Year Award. This means that Contributors will be judged on more than the traditional criteria, and there will be a different winner’s circle. The nomination and selection process will also change for 2010. AC Darnell will be posting updates on the new Awards later this year.

Q: Any new contests in the works for the rest of 2009?

A: AC will continue with the Best of AC and Rising Stars Award each month, and they’re planning another promotion for the holiday season. The Twitter Challenge was a huge success, and there will be other contest and challenges to look forward to in 2010!

  1. Excellent update and what a great opportunity to share some ideas with AC staff. Sounds like there are important changes and AC enhancements to come. Very exciting!

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us Sabah. Sounds exciting! Thanks AC. 2010 sounds like it will be a great year for the site. Looking forward to it. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the encouraging update!

  4. Some of what you are sharing I have already assumed were what was happening. Such as the upfronts and things like that being for highly unique and well written articles. Nice to see that AC is now looking at being more professional and having better quality work on board.

  5. This is so exciting! I look forward to completing my first year and starting the second…

  6. I’ve always loved the Assignment desk… I seem to function better when someone tells me what to write 🙂 Lately, I have missed seeing paid assignments. I would look forward to those, especially the shopping ones.

  7. So nice to see real faces of the people we all deal with! Sounds like AC is heading in the direction of success! Thanks for all the inspiring news! Thanks, too, for all the work behind the scenes…it is appreciated!

  8. Great report, Sabah. I have already noticed some of these changes and feel like AC is really starting to reward quality writing.

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