Please welcome to the Editor’s Q&A corner HealthyPlace Blog Editor Natasha Tracy. Natasha shares how you can become a regular paid blogger, the benefits their writers enjoy, how they’d like you to promote your published work, and much more!
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Q: Tell us about HealthyPlace and who your readers are.
A: HealthyPlace is the largest consumer mental health site. We provide information on mental health issues and medication both from a consumer and an expert point of view. We present evidence-based information to the consumer on topics that range from specific mental illnesses to abuse, to sex and sexuality and more. We also provide online tools such as psychological tests. Additionally, we have a very active blog section where topics range from bipolar disorder, to mental health stigma, to dissociative identity disorder, to parenting a child with mental illness and much more.
A: I am a writer and just published the book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. I’m a subject matter expert on bipolar disorder and am considered an expert on search engine optimization. I have book-editing experience and have written over 1000 articles.
At HealthyPlace, I function as the Blog Manager. My job is to ensure that the blogs always fit within our editorial perspective and meet our quality standards. I also hire bloggers and am there to support them as they write for us.
Q: How many pieces does HealthyPlace currently publish each week?
A: We publish approximately 10-15 blog articles a week, but the amount does vary.
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 refer to when getting familiar with the site?
A: At HealthyPlace, we look for content that expresses a person’s experience with a mental health concern. While these pieces may contain referenced facts or statistics, the driving force is always a personal experience from the writer’s perspective. Our readers respond the most when they can see themselves echoed in the writer’s work.
Examples of this include the most popular blog articles on our site such as Fear of Losing Someone You Love, Examples of Verbal Abuse Early in a Relationship and Stop Minimizing Mental Illness: Worst Things to Say. Each of these pieces were driven by real-life experiences and that’s why people have responded so strongly to them.Here's how to become a paid blogger for HealthyPlace Click To Tweet
Q: You ask that bloggers make a 1 year commitment to blog continuously for HealthyPlace. How many posts will they be asked to provide and how should they select their niche or focus area?
A: Bloggers typically write one post every other week as well as one video post per month. Most initially think this sounds easy, but producing this work is much harder than it sounds. When a blogger chooses a niche, it needs to be something with which he or she has lived experience. The niches we are looking for are listed here.
Q: There are some specific requirements for HealthyPlace bloggers. Tell us about those.
A: Our major requirements are fairly simple. They include being over the age of 21, using your real name, being willing to promote your work on social media, having lived experience in the subject area and producing high-quality writing. We have these requirements because we want honest and open people to represent real readers with mental health issues, and not people who only have experience with textbooks. We also want people who aim to create genuine, authentic, and sometimes provocative, work.
Q: Walk us through the application process at HealthyPlace.
A: The process is the following:
- Read all the requirements listed here and send an application (including a writing sample) to the given email address.
- It can take up to two weeks to hear back. (I respond whether the writer is selected or not.)
- If the application is selected, I will ask for a secondary writing sample with specific requirements and/or possibly a video.
- If the secondary sample meets the requirements, is interesting and of good quality, I will send out a potential offer.
Q: When you are reading submissions, what one or two qualities are you hoping to find?
A: I look for submissions that are interesting and have a unique perspective on the given mental health topic. Additionally, when I’m reading submissions I am looking for a writer that is technically proficient. This is really important because what writers need to understand is that by the time I’ve hit my third technical error, I’ve stopped reading.
Q: What does HealthyPlace offer writers in terms of payment and other benefits?
A: HealthyPlace pays for both videos and articles and offers tremendous author promotion, particularly through our very active social media. Our Twitter account alone has over 62 thousand followers and our Facebook page has almost 200,000 likes. Many of our writers have gone on to write elsewhere thanks to the visibility of writing for HealthyPlace. Myself, I started at HealthyPlace with a following of zero and now have more than 50,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and am a professional mental health writer and speaker. HealthyPlace is very supportive of all its writers and I always work with writers to improve their work.
Q: Do you accept previously published work?
A: Previously published work can be used as an application sample but cannot be published if the writer is hired.
Q: Where is your headquarters, and do you accept work from international writers?
A: The HealthyPlace headquarters is in Austin, Texas but our writers come from all over the world. Writers from any country can apply.
Q: You ask that writers promote their work published on HealthyPlace. Any tips or requests for how you like to see articles promoted?
A: We expect all work to be promoted on the social media channels of Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Q: Are contributors able to republish something you have published in the future?
A: All work created by a writer is owned by HealthyPlace and it is at our discretion whether articles be published elsewhere.
Q: What’s next for HealthyPlace?
A: In the next year, we will be increasing our social presence on YouTube. People can look forward to more videos from our bloggers as well as guest videos. We are also giving the HealthyPlace site a whole new look. Also, look for content updates such as our updated Self-Help section, coming soon.