Robyn Vinter, founder of The Overtake, on closing down the publication


At your high. Roughly how many people did you really have signed up. I think we had more than one hundred. I'm not sure exactly how many Because has spread of a patriot in steady but the problem really was that revenue wise. We will always growing but would just never enough. You know we'd get maybe an extra support to a month. Which was absolutely brilliant. And i'm i'm so grateful for having this about his book. The kind of initial idea was to grow much more slowly than i am and not have not have staff and you know it got to the point where after a couple of years so many people come on board and there was so brilliant and they volunteered time. The i was trying to pay as many people as possible and And i was and i was doing that book. I realized eventually that they would never going to get a full-time job. Out out of this on fears and i was kind of like stringing them along a little bit with giving him. When are you saying that. In some ways he became oversaturated with writers. Then totally yeah. That's exactly what happened so the plan had always been you know when when we set up the plan the palm had always been on my plan initially had always been to have me and co-founder someone to run the business and meted do the editorial side. I felt quite confident building the traffic and actually i did that. Rarely really quite well and partly through knowing what would be well but partly through absolute coincidence We had one hundred thousand unique in the first month. Which is which is a law in an independent assessment am site. Yeah and that was being very lookie impove. That was by design. Obviously and so you. Yeah so the the idea had always been taps on the business side of it. I'd i'd gone on kind of entrepreneurship program saying they were very keen on Just launching a me. They'd always say general innings until you alone. And i was like i wet in ad. Retina startup befall. I worked in different companies. Am i knew hundred percent while i needed and it was someone to do. The business is so someone to do the revenue in the marketing side of things. And i would just focus on building the site in a building. The traffic i'm boats. I so that was kind of a big mistake. Rarely of mine was that. I just completely to that advice on board even against my better instincts. So i'd never intended to vernet completely alive and beveren said why not and then tonight i i guess i just thought oh well maybe the right. Maybe maybe once we get going you will always figure out exactly by knew it wouldn't and i don't know how allowed that auburn while the message that i was getting law of was You know what you need until you loan. That was the first one second. One was m u You all the best person to sell your business. I i also need. That wasn't tricks and sales before and i was terrible absolutely terrible like i can persuade people out people interested. I can persuade them out. So it feels like you're describing may actually exactly like i think that the skills ev sales in journalism monte overlap at all and they kind of almost the opposite in a lot of ways so yes i i i knew i would really struggle with that but again i thought maybe i've got this untapped potential. I never knew that had. Maybe maybe actually trying some iron thing. I i you know. I'll be good. But now i wasn't absolutely terrible am so yes i by the time. It kind of like registered that that those with the reasons why our revenue was going slightly. We were in quite difficult financial position. I already had paid rightism bald. And i did get to pay sales people though call by just couldn't give them in hours ready to make in sponsored content side of things. I'm sorry yeah i think. In hindsight i was very keen to kind of hang on to every brilliant writer. That came along diplomas debilitate said that they would have fulltime jobs eventually. Bachelor i think probably. I should've i should've stuck with just made a mean somebody else and you would have been the best way to. I think to be clear about this. Who were these other people that would come onto right for you. Say m initially. What how it started was i was kind of this one person band and somebody local uni hit emailed. Me and said can i conflict experience and i was like well. It's just me. So he can. But i i think i'd even gone back and gone. Actually no no. I'm just won't pass and so everything is at. I think is going to be like no now. I'm really keen. And i was like okay. Fine you can go. And i had some temporary office space. So in a shed off says she came she records painting. She was brilliant. And i was like. Oh this is actually be quite useful to have to have. Somebody is time consuming. Obviously to have work experience people badgley. She did some brilliant stuff. And i think challenge the week to two weeks. She's brilliant. So i was like okay. Fine i'll accept. Experience people amend wants the wet. Go out about that. I was getting a couple of emails a week if people saying. Can i come and direct experience so i started doing a one day a week internship which i thought was probably the best way of doing him So it it lasted like if you had two these up in fifteen days in total. I normal three weeks if you if you would take as a you know three weeks. Which is what the bbc does. All the bbc did. I don't know if they still do that. And i will take. Anyone is all out you know. I wouldn't especially the star. I wasn't kind of filtering through applications is just. They gone waiting less than make a come one day week. So many of them because leads. We've got i think. Three or four of the universe. He's got journalism at least three of the university's journalism goes as the only get work experiences. kohl's so i was just kind of inundated so i took as many as possible and some of them would just exceptional and graduated or whatever they were like. Oh you know had been one of the audience was like please can. I was like no. We've got rule. Like don't i don't want it to look like i'm expecting you know we've got the fifteen day role nuts set and he was like please like he. He'd worked in in a crappy job and he was like please. This is oil for to like all week. And i was like okay. I can say and really talking on your heartstrings. Then yeah exactly and and then that happened a few times and kind of people people stayed. And then i could kind of pay them a little bit of money. I would probably and bear in mind. I should say most of i wasn't paying myself a tall and actually allow the timer was paying reporters in my my team and i wasn't paying myself which i think was actually probably mistake is all because then i had to do a lot for you on swift kind of made me. I guess compensate. I mean you've gotta live yourself robin them. Yeah exactly. And i say when when you gonna plane and they say if in the event of an incident like you've put the the extreme skinny sell first before you before you put on a child and i think he's a bit like i think i was putting oxygen masks on my team and then i was in financial dire straits and i was already overloaded with with everything that that came with the. Take that really. I shouldn't have been doing freelance. Work to try and survive. I should have been pay myself first and then the team second to you wish you a oven. Oh one hundred percent. Yeah yeah i think. I don't know whether we'd still be here. I don't think it really changes that much economically. Some of the decisions i made were based on the i like these people and they deserve to be paid for the work day right. No i'm business. I'm running a business. And i have to think about myself in the business i and i i did it again. I definitely i definitely do that. this you'll freelance. Rate was fifty pound a feature correct. Yeah yes he was a flat rate. So it's fifty pounds name out. What was said. I can easy piece feature opinion. Although we didn't do a lot of body and especially numidian do love opinion. Because i am. I was just getting pitched signed much opinion. An alavi was quite. I guess uninformed unqualified opinion. Love was about politics and it just it wasn't it wasn't right for it so we kind of do not

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