Writer. Editor. Consultant., 2004 - present
I'm a freelance writer, focusing on travel, food, and A&E. I've contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, Gawker Media's Gridskipper and Deadspin, USA Today, BlackBook, and Curbed. Accepted into the Society of American Travel Writers in 2012. Clips at zacheverson.com/writing.
Senior editor, 2013 - 2015
Launched editorial content on MapQuest (45 million monthly users), establishing a new voice and vision. Write/assign, edit, produce, and promote original content, features, and curated accounts of trending stories, focusing on areas where pop culture overlaps with travel (previously did likewise for Aol Travel and Gadling): beats include travel guides to locations from movies and TV shows, celebrity interviews, 50-state roundups, TV and sporting recaps from a travel angle, animal travel, power rankings, and insight on visiting troubled destinations. Produce, direct, write, shoot, host, and edit videos (my “Disney Cruise Line’s Very Merrytime Cruises” was viewed more than 160,000 times in its first week). Interpret data and metrics, using findings to inform content. Develop and execute strategy for MapQuest’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, increasing engagement on both. Promote content via social media, article subjects and their publicists, other Aol brands, and agreements with other media outlets. Work with in-house team and manage 30 freelancers. Collaborated with designers and developers on new article templates and hub pages.
Louisville editor, 2012 - 2013
Wrote 20 posts a week (more than 900 total) for the city’s go-to source of dining and nightlife news. Drew 100,000 page views and 42,000 unique visits in just its second full month; visits and page views increased for seven consecutive months. Attracted readers by original reporting that was at the forefront of the news cycle, interpreting traffic metrics to inform content, monitoring online trends to develop local angles on national stories, and following search engine optimization best practices. Published articles, maps, videos, slideshows, and curated content. Managed the site’s Facebook Fan Page and Twitter accounts, growing both from inception to more than 1,4000 fans and 1,800 followers. Compiled a weekly newsletter that reaches 2,000 subscribers. Assigned and coordinated freelancers, managed a budget. Oversaw an intern. Promoted the site by recapping its top stories weekly on 89.3 WFPL (public radio) and monthly in Louisville Magazine. Won Society of Professional Journalists Louisville chapter’s award for best independent blog of 2012.
Director of content and editorial strategy, 2010 - 2013
Created and implemented the editorial strategy for this hyperlocal, community-driven, entertainment news website that provides original digital content about a metropolitan area with 741,096 people. Compared to 2009, visits increased 131 percent in 2012 (665,000 to 1.54 million). By the time I left, it ranked first in the market among both independent and locally owned websites, eighth out of all media websites. Won Society of Professional Journalists Louisville chapter’s award for best website of 2012.
Louisville city guide editor, 2011 - 2013
BlackBook’s City Guide iPhone and Android apps and website identify the hippest restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, and hotels. The guide contains the latest venue details and breaks the cities down by theme, style, and interest.
As city editor for Louisville, I reviewed 100 area bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops, highlighting the best ones as editor’s picks to be featured on the apps and website.
Download the free app at the iTunes store or view the listings at BlackBook’s website.