Please welcome to the Editor’s Q&A corner SheKnows Community Editor, Colleen Stinchcombe. Colleen fills us in on what former BlogHer contributors need to know, how bloggers can get published on SheKnows today, the content their readers love most, paid writing opportunities with SheKnows.com, and much more!
Q: Most of my readers are familiar with SheKnows and/or BlogHer. Can you give us a recap on the SheKnows acquisition of BlogHer and how the two brands now function from an editorial perspective?
A: SheKnows Media acquired BlogHer.com in 2014. As of February 1st, 2017 BlogHer.com’s community section has been moved to the newly-launched beta version of SheKnows community. BlogHer now functions as a hub for information and content about the BlogHer Conferences.
Q: Tell us about your role with SheKnows.
A: Happily! I’m the Community Editor at SheKnows, which means that I get to look at all of the pieces that come through SheKnows Community and have the privilege of selecting which ones to feature as a Staff Pick in Community and on the SheKnows.com homepage.
Q: SheKnows has a huge audience. What can you tell us about your readers?
A: They’re women, they’re informed and, most importantly, they want to be heard.
Q: All BlogHer.com content has recently been moved over to SheKnows.com. From our end it appears seamless, with old BlogHer links redirecting. Tell us about the decision to change where that content lived.
A: BlogHer has done such an incredible job of building a community of smart, passionate women who are on the pulse of everything that’s happening online. We noticed that the tools were in need of an upgrade, and we wanted to give the bloggers and even better chance at reaching more people. This sparked the idea of creating the SheKnows Community. We’re still in beta mode, which means all of the BlogHer bloggers have been moved over and we’re working on moving the SheKnows Experts, a hand-selected group of community members from SheKnows, to the platform.
Q: Having posted my writing to the BlogHer community in the past, I was thrilled to see that I can now log in to SheKnows with my BlogHer account and start writing! It was super easy. How can someone who has not blogged on either platform before get started?
A: I’m so thrilled it’s working well for you! They can go to http://sheknows.com/community – if they’re not prompted to join the community on their first visit, they can also click on the top right hand corner where it says “Start Writing” and get started there.
Q: What tips can you offer bloggers who are writing on SheKnows as far as the post creation process goes?
A: We’ve done our best to listen to our community about the features that were most important to them while also keeping the platform super simple so that anyone and everyone will be comfortable using it. Profiles are a place for readers to find more of your content and learn more about you and where to reach out to you, so we highly recommend including social profiles and a link to your blog if you have one. You can absolutely link to relevant blog pieces on your own website in your post. And you can now add a preview photo and schedule any post you create! You’re in charge of making sure that you’re properly crediting the photo and have permission to use it, so it’s worth brushing up on image use guidelines.
Q: What about content? SheKnows covers a wide range of topics. What topics/format/length seems to be most well received by your readers?
A: Our readers are interested and engaged in a variety of topics, from parenting to health to entertainment and career. They seem to engage strongest with pieces that are between 350 and 900 words and are informative, deeply personal while tapping into something universal, or share a common interest (like loving the same TV show.) The new Community is also opening up opportunities for more formats such as GIF posts (Giphy is integrated directly into the platform!) and video embeds and we’re excited to see how the Community uses these tools to create compelling pieces.
Q: Though unpaid, I’ve found that the Community is a great way to post content immediately and republish work to a wider audience. I’ve had posts explode on BlogHer that fizzled on my own website. What are some of the other benefits that SheKnows writers enjoy?
A: Exactly! With SheKnows, our Community members have the opportunity to connect with our 68 million monthly readers with chances to be featured to the homepage or have their posts shared on our social media platforms. Not to mention, we hope the Community is a place for women with similar interests or values to find each other and create a real sense of, well, community!
Q: On BlogHer, some of my posts were selected as Editor’s Picks, which meant they were given higher visibility on the site and also sometimes promoted in the newsletters and on social media. Does SheKnows have a similar process?
A: Yes! Newsletters are forthcoming and we’re excited to share Community pieces there as well as offer tips and prompts to give the Community an idea of what can help make their posts more successful on SheKnows.
Q: I know that BlogHer offered opportunities to pitch original content to editors for paid writing opportunities. How does that process work with SheKnows?
A: SheKnows Community does not offer paid opportunities at this time, but SheKnows.com does have editors with small freelance budgets. They can be contacted individually by vertical at Parenting@sheknows.com, Health@sheknows.com, Love@sheknows.com, Entertainment@sheknows.com, Food@sheknows.com, and Pets@sheknows.com.
Q: What is next for SheKnows?
A: In the near future, we’ll be sending out prompts to inspire you to write as well as give you an idea of what has the best chance of being featured by editors in a given time period.
We’re looking forward to further iterating on the Community platform, incorporating our Experts Among Us members into the Community, launching a brand new look for the website and seeing everyone at BlogHer ’17 in Orlando!