As  a writer, you are probably accustomed to rejection, because that is the writer’s lot in life.  In How to Master the Art of Selling, by sales guru Tom Hopkins, the author of one of the best-selling self-improvement books of all time makes a single statement that, once internalized, helps anyone – not just salespeople – to overcome the negative effects of rejection.

Hopkins’ prescription for mastering the art of selling comes down to  adopting the attitude that every rejection gets you that much closer to your next sale.  If  you get 100 rejection slips before you publish an article, you know the chances are that you will collect another 100 rejection slips before you sell your next article, book, play or anything else for that matter.

It’s a numbers game, pure and simple, but it is really difficult for writers to get their minds wrapped around that fact. Every rejection slip you get brings you that much closer to the next sale, and that’s true whether you are selling real estate or news content

At Tellus, you can skip the trauma of the rejection slip, and go directly to ‘Yes.”  We are building a mutually supportive community of writers working together to accomplish a common goal: getting published. It’s no longer a secret that the path to success in publishing now runs through the internet. It may not end there, but more and more writers are getting started on the internet….and that’s a good thing because the old system doesn’t work any more.

Our objective isn’t just to fill up a website with content; it is to fill up a website with good content, and getting good requires one ingredient that is really very hard to come by in the real world:  feedback.

Contrary to popular opinion, all feedback is good feedback, regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative. (The opposite of good feedback is false feedback, which is when someone tells you that your good work is bad, or your bad work is good, either through stupidity, ignorance, or malevolence.)

Once upon a time, writers could believe that getting published was equivalent to getting good feedback, but that’s no longer true because the big bad publishing machine – otherwise known as the internet – has such a voracious appetite for content that virtually everything gets published. In the argument about whether self-publishing is the way to go for aspiring writers, the results are in, and the answer is the self-publishing is the only way to go because the traditional publishing channels are pretty well shut down for the newcomer.  If you don’t have a marketable name – a brand – it is virtually impossible to get an agent to read your work, and if you don’t have an agent, it is virtually impossible to get the attention of a publisher.

Yes, there are still some publishers who employ professional readers to sift through the slush pile (unsolicited manuscripts) looking for the next Harry Potter, but the odds are so badly stacked against you that it makes buying a Lotto ticket look like a good investment.

At Tellus, we have a community of writers who have put together their own website (which is why it looks the way it does….strictly amateur hour!)  in order to publish their own – and each other’s – material.  That  mutuality is key to our concept. Anyone – apparently – can put together a decent website in a few hours or less, but the real trick is getting people to come to your website….and that requires mutuality.

Mutuality – or coöperation – includes cross-editing each other’s work.  (Writers who edit themselves have fools for authors.)  We don’t believe in self-editing because, if you made the mistake in the first place, the chances are that you will overlook the same mistake when you edit your own articles.

How it works

Mutuality also encompasses marketing each other’s work by combining our personal networks into a “mega-network” to increase the size of our collective readership.

If you are interested in joining Tellus, you start off by writing a mini-autobiography.  Tell us (pun intended) who you are, and what you are about and, if we like what we see, we will offer you the opportunity to become a Tellus Contributor.

Because we are a cooperative enterprise, we operate on a consensus decision-making model, which means that no one gets opted in unless everyone agrees that they want that person to join our fold.  If you make the cut, that means you have impressed some pretty impressive people, or at least that’s how we would like to think of ourselves.

Once you have been accepted as a contributor,you obligation is to produce an average of 30 articles a month.  An article must be at least 500 words, but not more than 1500 words, be on a currently trending subject, and must include at least one royalty-free image.  Articles must be annotated with in-line source notes hyperlinked to the authorities you have consulted.

Compensation is simple.  At the beginning of each month, we will total up all the gross revenue received during the previous month, subtract overhead and operating costs to determine net revenues, then add up the total number of words published during that month, and divide the net revenues by the total number of words, producing the “per word” rate for that month.  Once we announce the per word rate for the month, each contributor adds up the number of words they have published during the previous month, multiples that by the per word rate and sends us a bill for services rendered.  You will be paid as an independent contractor and will be responsible for your own taxes.

How much can you make?  We really don’t know, but our pro forma indicates that by the end of 12 months of operation, full-time contributors should be going home with at least $2,000 a month. Since we estimate that it takes two hours to produce a credible article, you would be spending around 14 hours a week to earn $2,000 a month, which works out to around 60 hours a month or around $33 an hour. That’s somewhat less than the national average of $38 an hour for a working writer, but you could increase your earnings simply by writing more.

We keep all rights to your published articles, but we will grant the unrestricted right to republish your articles as long as  you credit Tellus as the original publisher.  Once published , articles will remain on our website permanently. (This is a necessity because the way that Google discriminates against websites that delete previously published content.)

Warning! Sale Pitch Begins Here:

At Tellus, you will have an opportunity to get edited by some of the best copy editors in the business, and you will get high quality feedback from a community of colleagues who are heavily invested in your success because, under our collective profit-sharing model, if your work doesn’t generate page views, we all suffer accordingly.  Since we don’t want to suffer for our supper, we want help you become the best writer you can be.

If you are already what you think of as a good writer, well, let’s find out together, make some money, and have some fun in the process.

IF YOU THINK YOU WANT TO JOIN THE PARTY, JUST DROP ME A LINE AT  a.milner@tellusnewsdigest.com.  Tell me who you are and what you want to write about.