Welcome to Clips Nation. Maybe you’ve known us for a long time—maybe this is your first click ever onto the site. Either way, you’re likely here because of the headline: you want to know how to join the Clips Nation staff.
Read on and you’ll know everything that we’re looking for, and everything that we need from you. As silly as it seems for volunteer positions on a Clippers blog, we get a lot of applications when we go through this process, and we have limited openings, making it competitive.
That doesn’t mean you should worry about not being “qualified”: we’ve taken people with no writing experience who were just Clippers fans. We’ve also had to hand out tough rejections to well-qualified, experienced writers. It’s a combination of what we see “on paper”, and fit to the site’s culture and existing staff. Don’t be quiet because you’re worried we’ll say no—send us an application, and let us consider you.
What’s in it for me?
So why should you apply for a position on Clips Nation? Well, it’s a rewarding experience that you can get a lot out of, but I’m going to be up-front about one thing: there’s no money involved with any of the positions available. Writing for Clips Nation is either a labor of love, an internship, or both—but it’s not a source of income.
If you’re still reading after I told you there’s no money, then let me give you my best pitch for what you will be able to get out of writing for Clips Nation:
- Exposure: I won’t rank all of the Clippers outlets out there—but short of replacing Dan Woike at the Orange County Register, you aren’t getting a better outlet to reach Clippers fans and direct the national conversation on the Clippers. Our year-to-year traffic is always going up, up, up, and our social media presence is only growing to help us reach more readers, which means more eyes on your articles.
- Community: The best part of Clips Nation is the community, from its first day until its last day. If you use your platform as a Clips Nation writer to emerge as a respected member in the community, you’ll meet new people who are smart and kind and will push you to better yourself in all sorts of areas. I’m far from the only person who has made lifelong friends and connections, which has helped me outside of the blogosphere more times than I can count.
- Portfolio: Not everyone is in this for self-serving purposes, but some are, and I encourage that. If you are a studying journalism, or you want to write about sports for money someday, having an established portfolio showing consistent quality and quantity will be a huge help. Let Clips Nation be the platform where you build that portfolio.
- Opportunity: There are ways to use Clips Nation as a stepping stone, both inside and outside of the site. We’ve had numerous writers land other jobs around the country based on their Clips Nation experience. We even have a former editor who now works in a cushy office (probably a cubicle, but still) at the NBA headquarters in midtown Manhattan. And I, myself, wrote for the site for years on staff before Steve Perrin picked me to take over when he stepped back. Who knows what I’ll be doing in my real life in 2 years? Maybe someone will need to take over from me.
How do I apply?
Great question. Applications for Clips Nation are open year-round, but this is the time of year when I actively look to add new writers. It’s worth noting that I get some pretty funky applications, and if you want a shot, you won’t want to fall into that category. Follow these instructions (and please, please, check for grammatical errors), and you’re on the right track:
- Write a brief note explaining why you want to write on Clips Nation: Do you love the Clippers? Do you love the community? Do you just want to write about basketball? There are no wrong answers. Nobody is disqualified based on their answer to this question. However, your answer will help me understand you and your goals.
- Outline the role you want: Do you want to write columns? Game previews and recaps? News blurbs? Do you have time to post daily? Weekly? Monthly? Do you want to help out with social media accounts and content promotion? Are you just a member of the community who’d like to be a moderator and clean up the comment sections? Let me know.
- Give me a resume and writing samples: Your resume might have nothing on it that’s related at all to basketball or writing, and that’s fine. I want to get to know you and your background a little bit, and while I’ll get more from exchanging e-mails with you, it’s nice to have a baseline of information. Writing samples, naturally, are most important. Send me work that you’re proud of. If you don’t have basketball-related samples, that’s fine, and I still want to read your work—but I’ll also want you to do a try-out for me.
Right now, we’re specifically looking for help on our game coverage and short form teams. Game coverage writers will be responsible for signing up to write a preview and recap for at least 2 games a month. Short form writers will be responsible for approximately two brief posts a week. I’m looking for 2 writers in each category.
If you have other roles in mind, you should still shoot me an e-mail at LHann.ClipsNation@gmail.com. Aside from our specific “needs”, we always want talented, passionate writers.