Write for About.com – While Traveling / Living Abroad

Posted in: Working Abroad

About.com logoI’m sure you’ve seen About.com before. It would be impossible not to have stumbled across it online. About.com is a top 15 website and they receive more than 60,000,000 visitors each month.

If you are planning to move abroad, you should consider writing for About. They are very different – both in their compensation and their attitude towards their writers – than all the other content driven sites.

I’ve been writing for About.com since April of last year, and I love it. I’ve got a great editor and I get to interview interesting people, including Chris Guillebeau (well known among travel bloggers/ business owners), Fabio Rosati (CEO of Elance) and Andrew Powers (PageLines). Check out my Online Business site at About.com.

There are 3 Ways to Work With About.com

  • Guide: Involves the most responsibility and the highest compensation. As a guide, you are responsible for writing articles, blogging and maintaining the site.
  • Contributing Writer: As a contributing writer, you work under the guidance of another guide, and write for their site. The focus is on content and you aren’t responsible for site maintenance.
  • Video Producer: I don’t know much about this, but there is more info on their site. Essentially, they are looking for professional “how-to” styled videos.

If you’re interested to learn more, check out the Be a Guide Section.

Benefits of Writing with About.com:

  1. Work from Anywhere. It is content (not location) that’s important. They allow you to write and blog from anywhere in the world. I’m writing for them from here in Ecuador.
  2. They invest in you. Instead of getting pathetically small monthly checks like you can expect from many content driven sites, they guarantee you a minimum of $675/month plus traffic incentives. In fact most guides make much more than this. The average monthly compensation is $2000, with some writers making as much as $6000 per month.
  3. Time Commitment. Their site notes a time commitment of around 10-14 hours per week. See the minimum publishing requirements below.
  4. You start with a solid company. They are already one of the top sources. Writing for About.com gives you instant credibility and a huge audience.
  5. Direct Deposit into your Bank Account. This is a real plus, because if you’re traveling or living abroad, its pretty tough to receive checks. They transfer month once a month.

Minimum Publishing Requirements (taken directly from About.com)

Guides in their first two years must publish four articles every month with gaps of no greater than 14 days between articles, and update their blog one to three times every seven days. We’ve found that these baselines help new Guides grow their sites (and their earnings) more quickly by establishing a strong base of content that will garner a lot of repeat visits.

Check them out – this might just be the ticket to your round-the-world travels – or to living abroad. (It works for me!)

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is editor of GringosAbroad - one of the largest English language sites about Ecuador. Work with GringosAbroad. He is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands).

25 comments… add one
  • Kathy Collins Dec 17, 2013, 4:48 am

    Hi Bryan,

    I was reading the information on your newsletter about writing for about.com.

    I went to the site and they say they are looking for proven writers in their particular field. I believe I could be considered an expert in several different fields, however I have not written anything thus far. How do I get started??? How do I get about.com interested in me and my writing???

    Looking forward to hearing from you very soon.

    Thanks much

    Kathy

    • Bryan Haines Dec 17, 2013, 6:57 am

      You just need to send in your application with relevant experience. The application form requires an article where you can showcase both your expertise and your writing style.

      Let me know how it goes for you.

  • Andre Hugo Jan 14, 2012, 8:51 am

    Hola Bryan. You are already aware that I live in Quito and have my website, with blog. I do it for enjoyment of writing and photography. With About.com, I presume that I could not publish the same article/ blog on my site and theirs ? For now, I would not consider any full time, commitment; but, maybe later. Do they buy photos ?

    Andre

    • Bryan Haines Jan 15, 2012, 5:41 am

      Hey Andre, they don’t buy freelance photos. They have a corporate account with Getty Images. The time commitment actually isn’t that bad. A day a week will handle most of the requirements.

      Bryan

  • Lollie Hoxie Dec 21, 2011, 9:06 am

    Hey Bryan!
    We are enjoying your website very much. How about a story that describes the trials and tribulations of losing our business in the USA and research toward relocation to Ecuador? Economy downturn and resulting change in direction? Would that be interesting to readers? I wonder if About.com would pick that up?
    What do you think?
    Lollie

    • Bryan Haines Dec 22, 2011, 11:59 am

      Certainly is a good angle. Not sure which guide would cover that. My section on About.com covers online business…

  • Aaron Dec 20, 2011, 8:02 pm

    Hey Bryan-

    I’d never considered it before reading your post, but after a bit of research, I decided to apply for the Tech Careers Guide at About.com.

    Since I am working on transitioning my own tech career into freelance work training and connecting others, I thought it would provide a great impetus to think more deeply about the field by writing regular articles.

    • Bryan Haines Dec 20, 2011, 8:32 pm

      Hey Aaron, congratulations. Let me know how it works out.

      Bryan

  • Jennifer Reyes Oct 1, 2011, 8:49 am

    I’ve never heard about this before, thank you so much for sharing the info. I will be looking into this for sure and I will let you know how it works out for me. Thanks again.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 1, 2011, 9:48 am

      Hi Jennifer – let me know when you are ready to apply. I think you have my email address. I’ll put in a recommendation for you with the editor. All the best!

  • Jannine Lilly Sep 30, 2011, 9:13 pm

    I am looking for the next site to settle, for awhile. Being a writer, journalist and photographer, along with a handful of other ‘lives’ leads me to an extreme interest in this position.

    I have very uniquely suited to plunging into this type of assignment. Previously I have written from Cambodia during the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Central and South America. I am planning on relocating outside of the US, by January. The new blog should be up and running in approximately three weeks. The older blog is quite personal and contains writings not generally suited to ‘entertainment’.

    Before settling I plan on wandering…unless a better idea comes to mind. Ecuador is one of my favorites. Seriously I will go just about anywhere, as long as I am not sent into a war zone (that gets older, the older I get).

    Please, tell me you are serious!! I am on this! You may have just paid for the best part of my life.

    So, I check out about.com and follow the bread crumbs? Do you have any further advise or direction??

    • Bryan Haines Oct 1, 2011, 9:53 am

      Hello Jannine, with your writing experience, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a position with About.com. They are a great company – I’ve been with them for a year and a half now. The application process is simple, but the interview process is longer – 1 month. Its certainly worth the trouble.

  • Richard Moore Aug 4, 2011, 1:22 pm

    Hello Bryan,

    My partner Judy and myself are getting ready to sell our assets and come to Ecuador for 3 months to see if we want to make a permanent move there. Cuenca is the place we will base ourselves from. Judy is the Executive Director of a not for profit for food and agri sustainability and I have created, built and sold many online businesses from teaching people how to start and build an online business to a Website Design and Development company and now have a specialty resume company called Dynamic Bio Resumes. We are both serial entrepreneurs and have both been writing articles for many years for our respective businesses and are now considering writing for About.com and hoping to achieve Guide status. Any help or advice you could give us would be much appreciated and we would love to meet you for coffee when we come to Cuenca.

    Thanks,
    Rick and Judy

  • David Akins Mar 5, 2011, 12:05 pm

    Bryan, we are still seriously considering a move to Ecuador. Perhaps writing is what I need to consider in supplimenting my income from Ecuador. My background is more of a business nature than a travel nature. Of course it is always easy to weave those together for the business traveler. I am a Certified Public Accountant ("CPA"), a , a Business Broker, a licensed Real Estate Broker, and licenced Mortgage Broker. While I was in Cuenca this past Fall, I spent much of my time with a Cuencano friend and her husband (both CPAs). We spent much of our time discussing the various differences in the way business is conducted in Ecuador vs. the United States. Perhaps I could specialize in something like that. What do you think?

    • Bryan Haines Mar 15, 2011, 5:38 pm

      Hi David – sounds like a good possibility. Its worked out very well for us. If you check the About.com site, the open positions are always changing. They are a great company, and are very forward thinking. Let me know how you make out!Bryan

    • Bryan Haines Apr 19, 2011, 9:35 am

      Hi David,

      Sounds like you would be great for a position with About. Check out http://beaguide.about.com/ for available topics.

      All the best.

  • Zubair Jan 18, 2011, 2:06 am

    Hey Bryan
    How long does it take to get approval for a guide position at About.com

    • Bryan Haines Jan 18, 2011, 11:28 am

      Start to finish – count on 6-8 weeks. It might be a little faster. They really make sure that you are the right person before you are hired.

  • Dan Locke Jan 10, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Hi Bryan; thanks for this wonderful post! I want to do this and will research it further. My closet friend is one of the top bloggers and most popular twitterers in Ecuador. Her English is quite good (not perfect, but daily getting better) but Spanish is, of course her best language. I will be in Guay later this month and we have lots of ideas about what we can do together… perhaps this is where we start! I would LOVE to talk with you. If you can give me a buzz at my skype: mucho appreciated! charmedlife1 (pen name: Marvel Moore)

    • Bryan Haines Jan 10, 2011, 1:54 pm

      Hey Dan – are you coming to Cuenca anytime soon? Let me know and maybe we can do coffee. Right now, my internet is a little slow (Just using the modem) so skype isn't so great. Email works fine though. What business are you getting into in Playas?

  • Doug Jan 8, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Sounds fun….where do I sign up??

  • Ayngelina Jan 8, 2011, 8:52 am

    Such a great idea, still waiting for the one on South America to pop up..

    • Bryan Haines Jan 8, 2011, 11:54 am

      I've sent a note to my editor. I'll let you know as soon as I hear – you would be awesome covering South America. . .

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