New Website Recruiting Writers: No Pay, Alas!

paul velasco@grandprix247Contributor IJuly 1, 2009

NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21:  Sebastian Vettel (R) of Germany and Red Bull Racing leads away at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 21, 2009 in Northampton, England.   (Photo by Steve Tee-Pool/Getty Images)

Project Overview: Why yet another Formula 1 website?

YallaF1 enters a field of immense competition as a website dedicated to Formula 1, where a number of high quality sites already exist and are well established.

YallaF1 is aimed at becoming the main source of Formula 1 information in the Middle East: the specific target market being the Gulf region which is arguably the most upwardly mobile in terms of Formula 1, sponsorship, future exposure and growth of the sport. No such site exists to service the Gulf region specifically.

Phase 1 will be to develop, sustain and grow the English version of YallaF1 before launching a unique Arabic language version of the site. This is a virtually untapped market, and this is where our websites will fill the void.

The word Yalla in Arabic is a frequently used exclamation, used among friends, which means “let’s go,” delivered with enthusiasm and gusto, a call to action. YallaF1 translates to: “Let’s Go F1”

Team YallaF1

The YallaF1 project is made up of a team of highly experienced journalists and photographers who have a passion for the sport.

The concept is a joint venture including Agnes Carlier, Paul Velasco, Rami Joudi and Anja Schwerin who develop and maintain the website. GMMF1 provide an excellent F1 daily news service.

Thus YallaF1, is geared to providing an interesting read on Formula 1 to the Middle East, particularly the Gulf region, where Bahrain and now Abu Dhabi host Grands Prix. YallaF1 must become the essential bookmarked site for all Formula 1 fans in the region.

We do not want to be (who we respect as a source of official F1 information) but would rather develop an alternative, vibrant, edgy and contemporary view of the sport through YallaF1.

Thus the goal is to constantly attract a fresh, up and coming breed, of English and Arabic language writers to contribute and use YallaF1 as a platform to expose their work to a broader readership: a stepping stone for their careers as motorsport writers of the future and also for the “hobby” writer who can bring an alternative perspective to F1 reportage.

YallaF1 will grow with the users and contributors who will be attracted to this concept. Formula 1 drivers of this era are “twenty something:” the writers we want on board should be of the same generation.

We also want to encourage the older generation (team principals age group) to provide alternative insight, history and analysis. The objective is to gain credibility, from which we will attempt to find sponsorship and advertising, which in turn will provide remuneration for contributors.

YallaF1 Content

As mentioned above, content will come from multiple sources and the objective is to find, develop and establish a team of dedicated journalists and photographers into the project.

Currently and for the foreseeable future, GMMF1 syndicated Formula 1 news is used for the “non-corporate” daily news stories and features, while maximum use is made of the effective material distributed by the media officers from the various F1 teams and related concerns.

Photography is sourced from the teams and suppliers such as Bridgestone Motorsport, all of which provide images of the highest quality, which will be a vital aspect of YallaF1.

Contributor Criteria

The aim is to sustain a solid team of contributors for YallaF1, who will be committed to a minimum of a full Formula 1 season.

A targeted drive to attract young writers (in the “twenty something” bracket) will make the site unique: an academy for aspiring young F1 writers while also encouraging older generation enthusiasts and pros to contribute.

Quality, well researched and well-written reports and features would be a vital aspect of material used on YallaF1.

Below is an overview of the start-up roles within YallaF1, these are flexible and input on all matters relating to developing and promoting the site will be a collective endeavour.

Short Term Goals (first six months)

The beta version of went “live” on March 24, 2009 on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix. Since then, the site has been updated with content as if it were fully live.

As soon as news is available, it is updated, straight after practices, qualifying, races. Systems are in place to manage editorial submissions fully.

The new front end designed by Commonsense Design (Canada) was completed and made “live” on June 30, 2009. Below are links to the First Phase look that is now live.

From this point on the focus is on:
•    Facebook fansite maintained and used to promote
•    Search engine optimisation
•    Links and banner exchanges
•    Source, develop creative and thought provoking editorial content
•    Announcing it to the region (and the world for that matter) through mail shots and networking forums.
•    Roll out of ongoing marketing and promotional programme to boost traffic to the website

Long Term Goals (six months and beyond)

Launching the Arabic version of YallaF1 will become a priority once the English version is well established, with the hope of making it live well in time for the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

This will be used as an opportunity to boost traffic to the site and attract advertising. This will depend on interest and staff available to sustain such a project.

Ongoing website development programme would include:
•    Editorial evolution and added value content
•    Optimisation, attracting traffic and establishing YallaF1 as a definitive source of Formula 1 information to the Middle East fan base, sponsors, advertisers, marketers, organisers and circuit promoters
•    Introduce promotions and prizes for visitors to the site
•    Source sponsorship and advertising for the site through sales and marketing
•    Allow the dynamic nature of the web to indicate the way forward


YallaF1 is co-operative website tapping into a distinct and exciting vision which would be unique in the targeted region.

The objective is to keep the team lean, mean, and effective, dedicated to Formula 1 news (GP2 will also be featured, as it is the breeding ground of future F1 stars)

For the first phase there will be no forums, no readers' comments, etc. Simply a website that delivers topical Formula 1 news in an organised, well-illustrated and concise fashion, initially in English and in the future “inshalla” in Arabic. Well used still images and multimedia will be a major element to attract visitors and keep them coming back.

The dynamic nature of the web will allow us to develop in the direction that our readers and traffic demand.

This will be our constant priority: give our visitors what they want; thus, much of what is written above in this overview could change as the site develops. We are willing and ready to change with the demand as our sole intention is to make this the best Formula 1 website for the Middle East.

Bleacher Report helped us find talent

When the YallaF1 project was in its infancy, we recruited contributors through Bleacher Report and have since published work from Daniel Chalmers, Scott Pryce, Ann Gry and Ravi Rajagopal. Daniel has excelled, providing well-written, thought-provoking articles on a regular basis.

The door remains open, and always will, for anyone who wishes to contribute providing they adhere to our standards. So if interested please contact: and be part of our growth.

YallaF1 has openings for:
•    Blogger: Required
Witty, edgy, controversial commentator on the state of affairs regarding Formula 1 scene. Cannot afford lawsuits but anything goes that won’t put YallaF1 out of business. Regular contributions critiquing topical matters and news in the world of F1.
•    Freelance Contributors: Required
To provide well-written pertinent features, essays (400 to 800 words) for publication on the website on an ad hoc basis. Regular contributors who show talent and writing skill will be offered positions within the editorial team as a way to keep the “fresh blood” flowing. Ongoing recruitment.

Check it out on and let us know what you think.


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