Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why you should write for

 It’s hard to believe, but I’m about to mark my third year anniversary date writing for I began in February 2010, writing occasional articles under the title “Atlanta AmericanFood Examiner.” Since then, I’ve added “Atlanta Restaurant Examiner” and “National Cookbook Examiner” to my titles under which I post stories about my favorite subjects – food, restaurants and cookbooks.
To date, I’ve posted 409 stories, and along the way, made new friends and contacts in my areas of interest. And made a few bucks, too. I’ve also learned about promoting my work through social media and picked up tips on photo editing and creating slideshows.

When I first started writing for Examiner, I didn’t expect to be writing for them three years later, but it’s really quite simple to make it a part of my writing life. When I’ve had an abundance of time, I’ll produce several stories a week. When my writing time is crunched, I’ll try to produce at least one story a month, the minimum in order to be paid for pageviews.

And there’s the big question: Just how much do you get paid? Well, you can’t live off it, but it’s enough to justify a hobby. My best year, when I wrote the most stories and put the most effort into promoting my work, I made upwards of $1,000. Other years, a couple hundred dollars. (The year that I made the most was the year that I lost my job when Borders went under, and let me tell you, it was nice to have at least a little something coming in while I was in my minivan, going to and from the unemployments.)

My beats ~ food and books ~ are crowded and not as newsworthy as the celebrity and tabloid-style news that drives the Examiner engine. But still, I crank out the stories and get a paycheck every month. (Maybe I shouldn’t confess this, but I’ve made more from Examiner than my blog.) A key factor, much like in blogging, is to build up a backlist of evergreen material that will be continually relevant. Over time, you build a network of readers who subscribe to your feed.

The other benefit, in fact, I would say the main benefit of Examiner, are the contacts that I’ve made among fellow writers, cookbook authors, publishers, chefs and public relations professionals.Within the Examiner community, I have new friends like Beth Robinette, owner of Atlanta Culinary Tours, who writes about ethnic foods, and Lynda Mahana, who shares elegant recipes as the Buckhead Cooking Examiner Because of the Examiner connection, I have access. It’s taken some time, a bit of networking, and some solid work, but if I have story that I want to write, I have the connections to make it happen.

It’s the first of the year, and if you have a New Year’s Resolution that involves writing, you might consider Examiner as a way to build an audience and make a few bucks. There are titles all across the spectrum of interests, not just food-related – check out the topics page that includes everything from Action Sports to Yoga and Pilates. If you are interested in writing about food, I encourage you to consider Examiner. There are already a few excellent writers and photographers represented, but there's room for so many more. I think there's potential for Examiner to become a go-to site for quality food stories.

Think about it and if you decide that you want to learn more about becoming an Examiner, use this link: and tell them that Lucy Mercer sent you. I’ll get $50 when you publish your first story as an Examiner. And when you become an Examiner, you can earn $50 for each new writer you bring on board. In a word: shu-weet.

You may want to get an idea of the kinds of stories that I write for Examiner. In that case, link on to any of my stories and subscribe to my posts. It's super-easy and Examiner will not bomb your inbox with posts - you only get emails when I post stories, and that's just a few times a month.
If you have any questions about becoming an Examiner, shoot me an email to or ask questions in the comments below.


Nancie McDermott said...

Lucy, thank you for this very detailed, frank post. I didn't know any details about this and am glad I do. I may take you up on this excellent lead. All the best in 2013. So enjoy reading your work and keeping up with you in web world.

Lucy Mercer said...

Thanks for reading, Nancie! I can see you as either the Thai Food Examiner or Southern Desserts Examiner. Keep writing!

Miachel @ Spiced Curiosity said...

Beautiful article. Thank you for the inspiring words, and congrats on finding a satisfying hobby!