Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yahoo! Local Beta Announced in Limited Cities

Yahoo! Local a new opportunity for freelance writers.
Writers, are you ready to go hyper-local?

Yahoo! Local (beta) was officially announced Wednesday, on the Y! Yodel Anecdotal blog. The launch covers more than 30 locations, with more said to be added soon. All of which will need writers to provide local content.

This new site launch is a freelance writing opportunity waiting to be seized. It is also a chance for writers to carve out a niche in their own backyards. So how do we, as writers, put ourselves in a better position to take advantage of this new market?

Do your research/study the market. Peruse current content on Y! Local and take notes on
the types of stories that appear and the tone these are written in. Pay special attention to Y!CN bylines. These are stories the site has purchased from its stable of writers.

Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network. In the site announcement post, Yahoo! states that it will be using the Y!CN to provide content for Yahoo! Local. So if you want to be in the running to provide coverage for your town, it makes sense to join the stable of writers who will be tapped for the job.

There is no application to write for Y!CN. U.S. citizens can simply sign up, using your real name or a professional sounding pen name. A valid Pay Pal account will be needed to receive payment.

Write local content. Once you join Y!CN, it is time to start producing local-focused content. Establish your city as a writing niche.

Royal Oak, Michigan's home page on Yahoo! Local.

There is no guarantee Y! Local will expand to a specific city, but at least you will still earn on articles published on Y!CN. It does appear that larger cities and neighborhoods will go live on the site first. Writers who live in small towns may want to consider also covering larger towns that they spend a significant amount of time in and have close ties to.

Already have a local news site or blog? Yahoo's announcement says it will be linking to quality local newspapers and blogs. I couldn't find any information on how these sites were chosen. It could be that editors are hand selecting sites, instead of asking for submissions. Since Yahoo! Local acts as a portal to these sites and doesn't display the content itself, no permission granting is strictly needed.

Related Post:
Are Yahoo! & AOL Tapping into Local Content Goldmines?

Photo Credit: ©Jake Wasdin / Wikimedia Commons

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