Here at GGN we are looking for some good people to help us cover the Jets. Below, I'm going to go over what we can offer, what we can't offer, what we're looking for, and what we would expect.
Here's what we do and don't bring to the table.
I can't offer any money at this point in time. You might feel like your time and hard work is worth more than free labor. There is a good chance you are right. If that is the case, I don't want to lead you on and make you think we can offer you something that we cannot. I wish I could. It just isn't in the cards right now. In the long run if you perform well, there might be some sort of financial compensation, but it would be very small, most likely buying you a few cups of coffee on your way to work each month. I don't even give free pizza. I could, but I have decided not to do so.
You also are not going to be handed the keys to insider access to the team. It just isn't the way the site functions. This site has always been built around breaking down the team. You don't need access to that. Now we have developed a relationship with the team that has been pretty good from our end. As far as I am concerned, the Jets have been good to this site. It has created opportunities such as when I was able to attend training camp last month. We also will inevitably fall into opportunities such as interviews from time to time. Any plums like these won't be assigned to you right off the bat at least until you have established yourself as a valued member of the team.
A lot of inquiries I get are from people who seem to assume they will be paid, they will gain immediate access, or both. If that's what you want, that's cool. I can't hold it against you. I just am not going to be able to provide these things to you. Many seem to be under the mistaken assumption they are one e-mail to John B away from a full-time job and the ability to chill with Manish.
What I can provide is a pretty big platform to write about this team. We are fortunate enough to have grown into a large site. The number of individuals who come here each month is in six figures. This includes many relevant figures such as media types, former players, front office people, etc. I guess it's a tribute to how I am viewed as small potatoes by many of our readers that I frequently see somebody comment, "It's not like X important person reads GGN," when in reality, X important person does read GGN.
We also can offer a really great community of commenters who create awesome discussion.
At the end of the day, most the reward for this site will be in the pride you take from creating something people will enjoy. After all these years, it is why I still here, and I would venture to say it is the reason others are as well.
Know why you want to join the team.
Really think about what you want to bring to the site. I say this because it has been my experience that a lot of people have loved the idea of being able to say they write about the Jets, but once the rubber hits the road, they end up not loving actually doing the work. They end up not lasting long.
When I think about the history of GGN, I think about how many Jets blogs, message boards, websites, podcasts, other shows, etc. have come and gone. I don't think I've outlasted them necessarily because I'm a better writer or more insightful. Ever hear the expression 80% of life is showing up? I just keep showing up.
I think the best way to make sure you will show is to have a reason for joining the team. A lot of people tell me, "I'll do anything." Well why are you so adamant about joining the site then?
My idea for this site has morphed into the idea that we are going to provide something that people aren't getting from the regular media.
So think about it. What about Jets coverage are you not getting elsewhere? What am I, John B, not providing that could be useful for Jets fans? Is it an article each week listing the number of times the Jets used each personnel package? Can you help us with social media? (We could use it.) Could you help us with editing our articles? Can you do breakdown videos? Do you want to do a show either podcast or some other media or have one that would be an asset to the site? Would you like to moderate?
You don't necessarily need to be an expert in your field. I think a lot of my best posts come on topics I just learned while I was writing. The only way we get better as writers is to learn. When I started this thing, I knew a fraction of what I know now. The same goes for five years ago or two years ago.
If you don't know a lot about a particular area and are eager to learn, that's really awesome. I bet you'll do a great job teaching it at GGN as you learn.
What I hate is when somebody doesn't know much about an area but pretends to be an expert. I can't count how many times I've gotten a film study writing sample about things that didn't actually happen. Just be honest.
Go off the beaten path.
Again, we're trying to provide something different here. If you're going to pitch a weekly quarterback evaluation, have something to provide outside the typical analysis. Did you coach? Can you provide detailed analysis on mechanics? If not, try and find something else to write about.
No clickbait topics.
To the fullest extent possible, I'd like to avoid hot takes and clickbaity stuff that appeals to the lowest common denominator. I don't think we're the place for you if that's your kind of thing. (I hope we aren't at least.)
Please don't make it about you.
This is another area where I get a lot of e-mails. Somebody wants to write a weekly article on whatever topic comes to mind "from the perspective of a fan." What exactly do you think the rest of the articles on this site are?
Another good one is the person who has just become a Jets fan providing weekly updates on their transition.
Or the common fan from abroad who wants to tell us what it's like to be a Jets fan out there.
These aren't bad topics for an individual post here or there, but I doubt anybody is waiting on the edge of their seat for frequent updates. How about the fan from abroad who gives you the options to watch the Jets games from a foreign country each week. Don't you think that might be more helpful?
The Jets need to mean something to you.
This is one of the things that I think makes this site different from a lot of other places that cover a team. We all care about the Jets. Our writers do. Our readers do. That passion hopefully shines through.
A while back, I got approached by a perfectly competent writer, but this person had no experience writing about the Jets and wasn't a fan. When asked why they had passion for the Jets, I got this reply:
What draws me to the Jets would have to be the "new energy" and attitude of "something to prove".
I feel as though the pressure in New York sports is unlike any other especially in professional football.
The Jets are different and stand out.
This sounded to me like somebody who just wanted a gig writing about any team.
I don't think there's a right way to be a fan. We all started at different times. You might have just discovered the Jets recently. It is easy to tell whether or not you have a real passion for this team. It might not have come very long ago, but please have it.
I'll be honest. I stink at responding to e-mails. In addition to what I do here, I do also have a life. Something has to give, and too often it's providing people the prompt response they deserve. I'll bookmark some inquiry, and realize in the blink of an eye that three weeks have passed since I meant to respond. I need to work on it. It's on me. With that in mind, if you really want to do something, just keep pestering me until you hear back. I'll be impressed by your persistence and know you really want to do this.
Do what you say you'll do.
There's nothing worse than having to constantly e-mail people to nudge them because they aren't following up on what they've said they will do. Make sure if you're going to commit that you actually will have the time and the motivation to follow through. I never would ask you to put this site ahead of work or important commitments to family or friends. If you aren't sure, we have a feature on the side of the page called FanPosts. Test out for a few weeks consistently writing something. If you find that you have the time and enjoyed doing it, things probably will work out. Plus you probably will develop a lot of preexisting fans among this site's readers.
Don't be a jerk.
Just don't do it. Don't be a jerk to the readers. Sure, there are going to be times you've had a bad day and snap at somebody. Sometimes the other guy wasn't trying to provoke you. Sometimes, the other guy had a bad day himself. Sometimes the other guy was just a jerk himself and trying to bait you. It happens, but please don't let it happen frequently. When it does, try and make things right. And don't cause problems on other SB Nation sites. The people who run them are my colleagues. Don't go to some site where most of the people are from a city or state, make some remark insulting people from that city or state, and then get indignant when there are negative consequences.
If you could read through all that and still want to join us, you might just be crazy enough to be a member of our team. Shoot me an e-mail, and we can discuss it further.