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Writer- Freelance

Stacker

$20,000
Apply before: May 10, 2024
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  • Date posted
    March 11, 2024
  • Salary
    $20,000
  • Apply before
    May 10, 2024
  • Career Level
    Any

Job Description

To apply:

Please email your Resume and work samples to [email protected]. Please place in the subject line the desk you are applying to write for, example: “Freelance writer: Culture”

Stacker is a data-driven online journalism outlet and newswire that covers a range of verticals with real-world relevance (U.S. and world news, politics, history, money, science and health, entertainment, sports, and lifestyle). You can learn more about Stacker Media here.

With a small, multi-talented team of tireless researchers, writers, and editors led by Editor in Chief Micah Cohen, we leverage rich data sources and stunning photos in list, slideshow, and data visualization formats to tell hundreds of stories each month. Stacker’s content reaches more than 75 news partners and 3,000 partner websites—from media giants (MSN, Gannett, Adams Publishing Group) and local newsrooms to up-and-coming digital media organizations and independent journalists. Our stories are frequently picked up by our newswire publishers, including Hearst Media and Nexstar, as well as outlets like Newsweek, ABC News, Las Vegas Review-Journal, How Stuff Works, and Benzinga.

Most of our story ideas are generated in-house and assigned to freelancers based largely on the subject matter and area of expertise. We send all our writers “prompts” that include instructions, methodologies, outlines, and the data source where applicable.

We are currently recruiting across our Culture, News, and Money desks, with an eye for specific expertise in:

  • Culture

    • Music

    • Business travel and travel sector

    • Sports (especially soccer)

  • News

    • Health and health sciences

    • Education

    • Breaking news

    • Politics (national, local)

  • Money

    • Real estate

    • Personal finance

    • Insurance

    • Investing

    • Business (specifically small business)

    • Tech

Requirements

First and foremost, here are the basic requirements we have for Stacker writers:

  • Expert command over AP style. We closely adhere to AP style for numbers, addresses, titles, etc., in addition to some exceptions in our style guide.

  • The ability to create clear, concise copy. Writers only have ~200-300 words to write an introduction, and a few sentences per subhead or slide to get their ideas across. Every sentence should drive the story and be free of frills, flourishes, and filler.

  • Expertise in the subject matter. It’s essential that we provide an authoritative voice on the subjects we cover. We expect writers to deliver well-researched information and for editors to fact-check all copy. Whether publishing a feature, in-depth analysis, or listicle, coverage should be insightful, well-researched, and contextualized.

  • Experience properly sourcing information and interpreting data and statistics.

Story types

We publish three main types of stories. All require a ~200-word introduction and writing two to six sentences for each subhead (“slide”) contextualizing the information.

INTRO-ONLY

These stories require an introduction only (generally a longer one).

Example: 14 years later, the effects of the 2008 bailout are still being counted

INTRO + COLOR

Intro + color (“color” = copy) pieces have a data source (i.e. WalletHub releases the best places to live in every state, or Golden Globes nominees are announced). The writer pens a 200-word introduction, as well as two to six sentences for each subhead (“slide”) contextualizing the information. Stacker’s team will provide the slide titles and data—writers write a few sentences for each slide explaining the information (not repeating the data, but expounding on it by bringing in interesting facts about the subject, like the movie’s plot, the state’s GDP, a college’s top majors, etc.).

Example: How student loan forgiveness could boost Black homeownership rates

MANUAL RESEARCH

Manual research pieces do not have a singular data source and are not based on rankings, surveys, a study, etc. The writer provides the intro, subheads, and copy.

Example: 25 LGBTQ+ books that changed the literary landscape

STACKER STUDIO

With Stacker Studio stories, companies underwrite Stacker pieces that we share through our classic distribution channels (and which go through the same process of vetting and fact-checking).

The only obvious element that stands out about a Studio piece vs. a native Stacker piece is that in the introduction, we attribute the work to the brand (instead of “Stacker analyzed data from [source],” it would say “[brand]” analyzed data from [source]”). We may also provide a list of competitor names to avoid in the piece.

Studio stories are very different from traditional advertising or content marketing in that after a brand selects from our pitched headlines, all our reporting is independent, and the brand is not involved in the actual production of the story. For the purposes of data reporters, writers, and editors, there is no functional difference between a Stacker or Studio story.

Example: Energy bill up? Here’s how electricity costs have changed over the past year

Workflow

For all assignments, we’ll provide you with the headline, story type, slide count (aka length of listicle/number of subheads), and pay. You can accept or decline each assignment depending on your schedule and interest each month. Some writers work on up to a dozen pieces for us; others write here and there when available.

We use the Worksuite platform, allowing freelancers to create profiles, update their availability, and accept or decline assignments. The more info you provide, the better! We produce content on such a wide range of subject matter, so it helps if we know as much about your expertise and interest as possible to best match you with assignments.

Our team of data reporters and editors has internal brainstorms throughout the month. Those approved stories are largely conceived in-house (no need for our freelancers to pitch, although that is always welcome!). We work with freelancers to pair them with pieces in their wheelhouse.

Once stories are assigned, we send out prompts via Smartsheet emails for each assignment with all pertinent info, data sources (if applicable), and a link to a Google doc that is already formatted and ready for the writer to work in. Prompts get sent roughly a week before the story is due (this varies, but you’ll be informed of the schedule upon assigning). Once the writing is done, the author updates the piece’s status to “writer done,” which alerts the editor they can dig in.

Note: We often “refresh” content. This means that a story you’ve authored could be repurposed and republished in the future. In an ideal world, we have the original author update the story, but with the nature of freelancing, that’s not always possible.

Benefits

This is a freelance position and is not eligible for benefits.

PAY FOR WRITERS

Below are starting rates for writers. Pay is subject to increase depending on the story type, the piece’s complexity, the writer’s expertise, and sentence count requirements.

Stories requiring a ~200-word intro (priced between $30. – $50. depending on complexity), plus:

  • 2-3 sentences start at $10.+ per slide

  • 3-4 sentences start at $12.+ per slide

  • 5-6 sentences start at $15.+ per slide

We pay all contractors by the first few days of each month for the entire month prior in one lump sum via direct deposit in Gusto.