Please welcome to the Editor’s Q&A corner, Her View From Home Editor, Leslie Means. Leslie shares news about increased view-based payments for writers, tips for submitting work that gets published, what qualities are most important in the writing they accept, and more!
Q: Tell us about Her View From Home and how you decided to start the site.
A: Her View From Home is made up of views from women across the globe who share a passion for their view from home. Many are writers and bloggers, most are mothers who have come together to form this incredible tribe of women. We started with just a few, and now have well over 400 writers who contribute on a monthly basis. For me, Her View From Home is a combination of my love for the written word and storytelling. I truly believe everyone is a writer – they just have to take a moment to share their story with the world.
My background is broadcast journalism, but I left the television world (I did the anchor/reporter thing for 7 years) in late 2010 to spend more time with my family. When I left TV, I missed the creative vibe and needed to find a way to harness that love. I took the business skills I acquired during my time at my new job with our local Chamber of Commerce, combined that with my broadcasting background and launched Her View From Home in April of 2012. I modeled the site off of a local talk television show I had the privilege to help create at our local TV station. At first, Her View was going to be a local website but it quickly turned into something much bigger and now spans across the globe with writers in all states and internationally as well.
Q: How many pieces are you currently publishing each day?
A: We publish 2-5 new articles per day, sometimes more. In the summer of 2016, we started doing more “trending” topics, AKA – news pieces, so our writers have even more opportunities to share their words each day if they wish. I honestly thought when I left television, I had closed that door on my life forever. Funny how things work out. Now I’m so grateful for the journalism background I acquired, especially since trending “news” pieces are some of the most popular on our site.
Q: Can you describe the type of content you are looking for and also give us a few examples of stand out content we can go to school off of?
A: We do not accept pieces with profanity or vulgar language. That’s the one thing I’ve carried over with me from my news days. Journalists are fined (and so are the organizations) if a cuss word “slips” out on air, so I decided to keep our site very clean. That doesn’t mean we don’t like a good laugh, however, so do send us humorous content! We also have a no tolerance policy on hate. Our website is Christian-based but our writers have so many different backgrounds. We will not accept any kind of negative comments or hatred in an article.
Anything parenting related does very well and relationships too (marriage, divorce, friendships, etc.). Very specific kid articles (here’s one that was very popular for us this year) and anything that all mothers can relate to tend to get us and the writers high numbers. We have also acquired many foster care and adoption pieces, as well as grief. Our community is so kind and compassionate with those who know such pain.
Our most viral article in 2016 was this one in September:
This was an example of a timely piece that many news organizations covered. However, our angle was quite different that the rest. Her friend actually found Her View and reached out to us for the “exclusive” story. It touched my heart to know she felt comfortable sharing such intimate words on our platform. Our readers and their support shocked me and, to date, this piece has been read over 3 million times.
Truly, the more open and honest our readers can be, the better their pieces will be received. We are a safe place on the internet for that honesty. I’m thankful for that.
Q: Walk us through the submission process at Her View From Home. (including whether and how long writers will wait to hear a response).
A: Here’s a direct link for all of those details.
Tips? I want people to actually know our site. Please do not submit if you aren’t familiar, as I’ll know right away if you have followed us. Plus, writers need to follow our guidelines very specifically and make sure they have edited their submission. We receive so many requests per day now, it is important to make sure yours well polished. Anyone who fails to follow the guidelines will not receive a response.
It takes us up to two weeks (depending on the time of year and how many articles are currently in) to respond but we will get back to you. If it’s been longer than two weeks, please feel free to reach out. If the article is timely, please include that in your headline also.
Q: When you are reading submissions, what one or two qualities are super important for an accepted post to have?
A: I want the writers to be as honest as possible and honestly, they don’t have to be overly professional. Just have a conversation with me. I’m a writer too and I want you to feel comfortable with our team. We have a private Her View Facebook group and we’re all friends. I want you to feel like you can be a part of that community.
Know that we turn down numerous articles now, but that doesn’t mean stop trying! Keep sending me your best stuff and I’ll keep reading!
Q: What does Her View From Home offer writers in terms of payment and other benefits?
Here’s the link for payments!
We pay per views. The more views your article brings us, the more money you can earn – up to $100 per original piece. We drastically increased our payment structure in the fall of 2015. It was tough on our budget (some days it still is) as it is hard to predict how much income will come in from a website each month, but we felt it was vital to our writers and the growth of Her View. It just makes sense. If your words are bringing us high views, you deserve to be paid!
We also include your biography with social media links in your posts and we share your articles on our social sites as well. Besides payments (which we are so proud to offer) we have an incredible community of supportive writers who encourage and share each other’s content daily. I personally think that’s the best part.
Q: Do you accept previously published work?
We do, however, previously published work is not paid at this time. We may change that in the future. We do include a link back to your original site where the article was first published.
Q: Where is your headquarters, and do you accept work from international writers?
A: My headquarters are in a little closet nook in my bedroom in Kearney, Nebraska, and coffee shops around town when I need a break. Ha! Several writers have asked us what organization we are a part of, to which I respond, we aren’t! We’re one of the few businesses who are still privately owned and not part of a larger organization. I love that. I’m proud of that and I hope we can continue to operate in such a manner. I do have a small team who helps me, and I hope to hire many more employees and open an office in our cozy downtown someday.
Absolutely we accept work from international writers. Actually, one of my closet friends during this blogging journey is from Australia.
Q: You ask that writers promote their work you publish. Any tips or requests for how you like to see articles promoted?
A: 100% yes! Please share your articles on your own social media sites and then share the love from the blogs of our writers too. The more you share, the more others will return the favor. We are one big community on Her View and we try to help each other as much as possible. That was my biggest learning curve when I started the site. I had no idea how important it was to have connections to other bloggers. It’s everything!
Q: As far as rights go, are contributors able to republish something you have published in the future, and if so, do you have any requests as far as that goes (timing, attribution n etc.).
A: All of our writers have to sign contracts (I learned the hard way with that one). It’s just a way to keep us all safe! We do allow writers to share their previously published Her View From Home articles, but we ask that they wait 60 days before republishing on another blog and they must include this text in the upper portion of the article. “This article originally appeared on Her View From Home.” And then they link their article to the “Her View From Home” text.
There are some exceptions.
Q: As a mom who writes and blogs (like many of the people reading this article), what are some of your favorite resources?
A: My absolute favorite when I first started blogging was Pinch of Yum. They publish monthly income reports and share how they made that money. They were a huge resource for me when I just started the site. I immersed myself in their reports for an entire weekend and then set off to do the same for us. It worked! I love their open and honest blogs too.
We now offer a Passion + Profit course (it’s opening again in January) to help people make an income on their own blogs. I have partnered with a dear friend of mine, Krystal over at The Daily Femme, and together we teach others how to blog for profit! It’s an 8-week course packed with information. We would love for you all to join us – enrollment dates coming soon!
Q: What’s next for Her View From Home?
Oh my gosh, I love goals! We have plenty of them in 2017.
For Her View From Home – we’re going to continue to grow our writing team, increase numbers on social media and help more writers get their work seen! We would like to consistently reach one million views each month. Right now we’re in the 500,000 – 750,000 average view range per month. I would also like to dream big and say we’ll hit 50,000 Facebook followers in 2017.
I am also launching a Facebook page for mothers in January called, The People We Raise (found here). It will be a way for mothers of all ages to connect on yet another level. Once that grows, we may offer financial compensation for articles too and turn it into a website. Right now, all mothers are invited to join our Facebook page and submit a photo or video and words to capture that story.
We’ll keep rocking our Passion + Profit teaching community too! If you would like to join our group page, you’ll find us here.
And finally, we’ve had video on our minds for several years now (with my television background it only makes sense). If we can get our act together, there just may be a video element coming in 2017 too!
On a personal level, I’m about to have my third sweet baby – a boy!! – in early March. Plenty to look forward to and so many blessings will be coming our way in 2017. It’s been an honor to be interviewed and I hope to meet many new faces this year!