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How to Pay Directory Editors

Discussion in 'Directories' started by Nima, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. #1
    In your experience, what's the best way to pay directory editors? By number of added listings or by the hour?
    Nima, Jul 16, 2013 IP
  2. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #2
    I've never hired an editor but someone else hired me for a while. He paid me what I was told by a third party was a fair wage - by the listing. He gave me either 2 or 3 raises during the process but it was just too much a time drain for me to keep going.

    I think you know how I feel about quality directories from my postings on here and my sites. I took the time to find great sites that were worthy of being included in a new directory where the owner was investing a great deal of time and effort to make a quality site.

    Part of me enjoyed the project as I visited sites on topics I had never read about before. I learned a great deal about how many of the "top directories" were neither well-maintained nor worth getting a listing in. A bigger part of me came to resent the hours upon hours it was taking me to find sites to list.

    Sadly, I found many of the best sites via DMOZ. It was a pain sifting through the garbage there but there was some real gold to be found. I was looking for great informational sites rather than strictly commercial ones. They could have advertising but in my mind the focus of the site was sharing info.

    I mention all of this because I think you have to find a balance between finding an editor who won't just put the category name in Google and list the top 5 results or visit another directory and just use their listings.

    Paying hourly can become dangerous to you - there were some sites that sucked me in and I stayed way longer than I needed to - you shouldn't pay for your editor's sightseeing trip. Paying by the listing can have a great editor come to resent you and your project when they end up making less than a dollar an hour because some categories just don't lend themselves to that many great sites or are littered with MFA garbage.

    I've often wondered if a method like DMOZ meets About.com would work. Editors are assigned categories and get a portion of the proceeds from the entire site or just their respective category. The danger in that, of course, is that they will cheat and/or get lazy.

    Yeah, I know not a direct answer to your question, but hopefully some ideas to ponder.
    YMC, Jul 16, 2013 IP
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  3. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    #3
    I see what you're saying on both sides of the argument.

    When you were looking through DMOZ to find good websites, how long did it take you on average to find a site and add it to the directory? Did you ever calculate a time-per-listing average?
    Nima, Jul 16, 2013 IP
  4. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Eek, didn't realize that I had double posted. Sorry about that.

    The time varied greatly by category. The directory owner had pretty much given me carte blanche with the categories so I admit that I worked on the ones I thought would be more interesting and more likely to have good sites. It also allowed for working on several categories at once - for example a site about model airplanes might link to a great site about dogs.

    I'm not sure if it was a factor of the stability of the sites in a particular niche or the DMOZ editors. Some areas of DMOZ were clean and quite useful; others were a wasteland of abandoned, domained and otherwise misappropriated sites.

    Some were full of what looked like great informational resources but were just sites full of article directory articles and spun content. (I might have an advantage over other editors in that as a writer, I have a bit of a Spidey sense about the copied content and can spot it even when it's well-written stuff.) My guess was someone picked up the original domain and slapped a bunch of stuff on it hoping to capitalize on the old links. I found one where they went so far as to put junk articles with the same titles/urls as the original site had. I suspect most editors and probably quite a few directory owners would have not spotted them for what they were.

    I started keeping track of time per listing but again there are so many variables in that. Several times I found great sites but they didn't have an about page and that made it harder to write about what they offered - they didn't provide a place to start or indicate what they saw as the main purpose of their site. On a good day, and if the topics offered good hunting, I could do 4 to 6 an hour. Keep in mind, I was writing original and longish descriptions and was very picky about the sites to include. Sometimes I would get only 1 or 2 an hour - sometimes my fault for staying too long but many times simply a lack of good sites to find. There were also some categories that I skipped, not having a clue how I was going to find sites that weren't crazy commercial. Plus there were some topics that I would never have included on my own directory and I just wasn't going to support, even if it were someone else's site.

    What ended up working the best was to find one of the better listings on DMOZ, visit that site and look at who that site linked to. I think it made for more unique listings for the directory owner that way but wow it was a lot of effort.
    YMC, Jul 17, 2013 IP
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  5. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    #5
    So would you say that with clear instructions and focused category (lawyers) expecting 4 to 6 listings an hour would be fair? I'm trying to come up with a listings per hour expectation and from that calculate an hourly rate that i would pay the editors. Having that expected listings per hour number in mind I can evaluate the work after 1 or 2 week and see if I'm overpaying or its about the right number?
    Nima, Jul 17, 2013 IP
  6. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Why not try it yourself and see how fast you are? Use some small cities as well as large cities in your testing. How hard is it going to be for the editor to find each listing? Will you be giving them a list to start from? How much originality in the descriptions are you going to expect? How long are you going to want them to be? How do you want keywords handled to help your site as well as those listed?

    Do law firms generally have decent About Us pages or do they just offer laundry lists of the types of work they do? You also might have to audit some of their work until you are sure they are just not copying words from the sites.
    YMC, Jul 17, 2013 IP
  7. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    #7
    yea, I've been doing it and it takes me about 10 minutes. That's how I came up with the 15 min time but I wanted to get opinions from others who've done this too
    Nima, Jul 17, 2013 IP
  8. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #8
    I guess that depends. Is there enough work to warrant a 40 hour work week? Think of other ways to utilize an editor, perhaps they can also do promotion or coding, or other types of web site development related to the directory along with the editing duties? I've been very fortunate in that I have a staff in place that is already working on our other business ventures and I can easily include and or shift some of that workload into their every day tasks... I have a hard time paying someone on volume. You're not building widgets in a factory. You want quality work, not quantity.... Paying someone per unit/listing can turn into an assembly line and in turn quality could suffer as a result.
    Mia, Jul 18, 2013 IP
  9. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #9
    I would recommend using some sort of tool to track progress, and even watch them work. For example, you could use google spreadsheets to import and export listings to your directory database. Then you can have them do all the editing on the spreadsheet and more easily monitor their work, and suggest ways they can improve.
    dvduval, Nov 11, 2013 IP
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  10. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    #10
    Using a spreadsheet is actually a good idea. It won't bring in the pictures used in the listings but that can be done separately
    Nima, Nov 12, 2013 IP
  11. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #11
    It is possible to write a php script that will grab the image from a url provided and create a local copy.
    dvduval, Nov 12, 2013 IP
  12. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    #12
    Possibly. I don't have that many submissions every day so its not a big deal at this point but i can see using a spreadsheet being useful in future
    Nima, Nov 13, 2013 IP