Who’s Eligible to Write on our Centrist Blog?
Any member who is in what we often call the centrist/moderate big tent (including center-left and center-right moderates) is eligible to write in our centrist community blog section of our site.
To get started, you just have to do these five things:
- First just ask, using the contact page on this site – tell us why you want to blog and what makes you a centrist.
- Write your first centrist blog post and send it to us when finished – using the email address we’ll provide to you.
- We’ll publish it, then schedule a conversation with our editor by the video conference/chat app of your choice.
- In that meeting, he’ll run you through our guidelines to make sure you know our rules of decorum and content.
- That’s it! You’ll be able to blog as much, or as little, as you want from then on – unless you break guidelines.
You will be blogging with your real name – no “user names” are allowed (in other words, your name on the site will be ‘Bob Smith’, not ‘bsmith1990’), and I will have to see some verification that you are a real person. For most, all this requires is you show me your Facebook page, and that page looks like the page of a real human being’s Facebook page (posts going back years, at least dozens of friends that are mostly located in a certain area, etc).
Note: In some rare cases, we will accept bloggers who would like to write under an assumed name but they must have to have a serious reason for doing so (an occupation that doesn’t allow blogging about political opinions, for instance).
We do not allow bloggers who are paid by any political organization of any kind – even (especially?) organizations we agree with. Volunteers, however, are more than welcome! We hope to eventually recruit volunteers of every centrist and moderate organization and campaign around the country so we can get on-the-ground updates as to the progress of what we call the ‘centrist groundswell’ that is just beginning to emerge in a few areas.
We do accept guest posts from candidates (not accounts – you’ll have to submit each post by email), so long as they aren’t pure self-promotion, past the introductory post – which should be all about self-promotion! From there on, just make the content substantive for our centrist blog audience, for example speaking about centrist policy ideas or experiences you’d like to share from the campaign trail.
Our Centrist Blog Guidelines
Regardless of who you are, during the conversation we’ll have before you get your login, I’ll just want to get to know you a little bit and find out who you are, why you want to write for us, give you some advice on blogging and how you can make it so your content gets the most views.
We’ll also make sure you understand the content guidelines and rules of decorum. We’re a bit different here, in we aren’t trying to build just a centrist version of the nasty, spammy nonsense you see across much of the partisan blogosphere on the left and right.We have rules of decorum, as well as rules of what is and isn’t allowed in the content of blog posts – we don’t have the staff to police every post, but breaking those guidelines will get you banned and nothing that doesn’t exceed the guidelines will be even considered for promotion to the front page or shared across our growing social network footprint.
Content guidelines go over what is and isn’t allowed in the content of blog posts. As we don’t have the staff to police every post, our editorial hand will be light, but breaking those guidelines may result in anything from your content not being shared on social media or promoted to the frontpage, or get you banned.
Nothing that doesn’t exceed the guidelines will be even considered for promotion to the front page or shared across our growing social network footprint, so please do read through them and ask any questions if anything is unclear to you.
We also have rules of decorum, although they may be unusual to some. We encourage spirited debate, but insist that that passion be directed at the content of the discussion, not the people. We will also enforce
Eventually we will be expanding into having centrist political discussion forums, but in the mean time discussion will be limited to the Facebook comments seen below blog posts and pages – as you can see below.
Is This a Paid Writing Position or Job?
The short answer is no – this is a community blog, not a job. You can write one post and never come back, or write every single day – it’s up to you, but there are no deadlines and you are free to write about whatever it is you want to write about, so long as it is somehow related to politics and it’s coming from at least a fairly centrist position (unless you go out in left or right field, the worst that’ll happen if it’s outside of the centrist tent is it wont be bumped to the front page).
As for pay – as of this writing (late August, 2017) we don’t even have any income, and all costs are coming out of my pocket (Solomon Kleinsmith speaking here). We will not be displaying any network tracking display ads, like you see on most websites, as we believe it to be too distracting from our primary goal of building a large centrist blog audience and community.
We do intend to raise some money, however, as we cannot accomplish much without things that are rather expensive (everything from website hosting to media production once we get our podcast and YouTube channels going, advertising to grow and staff). Once our fundraising efforts reach $10,000 a month (which we do not expect will happen for some time), we will begin setting aside a percentage of monthly income to split between our most popular bloggers.
This is putting the cart well before the horse, but the pay will be based on a mixture of how many posts were selected to be bumped to the promoted or featured sections, and how much traffic those posts pull in each month. To get to that point we will need your help – both from becoming monthly Patreon donors yourself to pulling in friends and family who are in the big tent center.
Interested in a Column on Our Centrist Blog?
Having your own column means you’ll essentially have a subsection of the site all to yourself, all of your posts will be seen first by our editor (before other community posts) to decide whether it will be promoted to the featured or promoted sections and there will be a block on the front page where your latest column post will be displayed.Among other things, this includes the ability to make small design changes – like a banner image that will display under the menu bar, above your stream of posts and perhaps a customized sidebar with a block or two you pick.
This also includes the ability to make design changes to your subsection – like a banner image that will display under the menu bar, above your stream of posts. You may also modify the sidebar displayed in your section – for example adding social media links so you can grow your social following a bit faster, or a link to your website (if you have one). Another perk is that coaching will be made available, where we’ll help you build a following of your own in social media.
Earning a column isn’t something we’ll give out to anyone just for asking. Having a column will make you a de facto representative of Uniters.org, so we cannot risk giving this much exposure to someone without having a very good idea of who they are.to earn a column, we’ll have to speak with you live, get your contact information and run a background check. As this is not free, you’ll have to be a ‘Founding Uniter’ level or higher, meaning a patron/subscriber at the $15/mo level or higher (you can earn a discount, if you are on a fixed income).
To earn a Uniters centrist column, first, we’ll have to look at at least two dozen of your publicly published blog posts. This can include a mixture of posts you have published elsewhere but must include at least a dozen posts in our community.
We’ll also need to speak with you live and on video, at least a couple times, get your contact information and run a simple background check (nothing fancy or invasive). As this is not free, you’ll have to be a patron/subscriber at the $15/mo level or higher (you can earn a partial discount in non-monetary ways, if you are on a fixed income or are a student, but we will need to run a credit card in your name to verify your identity). Once our budget reaches that 10,000/mo mark, we will eventually phase this requirement out – for columnists that pull in a large number of hits.
In general, having a column is primarily a way to reward our best and most prolific bloggers, or a way to pull people who have a large following elsewhere in. One example of this would be if you have a blog that already has a following, and you decide to shut it down and move to our site. Another would be if you’ve merely built up a large social media following, page(s) and/or group(s) and make a deal with us that you’ll be sharing content from our site (not just your posts) on those social accounts.
I could go into much more detail on all points shared above, but if you have any questions, please just contact me through the contact page.
The important thing here is to note that the point of all of this is to build traffic so we can gather a community, which we will then funnel toward campaigns and causes that currently aren’t getting enough donors, volunteers, votes or attention. We can’t do that without your help, and by sharing your thoughts on our site, you’re not only helping us accomplish that goal, but you’re doing your part to represent centrist views as well – something that is sorely lacking online, and we’ll do our part to get your content in front of as many eyeballs as we can.
Thanks, and I hope I see a lot of you submitting content, as well as in the comments!
– Solomon Kleinsmith