How to join ChicagoNow

Hey everybody, glad you're here and thanks for your interest in blogging on ChicagoNow.

If you don't need any more information and want to send in your pitch right now, our official pitch form is right here. But if you want to learn a bit more about ChicagoNow and how we work please take a look at the Q&A below. You can also email me, ChicagoNow Community Manager Jimmy Greenfield, at jgreenfield@chicagonow.com if you have any other questions.

What are the advantages to joining ChicagoNow? To name just a few: traffic, support, earning money and friendship. Our high Google rank results in ChicagoNow posts having a much better change of being found even if it's a new blog. In addition, we share posts via ChicagoTribune.com, our weekly ChicagoNow newsletter plus our active @ChicagoNow twitter account and Facebook Fan Page.

If you're not too technically savvy, that's not a problem. We'll help you get your blog set up and we're available for any questions you have at every step of the way. There are no costs to you at any time.

We pay a select number of bloggers an agreed upon monthly rate. To become a paid blogger we look at a wide variety of factors, including size of your local traffic, quality of content, frequency of posting, engagement with users both on your blog and in social media and a few others. There’s no timetable for when we elevate a blogger to paid status. However, you can immediately register for Google AdSense and place an ad unit on the right rail of your blog to start earning some money from your blog.

We also have a large, active community of 300-plus bloggers who, we're very proud to say, have come to know and support one another both online and off. We have meet-ups every few months for bloggers to socialize, and online have a private Facebook group where the bloggers share blogging tips, ask for and respond to help and just get to know each other.

Who can become a ChicagoNow blogger? Any Chicago-area resident can blog on any topic. If you live out of the area, the topic of your blog must have a Chicago focus.

What if I have an existing blog? Great, you’re way ahead of the game! We do expect those with existing blogs to move their blogs over to the ChicagoNow platform. The best way to do this is to put up a final “I’ve moved!” post. Or you can install what’s called a 301 redirect to make a seamless transition. At this time we don’t import old blog posts.

Will I own my content if, say, I get a book deal from my blog? Yes, anything you produce is 100 percent yours. Several ChicagoNow bloggers have received book deals based on their blogs or because of the attention their blogs brought them. Among the bloggers who published books, or will soon publish, are Carrie Goldman, Tab Bamford, Fern Ronay and Stephanie Walker.

Do you edit or approve my content? No, you are completely responsible for all content on your blog. We never edit your post or give assignments.

How will I post? We use a Wordpress platform that's customized for ChicagoNow. We've created a self-taught OnBoarding page and are available for any support as you get started and beyond.

What kind of blogs do you want to launch? Quite simply, whatever blog you're interested in. We want you to choose a topic for which you have a passion. We want you to wake up every morning eager to create new posts.

What if I join and then want to leave ChicagoNow? We'll provide you with a file of all your posts and wish you the best of luck.

Do you give back rubs? All depends on how well your blog is doing.

OK, if you're ready go ahead and fill out the pitch form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

Cheers,
Jimmy

Filed under: Blog Launching

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