Examiner.com is a crowd-sourcing media company which bills itself as the fastest growing local content network. It is a division of Clarity Media Group, which is owned by the billionaire Philip Anschutz. Anschutz is a major investor in media properties, including Regal Cinemas. Examiner.com employs freelance writers it calls Examiners to generate content for the site.
Many people do freelance writing at home for supplementary income, and Examiner.com is one of the many sites which give freelance writers a chance to monetize their spare time. Examiner.com is a relatively new site, and was launched only in 2008. By focusing on hyperlocal news, it hopes to gain a competitive advantage in the crowded field of crowd-sourced media sites.
Before hiring an Examiner, it asks applicants to specify a city in which they live. To qualify to be an Examiner, you must be a citizen of either the United States or Canada, be 18 years or older, and reside in a major city in one of these two countries. Next, you are prompted to choose a topic of interest related to that city. Examples of topics include news about local universities, gyms, restaurants, parks and activities. However, some of the assigned topics are only tangentially related to a city. For example, there are topics on astrology, cars, and beauty. Nonetheless, there is a wide selection of topics to choose from. Once you’ve chosen a city and a topic, you have to enter your personal details, including your full name, email address, physical address and phone number. After that, you are required to state your writing experience. Finally, you are prompted to provide a sample of your writing. After you’re approved as an Examiner, you can begin writing for Examiner.com and receive compensation.
The site has kept its compensation policy a secret. However, rumors are that it is based on the Gawker model of compensation, which is basically the “pay per click” model which pays an arbitrary amount per page view. Many bloggers have suggested that Examiner.com compensation is meager at best and dismal at worst. This is due to a combination of low per-click payments and the inherently low readership of a hyperlocal site, as opposed to writing on more general topics which can draw a larger audience from all over the world.
Hence, compared to many other paid-to-write sites, Examiner.com is likely to be less lucrative. However, if you are passionate about a topic that has a natural fit with a hyperlocal site, or if you are trying to target a local audience, then Examiner.com may be just the ticket for you.