In a time where bloggers and writers have to moonlight because the pay is well…erm…less than what we’d like it to be, Yelp has decided to give back some digital love where it’s deserved. I’m not sure of the exact model, but I know that when Yelp launched in Vancouver, they hired at least a few writers each month–writers who demonstrated expert knowledge in their neighbourhoods– and paid them. Yes!
The Yelp “scouts” were contracted for a maximum of two months, working a maximum of 20 hours a week. They had to post 30 reviews with photos and could bill for “site clean up,”–filling in extra details about a business, adding more photos or correcting non-scout reviewers’ mistakes– up to an additional 10 hours a week. For someone with a full time job that needs extra money to burn, this would be an ideal gig. For Yelp, they get at least 120 new blog posts or reviews per month. You do the math.
So why don’t more start ups choose this option? I’m not sure. Overall, I see the benefits of paying contract workers, bloggers, writers, whatever..people who spend time making the business profitable (who are motivated, fresh in ideas and eager to perform) far outweighing the financial burdens of a few thousand dollars a month the company has to absorb. And it’s crucial in the early stages to get content and get people talking about the business. Time is money, even if it’s a nominal amount.
Check out this funny post I found on Gizmodo. A San Francisco pizza joint has has decided to print the worst Yelp reviews on their staff uniforms.