The Ultimate Guide To Being An Odyssey Creator

The Ultimate Guide To Being An Odyssey Creator

Step by step instructions to creating great content and sharing it with the world!
8386
views

Before becoming an Odyssey Creator, there's one important question you need to ask yourself:

What Is A Successful Odyssey Community?

By joining an Odyssey community, a content Creator becomes immersed in an ongoing conversation. You discover content from other Creators and brainstorm new article ideas about topics that interest you. You bring your hyperlocal point of view to Odyssey’s platform, and your unique voice resonates with thousands of readers.

A successful team creates these community dialogues on a weekly basis, covering topics that are relevant, timely and interesting. As leaders in your area, you spark unique conversations in the digital space and democratize the way in which stories are told online. Your content is shared through social media networks, and people start to recognize you. You’re an Odyssey content Creator. You’re developing a following, and because of your influence, others want to join the conversation, too.


So where do you fit in? How can you make an impact?

In order for an Odyssey Creator to actually effect change in the world with their stories, they first need to get their voices out there. This happens through sharing. While our CMS allows Creators to schedule Facebook and Twitter shares throughout the week, they shouldn't stop there. Each article should be shared on three or more platforms. Beyond Facebook and Twitter, this includes Instagram, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn, email, and beyond. It is the job of an AME to give Creators the tools to tell their stories, and teaching them how to best promote their stories on social media is a huge part of this.

Additionally, each article should be shared on three or more platforms multiple times a week. Out of 1,000 potential stories you could see on your Facebook feed any given day, there are only 250 slots. If you log onto Facebook one time a day, you may only see 20 post. That means, if your friend shared an article only once, you could easily miss it. Sharing multiple times throughout the week on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram will help you get more and more readers.

For more information on best sharing practices, follow Odyssey Pro Tips.


Once you join a community, you'll need to know the ins and outs of creating content. Here's a step by step guide on how to do just that!

The Basics Of Our CMS:

CMS stands for “Content Management System,” and here at Odyssey, we have created our own system. It is extremely user-friendly, but here are some tips to help you get started. Your Managing Editor will also train you on the system via a Google Hangout.

To log in, go to theodysseyonline.com/admin and enter your username and password.

To log in, go to theodysseyonline.com and select “CREATE” and enter your username and password provided via email, or go directly to theodysseyonline.com/admin.

Before you begin, make sure that you update your biography, tagline, and link your social media profiles.

Do not, however, change your school/community name in your profile! If you joined a geographic community like “Austin, TX,” for example, do not change your school to “University of Texas.”

How To Set Up Auto Shares In MUSE:

1. Once signed in, click on your name in the top-right corner.

2. After your account information/profile is loaded, follow the “Click here to manage your social media account access” link located directly below the profile picture.

3. Once this page loads (Manage Account page), scroll to the bottom where it says “Use another service to log in,” with the Twitter and Facebook button below.

4. Select the Facebook button to open the prompt to enter your credentials to link your social media account. Repeat and do the same thing, this time selecting the Twitter button.

Tips For If You Run Into Trouble:

You hit a wall? It happens to all of us.

1. Make sure you are using Chrome as your browser as this is what we suggest using with our system. (Make sure you go to this sign-in page: http://theodysseyonline.com/admin without “www” in the URL.)

2. If you are using Chrome, clear your browsing history and cache (when you go to delete these, select the “from beginning of time” option from the drop-down menu. This will remove any saved passwords on other sites, so if you think that may be a problem, just go to #3).

3. Try opening a new window in “incognito” (Command+Shift+N) mode. Right-click on the Chrome icon and select “new incognito window” and then try signing on.

4. Remember to contact edithelp@theodysseyonline.com if you have questions!

Open your “Writer Dashboard.” From here, you can see a few things:

● All articles you’ve ever written and their links.

● The total social engagement each article has received.

● Your community’s “top article” of the week.

● Past “Top Article Winners”: Those that have received high engagement in past weeks.

● The “+New Article” button so you can submit your next piece.

After you click on “+New Article,” you will be able to begin creating your piece of content.

On this page, you want to make sure to:

  • Choose if you are writing an “Article” or “Listicle”
    • A “listicle” is a piece of content written in a list format. If your piece has 11+ more points, make sure to choose Listicle.” These get edited slightly differently.
    • If you are writing a list, make sure to go to the bottom of this document for more information on how to properly format it.
  • Choose your CMS Subject Line.
    • This is something that is only we can see internally. We recommend putting a description of what the piece is as well as when it should go live. For example: Donald Trump Article 2/15. (This way it is easy to keep track of in the ­system.)
  • Choose if you are writing a “Standard” or “News” piece.
    • If you are writing something on a current event, make sure that you click “News.” This will help to get the piece edited faster so that it is timely when it is posted. “News” to Odyssey actually is defined as ”Current Content.” This means it can be a reaction to a current event or a perspective relevant to an existing national conversation rather than an aggregated news piece.

Make sure as you write your piece of content that your piece is always longer than 500 words and includes an intro paragraph if it is a list. On the side, we have a “Comment” feature, so please make comments if you have questions for your Managing Editor/Editor-­in-­Chief about tips for your piece. They will see it in the final stages before post. If you have a pressing question, utilize email and connect your EIC and Managing Editor.

Write your headline. This is your space to hook Odyssey users with a clever, pithy title. How sad would it be if all your hard work went unappreciated because you didn’t focus enough on crafting your headline? Please make sure to capitalize the first letter of every word. That’s just Odyssey style.

LEARN MORE: How To Craft The Perfect Headline

When you click to add a Cover Photo, you will have to attribute your image. If you do not do this, your article will not be posted.

If it is your image, make sure to write your name under Attribution.

If it is not your image, make sure to insert the link from where the image is from under

“Attribution URL” as well as the photographer’s name under “Attribution.”

Don't use an image that you are not legally entitled to re-use. You wouldn't plagiarize somebody else's words, don't do the same with images.

LEARN MORE: Do Copyright RIGHT

Insert tags and choose your category.

Tags: These are extremely important as they help visitors to Odyssey find your content. They also help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Make sure to put all tags that are relevant to your content. For example, if you write on Donald Trump, some tags could be: Donald Trump, Trump 2016, Republicans, Apprentice, Nomination, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, etc.

Segments are used to categorize articles for users who do a refined content search. You should be as specific as possible when selecting categories.





Choose Your “Slug.”

Your slug is essentially your URL. It should feature the most essential words from your headline or the point of your article — the keywords somebody might type into Google to search for what your article is about. Once you like a slug, click on the part that is green until it says “Claimed.” From there, you can move to the next step.

Preview. This is so you can see exactly how your piece will appear on different devices. Make sure that your cover photo appears in the way you would like it to. If not, go back and make changes.

Choose Submission Deadline: Choose the next available deadline.


Choose Preferred Digital Post Date: Choose the Monday or Tuesday after the deadline. Our traditional posting schedule is on Mondays or Tuesdays, if you want something posted in a timely fashion, reach out to your Editor­-in-­Chief. For example, if you are submitting it for the deadline of 2/21, choose 2/22 as the digital post date as this is when editors will be editing it.

Write A Social Network Brief: This should be similar to your sub-headline and should tease what is being written about. Never write “Click here” or “Please share!” as your Social Network Brief or Blurb. Would you want to read an article where the writer posted, “Share this, please!!!!”? Nope, we wouldn’t either.

Example:

Schedule Shares. The most important part. Don’t you want to get your content seen?

Click on “Facebook” and “Twitter” to “Add a share.”

Include a short message with your piece. This is what will be shared on your social profiles. We recommend teasing to the article and explaining what the article is about to your followers.

When the article is posted on our platform, it will be shared on your social media platform at the time that you have set. Make sure to share your article on at least three other social networking platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc. And share more than once. Sharing multiple times on multiple platforms means your content will reach even more readers!






Still want more? Request a call with one of our Engagement Specialists through our CDP (Creator Development Program.) You'll get to meet one of our most qualified specialists and talk about things like content packaging and social sharing!

And there you have it! You've created a great piece of content and you're ready to share it with the world. How far your piece will travel is completely in your hands --- so get to creating!



Want to be a part of the exec team?

Why should you be a part of your local editorial executive team?


  • Creator experience outside the Odyssey bubble: Giving creators the opportunity to take on leadership and responsibility that they can carry onto future opportunities depending on their career trajectory
  • These positions don’t diminish the EIC role as it is now or what it could be in the future. Rather, these different leadership roles gives the EIC the opportunity to hold his/her executive team accountable. The EIC is partaking in all of the other leaders’ responsibilities, but has a direct person who knows everything about a particular EIC task [i.e., The EIC understands Facebook’s algorithm and can coach creators around packaging, but the social media director makes it a point to research best practices to present to EIC, do smart sharing hacks, etc.]
  • Giving creators these titles specifically presents new opportunities for them to interact with different counterparts across the country! There can also be opportunities for them to benefit from group calls with NYC’s best outreach specialists, audience development team, or culture queens

Here are the positions you can be screened for! If you're interested, contact your EIC:

1. Outreach Specialist

2. Social Media Director

3. Community Health Manager

4. Contributing Editor

Popular Right Now

22 Girl Names Your Random College Roommate Will Have, And The Type Of Roommate They Are

Will she be your BFF?
114793
views

Every roommate situation in college is going to be different.

All you can do is hope and pray that they'll just leave you alone for the most part. A lot of the time, you can get a hint about what kind of roommate they'll be just knowing their first name.

1. Hailey

Her dad pays her rent. She can't cook. Litters the kitchen with take out boxes from the local vegan joint.

2. Beth

Totally wants you to go to SoulCycle with her at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Room is littered with leggings and sneakers.

3. Michelle

Comes home at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking. Loudly makes some sort of frozen meal. Sleeps through her noon alarm.

4. Victoria

Probably has dark hair and an acoustic guitar. Keeps pretty much to herself. Does homework in the living room at obscure hours.

5. Madison

Was on the dance team in high school and has not stopped telling you about how great it was. Does work out videos on the TV in the living room.

6. Kim

Brings her boyfriend over every night of the week. Brings different boys home on the weekends.

7. Megan

Actively avoids cleaning the bathroom. Leaves her dishes in the sink. You haven't seen her shower in four days.

8. Erica

Normal. Quiet. Wants to be a high school English teacher.

9. Erika

Wild. Emotionally distraught always. Is always hosting the pre-game. Never comes home with all of the clothes she left wearing.

10. Sarah

"Definitely should have got into Harvard, but I ended up here instead." Too into trying to get a 4.0 to pay attention to you.

11. Julia

Studies music performance. Screams expletives at her keyboard. Cannot play the trumpet, but still tries really hard.

12. Hannah

So tall she almost hits her head on the doorways. Plays basketball. Raps to old Kanye in the shower.

13. Jenny

Should not be allowed to go out. Goes out every weekend anyway. Throws up in your bathtub and doesn't always address it in the morning.

14. Heather

Stressing about her internship. Is currently failing all of her classes. Will somehow still get a 3.5 GPA this semester.

15. Grace

You never see her, only the hairballs she leaves all around your place.

16. Emma

Only has guy friends because "it's easier." Guy friends who leave empty beer cans out after every sporting event on TV.

17. Caitlyn

Has a 4.0 as a biology major. Is going to med school. Sterilizes her room, the bathroom and the kitchen sink every four hours.

18. Sam

Always has a paper about feminism to write. Rosie the Riveter poster in her room.

19. Alex

Is probably dating her boss. Has straight Ds in all her classes.

20. Taylor

Is somehow always home when you're home. You know nothing about her other than where she's from.

21. Alyssa

Trying to become the next big YouTuber. Has lighting equipment all over the place. You constantly hear the phrase, "Hey guys, welcome to my channel!" She squealed because yesterday she hit 25 subscribers.

22. Jesse

Is probably plotting your murder. Lurks around like a cat.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Yates//YouTube

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

This Is The Biggest Lie About Your High School Years, Let Me Explain

The biggest misconception about your high school years.
114
views

Yesterday I realized something. My first day of high school will be nine years ago this August. Ummm yuck. Nine years!? Are you kidding me?

Annnnnd just like that, my knees started to hurt and I grew another gray hair.

I was thinking about this when things at my job were pretty slow. I remember me walking in pretty excited but also a little nervous because not only was I seeing old friends from middle school but I also was meeting new kids who were from Crofton.

All of us freshman gathered in the theater department, sat down with our friends and then we were greeted by a balding man with a short goatee and glasses wearing dress pants and a white dress shirt who felt the need to literally yell "ALRIGHT EVERYBODY SHUT IT" in order to our attention.

For the sake of this article, we will call him Mr. Orange.

Mr. Orange proceeded to tell us what is expected of us as students, the rules, and blah blah blah. I really can't remember what he was going on about. However, Mr. Orange then said something that I took with a grain of salt at that time.

Mr. Orange looked at all of us and said "These will be the greatest years of your life."

Back then I thought it was true but yesterday as I was going to deep thought while there was nothing going on at work, all I could hear in my head was Mr. Orange was "These are going to be the greatest years of your life" and my response to that today as 23-year-old adult is "What an absolute load of garbage." That is the biggest lie that you're told in high school. Do not get wrong, I enjoyed my time in high school.

I enjoyed meeting the people I became friends with, most of the teachers I had, and the things I got to do while attending high school. But were they my greatest years? Uhh no and I don't believe this ideology should be believed by anyone.

To me, high school is this little snippet and of your life where you are trying to figure yourself out awkwardly and basically filled with having to do stuff you never really wanted to do at all in the first place. Things like dealing with drama from friends that is considered childish as an adult now, extremely flawed SAT tests so we can go to college, and basically being told that failure is not an option where in reality, failure is part of life and it is how you grow.

I am not sure about you, the reader's, high school but my high school was very cliquey. All the jocks hung out with the jocks, the goth/emo kids hung out with the goth/emo kids, the theater kids hung out with the theater kids, the camo kids hung out with the camo kids and etc. It just felt extremely divided.

Luckily for me, I did not really fall for cliques. I definitely dressed like wanna-be hipster much like how I do now but that did not stop me from talking to people from different cliques. I got along with some of the jocks just as well as I got along with some of the theater kids. Other than that, I did not really see a lot of kids from different cliques converse or hang out with each other.



"These will be the greatest years of your life" That repeated this phrase in my head multiple times. I just cannot agree. I cannot speak for everyone but I feel that your best years start as soon as you got your high school diploma. I can definitely argue that my college years are much better compared to my years as a high school student. At least in my experience, there is really no cliques in college; everyone just converses and befriends people no matter what you're into, what you wear, and what you look like.

After I graduated, I was able to do amazing fun things in the band I was in at the time. I started pursuing my dream to be a professional photographer and started to travel to places I've always wanted to. It was after high school where I feel stuff really started to happen for me. In high school, I was a little shy and insecure about what my peers thought of me which weighed on me at that time. Now I just flat out don't give a #$^& about what people think about me. So the argument that high school is the greatest years of your life is the biggest load of BS and Mr. Orange should be ashamed of himself for preaching that ideology to such young minds.

It made me think.. Why does Mr. Orange think that? Then it occurred to me. Maybe it is because he wakes up every single day going to a job he does not love. He spent most of his time doing work for something he much spends elsewhere. Maybe high school was when he was really happy. I would understand and sympathize with him. However, in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk "Quit complaining. You're in total control."

If he wasn't happy with how things were going in his life, he could change it. If he didn't like his job, he could just get a one; sure that is easier said than done but it is not impossible. So I really don't feel bad for him which may come across harsh but let me tell you one more thing about Mr. Orange.

Two years after I graduated, Mr. Orange had the bright idea as a birthday prank to one his students, to grab and pull up the poor kid's underwear and give him a wedgie in front of his whole class. Feeling embarrassed, the kid reported it and Mr. Orange got fired and is now working at an office supplies store. So yeah, I would not feel bad for him at all.



I'm gonna end this by saying this. In case I have some kids reading this that either in or about to go into high school. Your high school years will NOT be the greatest years of your life. Don't let my statement scare you. You are going to have a lot of fun and your best friends in high school are your best friends for life. But it is after high school where things really get interesting for you.

Whether you're going to college, going into the military, going into a trade, or you spend a year or two traveling someplace out of the country, that is when you are going to have the greatest years of your life. Have as much fun as you can while you're high school but DO NOT think it goes downhill once you flip your tassel.

Oh and if you become a teacher, do not give your student a wedgie. Das bad.


Cover Image Credit: David Kirchner

Related Content

Facebook Comments