Have a filmmaking experience you'd like to share? Got your hands on some good (or bad) equipment? Record a helpful tutorial? Interview another filmmaker? All of this content is of interest to us, but I simply don't have the time or resources to cover every story out there. I have managed to build a site that's read by thousands of filmmakers and other creatives every day, however, and as a result writing a guest post here can be a great source of exposure for you and/or your project.
Your content doesn't necessarily have to be exclusive here -- you could also post it on your own blog. I'm looking to bring in more valuable content for the time being using the Huffington Post model, wherein contributors do it for the exposure rather than for the money (many writers at HP are unpaid, although I'm sure the Post can afford to pay them; unfortunately, NFS is not bringing in enough revenue to hire other writers -- yet). The value of cross-posting here is you get more exposure for yourself and your project, and of course we'll link back to your own site (or other online presence -- Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, etc.) at the top and bottom of your guest post. Here are some example guest posts:
- The Short Film is Dead: Time for the Emerging Filmmaker to Get a New Calling Card by Mike Jones
- Choosing the Right Tool: DLSR vs Camcorder by Alexander Fox
- 7 Ways the Apple iPad will affect Filmmakers and Creatives (at FreshDV) by... me
As Mike's post demonstrates, if your content is original and thought-provoking (or controversial, in his case), it can spread like wildfire through social media. ((The Twitter count is low because I've since switched from Tweetmeme to Twitter's own URL-shortening service, which reset all counts to zero site-wide.)) I can say from experience that posting a quality article to a site with little traffic can be an exercise in frustration, ((I'm talking about my own site, in its early days.)) as building an audience takes a lot of time and effort. So, now that I've built a growing audience (this year's traffic is charted at left), I'd like to open up the site for others to share their experiences. If you've got something you'd like to share, please email me or leave a comment here.
Besides the exposure, another benefit of guest-posting is backlink building, which helps your own site gain exposure (assuming you have your own blog, production company, or any other web site). Google ranks sites using a number of factors, but chief among them is the number of incoming links -- and if your site is linked to by sites that are larger than yours, those links carry more weight.
One final thing: at some point in the future, No Film School will be hiring writers; guest-posting here now is great way to get a leg up. In the current economy, paying jobs that you can do anywhere, on your own time, are certainly rare. Blogging isn't for everyone, but writing about a topic that's directly related to your career comes with a lot of perks, and there exists a symbiotic relationship between the two: your blogging helps your career, and your career helps your blogging. Just something to consider!
I've never been shy about the fact that one of my goals with this site is to build it up to the point where it's multi-author (this is one of the reasons you won't find my name in the site title). When I'm working on a film project, I can't keep up the same posting schedule, and I'd like to bring in writers with different experiences and expertise. Unfortunately, this is a ways off. Pursuing this goal, I recently explored the possibility of a small business bank loan, spurred on by President Obama's Small Business Jobs Act; I also tested out peer-to-peer lending sites like Prosper and Lending Club. But despite America being the "land of opportunity," in the current economy the only people who are eligible for halfway decent loans (or any loan, period) are those who already have significant assets (a house, a boat, or plenty of money already in the bank). It's been an interesting experience, to find out that despite doing everything right (in terms of personal credit, I've never missed a credit card payment, and in terms of this site, I have all sorts of analytics that demonstrate a direct link between traffic and revenue), in the eyes of the bank, you have to already have money in order to be eligible for a loan. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a loan! I suppose this is why folks seek out angel investors who might be less risk adverse. Anyway, just thought I'd share this ongoing story, given that being an "independent creative" these days requires finding a number of revenue streams.