BallinMichigan is looking for an editor

June 21, 2013 in Cover Story, Site News

By Patrick Hayes

OK, so it is has been about six months since BallinMichigan’s content, which had been churned out at a ridiculous rate since I launched the site last summer, came to an abrupt halt.

I wish I had an elaborate explanation for what that happened, but the reality is it was simply a matter of prioritizing. Responsibilities at my day job (the one that actually pays bills) became more demanding and I had a sudden realization that I was enjoying spending time in random gyms less than maintaining a site like this requires. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE basketball, particularly any basketball related to the state of Michigan. I’ll always consider myself a proponent of the hoops scene here. But there also weren’t enough hours in the day for me to do the things that were most important — devote time to my job and my family — and still put the detail and attention into this site that readers had become accustomed to over its first six months of existence.

My idealistic side kicked in, and I thought maybe readers, even in the internet age where everything is expected to be free, would be willing to spend a modest amount of money that would’ve allowed me to seek out contributors and lessen my own workload. I thought wrong. And that’s OK, I’m not bitter about it. It was a quickly thrown-together experiment to try and keep the site alive in the short term. The site would’ve had very little dropoff this year had it been successful. But the campaign wasn’t, and as a result, I had to step away completely with no replacement plan in place to maintain things.

I’m still not in a position to devote my evenings to doing all of the work that the site requires. But I am in a position to do some, if I can find a motivated editor to take on day-to-day posting and bring his or her own voice to a site and continue to build the momentum we had last year. I’m open-minded about candidates from a variety of backgrounds, but here’s basically what I’m looking for:

* Someone who, first and foremost, loves and respects the game of basketball at all levels. The bread and butter of this site will always be covering the non-major college teams and athletes in Michigan and the non-NBA pros the state has produced. So whoever comes on board as editor should be willing to explore those topics, at a minimum.

* Someone who can cover basketball from a journalistic perspective. That doesn’t mean opinion is unwelcome. Well-argued opinion pieces supported by data are great. But this site will never be a site that ranks prospects or offers poorly argued sentiments on which players fit at what level of basketball. There are already too many sites that do that. Our primary objective will always be simply telling great stories that further the mission of promoting the state’s rich basketball legacy. The person doesn’t necessarily have to be a journalist or an aspiring journalist, but having good news judgement is certainly a major plus.

* Someone who has blogging experience, preferably using WordPress. I’m happy to train the right candidate regardless of experience with the platform, but being familiar with WordPress would significantly cut down on the learning curve.

* Someone who is committed to making sure the site has content posted every day. Whether the individual is producing all of the content him or herself or tapping into a network of volunteer contributing writers will be their call. But for the site to be successful, there has to be content every day.

* Someone who can mine obscure news sources for information about players who are playing all over the world.

What we offer:

* Pay. Not a lot, but BallinMichigan does generate ad revenue through partner sites who place ads in designated areas here. We can discuss more specifically in the interview process, but basically, the more page views you generate consistently, the more potential revenue we have to pay you with. We will work with you to come up with a fair agreement to be paid a percentage of those ad revenues.

* An audience. The site has been dormant, but at our peak, we had 500-800 readers per day, and showed steady growth each month of our existence. A committed editor can undoubtedly re-engage that audience.

* A feed with Google alerts set up for dozens of players with Michigan ties to help you find story ideas and quick post ideas, as well as established presences on Facebook and Twitter. We also have a detailed editorial calendar template to help stay organized, particularly if making use of contributors who have story assignments.

* A partnership with the Detroit Free Press that can be re-explored. Last winter, BallinMichigan provided a weekly column about small college basketball in the state that ran on We will provide the connection to help a new editor take over this column if they wish.

* A guarantee that no outlet in the state is covering what we cover as extensively as we cover it. A committed editor will quickly become a known and connected name on this beat.

There will certainly be more details to discuss, but this is the basic overview of the job. If you’re interested in discussing it more, email . No need to send a resume or writing samples yet. A few sentences about your background and why you’re interested will be sufficient to get started.