Sports blog site Bleacher Report has been doing pretty well with the Huffington Post model of offering contributors a place to reach a wider audience, but not providing much in the way of remuneration. Although user-gen will still be a major part of the site, CEO Brian Grey tells paidContent that the company plans to start handing out checks to a limited number of contributors as as a way to driver deeper coverage of particular teams and specific coverage areas.
Last year, three-year-old Bleacher Report did bring on a handful of reporters — less than 15 — to handle breaking news. But this is a more formal arrangement, Grey says. “We still want people writing for us because sports is their passion, but by offering to pay contributors, we can get more regular, quality coverage.”
He didn’t say how many contributors would likely be tapped for the paid rotation. Right now, Bleacher Report has about 3,000 bloggers in its system. Paychecks would go out monthly, but Grey also declined to say what the likely range would be. “We plan to have a flat compensation model,” Grey says. “We looked at pay-per-post or tying ad revenue to pageviews. But that model isn’t too exciting for writers, especially when the goal is drive quality reporting on a regular basis. That said, there will be certain objectives that writers will have to meet and we do expect to be competitive with pay-by-performance-based models.”
For the most part, Bleacher Report wants writers to provide deep coverage of teams or topics like the NFL draft. The site is also looking for international coverage and hopes to sign up contributors in Canada and Europe as well.