The Big Cheese is interviewd in The Guardian.
It all started in 2010 when Forbes threw its website open to bloggers, academics and experts from all sorts of areas relating to investing and entrepreneurship.
In total DVorkin now has 1,000 contributors – he hates the word \”bloggers\” – alongside a core staff team of 100, of whom about 50 are reporters.
And here\’s where the difference starts – not only do contributors self-publish, but they are paid according to the size of the audience they attract. He declines to reveal exact rates, but each contributor gets paid a certain number of cents for every visitor per month. There is a clear incentive for them to get repeat custom, as they get paid 20 times that amount if the same person reads another of their posts during that month.
The beauty of the arrangement for Forbes is that it encourages contributors to increase their traffic through social media and whatever other self-promotional outlets they have. In 2012 two contributors made more than $100,000, several made $75,000 and 25 made $35,000. One of the most popular individual blogs last week was a piece on the world\’s most valuable football teams, starting with Real Madrid.
Newspaper editors in the UK would be aghast at the prospect of 1,000 unedited journalists roaming freely on their websites with access to the internal editing and publishing tools
It\’s not unedited. Rather, it\’s post-publication edited. It is entirely possible to publish the wrong thing and get unceremoniously dumped (as I believe Ritchie did). And there are most certainly editorial staff who cast an eye over what has been published.
But those earnings numbers look about right. It\’s a good gig. Indeed, given what freelancers usually earn it\’s an extremely good gig.
Which leads to the fun about how I got the gig. I saw that Richard Murphy had got hired to do this. And he noted that he was going to get paid to do this. So I scratched around to find Mr. DVorkin\’s number and made a call. \”Given that you\’re hiring the UK\’s number 1 economics blogger shouldn\’t you also be thinking about hiring the UK\’s number 2 economics blogger?\”
\”Err, yes, OK then\”.
In fact, if memory serves me right, it was Arnauld telling me that Murphy was streets ahead of me because he had just been hired to write for Forbes that prompted the call. So thanks for that Arnauld. I\’m not quite one of the several so many tens of thousands of thanks in fact.