Are you an independent person who enjoys journalism and doesn’t want to be constrained to a single publication? Freelance journalism is the career for you. Working for yourself is highly rewarding and is an excellent way to grow. It offers you the freedom to work on your pace and on topics that appeal to you. Even so, freelance journalists have to work hard, be dedicated, and follow the right steps to land and thrive in the career.
Find your subject
It is virtually impossible to be an excellent journalist on every issue. Choose one or two topics that really interest you and in which you are confident in becoming an expert. Concentrate on them, and whether it is small-scale business or tribal politics in Mongolia, there will be a market for your work. All you need; is to be the most excellent journalist in the world and you will do that better by specializing.
Build a network
Find out from friends and family if they know any publications that need online journalists. Talk to people in the industry including other freelancers so you can be abreast of any available jobs for journalists. You can also join an online community on Facebook or LinkedIn. That allows you to build your network and gain more knowledge about freelance journalism and hence, further your career.
Sign up on freelance journalist websites
If you lack samples or experience, employers might not be able to evaluate your skills. To get that much-need experience, sign up to freelancing sites such as The Online Publishers platform. The websites can connect you to the high engaging clients even if you are an expert freelancer. All you require is to design an account and start bidding on offers in the site’s database. Nonetheless, ensure that the employers you engage are verified so that you will get paid for your work.
Research potential publications and their editors
Before you start pitching ideas, study what a particular magazine, newspaper, or website publishes. Check out the topics they cover and their style and tone of the content. Search online for their pitch submission recommendations, and if you are unable to find them, you can simply email the editor and ask. Similarly, find out more about the editor you are pitching to. Check the stories or angles as well as how they prefer pitches (if by email or phone)
Create an online portfolio
A well-crafted website is an ideal way to showcase your past examples of work, including your best works and the topics that you’ve covered best. It shows the potential employer who you are and the kind of content they can expect from you. The website should contain a biography, contact information, and maybe a link to your personal link. Avoid cluttering the portfolio with non-crucial photos and links as some editors will sometimes Google websites to scope out new online journalists.
Master the art of pitching
A pitch is a small summary of a subject you want to write about. Typically, freelance journalists pitch article ideas to editors who can accept or reject them. Pitches should contain a catchy title and a few sentences explaining what it is all about and why an audience would want to read it. Pitch in unique topics several times and to more than one editor as this will increase your chances of your pitch being picked.
Figure out how to get paid
That may seem obvious, but it can be challenging, particularly if you are just starting out. After completing your project as promised, you need to find a way to get paid. Today, most freelancers have stopped using paper checks and depend mostly on online payments. You can start by creating a PDF invoice and ask for payment through an easy-to-use system. You can later move to software that creates invoices and tracks your payment.
Freelance journalism gives you a unique perspective and a whole different set of skills. It allows you to engage in an exciting and appealing career. Subscribe to TOP platform for a more rewarding freelance journalist career. The Online Publishers “TOP” platform connects you to clients, individuals, and companies that require press releases and news articles.