As newspapers and other traditional third-party media cut back, or just plain axe, their theatre criticism and feature coverage – to the detriment of shows and venues, not to mention theatregoers – the voices of independent bloggers are increasingly important.
The main problem for those bloggers: visibility. How do readers discover them in the first place? How do they grow their readership? How can they build an audience that is broad and engaged enough to go even some way towards replacing the influence (and, let’s face it, ticket-buying power) of those axed newspaper column inches?
We hope that the collective MyTheatreMates network can be part of the answer, particularly in terms of widening much-needed exposure in areas that traditional media really don’t have the resources to cover in-depth anymore: regional theatres, touring companies, experimental and niche interest theatre.
So, we are actively looking for other professional theatre journalists and bloggers whose content can sit alongside ours at MyTheatreMates.com. If you want to be part of our vision for the future of independent arts coverage, read on…
Is this you?
- You have your own personal website
- You post original theatre-related content on your personal website at least once a fortnight
- You can provide three professional arts references (e.g. artists you have interviewed or, if you review, producers or publicists who already regularly provide you with complimentary press tickets to shows)
- You are active on Twitter
In order to promote the network and increase visibility for everyone, we ask that you display prominently on your site:
- Our unified, cross-editorial newsletter sign-up (designed to showcase the spectrum of Mates’ content and, yet again, increase your visibility)
- Promo button/links for the network
We also ask that you get involved and engage with the network yourself!
- Promote the network regularly through your own social channels
- Comment on other members’ content regularly (not every single post, obviously – just ones you have something to say about!)
- Share other members’ content regularly (as above)
Through the MyTheatreMates network, we aim to promote great theatre content and, as a result, raise the digital profiles of all our individual members, drive readers back to their sites and help them generate supplemental revenue from that traffic.
So what exactly does that mean? What do you get out of it? Well, if it wasn’t clear from the whole “Mission” section above, let’s spell it out for you:
- Every blog you post will be extracted (first 200 words only) and beautifully displayed on this site with links back to your own site
- Every blog you post will be searchable on this site and promoted via Recent/Popular links, Related Articles links, Categories and Tags and any other way we can think of
- Every blog you post will be tweeted (and Retweeted a few times) to our Twitter followers and shared with our Facebook fans – we will do our best to ensure everyone we know sees it!
- Your author box – with bio, pic and links to your site and Twitter profile – will appear at the bottom of every one of your blog extracts on this site (we love to big up our Mates)
- Your blogs will feature in our round-up of new content in our fortnightly newsletter to thousands of theatregoers
And what’s the result of all that for you and your website???? Well, you can:
- Raise your personal profile by association and extension
- Attract more visitors to your website
- Improve your SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimisation, in case you didn’t know)
- Increase your Twitter followers
- Make a little bit of extra money (maybe!)
Questions about money
Why do we say “supplemental” revenue? It’s up to you how/if you want to try to monetise traffic to your personal website. However, we’re just being honest: in our experience of blogging, the revenue is only ever going to be supplemental to whatever you do to pay the bills. Hopefully, though, the added visibility will increase your “marketability” (yes, we know, cringe-worthy word) and earning power.
But seriously, does supplemental for Mates mean the founders are keeping “all the dosh” for ourselves? Absolutely not. The truth is, MyTheatreMates is not a profit-making venture. We hope one day to cover our costs through ticketing and advertising (we’ll see). In the meantime, we believe that what we’re doing is a good thing and we believe that, like in theatre, through collaboration, we all benefit.
If you think you qualify to become a “syndicate” Mate, please scroll down to fill out the application form…
Don’t quite qualify yet?
If you don’t tick all the boxes for syndication (or just don’t want to be syndicated), that doesn’t mean we can’t work together. Here are a few more “guest” Mate options if:
- You have a website – If you’re writing a blog for your site that you think could feature on our site, send us an email pitch and link, along with your headshot, a very brief bio (no more than 75 words) and your Twitter handle. We’ll publish an extract and drive folks back to your site. (Make sure it’s one of your really good ones as, for admin reasons alone, we’ll have to limit how regularly we’re able to do this.)
- You don’t have a website – We may be able to publish your article in full on MyTheatreMates.com. Again, email us your publication-ready copy (i.e. really well written and totally proofed) along with some great images to accompany it, plus headshot, bio and Twitter handle. We’ll have a look and get back to you as quickly as possible.
Please note, for both of the above, you still must be on Twitter. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but Twitter is the way we promote ourselves and each other. MyTheatreMates depends on mutual Mates promotion through social media to succeed. So, for goodness’ sake, get on Twitter if you aren’t already. We’ll even give you some tips!
Apply to become a Mate